Tag Archives: medical drama

Holby City: The plumbing and the back to work bird

chantelle holby(Series 16, ep.3)  Henrik Hanssen’s parting words to Chantelle were, “Don’t ever stop being Nurse Lane.” But can she get over the car crash to continue being the sunny, joy-spreading nurse she once was?

She was back to work for her first shift. Serena told her she was on admin only, but that was never going to last for longer than it takes to shout “We need some help here!” Digby gave her a cuddly “Back to work bird” to bring her luck, which was adorable of him. It was all going reasonably well until Chantelle caught sight of Malick’s arm while the dressing was being changed and the hideous sight made her throw up. After that she was in a bit of a flap.

malick chantelle holbyShe tried to compensate by spreading extra joy to her patients, including a woman whose pregnancy test had come back positive. Chantelle wasted no time in giving the happy news to the patient’s boyfriend. Sadly it wasn’t a pregnancy but a tumour, and the patient died in a very messy way in the operating theatre. I couldn’t help thinking the scene in the Keller theatre was a bit frantic, with Mr T and Digby panicking a bit more than you usually see on Holby, where a spurting artery usually elicits nothing than a raised eyebrow and a call for some suction and 4-0 Vicryl.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Arthur, you’re not clinical waste – you’re brilliant

chantelle holby(Series 16, ep.2)  Arthur Digby is my kind of guy. The kind of guy who’ll bring you breakfast in bed and then demonstrate the workings of your brain via the medium of a croissant. And he has the most beautiful smile.

Still feeling guilty and worried about Chantelle, he installed her in Keller so he could keep an eye on her and so she could be among her friends and other ill people. She also came in handy by deploying her legendary people skills on a lady who was not being the most cooperative patient, because she wanted to put off her surgery till the man of her dreams arrived for a night in a posh hotel. The woman’s niece and Digby thought this man was literally something from the old lady’s dreams, but Chantelle had faith that he’d turn up because she’s a romantic.

digby holbyLater, when Digby suggested she move in with him, she accepted partly because she’s scared to be by herself at the moment, but there was more to it than that. When the old lady was talking about her dream man, Chantelle was overcome by emotion for a minute and had to have a little cry. She wants  true love and romance and security. Whether Digby is the person to provide it remains to be seen, but for now she’s about to fill his no doubt unhomely home with cushions and fluffy items. He couldn’t be happier, bless him.   Continue reading


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Holby City: More than half the man he used to be

holby city(Series 16, ep.1)  You can imagine that Antoine Malick wouldn’t make a great patient even if it was only for something fairly trivial like an ingrown toenail. He’d be tetchy and stroppy and wouldn’t do as he was told.

malick holbyNow factor in that he’s almost lost his hand and will only ever regain 85% of the movement in it at best, and you have to feel sorry for him, and maybe just as sorry for the people looking after him.

This comprised a crack team of new Queen of the Hospital Serena, Michael Spence, Digby and occasionally Ric Griffin. The episode opened with a strange dreamlike sequence in which the four of them were ranged at one side of a long table drenched in a heavenly light discussing the fact that Malick is only half the man he used to be.

Ric thought Malick needed counselling. “We have a very good counsellor,” he said, though who that might be now that Psych Sharon has gone is anybody’s guess.   Continue reading


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Holby City: When Henrik stopped being Mr Hanssen

hanssen holby(Series 15, ep.52)  Henrik Hanssen has been one of the greatest ever Holby characters. A mystery wrapped in an enigma encased by a formal suit, he was always intriguing and fascinating. The character was beautifully written, especially in the early days when odd little clues about his background were leaked out bit by bit, but it was Guy Henry’s stunning acting skills that really brought him to life. Having to work with the constraint that Hanssen was a character who didn’t really show emotion, his inner feelings had to be revealed by the most subtle acting, and by clever, telling details like the way he ate his sushi and arranged his pencils.

The exit episode for such a special character needed to be very good indeed, and last night’s episode was wonderful (beautiful writing by Nick Fisher). There had to be quite a lot of suspension of disbelief – that Digby was allowed to operate on the woman he loves even though he’d been a puking, shivering mess not long before; that no neurosurgeon was available at all (I’m sure in an emergency one could have been summoned from The Mythical St James’ or the Hadlington or somewhere if there really wasn’t one at Holby); that Ric Griffin took no part in the surgery to re-attach Malick’s hand even though he’s always been the go-to guy when veins needed sorting out; and so on. But, really, I wouldn’t have wanted to sacrifice any of the drama just to make things more realistic. Having Digby and Hanssen outside the operating theatre biting their nails while a Guest Artiste Surgeon did all the vital stuff wouldn’t have been the same as having them perform heroic deeds themselves.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Look out! Look out! Look out!

digby chantelle holby(Series 15, ep.51)  Talk about emotional rollercoaster! I don’t mean Serena’s birthday, though I dare say it’ll be one that she won’t forget – and she doesn’t even know (or care) about beloved Tim dying in AAU or Mo and Sacha kissing in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. She doesn’t even know yet about the car crash right at the end, but obviously she’s going to, as half her colleagues were involved and there’ll quite probably be some life-saving surgery to get stuck into next week.

