Tag Archives: medical drama

Holby City: Surgeon or mother?

jac holby(Series 16, ep.36)  I suspect this was an episode that was supposed to be a roller-coaster of emotions, but at the end of it the feeling I was left with was one of depression.

The climax of Custodygate didn’t take place in court, but more appropriately perhaps in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. Shortly before taking her last breath, the totally toxic Paula Burrows made sure that Jac’s confidence in herself as a mother was fatally undermined. Jac told Jonny she was going to Stockholm (following a phone call from Hanssen – how I would love those two to have their own spin-off series) and therefore she was giving him the baby full-time. At this point he desperately tried to back-track and unsay all the horrible things he’s said to her in an effort to get her to reconsider and to come to some co-parenting arrangement. At the start of the episode Sacha had reassured Jac that she wasn’t a “heartless automaton,” but Jonny has made the mistake of thinking she was, and that he could say anything he liked to her and it wouldn’t get through her bomb-proof shell. It turned out that everything had been getting through all along – and when you have people telling you that you have no heart and you’re cold and selfish and incapable of love, eventually you’ll believe it.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Bring your daughter to work day

elliot holby(Series 16, ep.35)  Don’t tell me Holby isn’t educational. Aside from learning all manner of instantly forgettable stuff about crustaceans, I also discovered, via Jac Naylor and the power of Google, that Gigglebiz is a real TV series for kids. I’m no longer up on that sort of thing, what with PLA Jr being nearly 17 and that, so I had to check.

We learned a lot about Emma and her preferences, as Jac had sacked the third nanny in a row (for putting Emma to bed too early so Jac never saw her) and was forced to bring her daughter into work. The crèche was full. The crèche is always full, and if Selfie wasn’t so busy building his empire and obsessing about Zosia, he might usefully employ himself in sorting out better crèche facilities.

jonny holbyNo staff member’s child has ever spent a day at Holby without going missing, but Jac was fairly confident in leaving Emma with Elliot while she was in theatre. Unfortunately, as we’ve glimpsed previously, Elliot isn’t quite his usual self and he wandered off and left Emma to her own devices for a bit, during which time she promptly vanished. My money was on her being with Paula, who was in the hospital with pneumonia. Emma did end up with Paula, but that was via Jonny Mac after he found his daughter being looked after by Adele.   Continue reading


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Holby City: A proper cad

amy selfie holby(Series 16, ep.34)  There’s been a massive development in the Smug/Smug/Posh triangle! I can exclusively reveal that the Triangle will henceforth be known as Smug/Queasy/Posh, since Dr Amy Smug spent most of the episode gipping into her own mouth and unable to look a muffin in the face. Lightweight. By this stage of her pregnancy Jac was on a heady combination of chocolate and anchovies.

There’s a sinister side to the triangle, too, as Dr Harry Posh (currently unaware that Dr Amy is pregnant because, unlike Selfie, he hasn’t had his hands on thousands of pregnant women in his career yet) is blackmailing Amy. Basically she has to smooth the path of his career-haltingly troublesome relationship with Dr Raf Smug, or else Posh will spill the beans about their night of drunken lust. The cad! “I’m a proper cad,” he told Amy. The proper cad!

As previously mentioned, Selfie knows at a glance that a woman is pregnant – it’s just one of his billions of skills – so he twigged that the Smugs are multiplying and took Amy to Pulses for a heart-to-heart, where he also worked out that Posh might be the father. Just why he thought Pulses was the venue for a woman with a muffin aversion is a puzzle, because muffins are the only food they sell.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Life finds a way

raf amy holby(Series 16, ep.33) Where was Ric Griffin in this episode? He was behind the camera, as Hugh Quarshie had his first bash at directing (there’s an interview about that here).

