Holby City: Fond farewell

Holby City S22 - Ep25

(Series 22, ep. 25 by Joe Ainsworth 11.8.20) Please pop over to Metro for a thorough probing of this stunning episode. There’s also a separate piece all about Essie’s story. But before you do that…

– Essie’s death was so poignant. The scene that broke my heart was when Dominic was doing her hair, because their laughter was so real and reminded me of all those scenes of them sitting at the nurses’ station on Keller bitching and teasing each other.

– Closely followed by Fletch’s words when he saw Essie in her wedding dress as he prepared to walk her down the aisle: ‘Look at you! Proud dad moment.’ Gorgeous writing throughout by the brilliant Joe Ainsworth.

– Kaye Wragg’s performance was beautiful. And she is a really lovely person. My chat with her for the Holby book was so enjoyable because Kaye is very friendly, open and fun. She cared deeply about Essie as a character, which I think shone through in her performance. She’s going to be missed at Holby.

– I loved that Sacha asked Jac to be his best man. Who can forget Jac at his stag do the night before he married Chrissie?

– Meanwhile we had the dastardly Selfie up to goodness knows what in Ric Griffin’s brain. I still can’t decide if he was genuinely doing his best or whether he’s done something nasty to Ric, Prof Gaskell style.

– And now we have a massive wait to find out, as Holby takes another Covid-induced break (more on that here, but it does contain spoilers).

– And I haven’t even mentioned Creepy Cameron yet. Nicky is so going to wish that she’d taken up Louis’s offer of a date rather than Cameron’s.

– But talking of Louis, he has to be my favourite new Holby character in recent times. I love his mix of kindness, humour and feistiness. Louis doesn’t hold back if there’s something to be said, he just says it. He’s fab.

– Medical jargon of the week: (Selfie) ‘I am about to marsupialise the ventricle.’

(Picture: BBC)


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Casualty: I saw you in the ambulance station with a man

Casualty - Series 34 - EP41

(Series 34, ep. 40 by Debbie Owen 8.8.20) My full review of this episode is over at Metro, so off you prance, my pretties. But not before you’ve read this bit…

– Jason Durr is astonishingly good as David, isn’t he? He does a lovely job of showing David’s struggles with his mental health and that this is just a part of who he is – a man who is kind, caring, awkward, funny and charming. And an excellent nurse.

– I really hope nothing ever goes wrong between him and Rosa, because it’s a lovely partnership and I like that he’s found someone who really sees all his quirks and qualities.

– Aside from the wonderful David, we had Dylan deciding to take his life into his hands by ‘having a word’ with Lev about his extra-curricular activities. I think this may have resulted in Dylan getting a smack in the mouth if Connie hadn’t happened to be passing by.

– But I actually think he should have kept quiet. It’s not his argument to pick, and would it really help Faith to detonate her marriage while she’s trying to stay strong for Luka? Lev has issues he needs to work through, but presumably he’ll reach his own conclusions in his own time.

– Though for plot reasons I’m quite interested to see how it all blows up, and whether Faith and Dylan end up together.

– I’m less excited to find out if Fenisha and Ethan end up together. She seems to be belatedly realising he is a Good Egg, and of course it’ll have to come out at some point that she’s still pregnant and he has Huntington’s disease and the baby may have inherited it. That’ll be dramatic. But the way she switched affections between him and Will then back again suggests she maybe isn’t that reliable. We’ll see.

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Holby City: If karma doesn’t get you, Selfie might

Holby City S22 - Ep24

(Series 22, ep. 24 by Lucia Haynes 4.8.20) Yikes, talk about a cliffhanger! Off you go to Metro to read my review, but before you do that…

– Holby doesn’t usually do cliffhangers as such, but leaving Ric helpless under general anaesthetic as a drunk and vengeful Selfie heaves into view – we’ve got to be worried for Ric’s safety. Luckily Louis is in the operating theatre with him, and we’ve seen that Louis is quite fearless when it comes to protecting what he thinks is right.

– Which now makes me worry for Louis as well…

– Line of the week: (Selfie to Jac) ‘Even if I’ve been drinking I’m twice as good as any neurosurgeon.’ (Jac) ’Please tell me that’s on your LinkedIn profile.’

– Line of the week 2: (Ric to Max) ’I don’t need a friend drilling into my skull. I need a surgeon who isn’t going to wilt under pressure.’ (Max) ’I never wilt.’

– All scenes between Ric and Isaac were precious.

– The little scene between Ric and Donna before he went off to have his operation, and both of them fearing they might not see each other again. Adorable.

– Nicky and Cameron in the on-call room though. I am also now worried for Nicky. So much worry.


