Dr Neil Bolton

David Michaels as Dr Neil Bolton



First Episode

What the Butler Saw

Last Episode

Fire and Ashes


James Bolton (Son, deceased)

Sam Bolton (Son)


Nurse Maggie Bolton (wife)

Dr Neil Bolton (deceased), was played by David Michaels. He appeared in 29 episodes from 1997 - 1999.


Dr Neil Bolton first appeared in the Heartbeat series seven episode, "What the Butler Saw" where he'd previously been working for the Red Cross overseas and to work at Ashfordly General Hospital. It was revealed that he'd already walked out on his wife, Nurse Maggie Bolton, many years previously after they'd lost their baby son, James, to cot death. At first Maggie didn't want to see him; she shunned him out but they eventually got back together in the episode "Love Me Do" - which was the series finale of series seven. When he first appeared, what he really wanted was his own village practice with a house and decided to reopen Dr Kate Rowan's old practice - which Jo showed him round before her and Nick's departure. Neil's final appearance was in the episode "Fire and Ashes" where he ended up dying in a fire whilst trying to save a child from a burning building. The child had already been brought out unseen by the crowd of observers through the back door by his stepbrother, Julian Stephens and so tragically, Neil perished and no-one was able to save him. In the same episode, it was revealed that Maggie was pregnant again and had went on holiday with barmaid Gina Ward for company. She was unaware that Neil had died and was met off the train by PC Mike Bradley, who told her what had happened. After his death, Maggie went onto have a son called Sam. According to The Heartbeat Chronicles, Dr Bolton arrived in the spring of 1968 and the date on the top of the article about his death is 1969. In Give a Dog a Bad Name, it was Neil who found out that his the cause of his patients suffering from flee bites was due to Claude Jeremiah Greengrass and David Stockwell selling sheepskins rugs - adviced that Claude give Alfred a spring clean - due to the fact that the lurcher had been sitting on them at the time. Greengrass wasn't happy and said that Neil was saying that it was because of Alfred sitting there. In Echoes of the Past, he and Maggie entered the Christmas charity dance but didn't win and had to be called away due to the fact that Jane Hayes had gone into labour. In Taking Sides, Neil was accused of indecent assault by Elaine Aubrey, one of his newest and frequent patients. So frequent that in fact that gossips assumed they were having an affair. In The Angry Brigade, he and Maggie staged a public demonstration with Ron and Doreen Tidy, in the hope that it might get Lord Ashfordly to reconsider opening the footpath again. In the episode, Subsitute, Neil told Oscar Blaketon that he wouldn't be able to go back to work due to risk of having another heart attack. Neil and Maggie eventually began to talk again, which forced them to talk about what had happened. In The Enemy Within, Blaketon asked Neil for help when it appeared his old friend was affected by what had happened to him during the war. Neil suggested that he get hospital treatment. Neil even appeared in one or two episodes with PC Nick Rowan, or Sgt Rowan as he was then. Neil and Maggie weren't together then. But they eventually did get back together and both were involved in police and medical work. In series eight, Neil was persuaded by Mike to find out the cause of people getting food poisoning. In Hello, Goodbye Neil was impressed by an Asian doctor, Deepak Rall's qualifications and considered offering him a job but it was clear that Rall and his family weren't welcome by the locals and he couldn't find any record qualifications of him wanting to be one.  

Personality and appearanceEdit

Neil is a young doctor and has been described by Nicholas Rhea, the author of the Constable series on which Heartbeat was based as serious and aloof and hoped that he would become less snooty. He said, "The doctors who have appeared in my books have usually been fairly senior G.P.s who have lived and worked in Aidensfield for many years. Neil Bolton, a rather serious and somewhat aloof young doctor, has now come to work in the area but his arrival did cause some concern, not least in his estranged wife, Nurse Maggie. In a village like Aidensfield, the doctor is very much a part of the community just like the vicar, the nurse and the policeman and I am delighted that Heartbeat continues to feature a doctor after the death of doctor Kate Rowan."

"I think David Michaels plays a very interesting part and we're all wondering whether he will soften and become less snooty as he settles into the village routine."


Aidensfield village " bobbies "

PC Nick Rowan

PC Mike Bradley

Even though Mike got on well with Neil, it was clear that there was some tension between them where Maggie was concerned. It was clear that Mike liked Maggie, but she realised that she didn't feel the same way. In the last episode of series seven Love Me Do, Mike was going to ask Neil to join him and Maggie for a drink but Neil declined. Maggie then got back together with Neil instead. In the opening episode of series eight, Snake in the Grass Neil and Mike worked together to found out why three people including Gina Ward were poisoned. Mike said he was not a doctor or scientist but he wanted to find out what was going on before it was too late. They discovered it was David getting a poisonous plant mixed up with horse radish. Before Gina was taken ill, Mike asked Maggie how things were between him and her. Maggie responded that she was taking one step at a time. Later in the series eight episode Fire and Ashes, Mike had to tell Maggie that her husband had died as she had gone on holiday with Gina Ward. It was later found out that Maggie was pregnant with Neil's child.

Ashfordly Police sergeants

Sgt Raymond Craddock

Other Ashfordly police

PC Alfred " Alf " Ventress

PC Philip " Phil " Montgomery Bellamy

Medical staff

Other medical staff

Nurse Maggie BoltonEdit

Nurse Maggie Bolton was Neil's wife; it was discovered during series seven that some years earlier that he'd walked out on her after the death of their baby son James, It was revealed he'd died of cot death. The pair were first seen together in the episode, What the Butler Saw when he turned up out of the blue and forced Maggie to confront what had happened. Maggie didn't want to know and shunned him out. In Local Knowledge, Jo Rowan revealed to Maggie that Neil was planning to reopen Kate's old practice - but she made it clear that she wasn't very happy about it. However, later in the series they got back together, but he was tragically killed in a fire when trying to save a child from a burning house, leaving Maggie to bring up their son Sam, alone.

Aidensfield Arms staff

Georgina " Gina " Ward

Oscar Blaketon

Mary Ward

"Loveable rogue" lineage

Claude Jeremiah Greengrass

Aidensfield Garage staff

Bernard " Bernie " Scripps

David Stockwell

Other regular characters

Lord Ashfordly

Katie Rowan

Eileen Reynolds

Joanna " Jo " Rowan

Jacqueline " Jackie " Rosemary Bradley