Content-wise, we were back to Smug/Smug/Posh (which took a not completely unexpected twist) and Custodygate (which didn’t). More amusingly, Mo has gone all showbiz and Adele has gone all Darwin.

serena adrienneThe most engrossing storyline was Serena’s. Her mum Adrienne reappeared, this time as a visitor, come to see her friend Roger, who was a patient. It quickly became clear that Adrienne was suffering from the Curse of the Holby Visitor – nine times out of ten they end up having something worse than the patient has. In this case, Adrienne was showing signs of dementia, which Selfie verified with a quiz after Adrienne nearly killed Roger by giving him soluble aspirin, which he was allergic to. It was clear that Adrienne was going to need support, and Serena was soon on the hunt for a nice care home. It’s not that she doesn’t love her mother and care about her – it was etched on her face that she does – but both mother and daughter are feisty, independent types. Serena was left with no choice but to have Adrienne move in with her for now – an arrangement which is bound to take its toll.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Elliot fails to thrust

elliot hope holby(Series 16, ep.32) What’s wrong with Elliot? He’s making mistakes and forgetting things and generally behaving like the bumbling old incompetent he briefly turned into when he was almost shipped off to The Mythical St James’s. A quick blood test revealed it was only a bit of a virus, so phew – but at the end of the episode Elliot looked, frankly, worried. There’s more to it than just a spot of man-flu, it seems.

He was under pressure, too, thanks to Selfie’s insistence on selling the Herzig 5 to the world. Not in an online store sort of sense (“Dragons, I’m here today to ask for a million pounds in exchange for a 5% equity share in my new online artificial heart business”), but more in a “great PR for the hospital” type of way. Anyhoo, Elliot was pencilled in to pop a Herzig 5 into Mandy Jordache from Brookside (Sandra Maitland), who had a dicky heart and had started being relentlessly happy since she had a TIA. Anyone old enough to remember Brookside would know that relentlessly happy is quite an unnatural state for Mandy Jordache, so everyone was concerned.   Continue reading


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Holby City: I thought you would understand

sacha holby(Series 16, ep.31) The conclusion to last week’s story about Joe, the patient who may or may not have been a former SS guard, started fairly comically, with Zosia having forced Digby to stay up all night researching the man’s background on th’internet. Zosia reported their findings to Sacha, who held the opinion that a patient’s background should have no bearing on their medical care. “I thought you would understand,” Zosia pouted. Because he’s Jewish, she expected him to have the same knee-jerk reaction as her.

But because Sacha is Jewish, and because he’s played by the wonderful Bob Barrett (who hasn’t been given a lot to do post-Chrissie but was absolutely at the top of his game here), the story turned into something far more subtle and moving.   Continue reading


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Casualty: Getting away with it

casualty(Series 28. ep.35) The main action of this episode centred around Dixie borrowing a camper van to transport an ill patient out of the hospital to visit his terminally ill mother for one last time. It sounds like the plot of a weepy made-for-TV movie from the 1970s, especially when they all ended up at the seaside, with Dixie, Lofty and the staff member from the mother’s hospice eating ice cream while the boy and his mother were parked side by side in their wheelchairs on the beach, watching the sun go down. The story was saved from total mawkishness by the character of the mother (Amanda Ryan), who was a former rock-chick biker type who resisted cliches unless she called them cliches first. In the end, it was sweet and sad, but it got Dixie, Lofty and (to a lesser extent) Max into a whole heap of trouble back at Holby.

max zoe casualtyMax was forgiven fairly easily, partly because he is the living embodiment of charm, but mainly because he’s sleeping with the boss. “The boss” is still Zoe and not Connie, though whenever Zoe is called upon to deal with a situation, Connie seems to be keeping a very close eye on things indeed, almost like she’s already ordered swatches and paint samples for when she has to redecorate the office of power.

Cal’s pursuit of Dr Lily Chao hasn’t progressed very far, though poor Rita was forced to stand at the far side of a patient trying not to gag as Cal employed his best chat-up technique. 

Next time: Connie questions Zoe’s judgement (Aha! Is she making her move?) and Dixie is suspended.


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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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