Holby City: Too much too soon

The greatest gift of all (Picture: BBC)

(Series 20, ep. 40 ‘Inscrutable’ by Tony Higgins 2.10.18) Pop over to Metro for this week’s full review and a little extra piece about Jac and Sacha. Before you go, a few additional thoughts…

– I was so excited when Bob Barrett told me that Sacha was going to be moving in with Jac, because it was something both he and Rosie Marcel talked about when I met them last year for the Holby book. It seemed like quite a random idea at the time, but in the context of Sacha’s mental health problems (and Jac’s physical health problems) it really works. Jac really is kind when good friends need help – such as when she secretly financed Professor Hope’s Kibo project.

– I hope Scary Sue from ITU is going to be a regular character. As well as her having a brilliant name (obvs), I really liked her over-sharing northern personality.

– I liked Leah, too. Berena fans are possibly not best pleased at someone making a move on Serena, but Serena has always been a woman with needs. She’s resisting so far, but will her resolve be as strong come Christmas party time? I like that Leah has come to medicine a few years later on in life, so she’ll have a different angle on things from the usual F1s.

– Once again Hiran Abeysekera was really touching as Tyler, and his scenes with Bob Barrett were lovely.

– Hanssen kissing Roxanna’s hand! So absolutely heartbreaking.

– I knew Essie would blame herself for overdoing it with the alphabet board. I bet the Prof is happy he planted that little seed. Essie’s no fool, though, and once Meena and Hanssen have recovered a little, everyone is going to start joining the dots. I hope.

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Holby City: ‘Nobody dies today,’ he said

(Series 20, ep. 39 ‘Undoing’ by Nick Fisher 25.9.18) Head over to Metro for a full review of this episode, but before you go here are a few additional thoughts.

– Just when you think the Gaskell storyline can’t get any darker and more twisted, it gets darker and more twisted. Paul McGann has been genuinely terrifying in the last few episodes, as Gaskell has shown he’ll go to any lengths to carry on his research. It’s like there’s a ligature in his own head that shuts off any compassion and empathy that might risk diverting him from his path.

– I’m going to miss Roxanna. I liked her as a character and Hermione Gulliford as an actress. I’m sad that Roxanna never had the chance to go out for a night on the Shiraz with Serena because she always had something else to worry about. From spending weeks frowning at Oliver Valentine trying to will him to recover, to spending weeks frowning at Professor Gaskell, she’s never had a chance to relax.

– Of course Hanssen is going to miss her the most. His line in this episode, ‘I can’t lose anyone else, John,’ shows us that he’s really going to struggle to cope. Maybe Sacha and Frieda can invite him to join Holby Fight Club?

– Fletch really needs to sort his children out. It just isn’t on to have them wandering around the hospital all day long, even though I do enjoy seeing them.

– I loved Jac and Frieda giving Fletch advice about how to handle his teenage daughter. Though I can’t imagine that either of them was exactly what you’d call an average teenage girl.

– Frieda looked amazing in her boxing gear and I think they should rush out an action figure of her in time for Christmas. She’d be an excellent role model for all the un-average teenage girls. And boys.

– It’s lovely to have Sacha back and it’s very nice that he’s got a new hobby. I wonder if being in the basement gives him flashbacks to when he had a room there full of all the stuff that Chrissie didn’t want him to have hanging around at home?

(Picture: BBC)

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Holby City: Nothing but the work

(Series 20, ep. 38 ‘One Man and His God’ by Andy Bayliss 18.9.18) I’ve written a nice long review of this episode over at Metro, but before you go to have a look here are some additional thoughts.

– The ending was just about the most twisted, terrifying thing I’ve ever seen on Holby. The idea of deliberately leaving someone in a ‘locked in’ state (especially as we knew that Roxanna’s mother had already experienced that) – well, even the most seasoned Gaskell-watcher will have been shocked at just how far his drive to succeed has pushed him.

– We’ve had murderous people on the wards of Holby before (Nurse ‘Killer’ Kelly Yorke in series 5/6; Hanssen’s son last year), but Gaskell is an entirely different kettle of fish. The scary thing about Gaskell is that he truly believes he’s only one step away from the next great medical breakthrough. He takes no pleasure in people being hurt or dying, but at the same time he views anyone who suffers during the course of his experiments to be collateral damage. The bigger picture is all he cares about.

– I loved the flashback scenes. Young Gaskell, Hanssen and Roxanna were perfectly cast and played their parts brilliantly, and Andy Bayliss’s script filled in plenty of blanks about each of them in a subtle and moving way. I also liked how the different sets of flashbacks were in the minds of each of the three older characters, so each one had a slightly different focus.

– Scenes between Hanssen and Dominic have become as precious and lovely as scenes between Jac and Sacha. It’s a similar dynamic – a closed-off, apparently cold person and someone who is expressive and emotionally open who sees them for who they really are.

– Gaskell’s last words to Roxanna – ‘forgive me’ – were chilling. I honestly doubt she’s going to be forgiving him any time soon, even if he ‘fesses up and sorts out the mess he’s left inside her head (if that’s even possible).

