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HolbyBlue titles.png
Opening credits
Genre Police drama
Created by Tony Jordan
Starring Cal Macaninch
Richard Harrington
Kacey Ainsworth
Zöe Lucker
Tim Pigott-Smith
James Hillier
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 20 (list of episodes)
Running time 60 minutes
Original network BBC One
Original release 8 May 2007 – 5 June 2008
Related shows Casualty
Holby City
External links

HolbyBlue is a British police drama series that aired on BBC One from 2007 to 2008. Produced by the BBC, Red Planet Pictures and Kudos for BBC One, it is a spin-off of the successful BBC One medical drama Holby City, itself a spin-off of the long-running series Casualty. All three programmes are set in the fictional city of Holby. HolbyBlue follows the professional and personal lives of police staff at Holby South police station.

The first series of eight episodes was broadcast between May 8 and June 26, 2007. Broadcast of the first episode was postponed by a week.[1] A second series of twelve episodes was broadcast between March 20 and June 5, 2008. The second series began with a Holby City crossover episode.[2] The second series introduced three new characters into the series.[3] The first series aired on Tuesday nights at 8 pm, in the regular Holby City timeslot. Holby City was moved to Thursdays for the duration of HolbyBlue‍‍ '​‍s run.[4] The show moved to Thursday nights for the second season. The BBC announced in August 2008 that due to poor ratings, they had dropped the show and it would not be returning for a third series.[5][6]



Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]


Actors spent some time shadowing uniform and detective officers at Surrey Police's Woking station, and following an in depth visit to the station's custody centre, it is rumoured that the Holby police station cell block is based on the real thing at Woking. The filming for the first series began in the last week of January 2007,[7] at an old MOD site near Longcross. It is also based at Brunel University, West London, where the external shots of the police station were filmed. Scenes were also filmed in Egham, Surrey. Shooting was also in Woking, Surrey, during the winter in the town centre.

The first series was broadcast on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m., in the regular timeslot of Holby City, which was moved to a Thursday timeslot for the duration of HolbyBlue's run. A second series of 12 episodes was commissioned in June 2007 for transmission in 2008, with filming running until March 2008.[8] The first episode is due to feature a crossover with the characters of Holby City, as the characters from that show are interviewed by the HolbyBlue police officers following a "major incident".[9] The BBC's Controller of Continuing Drama Series, John Yorke, has said of the crossover: "Loads of questions are asked in the Holby City episode that are answered in the HolbyBlue episode. That is exciting. It is something the Americans have done for years with shows like CSI and I really like it. You really believe it’s a world."[10] The crossover episodes will be co-written by Holby City creator Tony McHale, and HolbyBlue creator Tony Jordan.[9]

Series 1 had a regular villain, drugs baron Neculai Stenga, who died at the end of the series. Series 2 had a few long-running crime storylines: Episode 1 featured Jac Naylor from Holby City, who had been arrested for murder, although it turned out she was innocent. Three episodes were spent investigating the case of Sean Burrows, a youth worker who had beaten his wife and son. The most major villain was John's father, who John visited in prison and later appeared at the end of the series suspected of abusing prostitutes.


The show has come under fire from the public since the first episode, as it contained swearing and sex scenes before the 9pm watershed. The BBC received many complaints from viewers and the show was featured on BBC One's Points of View almost immediately after the programme's debut. The show is very different from its parents, Holby City and Casualty, in that it aims to "push the boundaries" in pre-watershed television, according to creator and writer Tony Jordan. The second series was toned down briefly, but there were still elements of upsetting and distressing scenes in the programme.

It was also criticised heavily by Private Eye and others for being another TV drama based in Holby.[citation needed]

International broadcasters[edit]

Country Network Series premiere Weekly schedule
Australia Channel Seven 30 November 2008 Mondays, 12:30am
Israel BBC Prime
BBC Entertainment
25 January 2010 Mondays, 9:45pm

DVD releases[edit]

  • The complete series 1 DVD was released 21 April 2008.[11]
  • In Australia, the DVD was released on 5 March 2009.[12]
  • Series 2 has not been released on DVD.


  1. ^ Green, Kris (17 April 2007) 'HolbyBlue' pushed back a week, Digital Spy. Retrieved on 2007-04-27
  2. ^ Green, Kris (14 November 2007). "'HolbyBlue' returns with crossover ep". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Characters & Actors". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  4. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (18 May 2007). "Emmerdale eclipses EastEnders". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Welsh, James (6 August 2008). "BBC takes axe to 'Holby Blue'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 
  6. ^ "BBC axes police drama Holby Blue". BBC. 6 August 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 
  7. ^ Green, Kris (31 January 2007). "Filming begins on 'HolbyBlue'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  8. ^ Hilton, Beth (17 October 2007). "Oliver Milburn joins cast of 'Holby Blue'". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  9. ^ a b Green, Kris (14 November 2007). "'HolbyBlue' returns with crossover ep". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  10. ^ Hemley, Matthew (14 November 2007). "Tony Jordan returns to write for EastEnders". The Stage. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  11. ^ "Holby Blue: Series 1 (DVD)". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2008. 
  12. ^ Ezydvd.com.au

External links[edit]