Sunetra Sarker: ‘The Casualty standalone is like Sliding Doors!’

In anticipation of Casualty’s upcoming 30th birthday celebrations next year, consultant Zoe Hanna gets her very own special episode this weekend, which she says is like the film Sliding Doors.

The popular medic embarks on a most unusual nightshift – one she keeps waking up from… with another chance to re-do her life and death decisions!

Sunetra Sarker, who plays Zoe, told What’s on TV: “Zoe experiences a typical A&E consultant’s night shift with different outcomes, depending on different decisions she makes. Then, when we least expect it her day starts over again and we get a chance to see the day from a different angle, a bit like Sliding Doors!”

Written by Barbara Machin, who was responsible for Casualty’s BAFTA-winning 25th anniversary episode in 2011, the episode, The Road Not Taken, boasts guest stars Cat Simmons (The Bill), Holby City’s Ben Hull and a special appearance from former Casualty regular, Susan Cookson, who reprises the role of medic Maggie Coldwell.

With the usual filming format turned on its head, Strictly Come Dancing star Sunetra is confident Casualty fans won’t have seen anything quite like this standalone episode from the medical drama before: “The episode has a new feeling to it, as it takes the concept of an average day as a doctor and spins it on its head by giving you alternatives to the day.”

She added: “In Zoe, I’ve been so lucky to have a character who has so many colours to play. I hope the audience who follow her stories feel they are seeing inside her head and enjoy the chance to watch a very different kind of Casualty episode than the normal. Continuing drama has a formula and this episode takes you into a new style of television that is really exciting to see!”

The Casualty special screens this Saturday at 9.05pm on BBC1 also stars Derek Thompson, who’s played Nurse Charlie Fairhead since the show premiered in 1986.