We've got all the details on what happens in the first episode of season 17 of Grey's Anatomy - it's HUGE!  

***Spoiler Alert***

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"It's a beautiful day to save lives," yes, you've guessed it, Dr McDreamy is making a return to the long-running medical drama. How you ask, well in true Grey's style, this one is going to pull on your heartstrings. 

After season 16 was cut short earlier this year due to the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, Grey's Anatomy returned to US screens last night with the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital battling the realities of coronavirus.

At the end of a long day working on the front line Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, was found by co-worker Cormac Hayes (Irish actor Richard Flood) unconscious in the car park. 

Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo as Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey / Image: Instagram @kristavernof

Enter Dr Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) looking ever so dreamy on a deserted beach calling Meredith towards him. 

For those who don't know, Derek died in dramatic fashion in season 11.

Speaking about Dr Shepherd's return showrunner Krista Vernoff said: "The most important task we had this season was to honour the reality of this global pandemic and the impact it's having — particularly on healthcare workers.

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"Along with that, we had to come up with creative ways to allow our show to still be fun and romantic and provide some escapism. Enter Patrick Dempsey."

She added that the beach sequence provided a way to live outside the pandemic and that it will continue throughout the season.

"Season 17 has been a Herculean effort by our cast, our crew, our writers and our partners at Disney and ABC — and we are proud of it.

"But our effort is nothing compared to the work of our frontline healthcare workers to whom this season is dedicated.

"We hope our show inspires you to wear your masks to protect them and each other. As Derek Shepherd would say, 'It's a beautiful day to save lives.’"

Grey's Anatomy is expected to return to RTÉ in the New Year