Author Archives: Sue Haasler

About Sue Haasler

Author of the official Holby City book; latest novel Half A World Away out now. www.suehaasler.com

Casualty: Keeping calm, carrying on

(Series 34, ep. 43 by Simon Norman 26.9.20) For a full review of this episode please head over to Metro. But before you do that…

– My Casualty-starved self really enjoyed this episode. The set-up of the woman collapsing in the field, and then showing how the nasty chemical got spread so easily from hand to hand, was very well done.

– Have I missed something about Dylan? Why was he particularly affected by being in his protective suit?

– Jade’s frustration that the PPE stopped her being able to hear and made lip-reading more difficult was well done.

– Will picking fights with Ethan didn’t exactly cover him in glory, though.

– Connie announcing the Code Orange over the PA system was about the most sinister thing I’ve ever heard. 

– But Connie feeling the need to talk to her daughter after everything was over was a nice touch.

– And her line ‘We will always find new ways to save each other’ is my line of the week because we need that kind of optimism and faith in the current awful times. It’s like that lovely line that in a disaster you should ‘Look for the helpers.’ It’s true and it’s comforting to remember.

(Picture: BBC)

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Casualty: The man who fell to earth

Casualty - Series 34 - EP42

(Series 34, ep. 42 by Hamish Wright 22.8.20) I’ve reviewed this episode for Metro as usual, so please have a look there. But before you do…

– Connie and Jacob… I’m afraid I can barely sum up the energy to form the word ‘meh.’

– Poor old Noel, though.

– There was a lot of patient action this week. I didn’t really enjoy the rugby lads, but probably the point of that was not to enjoy them because they were twonks.

– Yusuf and Rahmi’s story was really sad, though.

– Why does nobody on Casualty or Holby seem to have any friends who aren’t on Casualty or Holby? Jade and Marty didn’t mention any names who weren’t regular cast members to invite to their party. Though I suppose if they’d said, ‘We must invite Bob, Cyril and Samantha’ we may have spent the rest of the episode wondering who they were.

– But none of this will be happening for quite a while, as Casualty is now on an unspecified break until they can produce some more episodes. Will Marty even be able to have a party under whatever Covid rules may apply then? We shall just have to wait and wonder.

(Picture: BBC)

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Casualty: Lev cheated on you

Casualty - Series 34 - EP43

(Series 34, ep. 41 by Katie Douglas 15.8.20) Pop to Metro to read this week’s review. But before you do…

– I like the teasing way that Faith is with Dylan. You can see why he’s fallen for her – nobody else thinks of him as ‘fun.’ Though I do.

– I think she’ll now go home with Lev and be watching him and thinking about things. Dylan’s accusation isn’t something she could easily dismiss, though she’ll want to believe it’s not true of course.

– I’m very worried about what Lev might do to Dylan if he finds out he told Faith.

– I was interested to discover that this storyline has always been planned for Lev and it was what attracted Uriel Emil to the part. It must be an actor’s dream to play a character with all of these layers to him.

– I like Fenisha better when she’s a bit less cocky and self-assured, like she was tonight. It was nice to know that she really does want Jan’s approval and wants to be the best paramedic she can be.

– Did it seem odd to you that Jacob’s patient Mr Taylor didn’t see a doctor once when he was in the ED? Luckily Jacob has become a diagnostic marvel, so he was in safe hands.

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Holby City: Fond farewell

Holby City S22 - Ep25

(Series 22, ep. 25 by Joe Ainsworth 11.8.20) Please pop over to Metro for a thorough probing of this stunning episode. There’s also a separate piece all about Essie’s story. But before you do that…

– Essie’s death was so poignant. The scene that broke my heart was when Dominic was doing her hair, because their laughter was so real and reminded me of all those scenes of them sitting at the nurses’ station on Keller bitching and teasing each other.

– Closely followed by Fletch’s words when he saw Essie in her wedding dress as he prepared to walk her down the aisle: ‘Look at you! Proud dad moment.’ Gorgeous writing throughout by the brilliant Joe Ainsworth.

– Kaye Wragg’s performance was beautiful. And she is a really lovely person. My chat with her for the Holby book was so enjoyable because Kaye is very friendly, open and fun. She cared deeply about Essie as a character, which I think shone through in her performance. She’s going to be missed at Holby.

– I loved that Sacha asked Jac to be his best man. Who can forget Jac at his stag do the night before he married Chrissie?

