Tag Archives: bob Barratt

Holby City: The one with the Norse gods

hanssen holby(Series 18, ep. 26) If you see the phrase “Norse God” and immediately think “Henrik Hanssen,” you’d have agreed with whoever voted for him to win the Sexiest Doctor prize in the annual Holby Awards. He beat stiff competition from Oliver Valentine and Dr Raf Not-Smug for the accolade, and accepted it with the slightly ironic grace the situation demanded.

digby dominic holbyFor other Norse gods we must turn to Digby, and his new hobby of making copper medallions of all our favourites from the Thor movies and giving them to his friends and colleagues to wear (I was quite pleased that Loki was meant for Dominic). Never mind that it turned their skin green, it kept him occupied and that’s what he needs at the moment.

What he doesn’t really need is people pussy-footing around him, but that’s what darling Dominic spent most of the day doing, because he wants to help. Sadly with the best will in the world you’re not going to be able to stop a doctor with cancer coming across patients with cancer, and Dominic realised (with Sacha’s help) that the best way to help Digby was to be normal around him. Which meant the skin-discolouring Norse god (the medal, not Hanssen) had to go for a start.  Continue reading


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Holby City: Who’s sitting at Hanssen’s desk?

(Series 15, ep.5)   “Who is running Holby City?” Ric wanted to know when he discovered Henrik Hanssen had taken a leave of absence (that’s “leave of absence,” worried Hanssenites – they mentioned him so often in this episode that I’m quite confident he’ll be back. It’s Luc Hemingway all over again). Ric was not perked up to discover that the answer to his question was (temporarily) Serena Campbell, a woman with whom he does not exactly see eye to eye.

She’s confident, that Serena. Her job interview was more like a sales pitch to the board.  “I have what I believe is a compelling solution,” she briskly informed them. “Me.” The thing with Serena is, although she does display flashes of warmth, she is really all about the balance sheet. As such, she did look scarily comfortable in Hanssen’s chair.

Everyone wanted Ric to go for the CEO job, because Michael Spence and Elliott Hope weren’t interested in it and everyone is scared of Serena. The four of them seemed to be the entire candidate pool. I don’t have any particular knowledge of NHS administration, but I couldn’t help thinking this wasn’t the most realistic scenario I’d ever come across. What it did do, however, was set Ric up for the classic patient v future-of-the-hospital dilemma. He had a patient who was about to have a kidney transplant, and the kidney she was about to get might or might not give her cancer. Serena thought it would be dreadful publicity for the hospital if they gave a patient cancer, but Ric felt the kidney was the only option for the patient. It wasn’t ideal that his interview for the CEO job meant he had to leave the operation early and leave the suturing up in the capable hands of The Malick. Naturally the machines started going beep while he was away, and by the time he got back to theatre there was blood everywhere. “You take the vein, I’ll take the artery,” said Ric.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Small things done in a great way

(Series 15, ep.4)   Not wanting to run into board member Cunningham, Hanssen pressed the B button on the lift and found himself in the basement. The basement is generally the place Holby cast members go to collapse, be attacked or have a sulky smoke. Nothing good generally happens there, but on this occasion, Hanssen found himself chatting to a Polish porter, Karol, whose job was under threat. This porter was a wise old sort, although he was blissfully unaware that he was talking to Henrik Hanssen, somewhat implausibly, given that Hanssen’s face had been all over local newspapers and TV news for weeks. It reminded me of the encounter between Kevin and the owner of the toy store in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (I’m sorry, but that film is my cultural touchstone). Karol was a people-person and liked to make a difference to the people he worked with. He had the following advice: “If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.”   Continue reading


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Holby City: All you need is love. And Camoxidan

(Series 14, ep.52) An entire episode dealing with Chrissie’s inner turmoil as to whether to marry Sacha or not does not sound like the stuff televisual dreams are made of. I mean, for one thing – duh! He might be built more for comfort than speed, but Sacha is officially The Nicest Man in the World, so why wouldn’t you want to marry him? Particularly when you’ve sampled more or less everyone else. But it was actually one of the best episodes of Holby I’ve ever seen.

It took place across the five days leading up to The Happy Occasion. On Monday, the betrothed pair were planning to keep the wedding quiet and Chrissie was looking about as excited as if she was going for a colonoscopy. Meanwhile, Michael Spence was worried about letting Eddi have the keys to the drugs cupboard, what with her involvement with Wolfie and his druggy behaviour, and told her she’d only be able to do this if she got them signed off by another doctor (ie Luc) first. The only way Eddi could cope with all this suspicion was with liberal doses of Camoxidan.

By Tuesday, Eddi was getting numb hands. This is what Camoxidan abuse does, as we saw from Wolfie. It was also making her stroppier than usual and making her shout at Billy Corkhill from Brookside, whose wife was in a coma. “Eddi is a great nurse, but she’s a little feisty,” Sacha apologised. Eddi’s Camoxidan supply ran out. The quiet wedding was turning into a slightly larger affair when Sacha’s daughters got wind of it and proceeded to cry and sulk because they hadn’t been invited. “They forced it out of me,” Sacha apologised again. Only to Chrissie this time, rather than Billy Corkhill.

