(Series 20, ep. 5 ‘One Day at a Time’ by Isla Gray 30.1.18) Prof Gaskell is a strange one, isn’t he? He spent a good chunk of this episode reciting poetry, either to himself or to patients, in a somewhat doomy voice. I can’t help thinking it’s not really what you want when you’re just coming round from anaesthetic.
The patient he was reciting William Blake to at the end was a mystery person in Lisbon. Was this a flashback, or had he nipped to Lisbon quickly at the end of the shift? And is this mystery person (relative? partner?) the reason why he’s so driven to succeed with his stem cell treatment?
So many questions. I expect we’ll get answers, and probably more questions, in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, this was the week of his pioneering operation, which was so pioneering it was on live video link to the entire hospital and, indeed, the world. Plenty of pressure there for Prof Gaskell (who deals with pressure via the aforementioned poetry), Meena (who trembles, drops things and hides in out-of-order toilet cubicles) and the patient, Fiona (Shannon Murray). The surgery was apparently a success, despite a very hairy moment when I was sure Meena was going to drop the graft on the floor. I wonder if the 30 second rule applies in operating theatres?
Lest we forget, all this was partially funded by the legacy of Raf, and at the start and end of the episode we heard Essie telling him about it by phone. Bless. Even more bless was that Sacha overheard her doing it and didn’t find it at all weird – after all, he was saying a prayer to his God, who is just as much an invisible friend as the dearly departed Raf. This kind of contemplative communing with the spirits is exactly what the Di Lucca Abstract Memorial was designed for.
While one newbie was trembling and hiding in toilet cubicles, the other one, Nicky, was frustrated that Sacha had her doing paperwork while Meena got all the Gaskell glory. Eventually she managed to impress Sacha with a deft bit of diagnosis, and as a reward she was allowed to work the staple gun in the ensuing surgery. “You’re a natural colorectal surgeon,” he told her. Flatterer.
Keller patient o’ the week was Dorina (Irene Ingeborg Flamann) who was the mother of Adina (Cristina Catalina) who we previously saw flirting with Dom on Keller. This time both daughter and mother were flirting with Sacha, who has hair like Bobby Ewing in Dallas, apparently. It was a busy day for Sacha, because as well as his medical duties and having to keep his hair on point, he was also filling in for Hanssen as, I suppose, acting CEO. And he still managed to look relaxed and be all supportive and lovely.
None of these words are ones we could usually apply to either Jac Naylor or Frieda Petrenko, but they really are a dream team. They worked together brilliantly to get their patient (Madhav Sharma from EastEnders) to agree to surgery. When they were watching Prof Gaskell’s surgery on the live link, Frieda was impressed – but not that impressed. Her heart is definitely in heart surgery. This made Jac smile a secret, Jac smile.
In other news, Donna took Ric’s granddaughter Darla to visit Ric in Prison. The other inmates were giving him evils, and Ric told Donna and Darla to leave quite quickly. Did the other prisoners think the book Darla brought for Ric was full of drugs? So many questions…
Sue Haasler’s new novel Half a World Away available to pre-order