Emergency – Ward 9

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Emergency – Ward 9 is a Dennis Potter television play first broadcast by the BBC in the Thirty-Minute Theatre series on 11 April 1966.

Potter had praised the storylines and sense of urgency of the ITV hospital soap Emergency – Ward 10 in his television reviews for Daily Herald. He was inspired to write a play that connected his experiences in a National Health hospital with events depicted in the series. The play featured —specified in Potter's script— an "Alf Garnett-type" character who suddenly finds himself sharing a ward with a black man. The play was controversial for its unflinching depiction of institutionalised racism but was critically applauded.

The play was repeated eighteen months after its first transmission.[1] For many years, a recording was thought not to have survived, but the play has resurfaced and was screened at the BFI's Missing Believed Wiped event in December 2011.[2]


  1. ^ W. Stephen Gilbert The Life and Work of Dennis Potter, Woodstock & New York: Overlook Press, p.137, 333
  2. ^ John Wyver "Potter play preserved", Illuminations website (blog), 24 October 2011