This article maps the terrain of contemporary UK medical television, paying particular attention to Call the Midwife as its centrepiece, and situating it in contextual relation to the current crisis in the NHS. It provides a historical overview of UK and US medical television, illustrating how medical television today has been shaped by noteworthy antecedents. It argues that crisis rhetoric surrounding healthcare leading up to the passing of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has been accompanied by a renaissance in medical television. And that issues, strands and clusters have emerged in forms, registers and modes with noticeable regularity, especially around the value of affective labour, the cultural politics of nostalgia and the neoliberalisation of healthcare.
- medical television
- affective labour