Phew. Let’s rewind a bit. It was the day of the Young Doctor of the Year award ceremony, and Digby was practising his speech – or his “rambling love letter to the Swede,” as Zosia put it. And this would be a good place to mention that I really, really like Zosia. I think there’s going to turn out to be a lot to her, and given time she could be one of the great Holby characters.

I also really love Digby and find him laugh-aloud funny. My favourite line was when his patient had just informed him that she was planning to call her unborn baby Destiny. Digby was explaining why she was in pain. “The appendix is being pushed up by the… by Destiny,” he said.   Continue reading


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Casualty: Prison drama

casualty(Series 27, Ep.44)  Well, that was dramatic, wasn’t it? Jeff and Tom trapped inside a prison in the middle of a riot, with Tom’s killer of a father busy having a heart attack, and Dixie watching helplessly on the prison’s CCTV while prison officers were being thrown off balconies and things were being set on fire. The worst bit was Jeff being subjected to a “kangaroo court” – sat on a chair surrounded by violent thugs who were convinced he was a plant (as in working for the prison, not a leafy thing, despite the green uniform). Jeff has the nicest teeth on British TV, so I spent most of the episode worrying about them.

jeff casualtyDixie was marvellous, flinging herself into danger in order to retrieve her colleagues and their patient. She was rewarded by a date with the prison governor. Tom was rewarded by a kiss or two from Sam, which was very lovely to see. Jeff’s reward was that his nephew (is it his nephew?) Jamie had been worried about him. But I’m hoping everyone gets sent to see the staff counsellor, because we don’t want Jeffrey naked and quivering in the shower again (or do we?), which can happen when he’s post-traumatised.

Talking of trauma, back in the relative calm of A&E Tess and Zoe had to deal with a child who had a bad headache. They were puzzled as to the cause, but I wasn’t because I passed my F2 exams at the Holby School of Televisual Medicine some time ago and I knew it was carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily the little brother who’d been left home alone was found before it was too late.

Tess is very good at looking after the young ‘uns, but she told Dr Zoe Hanna that she won’t be looking after her own young ‘un anytime soon, because she’s not planning to keep the baby. The father doesn’t want a baby, she told Zoe. Let’s wait and find out, when Fletch finds out.

tam casualtySpeaking of whom, I noticed that Sam and Tom are routinely described as “Tam” on Twitter and that. Is anyone talking about “Tetch” or “Fless,” or is everyone too busy going “Ewwwwww!!!”?

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here, and Holby City reviews here)


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Casualty: I predict a riot

(Series 27, Ep.43) It’s been a while since I blogged about Casualty, because I don’t manage to watch it very often. I was tempted back in after reading an interview with Oliver Coleman (Dr Tom Kent) about tonight’s episode. It all sounded dreadfully exciting – post-watershed prison riot scenes, personal danger, flames…

So I watched last week’s on iPlayer, and I was very glad I did because it set the scene for what’s going to happen tonight. And it was a thoroughly enjoyable episode.

casualty tom kentLovely Dr Tom Kent was at the prison to meet the biological father he never knew he had. Well, obviously he knew he had a biological father – he’s a doctor after all – but not this particular one.  Brian Protheroe, who played the father Peter Marshall, was excellently cast. Physically he looks a lot like an older Tom Kent, and he even has the same stillness and air of capability about him. Marshall was also like his son in that he was a caring sort of person who had a mentoring role to a younger prisoner who had Asperger’s. Unlike his son, he was in prison for killing someone.   Continue reading

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Casualty: What’s up, doc?

casualty(Series 27, Ep. 28) It’s lovely when Casualty goes all seasonal. The fairy lights and fake snow that signal Christmas. The hideous burns that say “Bonfire Night.” And, especially for Easter, an Easter Bunny off his face on stolen hospital drugs derailing a ghost train carrying one of Holby ED’s star junior nurses. Heartwarming.

robyn casualtyThe derailed nurse was Robyn, who was all aboard the train of fear with an old “friend,” who was one of these frenemy types who kept undermining Robyn’s career choice at every opportunity. Naturally when she ended up upside-down under a crashed ghost train carriage she was only too pleased to be in the company of a skilled and relatively unscathed mate.

tom sam casualtyMeanwhile, Tom and Sam were unravelling the complex family relationships of the funfair’s owner, his son, his secret daughter, his dead wife and his mother-in-law Anita Dobson off of EastEnders. This culminated in Tom pushing the fairground owner over (he deserved it) in a corridor and being sent home by Ash. Army Dr Sam rushed over in her annoying little car to see if Tom was ok and he had a little cry on her shoulder.

