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Casualty: That’ll teach me to miss episodes

charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.2) Dipping my toe back into the waters of Casualty after quite a long break, I found myself a bit confuzzled. I thought Jeff had left? Didn’t he go off with Stella from Corrie? Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to see his beautiful teeth once again. My sentiments were also shared by the radiant Tamzin, who has dumped her fiancé and was last seen outside The Pub (the one Casualty staff go to because they simply aren’t welcome at Albie’s) with her face firmly attached to Jeff’s. Bless.

Someone who really ought never to leave Casualty is Charlie Off Of Casualty, though in this case my sentiments are not shared by his colleagues, who apparently can’t wait to give him a carriage clock and wave him off. The reason for this is that he’s been behaving a bit oddly recently (how can they tell?), which is partly explained by the angina that Lovely Elliot Hope was diagnosing in the “Previously…” segment – but was there also a hint that Charlie might be heading for a dementia storyline? That would be interesting.

Since I last saw Rita her hairstyle has gone a little out of control and so has she. I’ve obviously missed some big plot point concerning her former/current husband, but she was behaving in a very upset manner, getting very over-involved with a bogus rape case, and hitting the bottle. Obviously I don’t know everything that led up to this, but I found it a somewhat depressing storyline for a woman who was formerly as competent and assured as Rita.

And there was a storyline about an ageing rocker called “Tyger Wicked,” who was Britain’s answer to Iggy Pop in his day, apparently. I was going to say that “Tyger Wicked” was a completely silly and implausible name for an ageing rocker, but then I thought of Alvin Stardust. Anyway, Tyger’s presence made Max get all excited, which took his mind off missing Zoe, who is away doing Strictly Come Dancing.

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Casualty: Fletch’s heroic exit

fletch casualty(Series 28, ep.43In this episode, Tess faced my biggest train-related fear – having to sit opposite an annoying kid who whinges on about his life and makes you play table football with Skittles.

As if that wasn’t dreadful enough, the train also derailed spectacularly and Tess was left in a terrible state waiting for a knight in shining paramedic garb to come and rescue her. Cometh the hour cometh not just the expected Jeff, but also the unexpected Fletch, who told Tess he loved her before un-impaling her from whatever was impaling her and carrying her out of an exploding train carriage to safety. Hero!

tess casualtySo Tess is safe, Fletch is safe, their secret love is no secret any more, so it’s hurrah all round. Except not – because Tess, who is practically built from Moral Fibre, can’t be happy in a relationship that started off with lies and cheating and whatever. Indeed, the reason she was on the train in the first place was that she was on her way to a job interview in Birmingham, because she can’t cope with seeing Fletch and his lovely quiff day in, day out.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Beauchamp is back

connie casualty(Series 28, ep.31) Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing, as if that needed saying) made her much anticipated return to Holby City hospital last night – albeit via the ED entrance in Cardiff rather than the Wyvern Wing entrance in Borehamwood.

She was accorded the traditional “foxy female” arrival – a taxi door opens and we see killer heels, legs clad in trousers that say “I’m here to do business – but in style,” then the full gloriousness of Connie and her new, longer hair.

She was accorded many a “Phwoar”-type glance from any male she passed and a “who is that fabulous woman?” glance from the women. The wardrobe department had also given her the most figure-flattering set of scrubs ever seen in the NHS.

The scrubs were part of the reason why I didn’t feel quite relaxed with this Casualty debut, though. I’m used to Connie only wearing scrubs in theatre. The rest of the time she’s supposed to wear something stylish and perfectly accessorised and swan from bed to bed dispensing “Let’s just wait for the test results, shall we?” brisk kindliness to the patients and snappy “Why am I still waiting for those test results?” to junior doctors and nurses.   Continue reading

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Casualty: The phantom shirt-ironer

lee mead casualty(Series 28, ep.27) In this week’s Casualty, Robyn impaled her foot on a rake chasing a mysterious man who’d been ironing a shirt in her house without permission. He was a nice man, though, and he held her hand while Jeff sawed off the handle of the rake, and again when she was unimpaled from it in the ED.

Obviously she was a bit curious about him. He didn’t act like a burglar – apart from the being in her house for no good reason and running away when challenged – after all, who breaks into a house to iron a shirt?

