Britain is on the threshold of the '60s revolution - sex, drugs and The Rolling Stones are all yet to happen. But right now, in 1961, the old order prevails, with rules of engagement that hark back to Jane Austen's time.
Breathless is about the world before the pill, and before abortion was legalised. And although Breathless is a period drama, it wears its period lightly. The look is stylish, much of it aspirational.
Based around the lives of a group of doctors and nurses, Breathless is about an enchanted time. MRSA is still half a century away; everything shines, women dress beautifully, the men are, for the most part, good looking.
There are two distinct classes: the doctors upstairs (as it were), and the nurses downstairs. Everything and everyone has their place. Nurses give it all up to marry charming doctors and become faithful wives who stay at home for hard working husbands. Or, that's the theory.
Underneath simmers a cauldron of pent up frustration - of lies, deceptions and guilty secrets.