Next time: More Tom, more Sam and a “little boxing champ.”

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here)


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Casualty: Everything you need from a Casualty episode

(Series 26, Ep.5)  If we were playing Fantasy Casualty, how would the episode start? With an out-of-control vehicle, probably. What about a mobility scooter? Grumpy old man careering along the pavement, it can’t end well. A near miss with a stack of library books, a collision with a car narrowly avoided, but dodging to avoid some bikes sends him hurtling down a steep embankment towards a tree. But one casualty isn’t enough for Casualty. How’s about we throw in a tug-of-love boy and a trampoline? You know how dangerous trampolines can be. But he’s off the trampoline and he’s safe! There’s always the rope ladder…

A classic Casualty opener, then. Ambulances hurtling towards Holby City laden with a pair of  interesting and tricky cases, both of whom have a couple of twists in store.

The episode would obviously need to have a junior staff member learning valuable lessons about life and work. In this case, it was Lloyd. He learned never to judge a book by its cover, even when it’s a Kindle, and never to think that horrible old men are just being horrible because they’re old men.

There’d need to be a gory procedure, preferably one that had even Holby-hardened me covering my eyes and wincing. Drilling a hole in a patient’s skull would do nicely, particularly if it was Nick Jordan doing the drilling.

And finally, ideally you’d want a bit of romance, and to be perfect it would be Dr Ruth Winters thanking Lovely Staff Nurse Faldren for having faith in her, and him replying, “I’ve always got your back.” And the episode ending with them kissing. Sigh.

Ok, so Charlie was absent from the episode, which technically disqualifies it from being Classic Casualty. But it came pretty close.

Next time: A punch-up at a wake.

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Holby City: When is a dark secret not a dark secret?

(Series 13, Ep.42) I was all excited about this episode, because we were promised that we would find out a “dark secret” about Irish Dr Greg, when an old friend turned up. Since the loss of The World’s Most Beautiful Heart Surgeon, Joseph Byrne, to the wilds of Cumbria, I’ve been warming to Greg, with his beautiful nose and lovely accent. So the thought of a dark secret was most bracing.

So what was it, then? Has he maybe falsified his exam results so he’s not a doctor at all? No, that’s someone else I’m thinking of. Has he been snogging other male doctors in the locker room? Nope, that’s definitely not him. It wasn’t anything as exciting as that, and indeed seemed to amount to Greggy and his old mate used to play football together and probably got into a fight at some point. Frankly, I wasn’t really concentrating once I realised Greg wasn’t going to turn out to be the long lost love child of Anton Meyer.

He did go to pieces in the operating theatre, though, which was a neat turnaround as it was Sahira who had to be calm, controlled and not screaming, “Oh my GOD! I’m covered in BLOOD and STICKY BITS and that!” like she usually does. Well done, Sahira.

Meanwhile, on Keller… “Everyone’s acting weird!” says Chrissie. And she’s surprised why? The reason they were acting weird was that Dull Dan was hatching a not-so-secret plan to whisk her off somewhere fabulous for the weekend. Chrissie doesn’t like men organising her life for her, so she got all stubborn and even let her stubbornness cloud her usually acute clinical judgement. So, in another neat turnaround, Dan was right about a patient this week. All was well that ended well, and Chrissie popped into a pair of mentally high heels – just as well she had an orthopaedic surgeon on hand – and off they went for their weekend of – well, I don’t really want to dwell on it if you don’t mind.

Michael Spence paid a flying visit to AAU, just to check in on what the little people were up to, and spotted the attractive form of Dr Lulu Hutchison. This triggered his “flirt” reflex, and pretty soon he had her practising suturing bananas. As you do. The phallic nature of this exercise was not lost on Sacha, who advised Mr 70′s Trousers that Lulu was Sir Fraser’s daughter, so he’d Best Not Go There.

Next time: Frieda’s back! Yay! And she’s bonding with Eddi over their shared dislike of Lulu! Double yay! And we aren’t done with the unravelling of Greg’s dark secrets – triple yay! And Funny Little Nurse Tait is… well, she just is.

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