HIM: The lad with no name

james-murray-fionn-whitehead-katherine-kelly-himHIM is a “domestic horror drama,” for those who like their genres mixed.

HE is, at first sight, your average antisocial, slightly messed up, weed-smoking teenager, forever staring at his phone or shut away with his headphones on. I’m going to have to refer to HIM as HE, because for some reason the writer (Paula Milne) has decided not to give HIM a name. This makes interactions with HIS family somewhat tricky – have you ever heard a parent give a kid a good telling off without mentioning their name at least once?

The set up is that HE (Fionn Whitehead, who is excellent) is the son of divorced parents (James Murray and Katherine Kelly), who have both moved on, found new partners and produced new children. HE has found HIMself pushed out, particularly by HIS father (nobody plays an arrogant twonk quite as beautifully as James Murray, and he’s a surgeon in this one – Holby City casting people, please make a note), whose house is full of studio-produced photographs of his “new” family – a wife who would rather ignore the fact that her husband has another family, plus their son and twins on the way.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Take your hands out of the patient

zosia-holby(Series 19, ep. 2) I like these episodes that start with a dramatic thing at (or near) the end, and then go back in time to what led up to it. This one started with Zosia coming out of an operating theatre, looking upset and distracted. When we flashed back to six hours earlier, she was all poised and confident and doing brilliant things in surgery. What could have happened in just six hours to effect such a drastic change?

Part of the problem was Zosia’s own mental health. The death of Michael Malone last week seemed to take the lid off a whole lot of bottled up emotions, and as she’s done in the past, Zosia’s coping mechanism was to throw herself into her work.

Overhearing a conversation between the superficially charming (never trust a Tristan) Tristan Wood and the completely charmless (don’t trust him as far as you can throw him) Selfie, Zosia discovered that plans were afoot (again) to snatch away one of the Darwin theatres for neuro.  Continue reading


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Casualty: The good news, then the bad news

casualty-robyn-wedding(Series 31, ep. 8) Fans of Holby City/Casualty crossovers will have spotted vicar Lexy Morrell (Jenny Howe) in the background, preparing to preside over the wedding of Robyn and Glen. The last wedding we saw her officiate at was between Arthur Digby and Morven Shreve, a union which ended up being all too brief. Robyn’s wedding didn’t even get to the “will you take this man” bit, because the man had already legged it.

Poor Robyn. I expect Glen thought he was doing her a good turn by not putting her through the anguish of watching him die, but he’s wrong. And particularly now we know (though Glen doesn’t) that she’s pregnant.

connie-casualtyMeanwhile, Connie Beauchamp was back at work, and was being horrible to Elle and Jacob. I’m probably not going to make myself popular at all when I say that Connie is really getting on my nerves at the moment. We’re meant to cut her all sorts of slack because of Grace, and because she’s Connie, but this week she put patients at risk and was patronising and dismissive of a man who’s shown her nothing but patience, understanding and love, and a colleague who was only trying to help.

Grace opened her eyes a little bit, so maybe now she’ll make a speedy recovery and Connie can relax a bit and get less nasty. I hope.


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Holby City: Hello, series 19

zosia-holby(Series 19, ep. 1) There was another glimpse of Digby in the pre-titles ‘previously’ section. We aren’t being allowed to forget his sweet face, and I love it that his death is still affecting the characters into this new series.

The return of Michael Malone (Andy Lucas), who was the person who was going to get the experimental stent before Zosia manoeuvred to let Digby have it, was always going to be tough for Zosia. Every week I’m growing to admire Camilla Arfwedson more and more as an actress. Her face is like a landscape over which you see patterns of sunshine and clouds moving constantly. When she spoke about Digby to Michael Malone (“He was my best friend and I wasn’t there when he needed me”) it was such a sad scene. Then, in Michael’s dying moments, she wheeled his bed out to the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery, and I doubt whether the Shrubbery has ever seen anything more poignant in its varied life. Zosia’s face as she sat under the tree, and the way she tucked the blankets around Michael after he died, made me cry. Again. How many tears can Digby’s death wring out of me? As for poor Zosia, I’m very worried for her. I just hope Ollie comes good and looks after her, because I rather love the way he says her name, like it tastes delicious in his mouth.  Continue reading


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Casualty: The koala grip

glen-robyn-casualty(Series 31, ep. 7) The Curse of the Holby Friend/Relative has hit poor Robyn big-time. This week her boyfriend became her fiancé, but he couldn’t really share in the celebrations because he was recovering from being stuck in a lift having his head drilled by Dr Dylan Keogh, after hitting his head while having a seizure because his brain tumour has gotten worse.

I imagine Robyn could be a total nightmare of a girlfriend/fiancée, because she can be somewhat intense. As she described it, she clings on to people she loves like a koala gripping a tree. But she’s lovely, and I can totally see why Glen loves her. I can also totally see why he’s not keen on living out the rest of his days on the superfood diet Robyn has imposed on him.

Food was something of a motif for the episode. We had the revelation that Jacob used to be a bit on the chubby side till he converted the fat to muscle and then added some extra muscle and then a bit more, to become the beefcake he is today. And patient o’the week was a very overweight woman who died of heart problems. Her husband had also been overweight, and his worry that their daughter would end up with the same kind of health issues had him going all shouty and punchy whenever a chocolate biscuit appeared in his line of vision. This was obviously not good for his daughter, who ended up taking an overdose. Luckily Jacob and Elle were there to sort them both out.

Meanwhile, I missed last week’s Casualty but it seems that Cal slept with Alicia, which didn’t impress either of them much. Ethan must sometimes wonder what evil thing he did in a previous life to deserve Cal as a brother.

Next time: Connie’s back – and she says she’s “fighting fit.”

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Holby City: Sharp knives and Inga

inga-mo-holby(Series 18, ep. 52) The phrase “emotional roller coaster” is over-used, but I’m going to use it anyway, because this series has been one. Also, that’s the mental image I had at the end of this episode (which also marked the end of series 18) that we were left poised at the top of the roller coaster, ready to start series 19 with twists and turns already lined up – Mo’s baby, Fletch’s recovery, Dominic and Isaac, Serena and Bernie, Jasmine and Jac. And, if you’ve seen the Autumn trailer, big stuff for Zosia, Selfie and Hanssen, a new doctor, and a bizarre new look for Sacha.

I can’t wait, to be honest, but in the meantime I need to concentrate on what was going on last night.  Continue reading


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Holby City: Recognise the symptoms

bernie-serena-holby(Series 18, ep. 51) It seems out of character for someone like Serena – so poised and strong – to be literally running after a romantic interest, begging them not to leave. This is how we know that Bernie Wolfe is more than just “romantic interest.” Falling for Bernie must be, to Serena, like being given a glimpse inside a previously locked room, and then having the door shut in your face just as you’re on the threshold.

It also makes sense that Bernie would run away. She’s been in the place Serena is now, when she fell for Alex, and she’s seen the heartbreak it can bring. The scene where Bernie talked to Dominic on the roof shows that she’s quite fatalistic about relationships.  Continue reading


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