(Series 19, ep. 45 ‘Calm Before the Storm’ by Katie Douglas 15.8.17) In a nutshell: Sacha found God, Nina and Matteo found each other and Selfie found Ollie’s Achilles’ heel. It doesn’t sound like a lot to fill an hour of TV, but I was gripped throughout. The hour just flew by.
Guy Self really is a brilliant baddie, and I think he’s even better this time around than he was during his first stint, because now we know what a complicated personality he really is. He’s no cartoon villain, there’s a vulnerability there which at the moment he is reigning in tightly as he reverts to his default setting of Manipulative and Devious – though would the old Selfie have become quite so flustered during surgery? Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 44 ‘Go Ugly Early’ by Nick Fisher 8.8.17) So that’s the end of the Trauma Unit. The little room with the plastic flaps instead of doors, that has been the site of so much pioneering traumatic excellence over the months, is now a little empty room, the flaps flapping plastically in the breeze of trolleys whizzing by. Most importantly, the Trauma Unit was the queendom of the utterly marvellous Berenice Wolfe, and her queendom is now gone and so is Bernie. Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 44 ‘One’ by Paul Unwin) The word that was going through my mind as I watched this one-shot, real-time episode of Casualty was “choreography.” The way the camera moved fluidly around the different parts of the set, at one point even being lowered from the first floor down to the ground and then moving seamlessly on, was nothing short of incredible. Actors would walk into shot, deliver their lines and then the camera would be following somebody else, taking up some other part of the story. Apparently the crew were all in costume in case they happened to appear in any shot, but if they did I certainly didn’t notice them – everyone in the background seemed to be doing the usual doctor-stuff, nurse-stuff and patient-stuff, as always. I didn’t see a mis-step or a thing out of place.
The whole thing had been brilliantly thought out by the writer, Paul Unwin, and the director, Jon Sen, so that the episode had dynamics and pace. The actors all made it look easy, and it was testament to them that after a while I started to forget the “one-shot” aspect of it and got swept into the story. I actually felt a bit emotional by the end, with Jez’s scene with the father of the baby who died in the fire, and then with Duffy’s voice-over. I know that last bit was a tad cheesy, but if such a special episode couldn’t be used as a love letter to the NHS it would have been a missed opportunity.
See the behind-the-scenes video here
(Series 31, ep. 43 ‘Somewhere Between Silences Part 2’ by Jeff Povey) Okay Casualty, you’ve lured me back with your gimmicky promise of an exciting “one shot” episode next week. Which means I needed a bit of context. You can’t just turn up cold for a one-shot, you know.
First thing to say about this week’s episode is – George Rainsford. Blimey. Acting on a Shakespearean level there, all suppressed grief and rage and ethical conflict. Pitched against this was the dwindling family of racist thugs, the Ellissons. Papa Ellisson has expired previously. One of his sons (the nasty one, Scott) spent this week’s episode in a “will he ever walk again?” situation after falling from the Casualty mezzanine, which should surely have had some kind of mesh fitted after lovely nurse Sam Colloby tumbled off it years ago. The good news (for Scott) was there was no reason why he wouldn’t walk again, but the bad news (for Scott) was that now he almost certainly won’t walk again, because he’s dead. Continue reading