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Holby City: Ange needs to get a grip

(Series 21, ep. 7 ‘Good Side’ by Ed Sellek 12.2.19) Before you head over to Metro for this week’s review, I have a few more random thoughts about the episode.

– Call me a horrible person if you like (only do it behind my back rather than to my face), but the ‘shall we switch Holly off?’ story irritated me a bit. I know it’s dramatically huge and is a heartbreaking decision for anyone in that situation. But scene after scene of Ange looking anguished gets a bit trying, doesn’t it? And why does hot-shot Ange need Fletch to tell her that it’s her job to make the tough decisions?

– I enjoyed Mr Burman-Roy. He was a properly funny, eccentric character and he gave Cameron a much-needed reality check.

– I also enjoyed Carole Copeland, who is always glorious. Her scenes with Zav were lovely.

– Line of the week was Hanssen to Zav: ‘You have glitter.’ I know it doesn’t look like a great line on paper, but it was the way he said it. Magnificent.

(Picture: BBC)

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Holby City: Distance makes it wander

(Series 20, ep. 49 ‘Love Is’ by Michelle Lipton 4.12.18) Pop over to Metro if you’d like to see my full review of this episode.

– It was quite a sad one, wasn’t it? Serena crying on Fletch, Dominic crying on Essie. At least we had Frieda and that lovely dog to cheer us up.

– It wasn’t all bad on the Berena front, either. It’s always glorious to see Bernie, though of course the pleasure of seeing her was tainted by the dread that she would find out about Serena and Leah and would invoke one of her famous 13 ways to kill with her bare hands. Or just be really sad, which would be worse. For now, things are looking like they might work out after all.

– Dominic and Lofty, though… David Ames breaks my heart when Dominic is sad, but it doesn’t make me like Lofty any less because you can see his actions come from being caring and thoughtful. He’s just too cautious.

Line of the week – Bernie‘Whatever happened to absence makes the heart grow fonder?’ Donna: ‘Too much distance makes it wander.’ 

 

– Do not miss next week’s episode. That’s all I’m saying.

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Holby City: The race to save Jac

(Series 20, ep. 47 ‘One of Us’ by Katie Douglas 20.11.18) Please pop over to Metro to have a look at my full review/recap of the episode, but before you go here are a few more thoughts.

– Sacha and Fletch, eh? If you ever wanted a sign that Jac Naylor is deep down a lovely, lovely person, you need only look at the amount of love for her shown by these two men. Absolutely adorable.

– And, talking of adorable – Mo Effanga. Casualty fans may recall after paramedic Jeff died and the ED staff were finding it hard to cope, Connie Beauchamp got Dr Zoe Hanna to come back, because what was needed was a people person with heart, warmth and compassion. That’s what we have in Mo. She’s the anti-Gaskell, sent to soothe us and make us smile and I couldn’t have been more pleased to see her.

– I also loved seeing Selfie, which isn’t a sentence that at one point I could have imagined saying, but there you go. John Michie played this episode perfectly, with Selfie fully aware of his own tarnished reputation, a slightly more humble and self-aware person but still (thankfully) confident in his skills.

– You have to wonder how Hanssen is holding himself together after everything that he’s been through. He truly is made of the finest Swedish steel.

– Donna and Zav really are a very lovely couple. I like how he’s like a snail who gets back in his shell whenever life gets too tricky or things get too personal, but Donna is nothing if not persistent. And she has a smile you’d have to be Gaskell to resist.

– Word of the day: ‘flirtingship.’

– Holby book news: There are hardly any left anywhere now. Thank you to everyone who bought one and especially everyone who got in touch or left reviews – I’m so happy that you enjoyed reading it and that it did justice to the brilliant work the people at Holby City do every week. For those who didn’t manage to get a copy yet, SilverWood books might still have a couple, but otherwise your best bet is to get it in ebook form (Kindle, Nook or Kobo).

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Holby City: Love and an elevator

(Series 20, ep. 44 ‘The Family You Choose’ by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 30.10.18) This week’s in-depth review can be found over at Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts.

– That lift dropping gave me the horrors. I have actually been in this situation in the Empire State Building of all places – the lift dropped from the 80-something floor to the 60-something with me, Mr H and Ms H and assorted other tourists inside. As soon as we pressed the panic button for assistance the display changed to floor 2 – probably so we didn’t panic. I panicked anyway, but I’m British so I did it quietly and passive-aggressively (this was mainly directed at the group of French teenagers who thought it might be fun to jump up and down while we waited).

– I’ve also been stuck in a lift very briefly at ITV in London. If I’m going to be stuck in a lift it must be at a prestige location.

– I’m very much enjoying the little bromance between Jason and Xavier. And Jules Robertson has been doing brilliant work with Jason’s character. His comic timing is wonderful.

