Holby City: Nothing to lose

lee dominic holby(Series 18, ep. 18) We all thought we’d seen the last of That Lee, the dastardly villain who broke Dominic’s heart, and stole his mother’s running away money and Digby’s granddad’s medals. But no – there was another nasty twist to the tale.

When Dominic’s patient Alison told Dominic he reminded her of her husband, she couldn’t quite put her finger on why. Everybody else could, as soon as her husband was revealed to be none other than Lee. He insisted that he really loved Dominic, but Alison was pregnant and soon Lee and Dominic were fighting in the staff room, where someone had left a handy cake knife. Ric Griffin waded into the fray, and the ensuing fight scene was rather gripping and well done. Someone got stabbed – but who was the stabber and who was the stabbee?  Continue reading

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War and Peace: Napoleon, the hotstepper

war and peace(Episodes 5 & 6) In the words of the great Mr Swayze; Nobody puts Napoleon in the corner. Contrary to my last report, he’s very far from calm and wants all of Russia for his plaything. The score for this drama has been wonderfully majestic and stirring, but I couldn’t help thinking of Ini Kamoze whenever Napoleon oiled his way onto the screen.
‘Here comes the French leader, Napoleon
He’s the ear-rubbing gangster, murderer
Splice all de men in de area, Napoleon
Or blow dem up like dat, murderer!’
He swaggers into the chandelier-laden glamping-style tent, flourishes his magnificent tassels and dulcetly informs hapless messenger Boris, ‘I am going to take your country.’ [Mr Bond] ‘But don’t worry, it’s not your fault.’ He will apparently be merciful to the Russians, he announces magnanimously, as if he’s doing them a favour.  Continue reading

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Lustbox: Endeavour Morse

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I feel a little guilty putting young Endeavour in the Lustbox – it seems far too crude for him. But lovely as he is, Shaun Evans doesn’t provoke in me all the feelings that Endeavour does, so poor old young-Morse will have to suffer the indignity as best he can.

There’s a quite magical alchemy going on with Endeavour (the show). It’s been excellent from the beginning, but Coda, the last episode of the third series, was one of the best bits of British TV I’ve seen in ages. They’ve taken a good idea, thrown every piece of talent they could find at it and produced a real, bittersweet gem. And the jewel in the crown is young Morse himself.

Shaun Evans is simply astonishing in this role. You can see the man Morse will become, even as you realise that Endeavour is in some ways a very different person from the prickly DCI in his future. Evans never makes the mistake of impersonating John Thaw, though he clearly channels him – there are moments when a movement, a stance or simply a thought flickering across his mind can floor you.

And obviously it helps to be beautiful (regular visitors to the Lustbox will know I’m a sucker for a pretty pair of eyes and cheekbones you could pare parmesan on), but there’s a stillness in Evans’ performance that makes it impossible to take your eyes off him.

The setbacks that young Morse encounters, particularly his unluckiness in love, are heartbreaking  – doubly so if you allow yourself to remember that there will never be a happy ending. Looking at Endeavour – clever, respectful, kind and with a “weakness for the fairer sex” (as Felix Lorimer tells our hero in Coda), it seems impossible that he’s destined for such a lonely life.

I can’t be the only one who wishes she could change that future.

 Jo the Hat

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Casualty: Not just a patient

ethan casualty(Series 30, ep. 22) After the shift he just had, Ethan is possibly wishing he’d gone through with his resignation. He could have been sunning himself on a beach in Australia – though I expect “sunning himself,” for Ethan, would mean crouching under a beach blanket trying to keep a grip on some learned volume of medical lore with hands slippery with Factor 50.

Instead, he spent most of the day doing standard doctoring – which means being extremely good at his job while at the same time being very lovely with patients. The rest of the time was spent shinning up the side of very high fairground rides without even a safety harness, and discovering that one of the patients is actually his biological mother.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Do what makes you happy

bernie wolfe holby(Series 18, ep. 17) Major Bernie Wolfe is eventually going to be a new doctor on Keller, but this week she was a new patient on Darwin and, as such, spent the entire episode lying down. She still managed to make her mark, though, because she’s Jemma Redgrave and she radiates charisma even when horizontal. We’ve already learned that she has a husband called Marcus who works at The Mythical St James’s. He wants her to choose between her army career and a life in Holby with him. Despite having a close personal colleague in Afghanistan who sends her flowers, she’s going to have to plump for Holby eventually. Personality-wise she’s brave, tough and no nonsense in the manner of Fleur Fanshawe, but I think I need to see her upright before I get a proper idea of what she’s like.  Continue reading

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Stella: Listen up, Cockney Jane!

Robshock(Series 5, ep. 3) Pack up your flags and pepper spray – it’s field trip time for the Stella crew! The nurses went on an excursion to one of the deadliestest cities in the world – London. But it wasn’t every passer by being a “potential terrorist or lunatic” that caused the most disturbance for our heroine, it was an old boomerang love coming flinging full pelt back into her life.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Dixie and Ethan figure it out

casualty(Series 30, ep. 21) Casualty and Holby are both very good at giving great send-offs to beloved characters, and this episode was no exception. But which beloved character was being sent off?

ethan casualtyThere was a choice of two. Disillusioned Ethan, who resigned last week, seemed the obvious choice, but this week found him already wavering in his disillusionment. Dr Lily Chao pleaded with him to stay (he’s her best and only friend, plus he’s a top quality doctor). When that didn’t work she got Connie Beauchamp to concoct a story that she’d already found a replacement. This forced his hand a little, and he realised that he wouldn’t be happy anywhere else. Not even AAU.  Continue reading

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