Holby City: Welcome to the madhouse

essie holby(Series 18, ep. 41) I can imagine that when Sacha was at school he was one of those kids who gets “Tries very hard” on every school report. A for effort, and so on. Because he does try, and in his professional life he succeeds. In his romantic relationships with women, though, it’s the actual trying that seems to put them off. He jumped through hoops trying to persuade Chrissie that he was up to her exacting standards, and it’s been much the same story with Essie. I had thought, after their little talk about how her desire to have a baby was getting in the way of their desire for each other, that things might go smoothly for a while. Then the useless lump only went and tried to save her life. Good grief, what can you do with a man like that?

ryan sampson holbyIvor (Ryan Sampson), last week’s patient with the nasty abscess and the even nastier drug habit, was back this week and his leg had gone even yuckier. Sacha prescribed methadone. A new pharmacist, Mel (Jocelyn Jee Esien), thought he would be better off with morphine, but Sacha didn’t want to start giving a junkie morphine. Ignoring the pharmacist’s advice was probably a mistake, and it led to Mel and Essie in a hostage situation with Ivor in the pharmacy.  Continue reading

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Holby City: You have the bridge, Ms Effanga

mo holby(Series 18, ep. 40) At the beginning of the episode Mo was telling a non-speaking and barely glimpsed medical person that she wanted to have a termination. For the rest of the episode she struggled with her decision, via the medium of dealing with a stroppy daughter-of-patient who’d previously been a patient of hers and Mr T’s. It should perhaps be a lesson to me to pay more attention to the patients, but I can honestly say I didn’t really remember this one. It probably didn’t matter anyway, because the point was that she reminded us (and Mo) what a lovely man Mr T is, so Mo rang him and left a voice message. In return she received a text telling her not to contact him again. Ouch! That’s so not-standard Mr T behaviour – Mo has hurt him good and proper.

mo hanssen holbyWith one tall, calm and lovely Holby man far away in Sweden, Mo sought the advice of a tall, calm and lovely Swedish man close at hand in Holby. Hanssen always steps up to the mark when needed, and he always has a nice clean hanky about his person if you need to have a cry. By the end of the episode Mo had decided to cancel her termination and Hanssen was supplying her with ginger beer for her morning sickness. I’d have him pencilled in as godfather, too – he’d be fabulous.  Continue reading

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Holby City: It’s the heat

sacha jac holby(Series 18, ep. 39) This was my favourite kind of Holby episode – there was a lightness of touch about the whole thing, with lots of funny dialogue. There were some lovely character combinations – Sacha in particular was beautifully used to bring out the sweeter and more human side of Jac, while appearing in his own story line that involved a hilarious scene with Ric.

jac ollie holbyJac was suffering from the effects of being sprayed with nasty gas last week (this was the second of a two-parter), which was unfortunate timing because she had to do ground-breaking surgery on that hot-shot tennis player. No worries – Mr Oliver Valentine had been training for this moment and working his precious socks off for her, so he was ready.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Different ways to get attention

rita casualty(Series 30, ep. 40) Oh good grief. Is there really nothing better to do with the characters of Rita and Connie than having them go all stupid about men? This week Rita let everyone think her ex had given her a black eye (it was actually the wing mirror of a car she was hiding behind) so that they’d be cross with Iain for not protecting her and he’d be cross with himself and realise he’d been a stupid fool to let her go. And of course the truth came out, and now it’s Rita who looks like a stupid fool, and I’m cross about that because Rita is worth ten of Iain. Though on the other hand it’s given Louise someone new to frown at, because since Charlie forgave Elle for dobbing him in to Hanssen, Louise’s face has had nothing to do. She’s only happy when she’s giving someone evils.  Continue reading

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Love, Nina: Don’t ever give her socks

love ninaBritish comedies with a central female character usually fall into two camps. If she is young, she must be impossibly cute and winsome; the main premise being her woeful love life, her quest to get hitched, or her attempts to have a baby. If she is older, it’s possibly all of the former, but more likely her status within her family, her juggling of her exceedingly busy life, or her illicit affair with Roger from Number 36. What drew me to the five-parter ‘Love, Nina’ was that it was less about her traditional role as female and more about a young person coming of age in London in the early eighties, working as a nanny for an eccentric family.

Faye Marsay was the titular heroine, a fairly under the radar actress, who will no doubt pop up more in the future. Cute, but not impossibly so, she captured that sense of gangling awkwardness of the just turned twenty but still feeling like a little girl and not quite knowing how to be grown-up. Padding barefoot between the supermarket, her yoga class and her almost-boyfriend Nunney’s house while trying to fathom her place in the brave new world she found herself in was captivating. She often puts her bare foot in it, frequently embarrassing herself, or acting thoughtlessly, but still very endearing.  Continue reading

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Holby City: A proper friend

dominic holby(Series 18, ep. 38) It was the hottest day since Holby records began, but before you cancel your scheduled holiday to Tenerife and book a static caravan in Holby instead, it actually didn’t look like fun. Everyone was irritable and fed up, and that was even before you throw in the added pressures of grief, heartbreak, jealousy and Jac Naylor.

For everyone who’d expected Dominic’s reaction to Arthur’s death to be totally heartbreaking, this was the episode that finally delivered that. He’s been holding everything in for a few weeks, talking to Arthur’s photo but not allowing himself to cry. That all changed when he seemed to get a message from “the other side,” via a patient who was in touch with the dead via the medium of flatulence. The message he received was to sail Arthur’s ship, a beautiful model of a sailing ship that Arthur had left incomplete.  Continue reading

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Casualty: It’s a special place

duffy casualty(Series 30, ep. 39) Once again, Duffy is back in Holby ED. And, once again, she neglected to tell her oldest and bestest friend Charlie Fairhead that she was back, but as soon as they clapped eyes on each other they went all warm and wistful. Actually, every time nobody was looking apart from we viewers at home, Duffy was looking a little worried. What problems have pursued her from New Zealand only time will tell.

I’m not actually a huge Duffy fan. Cathy Shipton is an excellent actress, but as a character I’ve always found Duffy’s saintliness a bit much. The way she sat with a man who thought he was about to lose his second child but instead lost his wife would have totally creeped me out – she’s just too intense. And she keeps gazing radiantly about her, telling everyone how special Holby is.  Continue reading

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