Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally seen on Britain's Channel 4 in 2000, the TV docudrama Innocents was based on one of the United Kingdom's most tragic and egregious examples of wholesale medical incompetence. The story takes place within the walls of the British Royal Infirmary, a children's hospital. The introduction of a miraculous new open-herart surgical procedure briefly provides hope for thousands of children born with congenital birth defects in the early '90s. Even though a disturbing number of children die on the operating table, the hospital's staff, not to mention the press and the public, choose to concentrate on the happy survivors. But anesthetist Dr. Stephen Bolsin (Aden Gillett) begins to have doubts as to the effectiveness of the procedure, especially when noticing that conditions in the post-op rooms are dismally unsanitary. Despite Bolsin's suspicions, his subsequent one-man investigation, and his highly public whistle-blowing, it takes nearly a decade before the Infirmary's celebrated chief surgeon James Wishheart (Roger Brierly) is forced to confront his fatal shortcomings as an angel of mercy. Innocents was telecast in America as part of the PBS Masterpiece Theatre anthology on May 6, 2002.