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Casualty: I guess that’s what I’m best at

Casualty - Series 34 - EP40

(Series 34, ep. 39 by Philip Lawrence 1.8.20) Pop over to Metro to read my review of this episode. But before you go, I’ve had some random thoughts…

– Has Nate just been a sacrificial person, plot-wise, so that Jacob and Tina could get together, do you think?

– Nate’s death was extremely sad, though, especially Tina arriving just as Connie was about to call it.

– I will never understand how someone (Lev in this case) can be in the mood for ‘hanky panky’ when they’ve just heard that their child is most probably going to die soon. Seems a very strange reaction to me.

– But I love it that Dylan was the one who saw Lev and Xandsome (did we ever discover his name?) together. That’s going to be all kinds of interesting.

– Rosa’s back! I love her so much. My only regret is she didn’t bring Xiomara back with her.

– Though I doubt David feels the same about that last bit.

– The Marcus/Wes story was interesting and, apart from maybe the lightest of nods to Lev’s story, it stood alone and wasn’t directly related to the staff’s emotional traumas in the way patient stories often are.

– Line of the week: (Marty on David’s choice of restaurant) ‘It looks like the sort of place you go to when your microwave’s broken.’

– Line of the week 2: (Marty describing Rosa) ‘The porter who can push a bed from cubicles to resus by the sheer force of her personality.’

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Holby City: A tough gig for a privileged young white man

Holby City S22 - Ep23

(Series 22, ep. 23 by Nick Fisher 28.7.20) I’ve fully checked this episode’s vital signs over at Metro as usual, so please go and take a look. But before you do that…

– I very much enjoyed John Barrowman’s guest appearance. The character was funny, nicely disruptive and fitted in to Holby world just fine.

– He certainly had the measure of Cameron, too.

– Surely someone is going to realise soon that stitches only fall out when Cameron is in charge of a patient’s after care?

– I think my favourite part of the episode was the Ric/Sheena story. It was so delicately done, with him encouraging her not to settle for second best and to value herself. Sheena herself was lovely.

– But I wasn’t expecting Ric’s brain tumour to still be causing problems, and now I’m worried that it’ll be something Max can’t handle for some reason so Selfie will be called in. And we know how he feels about Ric…

– Dominic was very wise in the things he was saying to Sacha, whose behaviour in this episode really was selfish. I can understand him being terrified of losing Essie, though. How will he be able to cope with losing her?

– Someone wondered on Facebook whether Essie’s death episode would be as heartbreaking as Arthur Digby’s. I’m still not over that years later, so I hope not. But in a way I hope it is, if you know what I mean. What I really hope is that it won’t happen at all.

– What was worse, drugged-up Kian in charge of Emma or drugged-up Kian in charge of a scalpel?

– Dialogue of the week: (Jac to Kian) ‘I’m the scariest doctor in this hospital. Agreed?’ (Kian) ‘Actually, you have national scope.’


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Holby City news: Filming resumes on new episodes

Holby - clapper board pic

Holby City has started filming again after an extended break due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

They’re going to be tackling the subject head-on as a special episode shows coronavirus taking hold in Holby. Max (Jo Martin) struggles to keep her staff as safe as possible as they cope with the new virus. Max also has a fight on her hands against Ric, who’s lost all confidence in her as CEO. 

Coronavirus will be present as a theme throughout the series – but a key concern is keeping the cast and crew members safe as the episodes are filmed. Comprehensive production protocols have been developed to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner.  Social distancing will be adhered to in accordance to current government guidelines.

Kate Oates, Head of Continuing Drama at BBC Studios, welcomes the return to filming at Elstree and says, “We have some gripping stories to tell as we explore how the lives of our characters have been irrevocably changed since the start of the pandemic – and how our heroes battle against the odds, come what may.”

Holby City will be back on screens later this year at the slightly shorter duration of 40 minutes.

Holby City is a BBC Studios production for BBC One.


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Casualty: There must have been friendlier faces you could have called

Casualty - Series 34 - EP39

I can so relate to Jan’s expression here

(Series 34, ep. 38 by Tim Stimpson 25.7.20) My real review is over at Metro so please have a look (honestly, please do – they love the traffic over there – and even though it says there are spoilers, that’s only if you haven’t seen the episode). But before you go…

– I could give that Fenisha a good shake, honestly. She picks up the glorious Ethan, thinking he’ll be Mr Alright For the Night, then drops him like a dead slug the minute she sets eyes on Superficially Charming Will. Then she finds she’s pregnant with Ethan’s baby. Will takes fright, so she says she’ll have a termination. She doesn’t, but can’t bring herself to tell Will or Ethan. A few weeks ago she was hankering after Will again but couldn’t take up his kind offer of a reconciliation because of still being pregnant and that. And in this episode the daft pickle realised that Ethan is actually quite splendid after all. Too late, missy.

