Holby City: Is it the end of Darwin as we know it?

(Series 13, Ep.37) Henrik Hanssen is only really comfortable when he’s top banana. That’s why he’s so tall, so he can gaze down on everybody with his unnervingly calm stare. Sir Fraser Anderson is a higher banana status-wise, but can’t compete with the Hanssen height. “Henrik! You get taller every time I see you!” he greeted the Swedish Scalpel. “What do you do – hang yourself up by your toes?”

The other thing that can flap the unflappable Scandinavian is Sahira Shah the registrah, and she hit him with the shock news that, if there was no future for CT at Holby she’d be upping sticks to Newcastle (where, presumably, they’re still old-fashioned enough to be having heart problems). So there was double pressure on Hanssen and he decided to go the traditional Holby route and do some high-risk, flashy surgery to prove to Sir Fraser that a multi-disciplinary Darwin was do-able.

He assembled a crack team of almost every surgeon in the hospital to help piece together a Polish man who’d been comprehensively mashed in an accident. Hanssen decided to go ahead with this despite a trace of amphetamine in the patient’s blood. Unfortunately, it turned out the patient’s mate had been slipping him speed on a regular basis, and his system was so entirely perky that he woke up half way through the operation. That’s not what you want when you’ve got Elliott Hope and Henrik Hanssen poking about in your innermost self, and Plastic Bhatti and Michael Spence hovering impatiently waiting to fix up your externals.  

Sir Fraser was not impressed: “You waste my time with this razzle-dazzle!” he said, as if he was talking to John Barrowman rather than the world’s tallest surgeon. At the end Hanssen gathered assorted cast members and extras in the stairwell to deliver a bit of bad news. The main bulk of cardio-thoracics would be moving to the dreaded St James’s, with only elective patients being treated on Darwin. Jac and Sahira looked stunned. Plastic Bhatti and Michael Spence looked insufferably smug.

Away from the cutting and thrusting on Darwin, Chrissie and Malick were getting friendly. Not in the way that Chrissie and Dan are friendly, and certainly not in the way that Dan and Malick previously got friendly. Malick was just giving Chrissie advice about her exams and mentoring her a bit, but it was enough to make Dull Dan get all insecure and jealous. When Dan is feeling insecure he likes to go into the closet – quite literally, as he likes to pretend there’s not a gay bone in his body by messing Chrissie’s hair up in a supply cupboard.

Meanwhile, Sacha was given the task of shooting Bambi. Not literally, but it was just as heartbreaking a task. He had to tell Chantelle that her services as an agency nurse would no longer be required. Poor Sacha hadn’t seen the opening credits, or he’d have seen Lauren Drummond’s face popping up and looking for all the world like a regular cast member. He made several attempts to break the bad news, but she thwarted him by being all smiley, adorable and lovely with the patients. What’s a guy to do? Conjure her up a job out of nowhere, that’s what. No sooner had he broken her heart by telling her that today was her last day, than he was telling her a permanent position had come up. Oh, the joys of the flexible Holby staffing arrangements!

Posted by PLA (more Holby City posts here)

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Holby City: Is it the end of Darwin as we know it?

  1. nikki

    Holbys flexible staffing arrangements make the whole redundancies-storyline a complete farce. Losing Connie because she “wouldnt make the hardball decisions” and cut jobs, lose staff? Only for Hanssen to re-hire half the population within a 5-mile radius of the hospital. Hanssen was the one looking for any excuse to axe people, everyone on their toes and frightened like deers in headlights, only to let Olli off the hook, hire two new nurses, oh, and open a freaking plastics department! Whats he trying todo? Wipe any trace of Connie from the place comepletely? Pretend *anything* she tried to do and fight for never happened? Ugh.

    Theyre dragging out the Dans-evil storyline now too. I cant take it. Chrissies so blinded (re:previous posts) and somethings gonna happen. I know it. I cant take it! MUST SAVE HER!

    RE: The Darwin Dilemma, I reckon he’ll pull something out the bag and save Darwin. Hes hardly going to let his darling Sahira skip off to Newcastle or some other place with heart problems, St James even? Hes not gonna let her out his sight, lets be honest. He’ll see her get all upset and cry over Darwin, and he’ll chnge his mind and Darwin will miraculously be saved, all thanks to him; with absolutely no credit what so ever going to Jac and all her hard work to keep the place running to a standard Connie would send her shoes for.

    *cries*

    • pauseliveaction

      It is amazing how Pale Thin Nurse Nicky van Barr had to be sacrificed to save money, but Sacha can employ nurses on a whim.

      St James must be situated on the side of Holby with all the chip shops and pizza places. On the Holby City side, heart disease is a thing of the past, you know.

      And don’t worry about Jac – she’s survived worse. She’ll sort out those shiny plastics people. But I do think maybe Chrissie is going to need your help. Dan’s behaviour is getting beyond creepy now.

  2. Jess

    Your posts absolutely crack me up!! I can’t stand Bhatti and I love your name for him :D I know he’s got a few names going around the Holby boards at the moment but this is the best one. Oh and Hanssen, I just love him :)
    Might try out for a job at Holby myself, as an unqualified doctor ;)

  3. Corumba Love

    Thanks as ever, Pause.

    When SIr Fluster Buster pitched camp in Hanssen’s office, our favourite Swede looked like he was having his collar felt. And he was – by himself. Either that or there was a particularly energetic cockroach pottering about under his drip-dry. On balance I’m going with the auto-arrest angle because I can’t see the Director of Surgery wearing man-made fibres, or attracting cockroaches for that matter.

