Our nerves are in need of medical attention after Casualty's 30th anniversary episode

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Hospital drama Casualty raised fans' blood pressure tonight as the 30th anniversary episode pitched from one disaster to the next during a feature-length thriller.

Viewers saw the bloody aftermath of a car crash from the previous episode where popular character Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) and her daughter Grace (Emily Carey) pitched off a cliff in their vehicle.

Casualty Amanda Mealing as Connie Beauchamp
Amanda Mealing's Connie Beauchamp had a rough ride (BBC)

But the list of casualties was set to rise dramatically, as the air ambulance enlisted to lift Grace to Holby City A&E was downed by a rogue drone just as it reached the hospital, taking out various staff and patients as it smashed into the department.

Casualty's faithful struggled to keep a check on their nerves as the drama unfolded.

Billed as the "biggest ever storyline with far-reaching consequences", the stunt was designed to celebrate 30 years of the BBC One programme, which first aired on September 6, 1986.

Casualty Derek Thompson Charlie Fairhead
Mr Casualty - Derek Thompson as Charlie Fairhead (BBC)

This week's landmark instalment centred on Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson), the only character to have put in all three decades on the cast. In fact, nurse Robyn pointed out, "Charlie's been working here longer than I've actually been alive".

It tied the storyline together with the crash taking place during Charlie's surprise party for working 30 years at the hospital, with ex-stars including Clive Mantle as Mike Barratt, Ian Bleasdale as Josh Griffiths and Martina Laird as Comfort Jones making guest appearances.

Casualty Duffy Charlie Josh
Squad back together (BBC)

People were especially pleased to see the three amigos Charlie, Josh and Duffy (Catherine Shipton) reunited.

Casualty 30th Pam St Clement
Pam swaps Pat for patient (BBC)

The regular cast were also joined by former EastEnder Pam St Clement, who made a one-off appearance as a bolshie patient and brought a bit of light relief to proceedings.

While the main characters managed to escape being axed from the series despite the helicopter crash and were all accounted for by the end of the episode, fans were left with a cliffhanger when it came to Grace's fate as the medics warned that she may not be all right, but didn't explain what had happened to her.

Fans were suitably impressed with the efforts the Beeb had gone to.

However, you can't please 'em all.

Tonight's episode, entitled Too Old For This Shift, was the longest the series has aired in its history, running at one hour and 40 minutes.