Author Archives: Sue Haasler

About Sue Haasler

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

Holby City: We stay and fight

(Series 23, ep. 41 by Rebecca Harrison 25.1.22) Head over to Metro for my review of this episode. But before you go…

Line of the week: (Jac) ’We stay and fight.’ (Fletch) ’I’ve got no fight left in me.’ (Jac) ’Then find it, because I need you.’

Not in front of Ange (or any woman) line of the week: (Russ) ‘About the only woman who’s worth talking to in this hospital is Jac Naylor.’

Wishful thinking line of the week: (Dominic)’I’m not here.’ (Donna) ‘Well neither am I. I’m on a beach in the Bahamas.’

I didn’t mention the Dominic/Sacha scenes in my Metro review, but they were precious. Sacha’s tie-dyed lab coat was a thing of hideous beauty.

I’m still not feeling Hanssen and Russ, but I can totally picture Hanssen as a stepfather to Billie and a granddad to her baby. He’s a lovely granddad.

Nicky’s last scene, as she looked out of the window at Amelia and Juliet outside, reminded me that we don’t get so many classic ‘window of regret’ scenes any more. Will there even be any more? *crying face*

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Casualty: I’ve created a monster

(Series 36, ‘Close Encounters’ by Hamish Wright 22.1.22) Please pop over to Metro to read my review of this week’s episode. I have had a few random thoughts as well…

The scenes between Faith and Angus at her house were quite chilling, as it all got nasty very quickly. Even though Angus climbed down from his creepy, entitled position I can’t imagine why Faith would later want to pick up where they left off. A man who could take that attitude as soon as Faith changed her mind about sleeping with him the first time is obviously dodgy.

His anger at Faith not wanting to sleep with him, in hindsight must have been as much about potentially being denied a robbing opportunity as much as being denied sex, but either way – nasty, nasty man.

I’m glad Ethan and the Khatris sorted out a custody arrangement with Bodhi that they’re all happy with. It’s basically the one they had just after Fenisha died, but at that point Ethan was in no fit state to care for his son.

And the story about the UFO boys was really sweet. I liked Jonny’s mum stepping up to support him and persuade him that they had to let brother Neil spread his wings a bit.

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Holby City: I’m asking you for hope

(Series 23, ep. 40 by Andy Bayliss 18.1.22) Please pop over to Metro to see this week’s review (and also last week’s, as I didn’t get round to linking that here). But before you do that…

It’s always amazing how on Holby a new treatment option can be found for a case that everyone agrees is untreatable (look how many times Sammy Carrington was running out of road, and now he’s fine). But let’s hope Eli agrees to the surgery that Jac is asking for.

I was thinking isn’t it amazing how Jac, a character who in her early days was characterised by being selfish, unpleasant and cold hearted is now the glorious centre of the whole show? While still being generally selfish, unpleasant and cold-hearted. It’s brilliant.

Only 10 more episodes of Holby to go, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to Jac, or Sacha, or Dom, or Hanssen, or Fletch. They’re like old friends.

I wonder who’ll get a happy ending? It looks like Hanssen might be heading that way, with that funny little romance with Russ. I’m still not really feeling it, even though Guy Henry is doing his fabulous best to make it all seem plausible and the little reactions we see to Russ are very touching and rather sweet.

I very much doubt that Fletch will jump the sinking ship and fully expect him to be there right to the end. But I have been wrong before.

This is far too much talk of endings and I’m going to stop. Far too miserable. See you next week!

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Casualty: She’s my baby

(Series 36 ‘She’s My Baby’ by Lydia Marchant 15.1.22) Please pop over to Metro where you can read this week’s review (and also last week’s, as I didn’t get round to posting about that on here).

But before you go…

I might have mentioned before how much I love Rosie Jones. She’s been excellent in Casualty and this was the most heartbreaking performance. I think the real skill is we don’t feel sorry for Paula in a pitying way. In some ways she’s hard to like, and there’s no doubt that the details revealed about her first child were horrible to listen to. But like Dylan we can see a person who’s trying, who deserves a second chance.

