Holby City: Are you ready to start again, Dr Valentine?

(Series 13, Ep.36) The episode dealt mainly with Young Dr Oliver Valentine’s inner turmoil and journey through grief and self-pity to acceptance and a fresh start. It did this via the medium of flashbacks, which often took in little bits of action that we’d already seen in previous weeks. At times the effect was quite hallucinatory – was that really Nurse Eddi McKee that Ollie bumped into as he tried to start a fight outside a nightclub? (And that almost-fight explained the black eye he had a couple of weeks ago – here was I thinking I’d missed something).

Ollie pitched up at Penny’s former flat to clear away her stuff, but ended up hanging around sharing reminiscences and a one-night-stand with Penny’s former flatmate Lucy. It was obvious that Lucy and Ollie were really looking for Penny in each other, which I suppose makes sleeping together a bit weird, but we’ll leave that to one side.

I did wonder why Penny had lived in a shared flat with second-hand (yet oh-so-shabby-chic) furniture, while Oliver had a swanky flat all to himself, but the reason for this became clear when his father, Simon, turned up. It seems that Penny was something of a disappointment to Simon – always wanting to fix things and make everyone better, the crazy fool, and, even worse, dragging her far more promising brother into the dead-end world of medicine. “Stop wasting everyone’s time trying to be like your sister. You’ve got far more potential than she ever had,” Simon told his son, handing him a cheque for £10,000 so he could have a little break and sort his head out. Apparently daddy loves Oliver and pays his rent.

Boy Valentine is a better man than all this, though, and he got his chance to prove it when a taxi driver he’d been treating was involved in a car crash. This was the same taxi driver, Mr Sharma, who popped up previously, the one who didn’t seem to have anything wrong with him. Chantelle had diagnosed a broken heart, and it seems she wasn’t far wrong. Oliver ended up pulling Mr Sharma out of the wreckage of the crash much as Penny had done at the train crash, and performing a venous cannula puncture in a moving ambulance to save his life. Ninja skills indeed.  

He’s a lad with a conscience, though, and he decided it was time to come clean to Hanssen about his lack of qualifications. Perching himself in Penny’s favourite sulking spot in the basement, and sparking up one of the fags she’d handily left behind, he wrote a resignation letter. But Hanssen, like The Malick before him, wasn’t about to let his only and  best Valentine go that easily, not after that neat scalpel work in the ambulance and a glowing reference from Mr Sharma.

So Oliver stays, which is marvellous because we rather like him in this house. I like that thing he does with his eyes where he makes them even bigger because he’s trying not to cry, and PLA Jr thinks that if you were standing on top of a cliff and he was at the bottom and said “I’ll catch you,” you could trust that he would.

While all this was going on, we were also finding out what had happened to Funny Little Nurse Tate since her mother showed up. This all culminated in Ric Griffin and the local pastor having a showdown about whether FLNT had a duty to sacrifice her own health and  happiness (I’m presuming she does “happiness”) for a mother who’d abused her. That showdown was the first time this story really caught light – it took Ric Griffin to inject some passion and drama into it, because all the emotion we’ve seen from FLNT herself is a kind of downtrodden acceptance. Whether she’ll accept Ric Griffin’s help from now on remains to be seen, as he and the pastor and a psychiatrist went hammering on FLNT’s mum’s door and terrified the poor woman into setting fire to the house. Ric should really stick to general surgery.

Next time: Hanssen has to make ruthless decisions (again), Dull Dan gets jealous when Chrissie and Malick get friendly (which one’s he jealous of?) and Sacha has to give Chantelle some bad news.

Posted by PLA (more Holby City posts here)

30 Comments

Filed under Holby City

30 responses to “Holby City: Are you ready to start again, Dr Valentine?

  1. SteveF

    Did anyone spot this woman (on left of picture at http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/2990/holbyunknownntan1.jpg).? She’s hot!!!

    Who is the actress, she’s like a hotter version of Mads from Casualty!!

  2. MissingLindenCullen

    Did Oliver’s dad used to play a doctor in Peak Practice many years ago?

  3. inkface

    Yes he did, Sam Shepherd I think.

