(Series 19, ep. 48 ‘How Loud It Is’ by Andy Bayliss 5.9.17) My goodness, Holby City is getting more like Shakespeare every week. The sheer amount of detail in this episode – in the writing, the performances and the way it was directed – was just breathtaking.
Holby is under threat of a merger with The Mythical St James’s, and there’s a recruitment freeze.
As if this wasn’t stress enough for Hanssen, his son, Fredrik, was back. Last time we saw him, he’d been responsible for a very dodgy drugs trial, and there was a huge moral face-off in which Hanssen risked never seeing his grandson again by informing the Swedish medical authorities about it. It seems that Fredrik was acquitted in Sweden, but his “reputation is compromised.” So he’s now working at Holby City, where a compromised reputation and a frosty relationship with the CEO/your father won’t hold you back. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 19) Unusually for me, I’m going to start with a patient storyline. I usually whizz over them as just a backdrop to the regulars’ stories, but I really loved the Darwin story about Sandy, who was terrified of surgeons. Erin Shanagher previously appeared in an episode of Casualty in which the patient story knocked my socks off, and she was equally good here. Sandy was justifiably upset, angry and fearful about the way she’d been treated as a baby, and I liked the way her story was used to highlight aspects of Jac’s and Matteo’s personalities and relationship.
It was Valentine’s Day, as if we would ever be allowed to forget. Darwin was full of (appropriately) heart-shaped balloons, courtesy of Mr T, but Jac wasn’t feeling the love as she’d dumped Matteo last week. But then how to resist a romantic Italian who presents you with a ticket to Rome? Jac had a good try, but between Matteo’s cheeky charm and a bit of business with Mo and a voice recorder, all was well that ended well. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 18) Hanssen was back, but he wasn’t wearing the tie of authority. he was wearing the open-necked shirt of civilian life. “Avante garde for the NHS,” according to Dominic. Hanssen wasn’t there as CEO, but as a patient’s relative. His son Fredrick (William Postlethwaite – son of Pete) had been in an accident, and needed surgery.
There was a strange drug in Fredrick’s system, the fictional Oxamorol, manufactured by Lovborg, the family business now run by Fredrick. It was a magic bullet for depression, according to Fredrick. Hanssen was devastated to think that he might have passed his own depression to his son.
The truth was actually even more devastating than that. Fredrick was using himself as a guinea pig to test the drug, which had already been shown to have nasty side effects including possible and actual death. He was willing to risk his own life, but also to cover up the negative trials that had already been done. And he didn’t even have depression, dismissing Hanssen’s condition as a weakness. Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 1) For four long weeks we’ve had to wait to find out whether Connie and Grace were going to survive their car plunging down a ravine. Nail-biting tension! But it turned out that that was just a starter tragedy, before the main course of full-on mayhem ensued.
It was the 30th anniversary of the day Charlie Fairhead first walked into Holby ED, with a bit more hair and a Bristol accent, but otherwise basically the same wise, sensible and Special person he is today. Charlie’s first day was also the first episode of Casualty, so this was a double celebration, and the episode had to be even more spectacular than the magnificent cake Noel had organised. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 18) We all thought we’d seen the last of That Lee, the dastardly villain who broke Dominic’s heart, and stole his mother’s running away money and Digby’s granddad’s medals. But no – there was another nasty twist to the tale.
When Dominic’s patient Alison told Dominic he reminded her of her husband, she couldn’t quite put her finger on why. Everybody else could, as soon as her husband was revealed to be none other than Lee. He insisted that he really loved Dominic, but Alison was pregnant and soon Lee and Dominic were fighting in the staff room, where someone had left a handy cake knife. Ric Griffin waded into the fray, and the ensuing fight scene was rather gripping and well done. Someone got stabbed – but who was the stabber and who was the stabbee? Continue reading