(Series 29, ep.26) Sometimes Casualty departs from its usual straightforward narrative style and does something a bit different. This was one such episode, in which we saw the same day repeated three times, Groundhog Day-style.
Like Groundhog Day, each section opened with an alarm going off, but instead of Sonny and Cher we had ‘No Surprises’ by Radiohead. Frankly that would have been enough to make me want to put my head under the pillow and give up, but Dr Zoe Hanna is not me and, besides, she had Max to wake up next to, and his smile would be an antidote even for Thom Yorke-induced gloom.
If I drew any moral lesson from the episode, it was that you should always get up early and set off for work with plenty of time to spare. Everything else that happened in each of the day’s three run-throughs seemed to hinge on whether Zoe was late or not.
In the first section, she was late, she dropped her phone in an ice bucket, and Dr Maggie Coldwell (very nice to see Susan Cookson back again) offered her a job as a helicopter medic. Patient-wise, a six year old child (Hattie) and a baby died on her watch. Not a good end to the shift, and a pep talk from Charlie was sorely needed. “The what if’s’ll kill ya,” he said – wise advice, if a nightmare to punctuate.
Part two and Zoe was on time, was more relaxed and was generally calm, efficient, sensitive with patients and relatives, supportive with colleagues, and all-round fabulous – but she still lost Hattie and although she saved the baby she lost the mother (Lena), despite the appearance of the glorious Mr T (MR T!!!) off of Holby. “You can’t save them all,” was Charlie’s nugget of wisdom this time. Dr Maggie Coldwell turned up in person to try and tempt Zoe away to a life of helicopter thrills, but Zoe told her she couldn’t leave because she loved Holby (and possibly, Dr Maggie inferred, a certain Someone at Holby).
Part three (I was getting heartily sick of Radiohead by this point) and Zoe was early for work, which meant she was in the right place at the right time to be picked up by the ambulance and save Hattie en route to the hospital. When she got there Lena was happily in a wheelchair on her way to Maternity, so presumably mother and baby would also be fine in this version of events.
But which of the scenarios was real? Not sure, really. The episode started with a quick glimpse of Hattie as she appeared in section two (ie still dead, but with the situation handled much better by Zoe), so maybe that was the real one.
Or maybe it was all a champagne-fuelled dream.