  4. Corumba Love

    Morn’ Pause.

    Quite the ambitious episode this week and it worked rather well don’t you think?

    I should mention that I love your passage on Doctor Not’s “inner turmoil and journey through grief and self-pity to acceptance and a fresh start,” It’s a neat summary of the more interesting half of the hour.

    On the other hand there’re more than a few of us who couldn’t give a tinker’s for Funny Little Nurse Tate’s too-little-too-late adventures. It does rather show our collective indifference that we’ve been spelling her name wrong all this time – it’s Tait, not Tate according to the BBC – and not even my favourite spell-checker, Pandamoor, has picked us up on it. Too lait to change now, I guess.

    Soooo, let’s get FLNT’s half of the story out of the way first. I’m going to shamelessly plunder a previous comment for this – if HC can recycle old stuff then I don’t see why I can’t – which means FLNT’s contribution can be boiled down to those facial expressions again:

    Please sir, I want some more.
    Bum. Another puppy dead.
    Bum. Another puppy dead.
    Bum. Another puppy dead.
    Ohhh.
    Bum.
    Puppy dead.
    Want some more.

    (Repeat to fade …)

    To be fair to her, and the director, there was an unnerving smily face shoehorned in at the beginning. That moment involved a cake, some candles and a bouquet; probably a birthday or something. I was too busy to notice on account of trying to spot whether they’d had to use CGI to turn that frown upside down.

    And that was that really, because it turned out that FLNT had only a bit part in her own story line. The main event was Ric Griffin roaming Holby in a heroic bid to get his low-budget horror film off the ground. Rummaging through cinema’s spare parts bin and gathering more Hammer than Kubrick, RIc stapled together a ramshackle but tasty little pot boiler:

    Systematic child abuse (The Orphanage). Check.

    Evil child possessed by spirits (The Exorcist, The Omen et al). Check. Alright, so FLNT’s head didn’t swivel but her eyes did move about a bit..

    Mad mother with strap (Carrie, Mommie Dearest, Sybil etc). Check, Check and Check.

    Messianic Preacher & brainwashed flock (too many to mention). Check.

    Clueless psychologist who’s a bit clueless (The Omen and others) Check.

    Useless other relative who’s a bit dead (too many etc). Check.

    Cleansing flames of hell, death or whatever (Wicker Man & others). Check.

    As well as letting Mr Griffin go out and about, the money saved from all that scene re-cycling allowed Ollie to free his chap from under a precarious Mini (car, not skirt for a change) and bundle him into an ambulance where swift work with a cannula overcame two blockages: one in his head and the other in the chap.

    This is clearly part of HC’s retro M*O*S*H (Mobile ‘Olby Surgical Hospital) initiative. We’ve already had Shah the Registrah’s CT Express and, if I read the tea leaves right, we’ll be seeing an extended caravan of services rolled out to supermarket car parks over the next few weeks.

    Following behind Doc Not’s Cannula Van (Can we cannula? Yes we can!) I hear we’re due: Ric Griffin’s Padded Wagon; FLNT’s Somnambulance; and then there’s Michael Spence and Plastic Bhatti’s UPVC Replacement Window Truck (it’s not medicine guys, but it does make a profit).

    Patients and crews alike will be looked after by The Jac-Jac Attack Unit (“eat dirt, St James”) plus Nurse Eddi McKee’s AA Response Surgery (AARS) not sure whether she’ll dispense hard liquor, talk about it or knows a man that does (both).

    Ooh, and what’s that puffing up the street? Cripes! It’s only Elliott Hope’s Donut Cart.

    Olllie Valentine’s father Tony, AKA Peak Practice Bloke, is set to fund the whole shebang. He might view a doctor’s life with disdain and I don’t blame him because he suffered much heartbreak and loss while practising blokily at peak time for so many years. Mr Valentine has clearly done well for himself since those commercially interrupted days and good luck to him.

    All in all a good ep and we’ve been able to say goodbye to Penny.

    • pauseliveaction

      Well done for paying so much attention to the “less interesting” portion of the hour, CL. Your observation that “FLNT had only a bit part in her own story line” was spot-on. It’s been an oddly unengaging story – imagine if The Radiant Donna had had that back-story, we’d have been heartbroken for her.