– Halloween and Frieda were made for each other, really, and today’s outfit was perfect for the occasion while not frightening the patients. And I loved Frieda’s reaction to news of the lift dropping: ‘How exhilarating.’

– It seems that Jac and Fletch isn’t going to happen, which is good news as far as Team Joseph & Jac 4 Eva (i.e. me) is concerned. But my goodness, Rosie Marcel and Alex Walkinshaw are incredible together. That scene where he was talking about a parallel universe, you could almost hear this universe holding its breath for a minute or two. Stunning work.

– The actual lift plummet situation looked far more dramatic on the autumn trailer than it did in the episode, but it was an interesting way to get various story strands spread over more people, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the consequences in the coming weeks. Possibly Meena will now start to join the dots more about Gaskell and the come-uppance he so richly deserves will be heading his way. Or not.

– Quick plug for the Holby book. It genuinely is almost sold out everywhere and there won’t be any more, so if you’ve been thinking it’s a perfect Christmas gift idea it’s best not to hang around (unless you want a soggy second-hand one from eBay).

(Pictures: BBC)

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Holby City: Love, marriage and other life events

(Series 20, ep. 43 ‘Too Good To Be True’ by Gerard Sampaio 23.10.18) I’ve reviewed this episode in lingering detail over at Metro, but before you go to have a look please bear with me while I waffle on about a few additional things.

– Serena’s blouse. While I applaud a bold colour choice, I don’t think lime green is really her. It might look different on a big telly, but when I was watching the preview on my laptop screen it was making her hair look a bit greenish too. That could be just my laptop or my eyesight, I suppose.

– I thought the girlfriend of the Keller patient was going to turn out to be one of Leah’s former conquests when she recognised her. The story was actually more interesting than that. I wonder whether seeing Leah away from Serena has changed the minds of the people who thought she was a crazed stalker? She seemed rather nice here.

– When Bradley from EastEnders needed his brain operation and Dominic was telling him confidently that ‘our neuro team’ would sort him out I was thinking who’s that, then? Roxanna is dead, Gaskell’s in Lisbon and when we last heard of Selfie he was at home watching Blue Planet with Oliver Valentine (on Thursdays at least).

– The Fletch and Jac will they/won’t they – I’m really hoping it just fizzles out, because though they are great together, Sacha has just moved in with Jac and I don’t want him feeling like he’s a third wheel while Fletch and Jac play happy families. And Jac is a great mother to Emma and seems to get on with Evie, but coping with Mikey and the other Fletchlings? I can’t see it.

Congratulations to everyone at Holby for winning the Inside Soap award for Best Drama Storyline for last year’s brilliant hospital shooting episode. Relive every tense moment in my blow-by-blow-account review of the episode here.

– And thank you to the BBC for mentioning the Holby book over the closing credits. It’s selling out fast (there are no copies left at the warehouse, so when current stocks sell out that’s it), so if you haven’t got yourself one yet, here’s where to get a copy.

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Holby City: I see dead people

I see Roxanna! (Picture: BBC)

(Series 20, ep. 42 ‘Stains’ by Patrick Homes 16.10.18) For this week’s review click over to Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts:

– Donna and Zav – is ‘Zonna’ ever going to be a Thing, do you think, or are they just going to continue having these Moments? When he told Alex that she was in her late thirties with two sprogs and she didn’t need the likes of either of them, I think he was speaking more about his own insecurity. Or is he really a twonk?

– Hurrah for Sacha and his clear-sighted assessment of Prof Gaskell, and having the balls to tell him to his face. At least there’s one person at Holby who doesn’t subscribe to the Cult of Gaskell. Sadly Hanssen seems just as far away from learning the truth as ever. What’s it going to take to expose the Prof’s crimes? Or will it go undetected and poor Roxanna will have died in vain? Surely that can’t happen?

– Essie was getting very judgemental about that murderer patient, wasn’t she? Particularly when you remember the rather ugly history of her own grandfather. Then she went and told Hanssen what a genius Gaskell is and completely threw him off the scent. Oh, Essie! Not your finest week.

– When the murderer asked Gaskell to kill him and Gaskell didn’t, it shows that he does have ethics – but in Roxanna’s case ethics were over-ridden by the necessity to keep his trial going, come what may. If I’m being kind I might call him a ‘bigger picture’ kind of guy.

– When Steven was talking confidently about nits to Jac, and Fletch said Steven had never so much as been near him with a nit comb when he was a kid, I thought Steven’s life-changing secret was going to be that he had a secret other family somewhere that Fletch never knew about and he’d spent many years happily examining his children’s heads for lice in a way he’d never done with Fletch.

– An insight into the writer’s thinking: episode writer Patrick Homes (@PatrickHomes) tweeted yesterday ‘Tonight’s episode of #holbycity was written listening to Pixies “Where is My Mind” on an endless loop. It may or may not show…’

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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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