    If me sorting that lot out is a laboured farce (whoo; that’s a startlingly long arm of the law you’ve got there, Henrik) it’s nothing compared to the collar fetish apparent during the programme itself. It’s as if the editing suite was under instruction to cut in every single scratch of the neck. I know I’m biased but I’d be surprised if this was down to clunky acting from my Guy (ok, our Guy) because in the matter of acting I think he’s the tops; my opinion is he’s the cream of the crop.

    The collar obsession was also acknowledged by Irish Dr Greg: “Ah, the old neck tell,” in an apparently unrelated scene (can’t recall which).

    Meanwhile, a pair of sisters were doing it for themselves, well one was; the other had nipped over from Sydney and was in full unrequited help mode. In reality and ironically – for an old lady – her actual function was to re-ignite Holby’s new best friend, pre-watershed homo-eroticism: “My third husband was gay … turned out to be a hairdresser.”

    There’s a chance I’ve got that one the wrong way round. If so, It’s apt because, as you say PLA, Dull Dan certainly got things twisty-turned about with that closet-banging denial of his true self. Unless **** light bulb moment for this dullard *** DD was actually jealous of Malick, not Chrissy-Wissy. In the dishevelled adolescent’s bedroom that passes for Dan’s brain, no muscle bound man could take his hand from his guy. Or girl. Who knows?

    Malick, incidentally, gets better and better and is becoming a very strong character. He’s great at extracting laughs from unpromising situations. So a big thumbs up, but nothing else mind, for Jimmy Akingbola.

    Back to Henrik Hanssen. You’re right about the top banana thing. I find it as uncomfortable as he does when he’s not the Big Kahuna. The only plus for me was when HH confirmed that he’d engineered the dismissals of Connie B, Mark W, Joseph B etc (which, in the way of these things, was waved away by Sir Fluster Buster).

    As for CT going to St James, well two thoughts occur: Hanssen plays the long game and is more than a match for, what Irish Dr G calls, “The Master of the Universe.” There’s only room for one of those in any given firmament and in Holby that’s The Swedish Scalpel: “See you on the ice.”

    The other St James notion concerns ITV. Given their cynical and unimaginative ability to throw money at “me too” programming,” I’m surprised that they haven’t commissioned a glossy soap featuring that very hospital. The ex-Holby cast is out there waiting for the call (ITV golden handcuffs are very lucrative) and they only need to find a shiny new office block to show up Neptune House for the sixties eyesore that it is. It’ll happen, I’m telling you.

    Completely banal point to finish on: did you notice the cringeworthy lump of dialogue where Michael Spence said: “If this goes chest up?” If it was intended as a joke in the script (it was referring to the Pole with the mashed ribs) then it was merely weak. To my mind it was more an on-set change to “if this goes tits up” to beat the watershed (y’know the one that celebrates man on man locker room action before the opening credits). Even if that was a problem, I’d have gone with “belly up,” myself.

    Apologies for travelling the long and windy road again.

    • Totally agree with your feelings about Hanssen’s horribly cliched ‘finger under the uncomfortable collar’ business, CL. He just about got away with it once… no, actually it even looked clunky the first time, but then to repeat the action ad infinbleedingitum was cringeworthy. Really hope this wasn’t Guy’s decision – he’s better than this, and could have achieved the same effect just through facial expression, at which he is a complete master.

  4. Tabithaana

    The lovely Bob Barrett (Sacha) made an appearance on This Morning (this morning) giving away hugs to the staff (Phil and Jenni) proving how good a method actor he is.

    • Oh, blimey, I just watched that. I don’t think there’s anyone on God’s earth who would not have wanted a warm and fuzzy hug with Bob Barrett at the end of that interview. Wasn’t he just SO lovely? There’s clearly a lot of him in that character. And Chrissie prefers that bandy-legged excuse for a man over Sacha? Oh, do me a favour..

  5. pauseliveaction

    Crikey, CL and pandamoor, I’ve had a ghastly thought re the collar-feeling (which I didn’t particularly notice but the two of you did).

    We all agree that Guy Henry is an acting legend, and he wouldn’t resort to overdoing the collar-feeling because he couldn’t find any other way of expressing being uncomfortable.

    Did you notice that when he spotted that his patient had a thyroid problem he spent a great deal of time very carefully feeling around the patient’s neck? I’m wondering now whether the two things are related. Has Hanssen found a lump on his neck which is making him uncomfortable, and has also made him extra-aware of the neck problems of others? Is the collar-feeling his version of Ric Griffin going “Nnngh!”?

    Or am I reading too much into it?

    • Yes, PLA, I fear you are over-thinking things. This is what comes of having too much time on your hands. Hanssen is God, remember (replacing JC), so he is impervious to physical injury. Oh, he can slip on vomit all right, but he’ll never actually fall.

    • Corumba Love

      “Did you notice that when he spotted that his patient had a thyroid problem he spent a great deal of time very carefully feeling around the patient’s neck?”

      That’ll be Irish Dr G’s “Ah, the old neck tell” scene. Thanks for clearing that up, Pause.

      Also, Pandamoor, with your comment re GH’s mastery of facial expression you’ve put me in mind of a mischievous acting idea: the apparently random & bizarre indication of an emotion, in this case stress. Rather than fingering his collar, HH sticking the digit up his nose whenever Sir Fuster Bluster was in shot would have me rolling. But then that’s me (and just this once I won’t whip the notion into an early grave. Be thankful.)

      Semi serious comment though: I rather thought that some (well two, at least) of the cast were doing the neck tell stuff for a bet. Wouldn’t be the first time.

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