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Holby City: Smart juniors, full of smart juniosity

(Series 20, ep. 16 ‘New Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be’ by Nick Fisher 17.4.18) At the beginning and end of this episode we saw F1 Nicky McKendrick as a child (played by Chanel Zinyemba). Even as a nipper she was practising her surgery skills on assorted toys. This is because she’s Super Keen (and possibly somewhat spooky).

It was her first day on Darwin, and she was Super Keen to make a good impression on Jac. So was Fletch, who’d got Jac a welcome back card and a cactus – “small, redhead, very prickly” as he confirmed with Sacha later, before they decided they’d take turns looking after it, both as a literal cactus and a metaphorical Jac. They won’t be able to look after Jac in person, because she’s looking after herself by taking more time off to get better from her gunshot injury.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Gaskell has a proposition for Ric

(Series 20, ep. 15 ‘Tate Gallery’ by Joe Ainsworth 10.4.18) Number one reason to like new CEO Abigail Tate: she wears slippers under her desk. Number one reason to dislike her: she uses the phrase “blue sky thinking.” She’s no Hanssen, that’s for sure. He’d never wear slippers under his desk, and he was accustomed to giving his pep talks from the stairs next to AAU. Abi gives hers via video.

She wanted blue sky thinking and “game changing ideas” from the entire staff team, and the prize was a lot of money to spend developing the winning idea. That’s even more of an incentive than a Pulses’ gift card, I’m sure you’ll agree. Ric thought he’d have another go with the artificial bladder idea that got such short shrift last week and Sacha also had some exciting thing to pitch. Judging all of this was Abi, Prof Gaskell, a man who didn’t say anything and Sanjay from EastEnders (Deepak Verma).  Continue reading

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Holby City: Gaskell takes risks and Ric risks Jason’s cake

(Series 20, ep. 14 ‘Tete a Tate’ by Joe Ainsworth 3.1.18) Today we met new CEO Abigail Tate (Olivia Poulet). She’s a heart surgeon, so well done to the fictional HR department for finding a Hanssen/Jac combo (jobs-wise) at such short notice.

It remains to be seen what she’ll be like as a CEO. Her managerial style seems at first glance to be ‘by the book and a tad on the cautious side,’ but that’s perhaps sensible given that she had one doctor just back from a spell in the nick and another one attempting who-knows-what maverick stuff all over the place. At times like this a bit of caution is probably what’s needed. All the same, she could have been more supportive of Ric’s artificial bladder idea.

That’s the CEO side of her job, but we haven’t seen what Abi’s like with a scalpel in her hand yet. What Fletch has already concluded is that she is no Jac Naylor. He was being especially fussy with her because he was rather fond of her patient, Hannah (Sasha Clarke), who was one of Evie’s (sort of) teachers, but Abi is going to have her work cut out impressing Holby’s best bearded nurse.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Just Oliver

(Series 20, ep. 13 ‘No Matter Where You Go, There You Are – Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 27.3.18) Last week’s cliffhanger made us wait an entire week for the verdict in Ric’s trial. And this week, we got that verdict, though it was a very low-key affair. We didn’t see the courtroom. We didn’t even see Ric. We heard the news as relayed to Ollie by Meena, and then Serena popped up to Darwin to present Fletch with a bottle of celebratory Shiraz.

Celebratory? Yes! Because the news is good. Ric Griffin is a free man!

Having swiftly wrapped up the ‘Ric’s Prison Hell’ storyline, the episode settled in to the topic at hand, which focused on Oliver Valentine and his determination to get back to being a doctor once again, and Henrik Hanssen’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with the consequences of his son’s actions.  Continue reading

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Holby City: A man of character

(Series 20, ep. 12 ‘No Matter Where You Go, Part One’ by Patrick Homes 20.3.18) It was the day of Ric’s trial – and at the very end of the episode the verdict was in! But we’re going to have to wait for another week to find out what it is, because this was the first of a two-parter. AAAARRGHH!!

What we did discover was the reason Ric has been so tight-lipped about what was going on during the three hours he was away from the hospital on the fateful day of Mrs Warren’s death. We know he was helping Jason, who was having trouble with ex-girlfriend Lola (Megan Jones), but what we didn’t know was that he was delivering Lola’s baby, in a car. And the reason he still won’t tell anyone about that is that the father of the baby, who’d been beating Lola up, also happens to be a policeman. If any of it was mentioned in court, he might find out where Lola and the baby are. This matters to Ric because he’s a man of conscience who would do the right thing anyway, but as an extra factor he’d just heard from his daughter Jess that she was thinking of going back to her abusive ex. The refuge Ric took Lola and the baby to was one Jess had had to make use of in the past.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Selfless. Kind. Brave

(Series 20, ep. 11 ‘The L Word’ by Katie Douglas 13.3.18) Holby is nominated for a RTS Award for Best Soap/Continuing Drama this year (and high time too). When you see an episode like this, you have to think how could it not win? Indeed you have to think how come it isn’t in the Drama category too? With acting as nuanced and powerful as we had here from James Anderson, Guy Henry, Hermione Gulliford and others, and production values that equal anything you’d see in things like Line of Duty and Collateral… well, I could go on. I probably will go on, whether it wins or not. But for now, I’d better turn my attention back to this particular, very dramatic and rather intense episode.

Professor Gaskell (or “the Great and Powerful Oz,” as Sacha rather brilliantly referred to him) was thinking that Roxanna was getting a bit emotionally over-involved with Oliver Valentine’s case. He’s shrewdly spotted that unless she’s been in a car with Hanssen or eating pizza in the on-call room, she has at all times been by Ollie’s side, frowning at him encouragingly.  Continue reading

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Holby City: He’s alright really

(Series 20, ep. 8 ‘Hard Day’s Night’ by Michelle Lipton 20.2.18) I’m undecided about new registrar Xavier* Duval (Marcus Griffiths), but I think at the moment we’re meant to be. He has his twonkish side (“Delivering a baby is like watching your favourite pub burn down,” whatever that means apart from he can’t be bothered), but then after said baby is delivered (by Meena, Nicky and Donna) he gives Donna his credit card to go out and buy a load of stuff for it because the baby was totally unexpected and the mum (Jamie-Rose Monk, who was excellent) has nothing ready. So I would say he’s a man of gestures. Some are nice gestures and some aren’t, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of person he is behind the gestures before we can say whether Zav could ever replace Raf.  Continue reading

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