      Speaking of whom, I’m delighted to learn (about a month after everyone else learned, apparently) that Jaye Jacobs is going to be joining Waterloo Road. Let’s hope she plays someone radiant.

    • I DID notice the Tait/Tate error, Carumba, but (a) it’s a surname, not a proper, lexical word, so nobody cares, and (b) it’s Nurse Tait, so nobody cares. You detail FLNT’s facial inflexibilities very wittily, but why does it not seem to bother anyone that Ollie’s default reaction to anything/everything is just to widen his eyes and look all starey? I find this more irritating than I can say. And that’s saying something. Hanssen should take these two to sit on the bottom steps of the stairway of strain and give them an acting masterclass. He went to RADA, you know. And it shows…in infinitesimal facial detail.

      • pauseliveaction

        I rather like Dr Oliver’s starey-eye-thing, as I said in the review. It does take a bit of skill to be able to look on the verge of tears. And I like him as a character, whereas I never managed to grasp what FLNT was about as a character, apart from the fleeting excitement of thinking she might be a bunny boiler. The poor thing is just joyless.

        I also noticed that there was a Tate/Tait thing going on, but I couldn’t be bothered to check it, because of your point (b) rather than (a), because I do try to get names right usually.

      • Corumba Love

        Oh Pandamoor

        I am belittled – and that’s descending from a low, low point indeed (standing on a chair in the gutter, gazing up at the kerb) and I must apologise for not thanking you for your kind comments last week (“make me smile”) and echoed this time around.

        The stance on Nurse Tate [sic and beyond] I can put down to two motives: first, as an internet bully, and with everyone else giving her the critical finger, I might as well hide behind the keyboard tree and give her a good shoeing when the others have gone down the pub; and then there is the Hanssen thing, first as character god and second as Guy Henry – the established and successful actor – who, for me is an absolute coup for a programme like HC. Like you (and PLA) I wax metaphorical about the attention to detail in his performance.

        So why do I let Oliver and the others off? Well they do ok, I guess, but after Hanssen (and another one or two) they are all much of a muchness, and there’s not much point in criticising. I think the difference is that Henry brings absolute professionalism to the role and acts out every moment as if it’s his last stab at Hamlet in a kingdom where poor performers die, literally, and are executed on a monarch’s whim. Olly and the rest? Well they coast in shallow waters by comparison.

        Internet bullly joshing aside, I did wonder whether to join in the Tate free-for-all again (there’s a mob roaming on Digital Spy) but I carried on regardless because I’m sure she’s a fine actress who has been ill-served by the story-developers and writers; ie it’s not aimed at Le Charne Jolly personally.

        Anyway this is all getting too serious; PLA does this stuff best and gave me a small lesson months ago that a little light teasing – Woganesque, if you will – of Holby’s absurdities is much more fun and no animals get harmed in the process.

        Just so’s you know, I have been granted no small privilege by the Pauseliveaction collective in that I am to review “Mildred Pierce” with Kate Winsome. Let me clarify that Kate’s not reviewing it wiith me – Old Girl wouldn’t allow it – but she is in the title role and it’s on Sky Atlantic tomorrow night.

        ps This chap’s the werld’s wurst prof redder but even he noticed “Carumba” last week and this. You tease.

      • pauseliveaction

        “Woganesque”?

      • Corumba Love

        Yeah, so?

      • pauseliveaction

        The problem I have with “Woganesque” is the mental image of a comb-over.

      • Corumba Love

        Right let’s get a few things straight here (see also below). First of all, the only time you lot would ever need to resort to a comb-over is if the lights went out half way through a brazillian; ie almost never, even in these energy straitened times. So can we have some respect for Mr Wogan’s choice of tonsural disguise please?

        Having said that I do have my own mental image (which is a bit mental) of the wind catching the Wogan comb-over and rendering it vertical in the manner of one of those brushy hurdles that National Hunt racers jump over.

