The shooting locations of Urgences in Paris
Based on the memories of medical intern Michael Crichton, the series Urgences (ER in English) was broadcast between 1994 and 2009 on NBC, but also on France 2 between 1996 and 2010. Success is immediate. In the United States, it is watched by an average of 19 million viewers per issue, with a peak of 48 million for episode 7 of season 2. In France, the first episode brings together 6 million people.
She’s directing the emergency department at Cook County University Hospital in Chicago. This is the first time a series about the hospital has been so realistic. Specialists coach the actors and pools of scriptwriters look into the lives of the protagonists.
While a few shots of Chicago are visible in the series – notably the aerial subway L – the interior scenes are filmed in the Warner Bros studios in Burbank, California. Some episodes focused on certain characters are sometimes filmed elsewhere than in the hospital thus recreated. Thus, Dr. Gallant (Sharif Atkins) took part in the war in Iraq and Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle) found himself on a humanitarian mission in Africa but also in Paris.
Paris, a showcase of renewal between Kem and John?
Entitled “Carter amoureux” (the original title is in French), the penultimate episode of season 11 was filmed in Paris. The teams set up their cameras for a few days in the French capital on 10 April 2005.
The plot centers on the young doctor played by Noah Wyle. The doctor leaves the emergency room in Cook County to find his ex-girlfriend Kem (Thandie Newton) in Paris. Her mother is seriously ill and hospitalized. He wants to pursue his career in international volunteering and asks the young woman to follow him to Africa to start all over again between them .
Dr. Carter is the only character to appear in every season since the beginning of the show. A few places in the capital served as the backdrop for this beautiful romance between John and Kem.
35 Boulevard de Courcelles, 75008 Paris, France
Kem and John take a long walk in this pleasure garden where a magnificent rotunda rises. This is one of the many curiosities to be seen in this green area which also has ruins of the old city hall, statues, false Egyptian monuments and a very bucolic bridge. At the end of the sequence, the young woman wishes to go and see her mother in hospital. She’s asking Carter to go with her.
Inaugurated in 1852, this 8.25-hectare park also hosted the filming of Guillaume Canet’s Ne le dis à personne and 2006 or Marc Esposito’s Le coeur des hommes 3 in 2013. This place is also present in Le balafré, Thomas Fersen’s song or Pas gaie la pagaille de Maurane. Philippe Sollers was inspired to write Le parc in 1961.
Noah Wyle was later a recurring character in other TV series such as Falling Skies (TNT from 2011 to 2015) but also Flynn Carson and the New Adventurers (TNT from 2014 to 2018).
Le Pavillon Hotel
54 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France
Driving his Smart car, Kem drops Carter off in the rain in front of his hotel. Situated at the end of a courtyard, this one has only 15 rooms and has a garden-patio for a quiet stay in the Ville-Lumière. This street also offers a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower.
Thandie Newton began her career in Flirting with Nicole Kidman. After obtaining a degree in anthropology, she went on to work in film with Interview with a Vampire in 1994. The actress has starred in some 30 feature films and has appeared in five series. The public is particularly enthusiastic about her role as Maeve in Westworld (HBO since 2016).
14 Rue Jean-Macé, 75011 Paris, France
Carter and Kem are having breakfast on the terrace. He wipes the jam off the young lady’s cheek. A little girl comes to watch them silently. Her mother’s picking her up afterwards. They are sitting in front of this typically Parisian café with its deliciously retro charm. With its mirrored tiles, zinc countertop and old-fashioned sign, the establishment breathes vintage. An attractive setting for directors since it also appears in The Infidels, The Code Has Changed and Before Sunset.
184 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012 Paris
After getting into a Parisian taxi, Carter goes to the hospital where Fabienne Elmont, Kem’s mother, was admitted to treat her cancer. He asks the nurse for his room number. He goes in but she’s asleep. On his way out of the room, he ran into Kem and his ex-boyfriend, Michel. The young doctor is jealous of the Frenchman.
Another scene takes place in this establishment. Carter takes the time to talk with Fabienne, especially about his daughter.
The episode is deliciously francophile. The original title is in French and the actors sometimes speak in the language of Molière. Thus, Carter has a charming accent when communicating with the nurse or taxi driver. Kem, Michel and Fabienne also speak directly in French.
Formerly an abbey, the Saint-Antoine hospital was transformed in 1791 into an establishment to receive sick patients. Its façades, roof, the staircase of its central body and its central passage on the ground floor were classified as historic monuments in 1962. Today, it houses less than a hundred beds.
Kléber metro station
69 Avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris
Kem and Carter run to catch the subway in this station. She decides to invent a life for the passengers of the train. Thus, an old lady would have been resistant and a couple would live a sad story because of the young woman’s cancer.
Then Kem sits Carter down and puts his hands in front of his eyes. She’s taking them off just as the subway gets overhead. The doctor then discovers that daylight is rising on the Eiffel Tower.
Opened in 1900, this metro station is located on line 6, the only one with an aerial section allowing you to discover Paris from a new angle. It is named after Jean-Baptiste Kléber, a French general who distinguished himself during the French Revolution, notably during the Vendée Wars and the Egyptian campaign.
Episode 21 of season 11 of Urgences remains an important moment for the lovers of the series and the shooting in Paris. Although all the actors and actresses did not travel to the capital, the fact that only Noah Wyle, a key character of the show, was present gives a special flavour to the plot of this story.
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By Anthony Thibault
From the "Casimir generation", Anthony has kept (in addition to a passion for Goldorak) a taste for inventive images, experimentation and curiosity. Passionate about travel and pop culture, he co-founded Fantrippers with Nicolas Albert to share his passion with as many people as possible.