What do you get when you take Scrubs
, slash the budget dramatically and then do lots of acid? You get this very bizarre comedy from 1991, based on an improv stage show.
The storylines, such as they were, centred around the decaying, underfunded St. Christopher's Hospital in Melbourne. It's so underfunded that the staff rarely extended past the small cast, and they only seemed to have one operating room. There was a Matron, two Doctors, two Nurses and an Orderly. Not surprisingly for a TV show in a hospital, there were storylines centred around murder, deception, pregnancy and, well, whatever the hell the writers had to work with.
appeal of the show came from the heavily-improvised, Writing by the Seat of Your Pants
storylines, which were written only days before the episode was to air. This was due to the creative team deciding to take the approach of the original stage show, and having the audience vote on whichever plot twists were to occur next. This, of course, left little room for an actual budget, which meant that the main "hospital" set consisted only of the reception, the poorly-stocked ER, and some offices, with the rest appearing as a canteen (in one scene only) and a mural representing a hallway.
The characters were:
- Dr Ray Good, your average kind-hearted surgeon
- Dr Richard Lovechild, a sleazy surgeon who is after:
- Nurse Pam Sandwich, the Na´ve Newcomer
- Nurse Effie Shunt, a nurse with a crush on Dr Lovechild
- Matron Dorothy Conniving-Bitch, a...yeah
- Warren Cronkshonk, the (rather filthy) Orderly
- Det. George Slabb (pronounced "Slab-bub")
- Bill Schwartzenhameneggenberger, a Serial Killer with whom Matron Conniving-Bitch was in a relationship
The Show contained examples of
- Gargle Blaster: One character's "friends" are trying to corrupt him before his wedding night. After all else fails they resort to a glass of PURE ALCOHOL! (which is steaming ominously). He takes a swig, immediately declares that he's going to get his rocks off with a nearby prostitute, then collapses unconscious.
- Special Effect Failure: It ran on this! The best example of this would be the car chase between Slabb and Lovechild, which is done with slot cars. Also the Mural of the hallway, which was only ever mistaken for an actual hallway.
- With Catlike Tread: Matron Dorothy Conniving-Bitch, who snuck around while saying "Sneak sneak sneak sneak sneak".
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Each episode was written after the previous one had aired, which meant that the cast had to ham the hell up to cover for any script problems.