Lustbox: Alan Alda

HawkeyeMy mum (AKA TheBestMumInTheWorld™) gave me the complete M*A*S*H boxed set of DVDs a couple of years ago, and I have been eyeing them nervously ever since.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t start bingewatching as soon as I had the sofa and TV to myself, it was because I loved M*A*S*H in the 80s. I was allowed to stay up late after Guides on a Wednesday night to watch it and the disappointment I felt if I didn’t get home on time was acute. I looked at all those DVDs and was scared that it simply wouldn’t live up to my teenaged adoration.

Then a couple of weeks ago someone reblogged some M*A*S*H screenshots on to my Tumblr dashboard, I plucked up the courage to begin at the beginning and now I’m hooked all over again. Naturally, you’ll be getting a Joy of Sets review before long, but first things first. This was going to be a Lustbox for Hawkeye Pierce – then I started reading up on Alan Alda and it was clear that my focus was wrong.

Because while I love Hawkeye, with his whip-fast wit and scalpel-sharp comebacks – not to mention his liberal outlook and love of womankind (yes, he’s a womaniser, but he’s polite, respectful and always a gentleman (I’d choose Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce over Richard Gere’s “officer and a gentleman” any day of the week.)) – the man who brought him to life is even more interesting. Continue reading


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Casualty: Connie gets emotionally involved, and so do Max and Zoe

michael byrne amanda mealing casualty(Series 29, ep.23) Another powerful performance from a guest artiste this week (following Marcia Warren’s brilliant portrayal of a serial killer a few weeks ago). This time Michael Byrne played Alfred Maxwell, a former CT surgeon who was in the advanced stages of motor neurone disease. An accident with a hot beverage brought him to Holby A&E, and into the care of Connie Beauchamp, for whom he was something of a hero.  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Just trying to feel something

sonya ianto jones waterloo road(Series 10, ep.18) The appearance of Ianto Jones off of Torchwood at the end of this episode has finally made sense of ten series’ worth of barmy madness. Waterloo Road is the centre of an alien invasion! Most of the staff and pupils are humanoid(ish) visitors from other worlds! There was another clue in this episode when New Marco told his science class that extra-terrestrial life was a “mathematical certainty.” Thank heavens that Torchwood are finally on the case (though I seem to recall that Ianto Jones is technically dead…).  Continue reading

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Holby City: Measuring contests

jonny holby(Series 17, ep.20) Why is Selfie doing chest compressions on a Darwin patient? Why does Jonny want to keep going with the resuscitation attempt even though it’s been 30 minutes already? Why do Elliot and Selfie think they should stop? Why does Jonny Mac start trashing stuff afterwards?

And… flashback to several hours earlier. Julie Kale is a patient without long to live (we know that already because we just saw her die) – and all that’s standing between her and the Grim Reaper at this point is Elliot and his shiny new, only ever tested on Oliver Valentine, Kibo device. Julie’s ready, her husband is ready (he has short-term memory issues following an accident – which will be important later), Elliot and the staff are ready – and Selfie is ready, because it’s another chance to show off the world-beatingness of Holby.  Continue reading


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Casualty: In loving memory

charlie connie casualty(Series 29, ep.22) In this episode, we received an explanation about why Connie is currently an ED doctor rather than a CT surgeon. It took a lot of coaxing by Charlie to get her to part with the information, but nobody can withstand a Charlie coax for long. It turns out that her father died after being left uncared for on a trolley for 45 minutes (not at Holby, because several people were anxious to point out that things like that never happen at Holby). So it’s Connie’s mission to ensure that doesn’t happen to anybody else.  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Justin ruins another shirt

justin leo waterloo road(Series 10, ep.17) Family therapy time, and Yaughan, Pooky and the kids were assembled in front of a fairly useless-seeming counsellor, getting more upset by the minute. Yaughan refused to get involved, Pooky ended up in the ladies’ puffing an illicit fag and unburdening herself to Christine, Leo sulked and Justin ruined another school shirt by fighting and bleeding all over it.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Excellent work, Nurse Carter

mary claire holby(Series 17, ep.19) In this episode, Mary-Claire faced everyone’s worst nightmare – trying not to laugh at a very poorly executed tattoo. But she’s a professional, and the tattoo was on her patient, so she didn’t laugh. James, the patient, thought she was laughing at one point, and fairly soon she was barricaded in a cupboard with him while he insisted that she removed the tattoo for him with only a sharp knife to help her. That’s how much he really hated that tattoo (which had a look of Michael Jackson crossed with Davina McCall on Camoxidan about it).  Continue reading


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