Holby City: Six hours earlier

tara hanssen holby(Series 15, ep.25)  This episode started at the end and then flash-backed (back-flashed?) six hours earlier in a style that used to feature quite regularly in Holby. It even ended with a musical montage as staff members reacted to an email from Tara Lo, telling them about her brain tumour. Hanssen’s reaction was to make sure the pencils on his desk were parallel, a brilliant little touch showing his need for order and control in times of stress.

The meat of the episode was about Tara facing the prospect of either death or surgery that may leave her drastically altered (or dead) – and either way the probable end to her career. It was intense and dramatic, with Tara demonstrating to the long-suffering Oli how bad she was feeling by smashing up the windows of her car. “This is what the end of my career looks like!” she yelled as she took a metal pole to her windscreen. I couldn’t help thinking that smashing up Serena’s car might have ended her career even quicker, but that’s me for you. While it’s easy to sympathise with Tara’s situation, she doesn’t make it easy to sympathise with her as a person. She’s so spiky, defensive and insular that it’s Oli I feel sorry for. “I’m concerned you’re in a kind of denial,” Tara’s neurologist said to her. Tara’s reply? “Well, I’m not!”  

chantelle digby holbyAll this anguish was beautifully balanced by the Keller storyline, which showed Digby trying his best to win the F1 Prize against the mighty opposition of Dr Gemma Wilde. Every week I love Digby more. He needed to practise delivering bad news to patients (people skills aren’t his speciality) and Chantelle offered to help by posing as a patient. It was a lovely scene as Rob Ostlere apparently tried not to laugh at Chantelle’s funny reactions. Digby is actually a genius doctor and he managed to diagnose a real illness in someone who was only supposed to be pretending to be a patient, and helped Malick to sort him out in surgery. This meant Ric Griffin had to be called in to pose as a patient for the rest of Digby’s test, and there was another funny scene as Digby managed to quote him chapter and verse of the rules about patients not harassing staff.

No surpise, then, that Digby won the F1 prize (hurrah!) – and he also went for a drink with Chantelle. Something of a red-letter day in the world of young Arthur Digby.

Chantelle also had something to celebrate, as Serena decided to drop her complaint against her following the intervention of a patient who was also a journalist.

Next time: A marriage proposal, a choice for Malick and an old face from Gemma’s past.

Posted by PLA           More Holby City here

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Holby City: Six hours earlier

  1. Maria

    Brilliant review PLA,
    You have sorted it out for me on the Tara front. I could never figure out why I couldn’t warm to the character even though I was sympathetic to her medical condition. She doesn’t come across a warm and and yes insular is a good way to describe her. I mean Luc was insular, sarcastic and abit socially dysfunctional but he was so endearing and likeable as a character, hope you get what I mean here.

    • pauseliveaction

      I do get what you mean. I really hope Tara will show more warmth and vulnerability now she has nothing to hide.

  2. Martin Rosen

    Do your above comments mean that the actress is staying on in the series?

  3. Tara and Liffey

    The intro to that episode terrified me! She was just screaming and smashing up a car! You’re very right about it being old holby format, I miss that format actually; especially the musical montages. I too am hoping Tara might soften up a little now, I think the storyline could potentially be very sad if it’s acted/written portraying some sort of vulnerability. She did come across as a little more upset (I have no idea how to word this) this week but then the last line just ruined it for me- I thought we were getting a proper opening-uppy-insighty thing to how she was feeling and then they had to write in some kind of strange battle thing at the end..

    I cheered when Doctor Digby won and I’m incredibly glad him and Chantelle are friends again, despite the fact that they’re polar opposites. Actually, in temperament they’re pretty similar, just in terms of knowledge and interests they vary. I was incredibly pleased to see Digby beat Gemma though; she annoys me a bit but I always just want to give Digby a massive cuddle! I’m still confused about why Tara is in the same year as Digby and Gemma…

    This is going to sound like an odd comment to make (it is an odd comment to make) but were the whole cast except Michael in this episode? I know the whole of Darwin were because I enjoyed that scene about death at the beginning- I think they have good banter and dynamic as a ward. (I’m just running through the cast and episode in my head now… Pretty sure all of Keller were in too)

    Anyway, another excellent review, I always look forward to reading them and while watching the episode I often think ‘I wonder what PLA will think of this?’

    Tara&Liffey

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