Season 4, Ep 1, Aired 9/25/97
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  • Episode Description
  • Season Premiere: The ER is under the bright lights when a television documentary is filmed depicting a typical day in the ER. British trauma specialist Elizabeth Corday joins the staff. Carter restarts his residency, this time in the ER. A man is paralyzed while breaking up a gang fight. Morgenstern suffers a heart attack. Mark's stress level continues to build.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Carol Flint

  • Thomas Schlamme

  • Ellen Crawford


  • Tracy Vilar


  • Lisa Edelstein

    Aggie Orton

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • about the episode

    By JordanWelch, Jun 10, 2014

  • ER Live. Watch through the eyes of a documentary crew that films the hectic lives of doctors and nurses.

    By walrus_8463, Mar 20, 2006

  • Outstanding and very different camera work but it seems to be it.

    By Parricida, Sep 20, 2007

  • Not one of my favorite episodes

    By Pinkmyst, Mar 28, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (12)

    • Aggie: When did you decide to become a surgeon? Elizabeth: Well, that gets into pleasing my father, rattling my mother... and all sorts of boring family secrets. The short answer is, my father is a surgeon, as was his father. And my father had no sons.

    • Carol: (to the reporters) Actually, it's a myth about doctors and nurses dating so much. I mean, more nurses date cops, firemen, paramedics. Now, that clichĂ© is true. Connie: Especially cops. Chuny: Especially young cops.

    • Corday: Dr. Benton? Benton: Yeah? Corday: Elizabeth Corday. Visiting surgical lecturer and your saviour. Benton: Ah, excuse me? Corday: Well, I hear you've been on call forever. You're free to go. I'm on now.

    • Greene: Probably the best part of my job is that sometimes, working here, you can repair some of the violence. Some of the bad things that happen to people. Not always. We couldn't do much for that guy who was paralyzed. Probably on a vent for the rest of his life. I guess we did save the kid that he was trying to help. So his sacrifice wasn't for nothing. And yes, I was attacked myself right here in this very hospital. They haven't been able to catch the guy who did it, or at least, they haven't been able to charge anyone. The worst thing about it isn't what it did to me. The worst thing is that it meant that some of the world's violence has leaked into our own ER. This is meant to be a safe place for fixing people. Now it's vulnerable. And as an ER doctor, that's hard to accept. Aggie: It sounds frightening. Are you scared? Greene: Sure. Of, uh, losing control. Aggie: Control of what's outside? Greene: And what's in me. (long pause) Is that enough? Aggie: Yeah. Greene: Then turn it off!

    • Corday: They said there was an adolescent who decompensated. Hathaway: Oh, Dr. Benton took him up. Corday: Ah, Dr. Benton. You call your surgeons "doctor." Well, I suppose "Miss Corday" won't get me very far around here. Hathaway: Well, just to the waiting room.

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    Notes (8)

    • This episode did not have any opening credits.

    • The West Coast version of the live episode appears on the Season 4 DVD.

    • According to the Season 4 DVD extras, the idea of doing a live ER episode came from Anthony Edwards and George Clooney.

    • Maria Bello and Alex Kingston join the main cast in this episode.

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series. It was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Drama Series, Variety Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Thomas Schlamme).

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    Trivia (3)

    • Additional actors were ready to improvise if something went wrong (forgotten dialogue or technical problems). Fortunately, they was never used.

    • Goof: Towards the end of the East Coast version of this episode, you can see Kerry Weaver walking without her crutch.

    • When the title is shown at the beginning of the episode, it reads "ambush," without the first letter being capitalized.

    Allusions (1)

    • Doug: (to Carol) Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do... Doug is making a reference to one of the signature lines used by Desi Arnaz's character, Ricky Ricardo, in the 1950s comedy series I Love Lucy.

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