Holby City: Serial killers, vampires and ghosts

(Series 15, ep.31) There was some spooky old stuff going on in Holby this week, with a serial killer’s accomplice still languishing on Keller, a vampire attacking Dr Gemma Wilde on AAU, Dr Oliver Valentine being haunted by the spectre of his dead wife (“How do you live with a ghost?”) and Jac Naylor snacking on chocolate and anchovies. I mean, anchovies I can understand. But chocolate? Jac Naylor?

harry holbyI’m going to start at the bottom (is AAU on a lower floor? I always imagine it is), because I need to show off. As PLA Jr will confirm, within two minutes of the goth patient trying to bite Dr Gemma Wilde because she thought she was a vampire, and then creasing up with abdominal pains, I’d diagnosed porphyria. It took handsome (oh gosh, yes he is) new doctor Harry Tressler (Jules Knight) most of the rest of the episode to reach the same conclusion, but at least he was doing better than Gemma and Ric Griffin, who’d had a dig about in the poor girl’s insides before concluding they had no idea what was up with her. How did I become such a diagnostic whizz? I might have graduated from the Holby School of Televisual Medicine, but I did my early training at St Elsewhere, which once featured a similar storyline.

mary claire holbyBack to Dr Harry Tressler, who’s the new CT1. He’s good-looking, charming and flirtatious – he’s already got Gemma and Mary-Claire interested in him, and predictably the first round went to MC (“Hammer time!” – I do love Mary-Claire). While he’s in his element with the ladies, Harry seems less at ease with black people, mistaking Ric Griffin for a porter (but… but… the gravitas of the man! He wears seniority like an invisible crown on his grizzled head!). When Ric put him right, Harry made a clumsy attempt to relate: “You lead from the front – man of the people stylee.” Ouch.  

malick holbyFor these amusing scenes alone you have to love an episode written by Joe Ainsworth, but he’s also not afraid to get into the really serious stuff, and it was all very serious indeed on Keller. Amanda Layton, the serial killer’s girlfriend Malick was looking after last week, was still there and still refusing to tell anyone where the bodies were buried. At the end of last week’s episode the mother of one of the victims turned up and thumped Malick. This week she was demanding answers. Dr Dominic Copeland, who proved last week he’s quite a good doctor, demonstrated this week that he’s a rubbish googler (to be fair he wasn’t using Google, but “Whippet Search,” which may have been his problem) by concluding that this girl, Simone Harris, hadn’t been one of the victims at all because her name hadn’t been mentioned during the trial (though it had come up in other accounts). Anyhoo, Malick believed Mrs Harris and set things up so Mrs Harris would get the chance to confront Amanda Layton without a prison warder present (on the subject of whom, Judith Jacob was very funny in the scenes where she was flirting with Dominic – and totally barking up the wrong tree, as we’ll see later).

The scene where the two women came face to face was very tense and emotional. Amanda ended up with a cut on her head, Mrs Harris ended up with an answer (but was it the right answer?) and Malick ended up looking totally traumatised. He was even more traumatised when he insisted on not resuscitating Amanda later (following her advance directive but ignoring his earlier opinion that she’d been suicidal and therefore not capable of making a proper decision) and she died.

dominic malick holbyWhen you’ve had the day from hell at work, it’s really nice to be able to talk it through with your partner. Unfortunately Malick had annoyed his partner, Nathan, at the start of the episode and Nathan was in no mood to hold his hand and make soothing noises. The next best thing is an admiring junior doctor, and the episode ended with one of those passionate locker room moments which are a speciality of Malick’s.

Before we leave Keller, can I just say that Jimmy Akingbola has been incredible in these two episodes? I do enjoy Malick, but his ego-driven, high-intensity character isn’t especially warm or likeable, even during the episodes when he was bonding with his son. I felt like this was the first time I’d ever properly seen under the surface of him.

