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Holby City: Dofty together, Berena apart

(Series 20, ep. 50 ‘The Right Sort of Animal’ by Ed Sellek 11.12.18) Pop over to Metro for a full review of this glorious episode. Before you go, some random thoughts.

– How fabulous was this episode? I love the quirky things that Ed Sellek puts in his scripts and there were loads of them here. Xavier’s reference to The World According to Garp (telling Serena she was ‘pre-disastered’) has shot him right up in my estimation, and there was another literary reference with Morgan the Organ – the poor man who got hit right in the middle of Pachelbel’s Canon (ouch). The stained glass face stuck in Lexy was brilliant too.

– Reverend Richard Coles’ appearance was really nicely done. His character Henry De Havilland added to the general quirkiness of the wedding in a really joyous way.

– Greta (Zoe Croft) looked absolutely beautiful.

– I also loved Greta’s advice to Dom. Both Greta and Jason are great at getting straight to the heart of things and cutting through the nonsense.

– It was nice to hear Lee Mead using his singing talents, and well done to David Ames for being able to be sung at without going bright red and giggling. Or is that just me?

– It was also lovely to have a Dofty wedding. I was so happy I forgot (till it was over) that Carole Copeland and Sheilagh Chiltern weren’t even there. Luckily both of them will be making appearances in the next few months (see the winter trailer) – but will they ever meet?

– I have a lot of thoughts about Berena, which you can read about in a separate piece over at Metro.

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Holby City news: Sharon D. Clarke and Denis Lawson return to the wards of Holby

sharon d clarke holby2019 is the 20th anniversary year for Holby City – and you can expect lots of guest appearances and surprises in the run up to the 1,000th episode in the autumn.

First off, long-standing Holby fans will be delighted to hear of the return of Sharon D. Clarke as the inimitable Lola Griffin, ex-wife of the esteemed Ric. For those who haven’t met Lola yet you’re in for a treat – she’s one of my favourite ever Holby characters. She’ll only be back for one episode, in which she’ll ‘hold a mirror up to Ric’ as he reflects on his time at Holby. ‘I spent 3 ½ happy years playing Lola,’ Sharon says. ‘She was the kind of woman I would have loved to have seen on my screen when I was growing up. I was very proud to bring her to life and be a part of the Holby family. I’m so excited to be treading the wards again, and seeing what Lola will be getting up to for Holby’s 20th Anniversary. Hey, Ric, Lola’s back in town!

denis lawson holbyDenis Lawson also returns as CT surgeon Tom Campbell-Gore, who will be a rival to Ric for some crucial funding. This storyline will also introduce new surgeon Ange Godard (played by Dawn Steele). Lawson, who left Holby in 2004, says, ‘I have great memories of my time on Holby City and I’m delighted to be back on my old stomping ground with the Holby cast and crew.’

Executive Producer Simon Harper is also teasing more excitement to come in the months ahead. ‘We want to give the audience a whole year of anniversary treats, paying homage to the show’s heritage with some delicious returning characters – but also celebrating the new, working towards the 1000th episode around Bonfire Night… which is set to be an explosive story indeed!’

He’s also delighted about Denis and Sharon returning to Holby. ‘It’s a massive thrill to have Denis back, not only as one of our country’s foremost actors but also as one of Holby’s original bad boys in the show’s early years! Tom Campbell-Gore hasn’t changed a bit since he left Holby 15 years ago and definitely has some scores to settle with Ric… And it’s such a coup to have Sharon here again. It’s fantastic too, given how in demand she is  – not only is she a fabulous actor and a much loved tender, funny Holby character but  we clearly couldn’t let the anniversary pass without the appearance of one of Ric’s many ex-wives to ruffle his feathers.’

I can’t wait!

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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: 13 different ways to kill

(Series 20, ep. 48 ‘Hold My Hand’ by Robert Goldsbrough 27.11.18) Head over to Metro for my proper, grown-up review. But first, here are my random thoughts o’ the week.

– We know that Berenice Wolfe knows 13 different ways to kill with her bare hands, so Dr Leah Faulkner should perhaps watch out. Or should it be Serena who watches out, given that she’s the one being unfaithful?