– Meanwhile we had the dastardly Selfie up to goodness knows what in Ric Griffin’s brain. I still can’t decide if he was genuinely doing his best or whether he’s done something nasty to Ric, Prof Gaskell style.

– And now we have a massive wait to find out, as Holby takes another Covid-induced break (more on that here, but it does contain spoilers).

– And I haven’t even mentioned Creepy Cameron yet. Nicky is so going to wish that she’d taken up Louis’s offer of a date rather than Cameron’s.

– But talking of Louis, he has to be my favourite new Holby character in recent times. I love his mix of kindness, humour and feistiness. Louis doesn’t hold back if there’s something to be said, he just says it. He’s fab.

– Medical jargon of the week: (Selfie) ‘I am about to marsupialise the ventricle.’

(Picture: BBC)

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Casualty: I saw you in the ambulance station with a man

Casualty - Series 34 - EP41

(Series 34, ep. 40 by Debbie Owen 8.8.20) My full review of this episode is over at Metro, so off you prance, my pretties. But not before you’ve read this bit…

– Jason Durr is astonishingly good as David, isn’t he? He does a lovely job of showing David’s struggles with his mental health and that this is just a part of who he is – a man who is kind, caring, awkward, funny and charming. And an excellent nurse.

– I really hope nothing ever goes wrong between him and Rosa, because it’s a lovely partnership and I like that he’s found someone who really sees all his quirks and qualities.

– Aside from the wonderful David, we had Dylan deciding to take his life into his hands by ‘having a word’ with Lev about his extra-curricular activities. I think this may have resulted in Dylan getting a smack in the mouth if Connie hadn’t happened to be passing by.

– But I actually think he should have kept quiet. It’s not his argument to pick, and would it really help Faith to detonate her marriage while she’s trying to stay strong for Luka? Lev has issues he needs to work through, but presumably he’ll reach his own conclusions in his own time.

– Though for plot reasons I’m quite interested to see how it all blows up, and whether Faith and Dylan end up together.

– I’m less excited to find out if Fenisha and Ethan end up together. She seems to be belatedly realising he is a Good Egg, and of course it’ll have to come out at some point that she’s still pregnant and he has Huntington’s disease and the baby may have inherited it. That’ll be dramatic. But the way she switched affections between him and Will then back again suggests she maybe isn’t that reliable. We’ll see.

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Holby City: If karma doesn’t get you, Selfie might

Holby City S22 - Ep24

(Series 22, ep. 24 by Lucia Haynes 4.8.20) Yikes, talk about a cliffhanger! Off you go to Metro to read my review, but before you do that…

– Holby doesn’t usually do cliffhangers as such, but leaving Ric helpless under general anaesthetic as a drunk and vengeful Selfie heaves into view – we’ve got to be worried for Ric’s safety. Luckily Louis is in the operating theatre with him, and we’ve seen that Louis is quite fearless when it comes to protecting what he thinks is right.

– Which now makes me worry for Louis as well…

– Line of the week: (Selfie to Jac) ‘Even if I’ve been drinking I’m twice as good as any neurosurgeon.’ (Jac) ’Please tell me that’s on your LinkedIn profile.’

– Line of the week 2: (Ric to Max) ’I don’t need a friend drilling into my skull. I need a surgeon who isn’t going to wilt under pressure.’ (Max) ’I never wilt.’

– All scenes between Ric and Isaac were precious.

– The little scene between Ric and Donna before he went off to have his operation, and both of them fearing they might not see each other again. Adorable.

– Nicky and Cameron in the on-call room though. I am also now worried for Nicky. So much worry.

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Casualty: I guess that’s what I’m best at

Casualty - Series 34 - EP40

(Series 34, ep. 39 by Philip Lawrence 1.8.20) Pop over to Metro to read my review of this episode. But before you go, I’ve had some random thoughts…

– Has Nate just been a sacrificial person, plot-wise, so that Jacob and Tina could get together, do you think?

– Nate’s death was extremely sad, though, especially Tina arriving just as Connie was about to call it.

– I will never understand how someone (Lev in this case) can be in the mood for ‘hanky panky’ when they’ve just heard that their child is most probably going to die soon. Seems a very strange reaction to me.

– But I love it that Dylan was the one who saw Lev and Xandsome (did we ever discover his name?) together. That’s going to be all kinds of interesting.

– Rosa’s back! I love her so much. My only regret is she didn’t bring Xiomara back with her.

– Though I doubt David feels the same about that last bit.

– The Marcus/Wes story was interesting and, apart from maybe the lightest of nods to Lev’s story, it stood alone and wasn’t directly related to the staff’s emotional traumas in the way patient stories often are.

