Devastating ITV drama dubbed ‘most distressing ever’ leaves viewers ‘ugly crying’
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 22
Viewers have been left ‘ugly crying’ after watching new ITV drama Breathtaking (Picture: ITV)

New drama Breathtaking has left viewers absolutely distraught as they label it the ‘most distressing’ show ever.

The mini-series, at just three episodes long, aired the finale on Wednesday night, and is making massive waves on .

Based on Rachel Clarke’s 2021  Breathtaking depicts medics at a city hospital struggling to cope as the overwhelms the wards and the hospital staff themselves.

Starring Joanne Froggatt, it combines news footage from early 2020 with Abbey and fellow frontline medical staff , while also struggling with the lockdown and associated rules.

Doctors had if they were able to bear to watch it – and it appears many barely got through the heartbreaking series.

User Sam said it was a ‘brilliant series, been scary, emotional & breathtaking but most of all it’s reminded us that without these amazing workers we wouldn’t be here.’

Joanne Froggatt stars as Dr Abbey in the heartbreaking drama based on a doctor’s memoirs (Picture: ITV)

Omar Pemberton called it ‘raw and straight to the point in depicting the brutal realities we faced during the pandemic,’ while @Natlaw111 lauded it as ‘outstandingly powerful, brutally honest, and an emotionally poignant reminder of so many moments.’

One particular scene, showing medics watching a socially-distanced funeral via live stream, reminded user @Cherish4U of ‘the horrors of socially distanced restricted funerals. It was an horrendous, heartbreaking time to be a celebrant.’

User @helentink said it was ‘so moving’ they ‘haven’t stopped crying whilst watching it,’ with Kirsty_34 agreeing she was ‘crying at each episode.’

Viewers lauded it as the ‘most distressing drama’ as doctors urged people to watch if they could bear to (Picture: ITV)

‘Can’t stop crying. Hard watch. Absolutely heart breaking,’ Kerry Elgie wrote, praising Froggatt’s ‘superb acting’.

Jonathan Brayshaw declared that anyone who watched it without crying ‘cannot be a human being. It’s one of the most distressing dramas I have ever seen.’

Plenty more agreed, with user Nikki saying she was just 10 minutes in and ‘ugly crying,’ and Kevin McNulty saying he was both ‘angry and crying’.

The final episode aired on Wednesday, with all three available to watch on ITVX (Picture: ITV)

As difficult as it was for viewers to get through it, it was a similar experience for the actors involved in recreating the devastating reality medics went through at the height of the pandemic.

Speaking to, lead star Froggatt said it was ‘very immersive and I couldn’t help but feel the anxiety.

‘Knowing that every story is based on reality – that stays with you. It was just with me all the time.’

‘It’s not just a story,’ she added. ‘It’s a real story.’

Breathtaking is available to watch on ITV and ITVX.