– Is anyone getting behind the idea of Lerena, or is the whole idea of Serena and Anyone Who Isn’t Bernie just an abomination that can’t be contemplated?

– Hanssen was just lovely with his patient Maeve, wasn’t he? Sacha levels of niceness. I really hope he does take up the ‘poisoned chalice’ of the Desk of Power, not least because I want the decor in there returning to calming Scandinavian neutrals ASAP.

– Despite missing fingers, people barfing blood and deluded young men trying to half kill themselves for afterlife kicks, this was actually a nice, normal episode after all the Gaskell craziness. Doctors, nurses, sick people – and Jac Naylor, a doctor and a sick person at the same time.

– I genuinely am going to miss Dr Meena Chowdhury. I liked her entitled-princess-meets-harsh-reality story arc, the way she’s fragile and lonely but inside her there’s a core of sterner stuff.

– I’ve already seen next week’s episode and the one after that. My lips are entirely sealed and no amount of bribery or cajoling will unseal them. My Pulses Loyalty Card is depending on my silence (buy 15 muffins, get one muffin for 10% off. They don’t just give them away at Pulses).

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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: People are dead! People are in agony!

Holby City Series 20 - Ep46(Series 20, ep. 46 ‘Report to the Mirror, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 13.11.18) This week’s review is over at Metro as usual. A few additional thoughts:

– This episode went total body-horror, with Jac having the awful and full knowledge that to get the dreaded implant out of her she had to place her life in the hands of a man she knew she couldn’t trust at all. It’s scary enough having surgery when you know the surgeon is sane and competent and has your best interests at heart, but Gaskell? Yikes. And you could see all of that playing across Jac’s face coupled with the absolute determination that she had no alternative.

– The sight of Lana’s body with open wounds in Gaskell’s lab was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on Holby. I loved how for a few seconds Ric and Sacha couldn’t quite comprehend what they were seeing either. It was absolutely horrific.

– The line of the episode for me was the Professor saying that Essie was ‘lying down in a cold, dark room.’ If Hanssen hadn’t immediately chipped in to say that she had a headache, would other people have picked up on just how sinister that sounded?

– The showdown at the lake was quite epic. I liked the hallucinatory bits where Hanssen thought Gaskell was on the bank with him rather than being in the water. Hanssen’s struggle to overcome the effects of the neurotoxin and stay with reality was mirrored by his struggle to understand the full extent of what Gaskell had been doing – particularly when he realised that Gaskell had killed Roxanna.

– This whole storyline has been ambitious and brilliantly done. Gaskell was a bit sinister right from the get-go, but never went full mwah-hah-hah until right at the end. It’s been gruelling, though. Hopefully there’ll be some lighter storylines coming up in the run-up to Christmas. After all this (admittedly brilliant) drama and horror we could do with a bit of sparkle, some romance, and a very large glass of Shiraz.

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Holby City news: Jack Ryder and Amy Lennox join the cast

Former EastEnders actor Jack Ryder and TV and theatre star Amy Lennox are about to join the cast of Holby City. Amy will play doctor Chloe Godard, the daughter of Ange (played by Dawn Steele, who is also about to make her debut on the show). Jack Ryder will play a surgeon called Evan – who is also Chloe’s on/off boyfriend.

Amy said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Holby as Chloe Godard and working with such an amazing cast and crew over at BBC Elstree.  Chloe has some really great storylines coming up that I can’t wait to share with you all. So excited!“

Jack says he’s “delighted to be joining Holby City and look forward to working with such a talented group of people. I can’t wait to give a voice to this exciting new character and serve a show that people love.”

Executive Producer Simon Harper revealed that the show has been talking to Jack for some time, trying to find the right part for him. “His powerful, nuanced audition for Evan blew us away.  He’s both a household name and a superb actor, and fans who remember him as Jamie in EastEnders are in for a big treat and quite a surprise seeing him in this very different role. Evan is a complex, alpha surgeon who makes some major waves in Holby.” He’s also excited about the addition of Amy to the cast: “Her performance as the strong yet deeply vulnerable Chloe is terrific as she brings to life this fascinating, multi-layered character at the heart of a huge story for 2019.”

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