It turned out that his name was Ben and he was the son of Robyn and Max’s landlord. Finding himself homeless, he let himself into one of his father’s properties and had been living in the loft for a few days. “I thought we had a poltergeist,” said Robyn, chuckling at the absurdity of it all like they do at the end of Scooby Doo when they find out the phantom shirt-pressing poltergeist was actually only the landlord’s son. She’s now given Rita the task of putting in a good word for Ben to get him a job at Holby.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Jamie goes to the land down under

jamie robyn casualty(Series 28, ep.24)  He’s a lovely lad, Jamie. Sweet, kind, fairly small, loveable. Not all that exciting, but pleasant enough. He was given a suitably sweet, loveable send-off for his last episode in Casualty, joining the very small band of people who gets to have (at least the hope of) a happily-ever-after by going with new boyfriend Ramin to live in Australia.

What I liked most about him leaving was the sight of Jeff trying not to cry when he dropped Jamie off in the town centre to catch his bus to the airport. I also liked Robyn failing not to cry in the pub after he’d gone, and being comforted by Good Old Charlie.

Also in the pub and sharing a table and a discussion about whether young women actually do find older men attractive was Dr Lily Chao (a young woman) and Dr Martin Ashford (an older man, whom Lily does find attractive). The official topic of their conversation was Ash’s daughter Ella, who’d been spending the day observing what goes on in a busy ED. I really liked Ella – she was opinionated, a bit lazy, helpful despite herself and independent. As such she reminded me of the early days of The Radiant Donna Jackson in Holby City, and I’d quite like to see her join the staff.

Next time: Lily becomes a magician’s assistant. Seriously.

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Casualty: Dixie arrested!

rita dixie casualty(Series 28, ep.22)  Poor Dixie. One minute she’s enjoying an unexpected snog with Rita at Holby’s premier night spot (no disrespect to the late Carol #RIPCarol, but Rita definitely counts as an upgrade), and the next she’s banged up in Holby’s most depressing police station.

But what was her crime? Not much, as far as I could see. “Overbalanced a rapist” would be the most accurate description, but the police are treating it as assault or GBH or whatever and the rapist is currently languishing in the ED with Dr Cal poking sharp implements in his eye in a therapeutic, successful, yet queasy-making (for this viewer) effort to stop him going blind.

casualtyI’m hopeful that next week the rape victim, who has gone home with her husband and is not telling him anything about what happened, will need to come to the hospital to get her broken wrist sorted out, and Rita will recognise her and apply gentle pressure to get her to speak up on Dixie’s behalf. Or the brother of the rapist will discover either a backbone or a conscience and will tell the police what really happened.   Continue reading

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Casualty: A birth, two deaths and a newbie

ethan casualty(Series 28, ep.20)  New boy Dr Ethan Hardy is the kind of doctor I’d like to have. He’s one of these hot-shot diagnostic types (though the thing he had to diagnose this week was Addison’s disease, which seems to occur in medical dramas with the regularity that was once reserved for ectopic pregnancies), but he also has a lovely bedside manner. He even warms up his stethoscope before applying it to an actual human. There’s a touch of the Arthur Digby about him, but not too much, and I love Digby anyway so it’s a recommendation as far as I’m concerned.

As far as his colleagues were concerned, the only drawback to Ethan was that he kept getting messages on his phone and tended to disappear at inconvenient times. What we knew and they didn’t (until the end) was that his mother was dying, and she actually did die during the course of the episode. His brother – who sounds like an altogether less reliable sort – was with her, but we didn’t get to see him – yet.

dixie carol casualtyThe big drama of the episode revolved around Dixie’s on/off girlfriend Carol the Prison Warder. She fell over and broke her wrist – but what nobody knew was that she also had a head injury, which proved to be fatal.  Dixie was devastated, but lovely Jeff was there to give her a cuddle. He didn’t reveal his lovely teeth too much, because grinning isn’t a good look when your wife’s just lost her girlfriend.

But just in case we thought life was all doom and gloom, Charlie had a drug addict patient who gave birth to a little boy. “Guess what I’m going to call him?” she asked Charlie. “Please don’t say Charlie,” said Charlie, hoping she was going to say Charlie. “Stanley,” she said.

Next week: A new newbie, when Ethan’s brother Cal makes his debut.

(More Casualty here)

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