Peak Practice was an ITV Medical Drama produced by Central Television. Despite it being one of the most popular drama series in the UK during the The '90s, the turn of the century saw its ratings decline until ITV decided to cancel it after the eighth series.
Set in the fictional town of Cardale in the very real Peak District area of Derbyshire, the show focused on the lives of the town’s G.P (General Practitioner's) Doctors' surgery and their patients, and was well known for heaping misery upon misery on all of them.
This show provides examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: And not just the patients. The show killed off at least three Doctors throughout its run.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: One episode featured the pub landlady discovering she is pregnant after a urine sample comes back positive. Both she and her husband are surprised because they are middle-aged with adult children, and the landlady was menopausal.note It turns out she isn't pregnant at all, but this is only discovered at the scan in hospital. The period she thought she just had was actually her miscarrying the baby, and because it had happened just before she took the urine sample, the hormone levels in it were still high enough to record a false positive.
- Crapsack World: Cardale might look like Arcadia, but if the endless amounts of death, disasters, traumas (both physical and emotional), injuries, diseases, illnesses, family and marital problems were anything to go by, it certainly wouldn't be a place you would actually want to live in a hurry, and the Trauma Conga Line wasn't limited to just the patient's.
- Death by Childbirth: One of the doctors died this way, leaving her partner (a fellow G.P) to raise their newborn baby by himself.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Popped up occasionally.
- New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: Every week a new patient would appear that the doctors had known for ages, but who the audience had only just met. Possibly lampshaded in one episode:
- "Who'd have thought we had a world class jazz musician in our town?"
- Patient of the Week: Or rather Patients of the Week. A typical episode would focus on one patient, their various medical issues, and their family. Another subplot would then focus on another patient, interweaved with the utterly torturous private lives of the doctors who were meant to be treating them.
- Spiritual Successor: Sweet Medicine was meant to be this after Peak Practice was cancelled. It was written and produced by the same team, however it did even worse in the ratings than the show it replaced, and was canned after two series.