Series 1 - Episode 1

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The first episode begins with a portrait of Broadmoor – and its most famous patients – today. This hospital, surrounded by barbed wire and subject to high-level security, houses some of the most dangerous and deranged minds in the country. Broadmoor has become a byword for the very worst in human nature and is perceived by some as a kind of bin into which we throw the people who scare us the most. But what is Broadmoor really for?

In 1863, Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum was born out of Victorian compassion and Christian principles as the law declared it immoral to blame the insane for their crimes and send them to the gallows. Instead, this unique institution, the first of its kind in the world, would provide a refuge for the criminally insane across all social divides. This episode also takes a look at some of the hospital’s first residents, including Richard Dadd, a famous artist who, believing himself to be controlled by an Egyptian god, killed his father, and Edward Oxford, who tried to assassinate Queen Victoria.

We hear about the first head of Broadmoor, ex-military surgeon John Meyer, who implemented ‘moral treatment’ – a wholesome routine of exercise, work, plain food and fresh air. This unshakeable belief in the healing powers of virtuous living – a healthy mind in a healthy body – meant that psychiatric care at Broadmoor remained basic and unchanged throughout the Victorian period.

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Comments (31)

  • Jessie cooper

    1 month ago

    Jessie cooper

    Why won't it let me watch it !!!

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  • Ali

    6 months ago

    Ali

    Annoyingly they seem to be dishing out mental health diagnosis like sweeties these days... If you have a sleep disorder you usually end up with one labelled on you. Remember that prescription drugs are massive business. And the Bradford 'Crossbow Cannibal' had a degree in psychology and was going for one in criminology, it was his rapant nature that got the better of him.

  • Rosemary

    6 months ago

    Rosemary

    Crap my pc cut out and now I have to watch from he beginning again. Sorry its not that good

  • alison

    6 months ago

    alison

    This i-player is not as good as the bbc 1 - very annoying as can't pause or fast forward properly, it freezes then you have to start from the beginning! Annoying,,,,,

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  • Susan

    6 months ago

    Susan

    I assume that 5 doesn't play on ipad?

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  • samsam

    6 months ago

    samsam

    IF IT SAYS YOU CANNOT WATCH TRY USING INTERNET EXPLORER BECAUSE IT WONT LET ME ON FIREFOX BUT WILL ON I.E :)

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  • Mandy1970

    6 months ago

    Mandy1970

    Very interesting.... Can't wait to watch the next one. Had no problems with watching only the repeated ad's do your head in. Can only say people who don't really understand mental health should refrain from commenting...

  • Nyasha

    7 months ago

    Nyasha

    5 on demand needs a better system. I can watch things good however it dxoes freeze up nd the same adverts over nd over again is very annoying. Please look into this channel 5

  • BarbieDoll

    7 months ago

    BarbieDoll

    Very interesting programme but it crashed for me and I live right beside the telephone exchange. I'd forgotten why I hardly ever look at Channel 5. It's not that the programmes aren't good. It's the hassle of trying to watch them, restarting them and hearing about workplace pensions for the umpteenth time!

  • Galahad

    7 months ago

    Galahad

    Never had a play back problem and I'm in a rural area. Suggest those that do check their download limits and/or programme limiters.

  • hannah

    7 months ago

    hannah

    i have no problem viewing this

  • conor

    7 months ago

    conor

    i carnt watch it and im a convict

  • Austin Back

    7 months ago

    Austin Back

    Doesn't play, always the same when I try to watch channel 5 on demand, it just says this player cannot play this protected film at this time

  • Gordon

    7 months ago

    Gordon

    Channel 5's online service is pathetic. Been trying to watch this for three days; there's always some problem. BBC, ITV and C4 all run proper online channels. Shame 5 is clueless.

  • SorenSvennungse

    7 months ago

    SorenSvennungse

    none of their feeds are playing for me.:-(.

  • Mr. MaGoo

    7 months ago

    Mr. MaGoo

    Can't watch the video!

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  • gemma

    7 months ago

    gemma

    i want to watch it!!!

  • KateSouthworth

    7 months ago

    KateSouthworth

    Why is'nt the programme available to watch!

  • john

    7 months ago

    john

    chemical castration could be a great aid to some with problems before they get to the point of being offenders. trouble is the name goes with a bad image that it is only for pedophiles. in this country it seems that only convicted offenders have access to it , maybe if they had it before then they wouldnt hav.e got to the point of been convicted.

  • Pam

    7 months ago

    Pam

    in regard to the comment below, I was attacked by a dog at aged 4 and the dog wasn't put to sleep. Probs my parents fault for doing nothing about it but still. Why is everything always about saving 'tax payers' Also Chemical castration is reversible anyway. But yeah what a bunch of sickos...

  • Gismo

    7 months ago

    Gismo

    If a dog attacks a human its humanly put to sleep.. If a human does it they are given theyre own room wit ha TV & able to associate with they re own to learn new criminal trades. Put them to sleep & save tax payers money & lives.

  • Bill King

    7 months ago

    Bill King

    I say that all paedophiles should be castrated once proven guilty beyond doubt.

  • Unreconstructed male - PC means computer

    7 months ago

    Unreconstructed male - PC means computer

    Can't stand watching it, it's the same old nonsense. Personality disorder, mental health issues, lots of people have these problems, but retain their humanity. Those in Broadmoor are vile inhuman sick animals. Psychologists like any scientist want to study guinea pigs, might be a book or lecture in it. They can be controlled whilst there, but never set free. Death penalty won't deter them, but then again studying them doesn't either. Year after year there will be more, chemical castration is deemed OK. Like a pup or kitten, but when they're seriously sick the humane thing is to put them down.

  • john

    7 months ago

    john

    i have to agree with the early comment that chem castration should be more widely available. interesting to see how its used. interesting to see how the hospital evolved

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