(Series 15, ep.32) Oliver Valentine thinks the only people Jac Naylor can relate to are people who are anaesthetised and on her operating table. This is not actually true. The people Jac Naylor can relate to, or who can relate to her, are straightforward, honest people. People with, aptly enough, open hearts.
The living embodiment of this quality is Sacha Levy, which partly explains why scenes involving him and Jac are always so lovely. They’re also rare, because they don’t work on the same ward, so it was marvellous this week when an elderly patient (from a very sweet storyline) asked Sacha to be present in his wife’s operation, thus putting Sacha and Jac in the same operating theatre.
Sacha was worried about his daughter, whose leukaemia isn’t responding to treatment. Jac’s response to this news was some of her top-grade emotionally expressive eye work, given that she was wearing a surgical mask at the time. Later, Sacha asked Jac to shave his hair, so he could show a united front with Rachel who was worried about being “puffy and bald.” This was a completely perfect scene, as Sacha wasn’t the only one with child-based worries. Jac was wondering whether she had the qualities to ever be a mother. Sacha said of course she did, and the expression on Jac’s face was wonderful (like Guy Henry, Rosie Marcel’s acting is ninja level). “A tiny Naylor. There’s a thought,” said Sacha, sweetly. Continue reading
[Spoilers all the way down this week.]
Oh, he’s a clever so-and-so that Steven Moffat. The fans want a multi-Doctor episode to mark the 50th anniversary, so he gives us not one but several. He’s been dripfeeding us echoes of Doctors One to Ten for weeks and when we sit down to watch the series finale, with – let’s be honest – half an eye on the November special, he gives us all Ten (blink and you miss Eight though) and in a way that makes sense.
He doesn’t, of course, tell us the Doctor’s name, because the power of it lies in its mystery. There is no name you can give him that can match his chosen name or the draw of the secret surrounding his other name.
(Series 8, Ep.23) It was episode 2 in Dynasty Barry’s tussle between Education and Upbringing (episode one being the one where she chose education over pole dancing). With the arrival of her jailbird boyfriend Steve-O (he should wear brighter shirts then we could call him Hawaii Steve-O), all thoughts of the inter-school chess championship were thrown out of the window in favour of an engagement ring from the Katie Price for Argos Collection and a quick fumble in the Music Room.
She should have realised Steve-O was a bad sort, aside from the fact that he’d just got out of prison. She really ought to have recognised him as the nasty man who pimped out poor Whitney on EastEnders. Not that the actor (Jody Latham) is getting typecast or anything.
She saw the light when she saw the contents of his car boot – several top-of-the-range generic laptops which Cockney Lorraine had purchased for the school’s exciting new IT facility. Steve-O was dumped, and Dynasty ended up having a Thomas Crown Affair-style erotically charged chess game with Kevin Chalk (some sterling work by Dynasty’s false eyelashes), followed by a snog with him against a picturesque maritime backdrop. Talk about the odd couple… Anyhoo, Steve-O isn’t going to give up that easily, and administered a kicking to Young Master Chalk as a bit of a warning to Keep Off His Bird. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.31) There was some spooky old stuff going on in Holby this week, with a serial killer’s accomplice still languishing on Keller, a vampire attacking Dr Gemma Wilde on AAU, Dr Oliver Valentine being haunted by the spectre of his dead wife (“How do you live with a ghost?”) and Jac Naylor snacking on chocolate and anchovies. I mean, anchovies I can understand. But chocolate? Jac Naylor?
I’m going to start at the bottom (is AAU on a lower floor? I always imagine it is), because I need to show off. As PLA Jr will confirm, within two minutes of the goth patient trying to bite Dr Gemma Wilde because she thought she was a vampire, and then creasing up with abdominal pains, I’d diagnosed porphyria. It took handsome (oh gosh, yes he is) new doctor Harry Tressler (Jules Knight) most of the rest of the episode to reach the same conclusion, but at least he was doing better than Gemma and Ric Griffin, who’d had a dig about in the poor girl’s insides before concluding they had no idea what was up with her. How did I become such a diagnostic whizz? I might have graduated from the Holby School of Televisual Medicine, but I did my early training at St Elsewhere, which once featured a similar storyline.
Back to Dr Harry Tressler, who’s the new CT1. He’s good-looking, charming and flirtatious – he’s already got Gemma and Mary-Claire interested in him, and predictably the first round went to MC (“Hammer time!” – I do love Mary-Claire). While he’s in his element with the ladies, Harry seems less at ease with black people, mistaking Ric Griffin for a porter (but… but… the gravitas of the man! He wears seniority like an invisible crown on his grizzled head!). When Ric put him right, Harry made a clumsy attempt to relate: “You lead from the front – man of the people stylee.” Ouch. Continue reading
Wooooohooo! Now we’re on fire… Neil Gaiman is back at the keyboard and applying his Midas touch for a second time. And as long as you weren’t expecting another The Doctor’s Wife (he did tweet that he didn’t even try to top it) I’m hoping you enjoyed it as much as Hat Jr and I did.
One of my favourite things about Neil Gaiman’s writing is his gift for deception. He has a sleight of hand that is breathtaking (Neverwhere is a classic example, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, by the way) and immensely satisfying. It also makes rewatching a special joy.
[Spoilers below the line]
(Series 8, Ep.22) Lorraine Donnegan’s accountant has told her she needs to slash the Waterloo Road budget by 30%. That’s a lot of slashing, so she decided she’d start by moving into Michael Byrne’s office. Has it suddenly become much larger? I’d swear it used to be a bit more snug, but maybe he used to have a false wall in there to make it smaller so Sian Diamond would have to wriggle past him for staff meetings. Now he’s on a pipe-and-slippers domestic footing with Jane Beale, he has no need of such stratagems and the extra space has come in handy for Cockney Lorraine and her ergonomic desk chair.
Further savings were to be found by making Michael do an honest day’s teaching instead of slumping over his desk all day waiting for disasters to happen. To make sure he could still hack it on the shop floor, Nikki Boston was dispatched to watch. If Nikki observed all the teachers, Lorraine (dress code: leather and black lace) reasoned, she’d be able to spot teachers who were not adding value, who could then be Drastically Cut.
The prime candidate for that sort of thing would in normal times have been Grantly Budgen, a man with such a gift for teaching he makes Steph Haydock look like Dead Poets Society. But these are not normal times for Grantly, what with having rapidly deteriorating kidneys and that. It’s put a dreadful burden on Maggie the Dinnerlady, who was faced this week with the added pressure that Lorraine wanted to slash the canteen budget as well and made Maggie compete with local takeaway owner The Prince of Spices for the honour of serving the school meals. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.30) For anyone who missed the throwaway comment the other week about Jac and Jonny sleeping together after the tragic loss of Tara, it was included in the recap at the beginning of this one, followed by Jac getting the news about her endometriosis. Keep these things in mind, because we’ll be needing them by the end of proceedings.
But first to Keller, where Malick was given the task of looking after the girlfriend of a serial killer. Only he wasn’t to think of her as the girlfriend of a serial killer. She was just supposed to be “a body on the table.” He didn’t bother to warn his staff about who they’d be dealing with and just told them not to react when they recognised her from television. They were probably expecting Lorraine Kelly or Gail from Coronation Street, which meant it was all a bit of a shock to find they were caring for Amanda, a woman who’d refused to give evidence against her boyfriend, a nasty man who’d killed lots of women. Chantelle found it impossible to even raise a smile, never mind get a cannula in straight. Luckily new F1 Dominic seemed pretty competent, when he wasn’t busy casting adoring glances and compliments in the direction of Malick (dear Malick, he needs that, what with being so under-confident).