– I loved how Ethan’s young patient was dressed as the 11th Doctor and all the Doctor Who banter between them. It was quite precious when Ethan was saying, ‘Come on, Eleven, hang in there.’

– Ryan, the Joker who catfished Caitlin, was a nasty piece of work in the end, wasn’t he? Thinking she ought to be grateful for any attention he might bestow on her. I was glad she stood up to him and to her dad.

– I’m foreseeing a romance between Jacob and Nate’s sister, Tina. Is it just me?

– Faith and Dylan has to happen at some point but their relationship is moving at glacial speed so far. I know she has a huge amount on her mind, what with the terminally ill son and everything, but really…

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Holby City: You want to know the point of everything?

Holby City S22 - Ep22

‘Personally I’d have gone for something a tad less… actually, just less’

(Series 22, ep. 22 by Davey Jones 21.7.20) Pop over to Metro to read my ‘proper’ review. But before you go…

– I absolutely loved the scenes between Raf and Essie. They were so beautifully written and played. I especially liked their final scene together, as Raf walked away down the ward. Rather than having him fading away in a ghostly style, the camera moved around so that he was hidden by Essie, becoming part of her again because he was really just the thoughts and memories in her head. It was lovely stuff.

– Which means that Raf’s thoughts about the Memorial Lump were really Essie’s thoughts, but I imagine he probably would have thought the Lump was a bit over the top.

– Can we have the old Kian back, please? I am getting fed up with ‘broken’ Kian. I know we have to have characters going through traumatic stuff because that’s drama, but there’s something that doesn’t connect with me about it – and I really liked the character to begin with. Is this just me, or does anyone else know what I mean?

– Though the scene where he goaded Phoenix into beating him up was absolutely brutal and shocking.

– Jac telling Kian she ‘didn’t need protecting,’ though. It seems to me that she does – she needs protecting from wasting her energy on useless men. Her track record in this regard has not been impressive. 

– On the other hand, Louis and Nicky’s flirtation is very sweet and very believable. She’s had such a hard time over the years that Louis is absolutely what she needs – someone considerate, kind and caring. And not bad looking, either. Of course there’s a bit of a hurdle to overcome, as presumably at some point he’ll have to talk to her about him being trans. How will she react?

– Is Selfie going to go after Ric, do you think?

– Line of the week: (Essie to Sacha) ‘Time has beaten us. Let’s just make the most of what we have left.’ So, so sad. 


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Casualty: The one with Young Lev and Mrs Jan

Casualty - Series 34 - EP38(Series 34, ep. 37 by Dana Fainaru and Jillian Mannion 18.7.20) Head over to Metro for this week’s full review. But before you go…

– Well I wasn’t expecting that twist with Lev. I think it does make sense of how he briefly became a nasty football thug – that obviously was never really his nature but was a way to try and hide his confusion about his sexuality beneath a shell of hard-man bravado.

– Is that also true of his relationship with Faith? It does add yet another dimension to the Lev/Faith/Dylan triangle though. If Faith discovers what her husband has been up to with these dating apps it might propel her even faster in the direction of Dylan.

– The boys who played Young Lev and Young Sergei were very good, and you could see how Evgeny reminded Lev of Sergei.

– I liked Jan and Ffion’s relationship, which seemed very real. There are niggles between them, but they work it out because they understand that they both work in the kind of job that doesn’t just stop at 5PM.

– That labour scene in the car and the ambulance was ridiculously shrieky though – and I don’t just mean the woman in labour. Fenisha made enough noise herself.


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Holby City: You did all you could but not enough

dinner holby 21

(Series 22, ep. 21 by Ed Sellek 14.7.20) Have a look at my review of this episode over at Metro, if you please. But before you go…

– The Mythical HR Department of Holby City Hospital have surely done their least impressive work yet by giving Useless Tracey a job in Pulses. If they find their muffin stocks are depleting much faster than usual, I think we’ll know where to point the finger.

– Louis sent Nicky a playlist! How adorable he is.

– But he wasn’t very well rewarded by being invited to the dinner party from hell.

– Oh my lord. Essie. And Sacha! I’m so sad.

– That cupcake did look really nice though.

– Mr/Dr Schrader’s operation looked terrifying. But isn’t Donna a fabulous nurse?

– But there is no way she’d have left that glass of wine untouched.


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