(Picture: BBC)

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Casualty: Not really intubated

(Series 33, ep. 5 by Jerome Bucchan-Nelson and Dana Fainaru 15.9.18) I’ve reviewed this week’s Casualty for Metro, so please head over there and take a look. First, some random thoughts.

– Asan N’Jie, who played Femi, has previously guested in Holby City in Series 19, ep. 23. When I spent some time in AAU as part of the research for the Holby book, he was the patient in the scene I saw being filmed. He was being intubated by Jasmine with help from Fletch and Morven. Needless to say, they didn’t really intubate him or he probably wouldn’t have agreed to be in Casualty.

– I wonder how Dylan’s going to react now he’s found out that Ciara is married?

– I also wonder how long Iain will hold out before he begins to love Ruby as much as I love her. There’ll probably be an episode where she has to do some ninja-level work in order to prove herself. And even that will have to be accompanied by Charlie Having A Word with Iain.

– Ethan has a heart of gold, but is he being a bit full-on with Alicia, do you think? I can’t quite decide. If it was anybody but Ethan you would probably think so. At any rate, I would not be happy about another person choosing the paint colour for my bedroom.

Picture: BBC

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Holby City: Look out!

(Series 20, ep. 37 ‘All Lies Lead to the Truth’ by Robert Goldsbrough 11.9.18) This week’s review can be found over at Metro. Before you go, here are some random musings about the episode.

– Is Meena’s new car cursed? She’s had a terrible time ever since she got it, with a miserable birthday followed by a Boxing Birthday (or is it just my house where we have those?) in which she reverses into Serena’s car and later on knocks down a fleeing neurosurgeon. If I was Meena, I’d be getting that car swapped for something a little less haunted, ASAP.

– I thought Roxanna’s spying on Gaskell was really suspenseful. The bit where she was snooping around the wet lab and he was walking along the corridor was scary. I’m still not sure how she got out. Did she find a secret back door? Or had she gone out of the front door before Gaskell turned the corner?

– And then when she revealed to him what she knew and he turned the tables by trying to tell her that she wasn’t well. Will she wake up and manage to tell Hanssen what she knows before Gaskell can go any further? Or is the staff member with the best quiff since Fletch already destined to be a commemorative plaque in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery?  Continue reading

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Celebrity Masterchef: The Wall

Celebrity Masterchef S13Ready, Set, Cook! Or rather stand looking confused at a chicken, asking which part is the breast (Monty Panesar). Yep, Celeb Masterchef is back. Is it the same as before? No, it has ‘The Wall’.

Gregg’s (aka Celeb-irritant Shrek) saucer-eyes nearly expanded off his face with excitement at announcing this new development. As walls go, it’s safe to say that Trump’s one is still uppermost in people’s consciousnesses. My ten year old liked it though, so I guess it has some appeal. The pairs are sent to either side of the wall to attempt to make exactly the same dish. They can call out to each other, a la Pyramus and Thisbe, about what procedure they are doing but never the twain shall meet. Until they are summoned to the judging table of doom to see which offering looks more like a dog’s dinner. Selfish Martin Bayfield nearly toppled the wall (metaphorically rather than literally, although that would have been fun). At 6 foot 10, the pro rugby player/giant was obviously taller than any of the set designers had reasonably expected anyone to be. He could look straight over the wall. However, he is a sporting sportsman and refrained from doing so.  Continue reading

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Holby City: All the blue shiny things

(Series 20, ep. 36 ‘Keep Your Friends Close’ by Isla Gray 4.9.18) For a full review, please head over to Metro. But first, a few random thoughts.

– I like the way the Gaskell story is warming up. He hasn’t gone full ‘mwah-ha-ha’ at any point, but we can see how he’s focused to the point of being dangerously obsessed. I have no idea where his moral compass is, which is why it was an excellent idea to put the moral compass of the hospital (Hanssen) up against him. But Hanssen’s view of things has been shaken by what happened with Fredrik, and is further complicated by his feelings for Roxanne.

– I have to wonder, did Gaskell bring all his blue luminous objects with him when he arrived, or are they standard-issue NHS items? Perhaps they’re alien artefacts he got when he was Doctor Who, and their strange intense glow is a form of mind-control. This would explain quite a bit about the Prof.

– Hanssen taking frightened patients out onto the hospital’s scenic fire escapes. Not sensible.

– I’ve honestly forgotten what Meena and Nicky fell out about, but I wish they’d sort it out. I do actually feel sorry for Meena. She’s very lonely and adrift. I think Zav probably knows deep down that she really wants more than just no-strings fun, but he was happy to take what she said at face value. I don’t think either of them is going to feel very good about themselves in the morning.

– Abi was back, which was good news for anyone requiring a CT surgeon because they’ve been a bit thin on the ground of late. But even when she’s there, she never seems quite there, if you know what I mean. Luckily we can see from the Autumn trailer that Darwin is going to get considerably busier soon.

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