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Holby City: Ollie helps out

(Series 20, ep. 3 ‘There by the Grace of…’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 16.1.18) Many years ago I used to work with people who had physical disabilities. I think it says a huge amount about James Anderson’s well-observed, thoughtful acting that, in this episode, Ollie reminded me really strongly of a man I worked with who was disabled after a head injury – the speech patterns, the mannerisms – and I hadn’t thought about that man for years.

For plot reasons, Ollie was on AAU this week. Roxanna thought it would be helpful for him to have the stimulus of being surrounded by people barfing on other people’s shoes all day long, but just in case it was too much he was popped into a side room and the staff were told not to get him over excited.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Don’t be a martyr

image(Series 20, ep. 2 ‘Ready Or Not’ by Robert Goldsbrough 9.1.18) When we left Ric Griffin surrounded by violent thugs at the end of the last episode, I wondered whether we’d next see him at Holby as a patient. Instead, we saw this week that he had been badly injured, but not as badly as fellow inmate Danny (Gruffudd Glyn), who was brought in to AAU in a bit of a mess.

Danny passed a message to Sacha that Ric didn’t want Donna going to the prison, so Sacha got Fletch to ask her to work overtime. Then Sacha went to the prison on his own.

Sacha is full of compassion and kindness, but he doesn’t have the same level of street-smarts as Ric does. Ric is just about surviving in the prison because he knows it’s best to keep your head down and your mouth shut. When Sacha discovered that Ric had been beaten up, he had to do something to help.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Ghost of Christmas past

(Series 19, ep. 64 ‘Always Forever’ by Simon Norman 19.12.17) What a beautiful Christmas treat of an episode. It provided the most gorgeous send-off for one of my favourite characters, and for an episode that dealt so much with grief and loss it was ultimately the most positive, life-affirming thing.

Who knew that Holby cupboards could produce magic to rival the wardrobe that gets you to Narnia? When Morven went into one, partly to sort out some vomit-covered scrubs and partly to hide from Cameron (back to help out at Holby temporarily and as usual giving Morven all kinds of mixed feelings), she accidentally inhaled a lungful of nitrous oxide from a bottle with a leaky valve.

This resulted in her getting gorgeously giggly – and hallucinating that Arthur Digby was there with her.  Continue reading

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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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Holby City: Shadow of a gunman

(Series 19, ep. 62 ‘Group Animal, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 7.12.17) I don’t know how I can do this brilliant, tense, suspenseful episode any justice other than to give you a blow-by-blow account of what happened. There was so much detail in it, and not a single scene was wasted or slack. Brilliant work from writer Andy Bayliss. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the episode!  Continue reading

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Holby City: All bleeding eventually stops

(Series 19, ep. 61 ‘Group Animal, Part One’ by Andy Bayliss 5.12.17) Jac has been suffering for months now – ever since Jasmine died back in June. We saw her pain in the weeks just after that – remember when she looked so tightly held together it seemed like she might explode at any minute? Since then she’s been her snarky, sarcastic, business-as-usual self, until recently – when it became clear that she hasn’t dealt with losing her sister at all, and she isn’t coping.

And then this episode started with Jac, looking more relaxed than she has for weeks, telling Raf that she was leaving Holby. She was going to take her daughter a long way away, and concentrate on being a mother and being happy.

Thousands of Jac Naylor fans blinked back tears of disbelief. Holby without Jac? Surely not? But worse was to come.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Facing up

(Series 19, ep. 60 ‘Hiding Places’ by Gerard Sampaio 28.11.17) They’re dropping like flies at Holby. We lost lovely Damon Ford and spooky Fredrik Johanssen last week, and this week we waved goodbye to the beautiful smile of Nina Karnik and the luscious locks of Matteo Rossini. It’s just as well some new blood is arriving soon, because Holby is just haemorrhaging staff at the moment.

It seemed certain this week that we’d lose Nina, but it was less clear what would happen to Matteo. Determined to bring her baby up in a supportive family atmosphere, Nina was planning to move to Amsterdam, where her sister and nieces and nephews would provide the family. Matteo, meanwhile, signalled his distress with what Ollie called “a slight but appreciable dip in his grooming standards.” In other words, his hair was not looking quite as luscious as usual.  Continue reading

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