(Series 31, ep. 44 ‘One’ by Paul Unwin) The word that was going through my mind as I watched this one-shot, real-time episode of Casualty was “choreography.” The way the camera moved fluidly around the different parts of the set, at one point even being lowered from the first floor down to the ground and then moving seamlessly on, was nothing short of incredible. Actors would walk into shot, deliver their lines and then the camera would be following somebody else, taking up some other part of the story. Apparently the crew were all in costume in case they happened to appear in any shot, but if they did I certainly didn’t notice them – everyone in the background seemed to be doing the usual doctor-stuff, nurse-stuff and patient-stuff, as always. I didn’t see a mis-step or a thing out of place.
The whole thing had been brilliantly thought out by the writer, Paul Unwin, and the director, Jon Sen, so that the episode had dynamics and pace. The actors all made it look easy, and it was testament to them that after a while I started to forget the “one-shot” aspect of it and got swept into the story. I actually felt a bit emotional by the end, with Jez’s scene with the father of the baby who died in the fire, and then with Duffy’s voice-over. I know that last bit was a tad cheesy, but if such a special episode couldn’t be used as a love letter to the NHS it would have been a missed opportunity.
See the behind-the-scenes video here
(Series 31, ep. 43 ‘Somewhere Between Silences Part 2’ by Jeff Povey) Okay Casualty, you’ve lured me back with your gimmicky promise of an exciting “one shot” episode next week. Which means I needed a bit of context. You can’t just turn up cold for a one-shot, you know.
First thing to say about this week’s episode is – George Rainsford. Blimey. Acting on a Shakespearean level there, all suppressed grief and rage and ethical conflict. Pitched against this was the dwindling family of racist thugs, the Ellissons. Papa Ellisson has expired previously. One of his sons (the nasty one, Scott) spent this week’s episode in a “will he ever walk again?” situation after falling from the Casualty mezzanine, which should surely have had some kind of mesh fitted after lovely nurse Sam Colloby tumbled off it years ago. The good news (for Scott) was there was no reason why he wouldn’t walk again, but the bad news (for Scott) was that now he almost certainly won’t walk again, because he’s dead. Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 33) Last week we left Dr Lily Chao unconscious in a car park somewhere. Luckily, this week Gem called an ambulance, and it wasn’t long before Iain and Jez were on the scene. Lily arrived in the ED all confused and shouty, which is normally a very bad sign indeed.
A CT scan showed that nothing terrible was amiss, so hurrah and phew and that. But it had been widely publicised (there’s such a thin line between whetting your appetite for a show and giving so much away that you may as well not watch it) that someone would die. So if not Lily,who? Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 32) Rebecca Ryan, who plays Iain’s sister Gem, was previously in Waterloo Road. Anyone who watched Waterloo Road for more than a few episodes will know that what pissed-off and pissed-up teenagers tend to do is drive stolen cars in circles around car parks. It happened so often in Waterloo Road that it became A Thing. And it seems that Waterloo Road’s effects rub off on its cast members. Tom Chambers is currently reprising his role as head teacher Max Tyler (while reprising his role as Mister Strachan), and Rebecca Ryan is still being a disgruntled and misunderstood teenager (or early twenties, possibly). Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 31) I haven’t watched Casualty for ages, but you know, Easter and that. I thought it was time to revisit the emergency wing of everyone’s favourite hospital.
What do I find but Mr Strachan (which my mind still has to say in a Connie Beauchamp voice from back in the day when he was very much a junior), apparently in charge of things in some unspecific administrative way.
When Sam used to be in Holby City I didn’t pay him much attention because I was always on Team Joseph, but every time I’ve seen him on Casualty he’s been a loathsome little rat. In fact, he’s exactly the same character he was when he was Max Tyler on Waterloo Road – officious, pompous and annoying. And what I really want to know is, how come among all the aggrieved staff in this episode, not one of them thought of going to Hanssen with their concerns? Hanssen is still in charge of the hospital, isn’t he? I realise that Guy Henry may not have been available to ooze down from the upper floors to re-calibrate Mr Strachan’s moral compass because he’s busy in Borehamwood, but surely someone should at least have mentioned him as an option? Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 9) This episode was directed by Amanda Mealing, though I don’t know how much that had to do with me enjoying it more than I’ve enjoyed Casualty for a while.
The focus was on the characters I like – Dylan was once again rather marvellous as he found himself drawn in to supporting Robyn while she pondered life-altering choices, and Robyn is just so sweet and sad. David and Max added some excellent comedy value as they bombed around in a bizarre little vehicle (is that Robyn’s?) trying to find Glen.
The patient stories were also interesting – I liked the man who was a friend of Glen, and that he was able to reassure Robyn that Glen really did love her. The other patient was a pretend zombie, whose chief purpose seemed to be so that the girl he liked, who was a total miserable whinge-bag, would be able to persuade Ethan that he wasn’t worth the affections of the radiant Alicia. This almost made me throw the remote control at the TV, because it’s obvious Alicia likes him and he likes her, but he keeps letting Cal get in the way and it’s getting tedious.
Because Connie was behind the camera, she was too busy to appear on screen and instead sent a text to everyone to let them know that Grace is awake. But did I hear a hint from Elle that Jacob may have strayed a bit while Connie has been keeping vigil at the bedside? I don’t actually care, to be honest, though “Jonnie” fans may well have spent a sleepless night on Saturday.
(Series 31, ep. 8) Fans of Holby City/Casualty crossovers will have spotted vicar Lexy Morrell (Jenny Howe) in the background, preparing to preside over the wedding of Robyn and Glen. The last wedding we saw her officiate at was between Arthur Digby and Morven Shreve, a union which ended up being all too brief. Robyn’s wedding didn’t even get to the “will you take this man” bit, because the man had already legged it.
Poor Robyn. I expect Glen thought he was doing her a good turn by not putting her through the anguish of watching him die, but he’s wrong. And particularly now we know (though Glen doesn’t) that she’s pregnant.
Meanwhile, Connie Beauchamp was back at work, and was being horrible to Elle and Jacob. I’m probably not going to make myself popular at all when I say that Connie is really getting on my nerves at the moment. We’re meant to cut her all sorts of slack because of Grace, and because she’s Connie, but this week she put patients at risk and was patronising and dismissive of a man who’s shown her nothing but patience, understanding and love, and a colleague who was only trying to help.
Grace opened her eyes a little bit, so maybe now she’ll make a speedy recovery and Connie can relax a bit and get less nasty. I hope.