And whoever came up with the idea to put William Beck and Rosie Jones together in so many scenes was a genius.

I have to say I do like Paige Allcott. She’s at the bouncy/annoying end of the junior doctor scale, but I like that she’s so open and keen. She’s already good at the emotional hand-holding stuff, so probably Stevie is the best mentor she could have had to get all the medical stuff lined up behind it. She’ll be fine.

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Holby City: The one with the pert liver

(Series 23, ep. 38 by Isla Gray 4.1.22) Happy New Year! Please pop over to Metro to read my review of this episode.

I watched it before Christmas, so apologies in advance if my Further Thoughts are even more muddled than usual.

Jac! I am seriously worried about her.

Scrambled Simile Corner: (Eli) ‘Surgery is like riding a bike. Nobody wants to fall off, so you never forget.’ Especially if you’re an elephant. Who also does surgery. While riding a bike.

You’re willing to turn up looking like you got dressed in the dark’ Madge tells Ange because she has baby sick on her clothes. But then Ange turns the tables when Madge’s uniform has a stain on it: ‘Looks like you got dressed in the dark.’ She’s witty, that Ange.

But what’s with all of Madge’s scars? Is she being abused by someone?

Chat up line of the week: ‘I have a deliciously pert liver in my theatre with no one to put it in.’ Oh Russ, you charmer.

Are we feeling the Russ/Hanssen relationship? I’m not sure, but enjoying seeing how it goes.

Communicator of the Week: (Donna tackles sign language in her own special way) ‘And more signs would be a lobster – no, snail – a lobster, aaaand my personal favourite, booty call.’

Kylie puts her foot in it: (to Nicky re baby Juliet) ‘Do you think she looks more like you or more like erm…’ Erm would be the man who blew up the hospital after killing assorted people.


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Holby City: Last Christmas

(Series 23, ep. 37 by Kat Rose-Martin 14.12.21) Bob along to Metro to read my proper review. But before you go…

Poor Sammy. That child has been put through the mill for our entertainment, hasn’t he? Hopefully he really is cured this time.

No pressure line of the week: (Hanssen) ‘If the baton drops for a single second, a mother will be burying her child this Christmas’

Actual line of the week: (Donna sums up Hanssen) ‘You might be a fun sponge, but you’re a reliable fun sponge.’

Line of the week 2: (Jac is just a sentimental old thing when thinking of Sammy’s surgery) ‘If this surgery doesn’t get us out of special measures, I don’t know what will.’

But talking of sentimental – Amelia singing Silent Night to her lost baby. That was heartbreaking, and beautifully done by Lucy Briggs-Owen.

Carole’s box of letters! She continues to be wonderful even though she’s gone.

It was lovely to see Zosia in the video call with Ollie, and equally lovely to get that little glimpse of Nicky. I have a feeling we might be seeing a few more old faces before the show comes to its untimely end next year. Sad to say goodbye to the wonderful Oliver Valentine, though.

Ange and Josh’s two-way proposal was a precious thing. I like that he wouldn’t agree to it until he knew that she was properly aware of how his bulimia is currently.

And Kylie loves Louis! Adorable.

So that was our last Christmas ever in Holby (apart from the ED, which will still continue as they bravely struggle with the realisation that There Is Nothing Upstairs Anymore). No more carols under the tree in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. No more ghostly visitations from dead relatives. No more Pulses’ Christmas menu (same old muffins with extra cinnamon). Bah. Humbug.

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Casualty: Press his nose

(Series 36, ‘Remember Me Part 2’ by Barbara Machin 11.12.21) Well, that was stressful, wasn’t it? For my full review head over to Metro. But first…

I must include an honourable mention for Iain’s Rudolf boxers. ‘Press his nose’ could be a contender for Line of the Week.

Holly Aird was excellently menacing as Laura. She was scary, but I did feel sorry for her too – she wasn’t a monster, just a very sick woman.

The script was so full of detail – Amina’s case showing how at that stage doctors were still very much learning about how Covid worked on the body, the outsourcing of radiology, no room at the obs and gynae inn for pregnant Rosie.