– Line of the week: (Marty on David’s choice of restaurant) ‘It looks like the sort of place you go to when your microwave’s broken.’

– Line of the week 2: (Marty describing Rosa) ‘The porter who can push a bed from cubicles to resus by the sheer force of her personality.’

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Holby City: A tough gig for a privileged young white man

Holby City S22 - Ep23

(Series 22, ep. 23 by Nick Fisher 28.7.20) I’ve fully checked this episode’s vital signs over at Metro as usual, so please go and take a look. But before you do that…

– I very much enjoyed John Barrowman’s guest appearance. The character was funny, nicely disruptive and fitted in to Holby world just fine.

– He certainly had the measure of Cameron, too.

– Surely someone is going to realise soon that stitches only fall out when Cameron is in charge of a patient’s after care?

– I think my favourite part of the episode was the Ric/Sheena story. It was so delicately done, with him encouraging her not to settle for second best and to value herself. Sheena herself was lovely.

– But I wasn’t expecting Ric’s brain tumour to still be causing problems, and now I’m worried that it’ll be something Max can’t handle for some reason so Selfie will be called in. And we know how he feels about Ric…

– Dominic was very wise in the things he was saying to Sacha, whose behaviour in this episode really was selfish. I can understand him being terrified of losing Essie, though. How will he be able to cope with losing her?

– Someone wondered on Facebook whether Essie’s death episode would be as heartbreaking as Arthur Digby’s. I’m still not over that years later, so I hope not. But in a way I hope it is, if you know what I mean. What I really hope is that it won’t happen at all.

– What was worse, drugged-up Kian in charge of Emma or drugged-up Kian in charge of a scalpel?

– Dialogue of the week: (Jac to Kian) ‘I’m the scariest doctor in this hospital. Agreed?’ (Kian) ‘Actually, you have national scope.’

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Holby City news: Filming resumes on new episodes

Holby - clapper board pic

Holby City has started filming again after an extended break due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

They’re going to be tackling the subject head-on as a special episode shows coronavirus taking hold in Holby. Max (Jo Martin) struggles to keep her staff as safe as possible as they cope with the new virus. Max also has a fight on her hands against Ric, who’s lost all confidence in her as CEO. 

Coronavirus will be present as a theme throughout the series – but a key concern is keeping the cast and crew members safe as the episodes are filmed. Comprehensive production protocols have been developed to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner.  Social distancing will be adhered to in accordance to current government guidelines.

Kate Oates, Head of Continuing Drama at BBC Studios, welcomes the return to filming at Elstree and says, “We have some gripping stories to tell as we explore how the lives of our characters have been irrevocably changed since the start of the pandemic – and how our heroes battle against the odds, come what may.”

Holby City will be back on screens later this year at the slightly shorter duration of 40 minutes.

Holby City is a BBC Studios production for BBC One.

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Casualty: There must have been friendlier faces you could have called

Casualty - Series 34 - EP39

I can so relate to Jan’s expression here

(Series 34, ep. 38 by Tim Stimpson 25.7.20) My real review is over at Metro so please have a look (honestly, please do – they love the traffic over there – and even though it says there are spoilers, that’s only if you haven’t seen the episode). But before you go…

– I could give that Fenisha a good shake, honestly. She picks up the glorious Ethan, thinking he’ll be Mr Alright For the Night, then drops him like a dead slug the minute she sets eyes on Superficially Charming Will. Then she finds she’s pregnant with Ethan’s baby. Will takes fright, so she says she’ll have a termination. She doesn’t, but can’t bring herself to tell Will or Ethan. A few weeks ago she was hankering after Will again but couldn’t take up his kind offer of a reconciliation because of still being pregnant and that. And in this episode the daft pickle realised that Ethan is actually quite splendid after all. Too late, missy.

– I loved how Ethan’s young patient was dressed as the 11th Doctor and all the Doctor Who banter between them. It was quite precious when Ethan was saying, ‘Come on, Eleven, hang in there.’

– Ryan, the Joker who catfished Caitlin, was a nasty piece of work in the end, wasn’t he? Thinking she ought to be grateful for any attention he might bestow on her. I was glad she stood up to him and to her dad.

– I’m foreseeing a romance between Jacob and Nate’s sister, Tina. Is it just me?

– Faith and Dylan has to happen at some point but their relationship is moving at glacial speed so far. I know she has a huge amount on her mind, what with the terminally ill son and everything, but really…

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