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Holby City: Damage already done

(Series 19, ep. 63 ‘We Need To Talk About Fredrik’ by Patrick Homes 12.12.17) Three weeks have passed in Holby time since the events shown last week. The funerals of Raf, Fredrik and David have already happened (Fredrik in Stockholm, without Hanssen’s attendance) and the process of rebuilding has started.

Rebuilding lives shattered by recent events is not going to be quick or easy – we saw with the death of Digby that Holby takes the aftermath of huge events seriously and I expect the repercussions of the shooting will be felt for a long time.

Rebuilding staff numbers is simpler and came courtesy of The Mythical St Francis’s. Remember it’s merging with Holby? Three new doctors – or rather, two new doctors and one old friend – chose this week to merge in Holby’s direction.  Continue reading

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Poldark: Aunt Agatha brings it

imageBurly miner struts across the Cornish cliff, rippling his muscles. ‘I’ve a message from Trenwith. Where’s Poldark…?’
‘He’s behind youuuuuu….!’

Sorry, I thought we’d got lost in panto-land for a minute. I’ve watched both the previous series and it seems they’re certainly ratcheting up the ham-factor this time round if the opening episode was anything to go by. Perhaps this is inevitable after the first couple of series – Downtown Abbey certainly suffered the same fate.

Maybe it’s the new telly I got last year, but the colours seem to be set permanently to one of those especially lurid filters, such as Lark or Juno, that you find on Instagram. Our three central heroines – Demelza, Elizabeth and Caroline look like Charlie’s Angels in olde worldy frocks or maybe a Timotei ad, so lustrous are their floating manes and improbably perfect white teeth and flawless complexions.

There was much consternation in the nation that Ross, Every-Woman’s eye-candy (hashtag #hotstuff), didn’t flash his torso in Episode One. Normal service was swiftly resumed in Episode Two, with Demelza’s brothers also plunging obligingly bare-chested into the sea for good measure.

No, Episode One was about LAYING ON THE DRAMA.  Continue reading

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Holby City: We’ll always have Radiohead

(Series 19, ep. 33 ‘Enigma’ by Peter Mattessi) It’s a rare staff member who doesn’t get surprised at the hospital by their secret past turning up at some time or another. Just look at Ric Griffin – and we will look at him a little later, the naughty man.

Lofty got his ‘secret past surprise’ very early in his Keller career, considering he only started last week. When a new patient, Lenny, arrived on the wards there were some meaningful looks exchanged between him and Lofty from the outset. They were “family friends” they said, but this hid a more complicated truth. Eventually Lofty admitted that he’d been engaged to Lenny’s sister, Alice, but jilted her at the altar. No wonder Lenny seemed angry. In fact, Lenny seemed very angry indeed. I really liked this character – he was a bit of a bad boy, an ex drug user, the kind of person who’ll break the rules to have a cigarette in the staff room, but loyal and in his way very charming. His sister, when she turned up, was also lovely and you could see why Lofty had been attracted to her. But the real attraction was Lenny. They’d had a little Moment at a Radiohead concert and it was enough to convince Lofty that he had no business getting married to Alice. He really loved her, but not the way he loved Lenny.  Continue reading

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Holby City: What are the chances of that?

fletch-holby(Series 19, ep. 15) There was luck for some and not so much for others in this episode. Fletch was the lucky one – he’s inherited a sum of money so large it had to be written on a piece of paper and not uttered aloud. This always happens on telly. I suppose it might be so the viewer can put their own figure on it – Noel Edmonds used to call £250,000 “a life changing sum of money” on Deal Or No Deal, and to me it would be but to Sir Paul McCartney probably not so much.

Anyway, I was squinting at the piece of paper Bernie was holding for Fletch and I thought it said £75,000, but whatever it was, it’s hopefully enough to stop Fletch having to get involved in crime in the future. It’s definitely enough to get new shoes for Mikey and his siblings, and possibly enough to enable them to move out of Di Lucca Towers. Who knows what house prices are like in Wyvernshire these days?  Continue reading

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Holby City: Love is all around

dominic-bernie-holby(Series 19, ep. 7) Holby City has proved in the last few weeks that it can go to some very dark places indeed. Selfie’s back story of abuse, highlighted by the dreadful actions of Tristan, was intense and dramatic.

By contrast, we got this lovely episode, where there was humour and lightness in every story.

sacha-dominic-holbyI’m going to have to start with Keller, and Sacha’s attempts to recapture his lost youth – or Tom Jones’s lost youth, if the new hairdo was anything to go by. “No one’s commented on my hair,” he moaned to Dominic. “Not to your face,” said Dominic. Well, someone had to. This wasn’t even the funniest bit of hair-related Dom/Sacha dialogue. Dominic realised (because he is sensitive, deep down. And he was also relying on Sacha’s sofa as a bed for the night) that Sacha was upset, and tried to make amends. “Can I say I’m sorry in a cuddly, let’s-be-friends again kind of way?” he said. “Stop talking to my hair!” Sacha replied. “I’m not,” said Dominic. “I’m looking at your physicality, your stance, your manliness.” “I look absolutely ridiculous, don’t I?” Sacha said. The reply was absolute genius: “Only from the scalp up. The rest of you is 100% to die for.”  Continue reading

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Holby City: I’m looking out for him

fletch-holby(Series 18, ep. 49) I was absolutely gripped by this week’s episode. I don’t think there’s a Holby fan on the planet who doesn’t like Fletch. He’s a genuine, kind, caring, funny man who just wants to help people and make a living so he can support his kids. So I was rooting for Fletch, and I love Raf and the bromance between them, so I was rooting for Raf, too. As well as being engaged with the human side of the story, I was intrigued by the puzzle of the mystery illness that got worse and worse, and even had the best medics in TV-land stumped for a while. It was nail-biting stuff, and thank heavens for Bernie, an oasis of calm among all the angst.

mikey-fletcher-holbyA special mention also for Kai O’Loughlin, who plays Mikey Fletcher. This week he subdued his cheeky chappie persona a bit (usually he seems about to burst into a chorus of ‘Consider Yourself At Home‘ at any moment, which is a lovely thing to watch but wouldn’t have been appropriate here) and he was brilliant. He’s completely believable as Fletch’s son and has masses of charm, personality and talent. His scene with Hanssen was absolutely precious. I was glad it was Mikey who provided the clue that eventually led to a diagnosis. “He’s okay now. I’m looking out for him,” he said.  Continue reading

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Holby City: You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

bernie-serena-holby(Series 18, ep. 48) I know not everyone is on board with the whole #Berena thing. There are some who are against it for the same reasons that Coronation Street has had to fend off complaints recently, and I’ve got no time for that view. There are others who would have preferred Bernie and Serena to have remained as supportive colleagues, and that does make sense and would have been a nice relationship to explore. But where could that have gone, drama-wise, much beyond “Gosh that was a hard day. Let’s kick back with a nice bottle of Shiraz”? It certainly wouldn’t have delivered such blissfully toe-curling scenes as we had last night, as Serena ‘fessed up to a comatose Fletch that she kissed a girl and she liked it, and the even more blissful scenes she shared with Bernie. I’m all for a storyline that brings out the beautifully subtle and elegant comic talents of Catherine Russell. She and Jemma Redgrave are brilliant together, and I’m looking forward to watching this story develop.  Continue reading

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