Darwin was a bit low-key this week. Jonny Mac still doesn’t know that Jac is pregnant (no idea how Mo is keeping a lid on that one). As well as eating anchovies and chocolate (yum), pregnancy might be mellowing Jac, as she was really sweet to her patient.

elliot holbyOliver Valentine has started his therapy sessions with Dr Sharon Kozinsky, but has been living in the on-call room because he can’t cope with the Essence of Tara still lingering in their mutual flat. What I want to know is, will it be Oliver or lovely old Elliot Hope who has a romance with the fragrant Dr Kozinsky? Both are possible at the moment. Or maybe neither.

Next time:  Sacha gets bad news about his daughter; Jac’s still trying to keep Jonny in the dark about the baby; and Digby tries to impress Chantelle.

Posted by PLA More Holby City here


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11 responses to “Holby City: Serial killers, vampires and ghosts

  1. Eilis

    Oh, I’m hoping it’s Elliot, he deserves it after all these years.

    I don’t think I can bear Sacha having to cope with his daughter’s illness but perhaps the Miraculous Recovery Fairy will have her back on her feet in no time just like he was after his stabbing and Ric after Hanssen has removed his huge cancer. Three weeks on the sick and it’s all ticketyboo.

    • pauseliveaction

      I know what you mean about Sacha. I can’t cope with him being sad. I think the Miraculous Recovery Fairy is due to make an appearance, as she failed with Tara, so maybe he’ll be ok.

      And I agree with you about Elliot, too.

  2. inkface

    Oh pish and tish PLA. No therapist can have a relationship with one of their patients. Not even in Holbyville. They’d be booted off the BACP register quick as a flash. As for Elliott? Not sure.

    • pauseliveaction

      It’s happened in Casualty. (Would she be on the BACP register? She’s a doctor rather than a counsellor).

  3. inkface

    Well she’ll be on some kind of register, she’s a psychiatrist isn’t she? Bound by ethical wotsinames. Relationships with clients within the mental health professions definitely a no-no, but I’m sure that’s probably true for doctors too!

    • pauseliveaction

      We’d hardly have any stories left if everybody followed rules. Which is why Ric Griffin is hardly ever listened to.

  4. Wiggles247

    Me also inkface!! And as a NHS employee can absolutely guarantee that relationships between staff and patients are complete no-no’s and could get you struck-off/your professional accreditation rescinded. I actually think that for mental health professionals (which psychiatrists like Dr Kazinsky are) it’s even more frowned upon because of the huge emotional vulnerability of most mental health patients.

    if you’re really interested you can find out about health and social care workers who’ve had complaints filed against them (including for ‘inappropriate relationships’) at the HCPC website (makes really interesting reading………..)


    It doesn’t cover doctors though but am sure you can find the same thing on the GMC website

    • Eilis

      Yes, but this is Holby City we’re talking about where all sorts of things go on that would have had a variety of characters before the GMC over the years.

      • Wiggles247

        This is very true!! But I suppose we should give them a bit of leeway, it is only a fictional hospital after all, and I suppose the dramaticness quotient might go down just slightly if everybody started doing what they should, when they should all the time

  5. Wiggles247

    PLA just thought that the reason Mo might have been able to keep a lid on Jac’s news is because Jonny seemed to have disappeared off the ward. In fact it felt to me like Keller and Darwin were operating in different time zones in the last episode. Jac seemed rather relaxed/non-nonplussed about the whole pregnancy thing considering she’d had, at the most, a couple of hours to get used to the idea. And is someone who actually said she didn’t want offspring especially not with Jonny’s Scottish nurse DNA (and whilst we all know that she was only saying that to try and convince herself) it does seem a bit of a stretch that she’d be, seemingly, quite so OK with it, so early on. Also, am thinking that she must always have had an anchovie-chocolate fetish, because where else would she have got a tin of anchovies from (which I’m almost sure they wouldn’t stock in the hospital shop) when she was on shift, except from one of Holby’s magic desk drawers (which as you so perceptively noted once, always contain just the thing, and only the thing, you’re looking for)!!!!!

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