PBS Miniseries ‘Breathless’ Looks at Treatment of Women in the ’60s

Breathless PBS

Airs: PBS; Sundays through Sept. 7

Stars: Jack Davenport, Natasha Little, Shaun Dingwall, Catherine Steadman

About: It’s not too late to catch up with this luscious six-part “Masterpiece Theater” entry set among a group of doctors and nurses at a London hospital in 1961. Jack Davenport is a commanding presence as a brilliant-but-tortured nurse-chasing surgeon who performs abortions in secret at a time when birth-control pills were available to only married women — if their husbands gave consent. Creator Paul Unwin, a British drama vet, was inspired to use a medical setting to look at the shoddy treatment of women in Britain during this period.

Quote: “I became fascinated by those American dramas that are like novels,” Unwin says, “where every episode, you get enough of the story, but you don’t get the whole thing. ‘Breathless’ (also) was born out of an interest in trying to write stories about women.”

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  1. Please don’t cancel breathless! It was fantastic. The best thing I’ve seen in years on PBS.

  2. sara kiesel says:

    Bad script, ended with nothing but loose ends and me not caring about any of the characters. Bad writing. Don’t bother with a second season please. PBS is usually so stellar. What happened here?

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Breathless left me anything but….poor script, choppy, unsympathetic characters, then putting in a character of color is supposed to be shock value? Really. Second season? Include me out.

  4. Ellen says:

    It ended very abruptly. Kind of strange.

  5. Chris Beat says:

    so it ends at episode six ??? too many questions left, surely there is more?

  6. HHGeek says:

    Love that Davenport & Little will be acting together again nearly 20 years after the utterly brilliant ‘This Life’. Hope it’s shown here in Europe too.

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