Holby City: The vanishing smile

(Series 19, ep. 54 ‘Thicker Than Water’ by Peter Mattessi 17.10.17) Everyone was having fun with Swedish in this episode, in which we learned that a name that’s spelled Sjoberg is pronounced something like Herbery. Holby is so educational.

Anna (pronounced ‘Anna’) Sjoberg/Herbery (Linda Ekman) was at Holby with a mystery illness, which Fredrik diagnosed pretty brilliantly. The diagnosis seemed slightly less brilliant when we discovered that he had previous knowledge of this patient, and indeed her arrival at Holby was no coincidence. It was all part of his trial of a fictional wonder drug, and his attempt to get Hanssen to put his official stamp of approval on a phase 4 trial of it.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Time to get serious

(Series 19, ep.53 ‘The Coming Storm’ by Patrick Homes 10.10.17) From a medical point of view, this was a curious episode in that there were no patients o’ the week at all, on any ward. We never saw the Darwin patient apart from in the operating theatre, the AAU patient was barely conscious and the Keller patient was brain-dead.

So an easy shift all round then, yes? Well… no. In fact it was a very difficult shift for all concerned.

Fletch had his suit on for his first board meeting as King of Nurses. He looks quite nice in a suit (although everyone said that one didn’t fit him properly, but I didn’t actually notice), but the suit doesn’t suit him because he’s a hands-on kind of guy who likes to be in scrubs. “There’s a new sheriff in town,” he told Jac, attempting a “fake it till you make it” confidence about the whole King of Nurses gig. “Why is he dressed like an estate agent?” Jac replied. Jac and Fletch are beyond marvellous together. She’s designated his emails as spam. His special ringtone for her is a witch’s cackle.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Do you mind not mentioning that?

(Series 19, ep. 52 ‘Left Behind’ by Wendy Granditer 3.10.17) Matteo and Nina were all romantic and couply at the start of the episode. Could their happiness last for an entire 60 minutes?

Maybe it could have, if it wasn’t for AAU patient o’ the week Maxine (Kate Anthony – AKA Auntie Pam from Coronation Street). Maxine never forgot a face. She remembered that Donna had occasionally frequented her pub, and she remembered Nina’s face from… where was it now? Possibly Coronation Street, but that would have been no use to Holby, plot-wise. When Matteo was called to consult on Maxine’s case, she remembered where she’d seen Nina and Matteo before – they were the tragic couple whose son had gone missing.This made Nina suffer from blurred vision effects in theatre, which isn’t what you want in a surgeon and Ric had to be called in to finish off while she went to have a sit down. Continue reading

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Holby City: Together, apart

(Series 19, ep. 51 ‘Veil of Tears, Part Two’ by Michelle Lipton 26.9.17) Some marriages last longer than others on Holby City (and in real life), but the marriage of the auspiciously named Mr and Mrs Valentine scarcely made it past ‘I do.’ The wedding night was spent with the bride, still in her wedding dress, keeping vigil at her unconscious father’s bedside. The groom, meanwhile, had had time to change into a lovely blue shirt that matched his eyes. In fact Ollie was looking at his most dashing throughout the episode.

And he’s nice as well. I mean, he’s a proper catch – the sort of man who’ll support your career, putting his own plans on hold to stand by you by moving to America for six months and doing an AAU-type job in New Haven just so you can fulfil your dreams of being a top CT surgeon.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Wedding presence not required

(Series 19, ep. 50 ‘Veil of Tears, Part One’ by Joe Ainsworth 19.9.17) Ollie was delighted to see pocket-sized, Herzig-hearted God botherer Lexy, who had turned up to officiate at the Zollie wedding. Frankly I wouldn’t have been so pleased – have we ever seen Lexy preside over something that ended happily?

But surely nothing could go wrong this time. The wedding was in a magnificent location (Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, which looked like it deserved a BBC drama all to itself). The bride looked incredibly beautiful and the groom was adorable. The guest list had been whittled down to a bare minimum – Ollie’s marvellously sarcastic mother (Diana Kent), his old pal Nick (Christopher Goh), Dominic and boyfriend Freddie and – because nobody had remembered to un-invite him – Lofty. Curly Watts and his David Bowie tribute act had also been cancelled, somewhat frustratingly for those of us who were eager to experience his ‘Space Oddity.’  Continue reading

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Celebrity Masterchef: Your 15 minutes is up

imageI actually quite enjoy this version, truth be told. Not so much the personnel in question, who range from quite endearing to making you want to put your fist through the wall, but because they have some rather good challenges in this incarnation. The ingredient recognition test was always one of my favourites and I’m pleased to see it’s made a comeback, even though some of the items are insultingly simple. Red pepper, seriously?! Although I’d suppose you’d technically get brownie points for knowing it is a bell pepper, but this wasn’t adhered to.

The disparity between competence levels is both amusing and frustrating and makes you realise all the more they had to take who they could get, so thinly stretched is the ‘talent’ available. These Celeb versions littering the schedules rely on us, the ever-slavering public, giving two figs as to whether so-and-so who once presented something on an obscure cable channel is now able to boil an egg satisfactorily. You do get one or two bona fide big names per series, Vic Reeves being one this time round. Shame he couldn’t have been paired with Ulrika Jonsson. Or Ulrika-ka-ka, as she’s better known from their time on Shooting Stars. He might have relaxed her slightly. She looks like she’s being almost constantly tortured, which makes you wonder why she’s subjected herself to it. Oh yes, for cash probably. Continue reading

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Holby City: Me, mySelf and Guy

(Series 19, ep. 49 ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ by Joe Ainsworth 12.5.17) Zosia was really out of her depth in this episode, trying to cover for her father’s increasingly worrying behaviour. In that sense she’s more like him than she would probably want to admit – it’s the Self family way to try to cover for shortcomings and push through problems as if they don’t exist. It’s exactly how he treated her bipolar until it reached crisis point.

Crisis point in Guy’s case came during a neuro operation, when Zosia was already knuckles deep in the brain of Darwin patient o’ the week, Christian Pinnington (Jamie Maclachlan). Selfie was supposed to be doing the op himself, but he’d been drinking earlier, and was definitely not himSelf. Zosia had seen warning signs earlier and had tried to emphasise the risks of the procedure to Christian in the hopes that he would decide not to go ahead. If she’d added, “and I think the surgeon might not be entirely stable,” I think she’d have succeeded.  Continue reading

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