When NBC’s Trauma series was first announced, more than a few TV viewers were reminded of the 1970s Emergency! TV show. Trauma Executive Producer Dario Scardapane says that’s not a coincidence.
Emergency! revolves around a Los Angeles team of devoted paramedics, doctors, nurses, and firemen who are quick to respond when there’s an accident or disaster. The cast includes Robert Fuller, Julie London, Bobby Troup, Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe, Tim Donnelly, Mike Stoker, Marco Lopez, Michael Norell, and Ron Pinkard.
The series ran for six seasons on NBC, from 1972 until 1977. It was cancelled after 122 installments but members of the cast returned in five made-for-TV movies between 1978 and 1979.
In two of the TV movies, some of the characters visit San Francisco and one of the movies involves two airplanes crashing over a residential neighborhood. Up until that time, it was supposedly the most expensive TV movie to date. That sounds a lot like Trauma.
Scardapane says that that’s no coincidence. There’s been at least one reference to a regular Emergency! character and there’s more to come. He said, “The creators of Trauma are huge fans of the show Emergency! and the reference to [Captain] Hank Stanley was just a small nod to that show.”
He continued, “As you’ll see in the upcoming episodes there are bigger nods including a cameo guest spot by one of… either Johnny or Roy are coming to Trauma to kind of give a shout, a wink and a nod to Emergency!”
He concluded, “I think that the two shows share a lot and I really would hope that we could live up to the promise of that show and throughout the episodes and in lots and lots of the scripts there are little hints, nods, winks all sorts of little things that give props and shouts to Emergency!… We are big fans. I grew up on the show.”
Viewers won’t have to wait long for the Emergency! cameo. Look for Tighe, who played Roy DeSoto, in next week’s episode “13.” He’ll be playing a substitute captain who’s been out of the field for awhile.
What do you think? Did you pick up on the allusions to the old Emergency! show? Do you think Trauma’s a worthy successor? Is it better or worse?