Holby City: Sacha at the end of his tether

(Series 20, ep. 35 ‘Man Down’ by Michelle Lipton 28.8.18) For a full review of this remarkable episode, whizz over to Metro. Before you go, a few additional thoughts:

– What a brilliant performance by Bob Barrett. Since Sacha had his initial breakdown when he was shoplifting etc, he’s seemed fine on the surface but at times a sadness, despair or anger has leaked out. But Sacha is the man who looks after everybody else, and as this episode showed, those are the people who sometimes don’t feel they’re allowed to ask for help (for more on how Bob Barrett sees this aspect of Sacha’s character, have a look at his chapter in the Holby book).

– I loved Ric Griffin’s entirely logical, sensible, reading of the situation in the earlier scenes on the roof. He seemed to have a response to everything Sacha said, but it was in that way that’s trying to be helpful but isn’t really helpful because it’s making assumptions and not really listening to what the other person is saying. It was fantastic writing by Michelle Lipton, and perfectly acted by Hugh Quarshie who showed us that Ric went on a journey of understanding as he finally realised how bad things were with Sacha. His response at the end, to really listen, to hug, to quietly talk, was what Sacha really needed.

– Connor really was a lovely character and I was so impressed with Luke Higgins. Connor was funny and kind and flawed and very loveable, as he had to be to make us feel the extent of Sacha’s pain when he couldn’t save him. I loved how Tyler was there at the end to give Sacha a glimpse of hope.

– Holby just looks gorgeous these days. It looks like a feature film or big, heavyweight dramas like Line Of Duty. The production team all show real ambition and vision in the way they bring the stories to the screen. The scene with Sacha on the roof and Ric hurrying into the hospital building below – all in the same shot – took my breath away.

– If you haven’t seen my interview with Bob Barrett about the episode, have a look here. He also told me some juicy snippets about things coming up which I can’t possibly divulge right now, but let’s just say that there’s a lot of exciting stuff ahead!

6 Comments

Filed under Holby City

6 responses to “Holby City: Sacha at the end of his tether

  1. I was in tachycardia watching this episode, what it was building up to was so obvious but the outcome wasn’t. Right up to the last moment I was anticipating Sacha turning away from Ric and the help on offer – I only breathed freely when he told Tyler he would take him on, because Sacha doesn’t like to break his promises.

  2. Andrew P

    Really exceptional episode. I think it is admirable how Holby is using it’s weekly slot both to try different styles of episodes but also to show the long-term effects of something like depression. It would have been all to easy for Sacha’s character to have struggled in the past and moved on, but this episode – with it’s deep delves into the Holby archives – was able to show us how he’s been continuing to struggle beneath the surface.

    Adding in Calum worked really well, we saw enough of him to bring that character to life in this episode. I loved how we saw how he had been part of earlier episodes – such as helping Sacha learn French. This might have felt forced but the episode really did make it work.

    Continuing to be so impressed with this show, which could easily have been simply a doctors and nurses soap, but has so much more depth!

  3. Thunderchild

    I’m not sure if we were supposed to think Serena realised something was wrong with Sacha or not? Remember when Zosia was sectioned and she told Selfie she had suffered with depression?

    • Paul Hammond

      I’m not sure if we were supposed to think Serena realised something was wrong with Sacha or not?

      I don’t think so – much more effective, in my view, if Serena just generally knew how important Connor was to Sacha, and knew that Ric probably hadn’t been as empathetic as he should have been (Ric, of course, has been to prison in the meantime, so no reason really why he should have been paying particular attention to Sacha’s problems)

      Loved the structure of the episode, but I did think they made Ric act a little bit out of character in the arguement at the beginning to ramp up the tension – Ric’s not a touchy feely new man, but as a Doctor he should surely be well up to speed with the fact that you don’t tell depressed people to “pull themselves together” and “man up” even if they insist that they aren’t depressed today…

      • I agree with you about Serena. I think initially Ric thought that Sacha was just having a bad day, as opposed to suffering from depression. When Sacha had his crisis last year it was only Jac and Essie who knew anything about it, so to Ric it must have come out of the blue.

  4. thebigmart

    How many times have we seen someone on the roof threatening to jump? They should either make the door to the roof a security door which would alarm on opening, or better put some high railings around the edges so nobody could climb over.

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