Tess is so capable and calm in a crisis. I want her back full time please.

To be fair to Laura, ‘Holly Merriman’ would have been a very festive name for the baby.

Thank goodness Charlie’s health situation turned out to be not too bad. But then again, if he hadn’t mentioned anything about it for the entire year since it was never likely to be anything too disturbing.

This is the problem with a flashback episode. We also knew Iain would pull through, otherwise he’s been a ghost for the whole of 2021. And I think Jan would have noticed that.

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Holby City: Goodbye, Carole

(Series 23, ep. 36 by Joe Ainsworth 7.12.21) Pop over to Metro to read my proper review of this sad, sad episode. But before you go…

I was in pieces when Carole died by the lake. How absolutely brilliant were Julia Deakin and David Ames? I loved how you could see Carole’s lovely warm sparkle was intact despite her failing health. She wanted to make sure Dominic knew how much he was loved. In the scene with Hanssen, too, she managed to convey just enough of how much she valued him.

When Carole said ‘Love’ to Hanssen, it made me remember that Love is his middle name.

Full credit to Guy Henry and Bob Barrett for their parts in making this storyline touch our hearts so much. And of course credit to the always brilliant Joe Ainsworth for the beautiful script.

Hanssen’s admission that he once thought his relationship with Carole ‘might go beyond the cha cha cha.’ Oh, if only it had.

But line of the week: (Carole) ‘Dazzle, my special boy.’ My hayfever is giving me hell today…

I’m so glad that covid filming restrictions have been relaxed now. If Dominic hadn’t been able to hold Carole’s hand, or sob in Sacha’s arms, it would have been wrong.

Jeong-Soo is going to be very sad when he hears about Carole. He was very fond of her too.

In other news: Eli and Amelia have both landed on opposite sides of the Amelia/baby decision, but that was always going to happen. And Claudia is threatening Ange’s confidence in her relationship with Josh, but ditto.

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Casualty: Unrelenting death, delays, shortages, grief

(Series 36, ‘Remember Me Part 1’ by Barbara Machin 4.12.21) Take a look at my proper review for Metro (where I’m also doing some of the EastEnders and Corrie stuff these days). But before you get too engrossed in Metro’s world of soap, I’ve had a few thoughts.

What a brilliant (if initially confusing) episode. Well done to master manipulator of time Barbara Machin for such a complex and engrossing story.

I don’t think I was watching Casualty in 2006, so I missed Laura’s first appearance. It was a clever idea to bring her back, and to have a grown-up Rosie now working in the ED.

It was an absolute joy to see Tess again. Hopefully by the end of the next episode she and Charlie will have resolved their differences.

Also lovely to see Iain in his red HEMS uniform again. He looks very good in red.

The appearance of hapless social worker Adi made sense of why nobody was pleased to see him last week in the Paula storyline.

And what a cliffhanger ending, despite the fact that we know Iain doesn’t die in 2020 because he’s still alive and well in 2021. Unless he’s a ghost, like Cal.

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Holby City: Happy for a good five minutes

(Series 23, ep. 35 by Philip Lawrence 30.11.21) My longer review is at Metro as usual, but before you go and look at it I’ve had some random thoughts…

They’re really going to kill Carole Copeland, aren’t they? I don’t honestly think I can deal with that. Should we form a support group now, so we can look after each other (and Dominic) when the inevitable happens? Hanssen can join as well.

So the Ebrahimis are facing the awful ‘her or the baby’ decision about whether Amelia continues with her treatment or her pregnancy. We’re going to need a bigger support group.

Josh has a support group, but I think they already have a packed agenda.

But what is the agenda of Claudia? Is she going to try to steal Our Joshie away from The Fragrant Ange? Her full name is Claudia Blaise, so she sounds like a minx already.

Line of the week: I couldn’t resist quoting it on Metro and I can’t resist quoting it again. Madge’s reaction to Christmas choirs: ‘Amelia wanted to know where I stand on a Christmas choir. I wanted to say “on the conductor’s neck” but I didn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm.’

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