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Casualty: You had one shot

(Series 31, ep. 44 ‘One’ by Paul Unwin) The word that was going through my mind as I watched this one-shot, real-time episode of Casualty was “choreography.” The way the camera moved fluidly around the different parts of the set, at one point even being lowered from the first floor down to the ground and then moving seamlessly on, was nothing short of incredible. Actors would walk into shot, deliver their lines and then the camera would be following somebody else, taking up some other part of the story. Apparently the crew were all in costume in case they happened to appear in any shot, but if they did I certainly didn’t notice them – everyone in the background seemed to be doing the usual doctor-stuff, nurse-stuff and patient-stuff, as always. I didn’t see a mis-step or a thing out of place.

The whole thing had been brilliantly thought out by the writer, Paul Unwin, and the director, Jon Sen, so that the episode had dynamics and pace. The actors all made it look easy, and it was testament to them that after a while I started to forget the “one-shot” aspect of it and got swept into the story. I actually felt a bit emotional by the end, with Jez’s scene with the father of the baby who died in the fire, and then with Duffy’s voice-over. I know that last bit was a tad cheesy, but if such a special episode couldn’t be used as a love letter to the NHS it would have been a missed opportunity.

See the behind-the-scenes video here

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Casualty: The one before the one-shot

(Series 31, ep. 43 ‘Somewhere Between Silences Part 2’ by Jeff Povey) Okay Casualty, you’ve lured me back with your gimmicky promise of an exciting “one shot” episode next week. Which means I needed a bit of context. You can’t just turn up cold for a one-shot, you know.

First thing to say about this week’s episode is – George Rainsford. Blimey. Acting on a Shakespearean level there, all suppressed grief and rage and ethical conflict. Pitched against this was the dwindling family of racist thugs, the Ellissons. Papa Ellisson has expired previously. One of his sons (the nasty one, Scott) spent this week’s episode in a “will he ever walk again?” situation after falling from the Casualty mezzanine, which should surely have had some kind of mesh fitted after lovely nurse Sam Colloby tumbled off it years ago. The good news (for Scott) was there was no reason why he wouldn’t walk again, but the bad news (for Scott) was that now he almost certainly won’t walk again, because he’s dead.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Oh, Ethan. Oh, Dylan

alicia-ethan-casualty(Series 31, ep. 16) I haven’t seen Casualty for quite a while now, but dipping back into it this week it didn’t feel like I’d missed much.

The Ethan/Cal/Alicia love triangle is still a thing, with Cal well ahead at the start of the episode, but Ethan once again in the ascendant by the end. Ethan realised – for the umpteenth time – that Cal is a selfish twonk who (a) doesn’t deserve a brother as lovely as Ethan and (b) doesn’t deserve a girlfriend as lovely as Alicia. So he’s putting his own needs first. And Alicia’s needs, of course, because he’s a gentleman and he’s spotted that Alicia prefers him to Cal. This is perceptive of him, given that she’s been too polite to hurt Cal’s feelings by not kissing him in front of Ethan, because she’s sweet like that. I can’t help thinking that Ethan needs to set his romantic bar a bit higher.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Connie behind the camera

robyn-dylan-casualty(Series 31, ep. 9) This episode was directed by Amanda Mealing, though I don’t know how much that had to do with me enjoying it more than I’ve enjoyed Casualty for a while.

The focus was on the characters I like – Dylan was once again rather marvellous as he found himself drawn in to supporting Robyn while she pondered life-altering choices, and Robyn is just so sweet and sad. David and Max added some excellent comedy value as they bombed around in a bizarre little vehicle (is that Robyn’s?) trying to find Glen.

ethan-casualtyThe patient stories were also interesting – I liked the man who was a friend of Glen, and that he was able to reassure Robyn that Glen really did love her. The other patient was a pretend zombie, whose chief purpose seemed to be so that the girl he liked, who was a total miserable whinge-bag, would be able to persuade Ethan that he wasn’t worth the affections of the radiant Alicia. This almost made me throw the remote control at the TV, because it’s obvious Alicia likes him and he likes her, but he keeps letting Cal get in the way and it’s getting tedious.

Because Connie was behind the camera, she was too busy to appear on screen and instead sent a text to everyone to let them know that Grace is awake. But did I hear a hint from Elle that Jacob may have strayed a bit while Connie has been keeping vigil at the bedside? I don’t actually care, to be honest, though “Jonnie” fans may well have spent a sleepless night on Saturday.

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Casualty: The good news, then the bad news

casualty-robyn-wedding(Series 31, ep. 8) Fans of Holby City/Casualty crossovers will have spotted vicar Lexy Morrell (Jenny Howe) in the background, preparing to preside over the wedding of Robyn and Glen. The last wedding we saw her officiate at was between Arthur Digby and Morven Shreve, a union which ended up being all too brief. Robyn’s wedding didn’t even get to the “will you take this man” bit, because the man had already legged it.

Poor Robyn. I expect Glen thought he was doing her a good turn by not putting her through the anguish of watching him die, but he’s wrong. And particularly now we know (though Glen doesn’t) that she’s pregnant.

connie-casualtyMeanwhile, Connie Beauchamp was back at work, and was being horrible to Elle and Jacob. I’m probably not going to make myself popular at all when I say that Connie is really getting on my nerves at the moment. We’re meant to cut her all sorts of slack because of Grace, and because she’s Connie, but this week she put patients at risk and was patronising and dismissive of a man who’s shown her nothing but patience, understanding and love, and a colleague who was only trying to help.

Grace opened her eyes a little bit, so maybe now she’ll make a speedy recovery and Connie can relax a bit and get less nasty. I hope.

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Casualty: The good guys

ethan-alicia-casualty(Series 31, ep. 4) Ethan is one of the good guys. We know this because (a) we know this and (b) it was mentioned at least twice during the episode. But is a good guy what Alicia is looking for? At the beginning of the episode it seemed like what she was mainly looking for was a good time, and that’s not really Ethan unless your idea of a good time is hunkering down with a mug of cocoa and a Big Bang Theory box set.

But when some hapless joggers fell through the treacherously porous surface of Holby Forest, Ethan and Alicia were mobilised to provide on-site pain relief. Well done, Elle – good plan to send people who’ve recently been trapped in the debris of an explosion and make them go down a dark hole. But it gave Ethan the chance to demonstrate that he’s actually quite brave, and to get a panicking Alicia safely back to daylight.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening

jac-casualty(Series 31, ep. 3) A man was struck by lightning near the beginning of this episode, and his wife said it was nature’s way of letting him know he’d been too cautious and had to embrace new experiences. Personally the lesson I took from it is not to hang out of a metal-framed window during a thunder storm, but that’s me being excessively cautious again.

robyn-casualtyThe lightning  message resonated with Robyn, whose boyfriend Glen only has two years to live. He doesn’t have a “bucket list” but Robyn does, so they’ve started on her bucket list with a trip to Euro Disney. Bless.  Continue reading

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