  5. That’s because Carumba was as close as I could get to Caramba without anyone apparently noticing. Except you did. And now you’re going to look it up. Congratulations on being asked to review “Mildred Pierce” (whoever she is). The quality of your output is highly original and entertaining, so I’m not surprised you’ve been awarded the ultimate accolade. I’ll have to watch the bleeding programme now just so that I can make sense of your review. Except I’m at the RSC tomorrow…I’ll have to dust off the recording device.

    • Corumba Love

      It was only after much baggering that they relented.

      • You mean you had to bagger them to let you do a review? If so, I’m surprised. Ay, Caramba! I’d have thought they’d jump at the offer. Your reviews have me in stitches. “…I might as well hide behind the keyboard tree and give her a good shoeing when the others have gone down the pub.” Laugh Out Loud(ly)? I nearly bust a gut. It’s really something when the main reason for watching the programme becomes the anticipation of the reviews (both PLA’s and yours). Result. PLA, give this person a permanent contract with pension provision. On second thoughts, no pension provision. Write until you DIE.

      • pauseliveaction

        Pension provision? He’s actually working on the (very) slim hope of wine gums.

      • Qwerty

        Blimey! *I’ve* never had so much as a sniff of a wine gum.

      • inkface

        It’s like those really annoying RAC offers that only apply to new members. We old lags have no leverage.

      • Corumba Love

        Now look. There is absolutely no question of payment, the confectionary issue came about over Henrik Hanssen’s backstory with Shah the Strah but after stern words from Pause I was willing to settle for a sherbert dib-dab.

        Also, Qwerty, you should know that Ink Face is being a touch disingenuous here – she it was who muddied the waters by bringing up her long-standing resentment over the absence of chocolate on this blog (in my recollection it was of the willy-nilly variety).

        And, AND, I’m wounded Ink Face because I thought you were my friend. Remember the bike sheds? Well I don’t, not any more.

        At least Pandamoor’s in my gang, aren’t you Pandamoor?

        Pandamoor?

        *** tumbleweed and a careless wind ***

      • No, here I come galloping through the dust, Corumba Love, kicking that tumbleweed into the gulch. I’m in your posse. Despite my best efforts on your behalf, it does appear that writing for even a basic comestible is just pissing in the wind. Lucky you’re a man, or that could be quite messy.

      • Mind you, if the careless wind persists, I may revise that position.

  6. TEDPITMAN

    As for the nurse mentioned in SteveF’s post, I’m sure I’ve seen her in other things…. I think she was in a Doctor Who episode a few times when David Tennant was the Doctor, and also in some other things.

    Nonetheless, they actually seem to get some publicity – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HolbyCity

    Surprised The Radiant Donna doesn’t get a mention on the TVTropes entry.

  7. inkface

    Mr Love, it’s ‘Dip’ Dab, not Dib Dab. Please pay attention to your confectionery. We’ll have no careless sweet subbing on this site. And as for our little holiday liaison, you were quick enough to drop me when Pause came back, don’t think I didn’t notice.

    • Corumba Love

      Apologies for trifling with your affects, Ink, careless of me, I know. Always meant to express gratitude through the medium of flowers. Logistics intruded but no excuse.

      As for Dip Dab, you’re right of course. Think Dib Dab sounds better though and I’m going to stick with it like a Wamm bar on a summer’s day.

      • Velocity Girl

        It’s a Wham! Bar, I believe.

        Which Tyler.

      • Corumba Love

        Ah HAH! You fell into my trap.

        I have but two weapons on my utility belt of gags, VG, and the deliberate misspelling hidden among my many typos and general ignorance of the finer points of English allows me to pitch base camp only a few thousand feet below the moral high ground. It also enables me to chance upon the odd pun, which others then tell me about.

        Since you ask, I don’t actually know what my other weapon is. I probably don’t have one but I claim two to keep my spirits up.

        I shouldn’t really be revealing these secrets but we’re not allowed to talk about sweets any more and I’m trying to sneak around PLA’s strict editorial policy.

  8. pauseliveaction


    PLA affects manner of Henrik Hanssen and looms silently yet threateningly behind Corumba Love, Pandamoor, Inkface and Qwerty

    Can we all please refocus on the topic at hand, namely Holby City?

    Walks away chewing a wine gum

  9. inkface

    Oh god, she’s good…

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