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A trio of very different patients (James Bolam, Peter Bowles, Christopher Strauli) play a never-ending game of sickbed one-upmanship and cause all kinds of grief for the overworked and irritable hospital staff.

4 Seasons, 28 Episodes
October 29, 1979
Cast: James Bolam, Peter Bowles
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Only When I Laugh Full Episode Guide

  • The patients are at last discharged and decide to have a reunion that very same evening at a local restaurant, but when Dr. Thorpe arrives with a mysterious woman named Hilary, relationships will be tested.

  • Elderly drunk Charlie arrives at the hospital looking for his son, from whom he has long been estranged.

  • A getaway driver is admitted to the hospital - in handcuffs - for surgery. He manages to persuade the patients to cover for him while he escapes to visit his wife for the night, but will the convict return for surgery the next day?

  • Norman is less than thrilled about finally marrying his fianc

  • After reading just one book on psychology Figgis declares himself an expert and begins to analyze his fellow patients, alleging that Glover has a persecution complex and Norman is sexually repressed.

  • Nymphomaniac patient Fiona threatens Dr. Thorpe with a complaint letter to the hospital board lest he give into her romantic demands.

  • Fed up with the poor quality of the hospital radio service, the patients decide to revolt with the help of Nurse Gupte and try their own hand at the airwaves.

  • The others discover Norman's diary and fight over who will get a chance to read it.

  • Norman witnesses a horrific traffic accident through the hospital window and must decide whether to keep his silence or tell the police that he knows who was driving the car at fault: Dr. Thorpe.

  • An agony aunt arrives to give advice to the "Lonely of Ward 3," but Figgis and Archie turn advice back into agony when they both try to put pen to paper.

  • Everyone is anxious to make a good impression on a visiting MP when the hospital is threatened with closure.

  • When the patients and Dr. Thorpe criticize and harass a new female doctor on the ward, Figgis steps in for a quiet word with Dr. Thorpe about workplace equality.

  • A television crew takes over the ward to film a documentary on a day in the life of Dr. Thorpe.

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