Holby City: Ollie helps out

(Series 20, ep. 3 ‘There by the Grace of…’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 16.1.18) Many years ago I used to work with people who had physical disabilities. I think it says a huge amount about James Anderson’s well-observed, thoughtful acting that, in this episode, Ollie reminded me really strongly of a man I worked with who was disabled after a head injury – the speech patterns, the mannerisms – and I hadn’t thought about that man for years.

For plot reasons, Ollie was on AAU this week. Roxanna thought it would be helpful for him to have the stimulus of being surrounded by people barfing on other people’s shoes all day long, but just in case it was too much he was popped into a side room and the staff were told not to get him over excited. 

It was lucky he was there. Patient o’ the week Anita (Stephanie Racine) was worryingly unwell, and Sacha thought he knew why, but he was a bit distracted by the news that Ric was in the prison infirmary. Newbie Nicky and Donna thought there might be something else going on with Anita, and it might be heart-related. If only there was a cardiac surgeon languishing in a side room that they could consult.

Ollie might be a bit more short-tempered these days, but he can still interpret test results with the best of them, and he confirmed that Nicky and Donna were right. This could have got them all into trouble, but in the end Sacha was just glad he hadn’t killed anybody, Roxanna was glad that Ollie is making good progress, Ollie was glad to have something to do other than listen to The Saturdays all day, and Anita was glad to be alive.

Donna was less glad than everybody else, because in the middle of all this Ric had phoned her to say he didn’t want any visitors to the prison at all. It was just a standard phone and not FaceTime, so we could see what Donna couldn’t – that he’s in a wheelchair, and not in the prison infirmary with a chest infection at all. We need to hurry up and #FreeRic before it’s too late. I wonder if we could get Judge Rinder on the case?

Even in the middle of all this drama Sacha found time to nip up to Keller to tell Essie he thought she was throwing Raf’s money away by investing it in Prof Gaskell. Like me, Sacha thinks that Raf meant the money as security for Essie. She doesn’t agree, though. She wants to do something bold and innovative and medical that will have Raf’s name on it somewhere.

Prof Gaskell was very keen to have both the money and Essie involved in his trial, and he set her to work processing the candidates. I’m not sure who was covering Essie’s usual duties while this was going on, but let’s not worry about that. One of the trial patients was Charlie (Peter Brown), an adorable boy (frankly anyone with a Liverpool accent is adorable IMHO) with a terminal diagnosis. As usual with Essie, she got emotionally involved, and couldn’t accept that Charlie had complications which might render him unsuitable for the trial. There was a heart v head debate between her and the Prof, but again as usual with Essie, whenever she confronts power, power always ends up gazing back at her admiringly and agreeing with her. We’ve even seen Hanssen do it. So Essie has now put her doubts about the money aside and is fully committed to Prof Gaskell and his trial.

I said last week that Fletch was getting a bit obsessed by the security of the hospital, and it was all getting a bit much this week, with lines of people queuing up outside waiting to be frisked on the way in, and Lofty being berated for forgetting his ID card. A patient, Larry (Graham Cole), who vaguely knew Raf, said it wouldn’t be what Raf would have wanted. This made Fletch reconsider. Raf had also apparently left Fletch a load of old records, representing a complete history of the early Mod era. Looking at Raf, you’d never have suspected that..

Dialogue of the week – Jac: “Essie, I know I’m not the caring sharing type, but if you ever need to rant, get anything off your chest…”

Essie: “I’ll speak to Fletch.”

Jac: “Good idea. I’m really bad at that stuff.”

HOLBY CITY: BEHIND THE SCREEN the official book, coming very soon!

All the pauseliveaction Holby reviews Series 12-18 in ebook and paperback

Sue Haasler’s new novel Half a World Away available to pre-order

Other novels by Sue

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Holby City: Ollie helps out

  1. thebigmart

    ” I’m not sure who was covering Essie’s usual duties while this was going on..”
    The same person that covers the duties of a doctor/ nurse who decides to leave by the end of an episode without giving notice!

    I would love all those old vinyl records .. but storage is a problem!

  2. As always a brilliant account. When I miss a bit, or just don’t follow what’s happening, I know you’ll sort it out for me!
    PS When’s the book coming out?

    • The interior design of the book has now been approved by Holby and the BBC. There are a few last tweaks to be made, but it really won’t be long now. I’m getting very excited about it!

  3. HolbyNut

    Love Ollie, love Jac, love Essie (much more so now that she is with neither Sacha or Raf), and love, love, love that Sacha is the type of guy who can (thankfully) see the bigger picture when he gets things wrong – fabulous characterisation!

  4. Andrew

    Was nice to Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) reunited with his old mate from his years on the beat at The Bill in Larry (Graham Cole – or PC Tony Stamp as I shall ever think of him) – took me half the episode to place him!

    Still not sure what to make of Gaskell, but that’s part of what’s fun about Holby,when they have ambiguous characters – like the last guy to be a top neurosurgeon in these parts…

  5. holbybunners

    Er .. a pedant speaks ..

    Didnt lovely Sasha arrange for Ric to be in the Infirmary? Sasha thought Ric would be safer so he made a phone call to ask for the transfer. (Sasha had mates ….)

    Of course he was dead right about Rics safety – however the latter did not want Donna to see him in his battered state – hence his anxiety.

    How long will it take them to discover it was the incompetent agency nurse who was responsible for the patients death – and not Ric?

    Great episode .. and (as usual) great review ..

    HB
    PS Where WAS Ric when he was supposed to be at Holby looking after the sick patient who subsequently died?

    • Andrew

      My understanding was that Ric had gone to the infirmary as some sort of helper, Sasha had spoken to the prison doctor and said that Ric’s name carried weight there. I was rather hoping for a little ‘Holby in Prison’ spin-off episode where Ric gets stuck in in the infirmary. But maybe my interpretation is wrong; or Ric then ended up being an actual patient there, too.

    • Paul Hammond

      Of course he was dead right about Rics safety – however the latter did not want Donna to see him in his battered state – hence his anxiety.

      There’s another reason why Ric doesn’t want people he cares about visiting him in prison – the guy who wants him to source hospital drugs has threatened his family, so Ric is protecting Donna by trying to have her stay well clear. As to why Ric wasn’t around at the time – that’s another loose end.

  6. Thunderchild

    Interesting scene with Gaskell and Roxanna – I think her determination to help Ollie is in part due to the fact she couldn’t save Tara.

  7. Gr8 review Sue Haasler i did ♥️ that
    dialogue of week from Jac wat she sed to Essie
    wen i first i was laughin🤣🤣 to myself she has some brilliant one liners glad she gettin bak to old self
    slowly bless her 😌
    #FreeRicplease..he definitely don’t deserve wat
    he’s goin through trust!!♥️♥️

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