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Holby City review: It’s moved!

essie holbyFrom this week I’ll be reviewing Holby City for metro.co.uk , so for the full review that you know and (hopefully) love, please head over there and have a look.

Meanwhile, this week’s Holby in bullet points:

(Series 20, ep. 28 ‘Into the Light’ by Becky Prestwich and Nick Fisher 10.7.18)

– Gaskell taught Roxanna to shriek in the Shrubbery.

– And she needed a good shriek by the end, after discovering that Prof Gaskell has been keeping a lot of secrets about his trial.

– Jac is putting her faith in the Prof and Roxanna to sort out the problems with their trial, despite finding out that another of the test subjects has died.

– Ethan Hunt escaped the ED to roam the big corridors upstairs, where we found he wasn’t exactly a stranger to Roxanna and the Prof (and not just because they watch him on Casualty).

– The Prof ended the episode doing some more of his trademark staring at patients – but the patient this time was none other than Essie Di Lucca.

– Essie was recovering from surgery after Hanssen and a non-speaking obs & gynae expert (where’s Fleur Fanshawe?) had operated on her for ovarian cancer.

– We met Raf’s dad, Enzo.

– Donna was house-hunting, but suitable properties were out of her reach. She’s now decided to train to do botox and whatnot as a way of earning extra cash.

– And they had a lovely selection of cupcakes at Pulses.

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Poldark: Hair-mageddon

poldarkby Maggie Gordon-Walker  

I have to confess I was slightly underwhelmed by the first episode of Poldark. Granted it’s been a while since it was last on, so they probably thought a recap was in order, but it felt like over half of it was reminding us what had happened in the last series.

So we have Ross (of course), just as gorgeous and brooding as ever. Demelza, feisty and spirited, still righteously cross about Ross dipping the Poldark toe into Elizabeth, so to speak, although slightly less cross due to her own dalliance with Very Pretty Hugh, who looks like he’d be more at home on Made in Chelsea. Elizabeth, considerably less attractive since her adoption of her husband’s snootiness, George, mouth still like a cat’s anus. Cornwall’s very own Romeo and Juliet – the exceedingly baby-faced Drake and perpetually mournful Morwenna, forever under the watchful eye of the oily Rev, who is like a Christopher Biggins gone bad.

While I was waiting for something to happen and marvelling at how much galloping on horseback across the countryside there seemed to be (it could have rivalled a Lloyds bank ad), I fell to wondering if you put the combined hair of the cast members together, how far would it stretch? For they are all an astonishingly hirsute bunch, man, woman and horse. And there’s always a strong wind, so the locks are blown madly hither and thither. Demelza’s hair has definitely got redder, which is interesting because I don’t think L’Oreal stretched to Cornwall in the eighteenth century.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Jac’s desperate measures

(Series 20, ep. 23 ‘None but the Brave’ by Gerard Sampaio 5.6.18) Jac’s back! Her hair is shorter and wavier! But apart from that, she isn’t feeling any better for her time off. In fact, according to Roxanna, she’s getting worse and might be in a wheelchair within a year. Nooo!!!

The reason Roxanna was looking at Jac’s scans is that Jac wants to be Prof Gaskell’s new trial subject. Naturally this is worrying news – we’ve seen the trail of destruction that the Prof tends to leave behind him. Even the Prof was worried. Despite his belief in his own god-like legend, he knows it would be terrible publicity to incapacitate or kill Holby’s top CT surgeon. So he asked Sacha to have a word with her and talk her out of it. Sacha’s opinion of Prof Gaskell is exactly the same as mine – that he pushes the boundaries, but without due concern for the individual patient.

Unfortunately, boundary-pushing is exactly what Jac wants. Though she was almost swayed by Fletch’s persuasive argument that if she dies, Emma will grow up without a mother. Almost. Because she can’t visualise herself as anything but a surgeon, so she’s willing to take a risk. I’m already extremely tense at the prospect of watching that particular piece of surgery.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Our hero

image(Series 32, ep. 30 by Rebecca Wojciechowski 31.3.18) What a sad, touching episode. Lovely nurse Robyn and her equally lovely brand new husband Glen ended up back at Holby ED much quicker than anyone hoped or anticipated after Glen had a seizure and Robyn crashed their car.

It soon became clear that Glen’s condition was worse than anyone had thought, and he only had days to live at the very most – probably only hours. Plans were put in place to allow him to die at home, with Robyn, Charlie and Duffy in support (the Rolls Royce of palliative care), but poor Glen didn’t even get that far and passed away at Holby.

This was heart-rending stuff, with particularly poignant performances by Owain Arthur and Amanda Henderson as the newlyweds. As with the death of Arthur Digby on Holby, this was something that affected the entire cast, and there was a similar gathering of supportive colleagues at the end, as everyone decided to keep vigil in support of their friends. And, like Digby, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. That wasn’t Glen’s personality, and he said he felt liberated by the knowledge that his death was imminent, rather than being the dreaded cloud on the horizon like it had been for so long.

Elsewhere, a doctor with red hair whose name I don’t know disagreed with Dylan’s diagnosis of a patient and managed to out him as an alcoholic in the process. Army Dr Sam wasn’t pleased to learn he’d kept that a secret from her during their brief marriage.

Read about Casualty/Holby crossovers in the official Holby City book – out now. More info here

 

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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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