On Wednesday, love was in the air, as Oli and Tara arrived at the hospital holding hands. I can’t help thinking of them as “the Valentines” already. Meanwhile, Chrissie was arriving at the hospital in a hot car with a bunch of Sacha’s relatives. (By coincidence, Sacha’s mum is also the mum of Jackie in Friday Night Dinner). Chrissie was having major doubts. “Am I making a terrible mistake?” she fretted in the general direction of Malick. This is Malick who was party to her terrible mistake with Dan Hamilton, don’t forget. On Darwin, Jac had found a use for Tara, when a Chinese patient needed a translator. Only the patient spoke Cantonese and Tara only speaks Mandarin, so she had to ring her mum for a translation. Plus she was in an even bigger fluster than usual because Oli had casually let slip that he loves her (all together now: Squeeeeeeee!!!).

Thursday, AKA Wedding Eve, AKA Last Day of Freedom, depending on your viewpoint. If Chrissie thought she was going to slip quietly into wedded bliss, Chantelle had other plans as she’d arranged a hen party, complete with pink fluffy L plates for Chrissie. I think she passed that particular test some time ago. Marvellously, Sacha’s stag do took place in Luc’s camper van, and even more marvellously the only guests were Michael Spence, Luc – and Jac Naylor. It was perfect that Jac was there, because she’s far more at home with the stags than the hens and her friendship with Sacha is a precious and lovely thing. It’s also lovely to see Jac really smiling and looking relaxed and happy. Not that she wasn’t her usual sarcastic self, though. Sacha was telling them about the night he met Chrissie. “By the end of the night we had conceived Daniel,” he sighed, and everyone looked slightly queasy. Sacha didn’t notice, because he was radiantly happy. “I wish you could all have what I have,” he said. Jac didn’t miss a beat. “In fairness, most of the hospital’s had what you have,” she said. As Jac was leaving, she bumped into Chrissie, who may or may not have been on her way to tell Sacha she was having second thoughts. Any nonsense of that sort was swiftly banished by Jac, who reminded Chrissie in no uncertain terms that Sacha is officially The Nicest Man in the World and not to go breaking his heart – or else.

In other news on the Thursday, Eddi was busy switching Tara’s Chinese patient’s medication – giving the patient aspirin, so she could grab a couple of those precious Camoxidan tablets. Oh, Eddi.

And at last, The Big Day. Thanks to some last-minute work by Chrissie and the female Levis, the wedding took place in the restaurant where Sacha and Chrissie had their first date. Only a stone’s throw from the hospital as well. It was a magical occasion, with the groom looking like he couldn’t believe his luck, the bride looking happy (albeit in a not entirely convinced way), Jac looking sceptical and Eddi off her box on Camoxidan. Mo and Jonny Mac turned up – in fact most of the cast were there at some point, though I was a little disappointed that Mark “Jesus” Williams didn’t show up, because it’s always handy to have “Jesus” at a wedding party in case the wine runs out. Eddi made a bit of a show of herself and had to be taken back to the camper van by Luc to sleep it off, and Tara said something to Oli in Chinese which was probably that she loves him, too. Because that’s what people do at weddings. They get romantic, or sentimental, or hammered. Or they just do a spot of dad-dancing, like Jonny Mac.

Next time: OMG! It’s Series 15!

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Holby City: The things people keep in their drawers

(Series 14, ep.51)  Have you noticed how people on TV have really tidy desk drawers? Typically the top drawer of any given TV desk will contain a few sheets of paper and One Thing important to the character or plot. If the character is an alcoholic, the One Thing will be a bottle of whisky. If they’re a bit dodgy, it’ll be a gun. If they’re worried they might be pregnant, it will be a pregnancy test in a large pink box. If they’ve recently removed a huge nail from their own abdomen, it’ll be a suture kit. But more of that later.

This episode had been hotly anticipated. The trailers looked tense – Hanssen kidnapped in the back of a van in the hospital car park by the son of the late Nice Mr Mooney, crazed with grief and after retribution. There were bottles of inflammable liquids and a lighter. There was a nasty-looking nail gun. But in the end, that part of the story wasn’t very tense at all, because for tense you need someone who’s looking scared, and Hanssen was as cool as could be. Little George Binns was flying the flag for “tense” and “scared” elsewhere, though.   Continue reading


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Holby City: You are not the only surgeon at Holby

(Series 14, Ep.24) Poor old Rafi. He spent years being the invisible househusband of Sahira Shah the Registrah. He gave up the chance of a job in Nottingham (where they have miles of cycle paths, and he just loves cycle paths) to stay at Holby, and now he is completely unable to persuade his wife to leave work on time so he can spend quality (and quantity) time with her. The kids hardly know who she is any more, and she’s forgotten the name of the one who isn’t My Adorable Son Indy altogether. What’s an anaesthetist to do? Well, he could drug her and prop her up in an armchair at home so the family could all admire her, but that would be unethical and more than a little weird. So what he did this week was put his foot down and tell her she simply must leave work on time so they could go for a posh meal, with wine and everything, and put their heads together to try and remember the name of their second child.

She agreed to this plan and even put some of the red lipstick on that she wears when she’s trying to do posh, the one that doesn’t really suit her. But of course Sahira may be a wife and mother, but foremost she is a Deeply Caring and Committed Surgeon. Henrik Hanssen, who loves her in a spooky, unrequited way, knows this about her and threw the tempting morsel of a girl with a thyroid cancer called Raymond (that was the cancer’s name, not the girl’s. Don’t ask) in her way.  Sahira made a huge effort to resist this gambit, by roping in Young Dr Oliver Valentine to do the surgery instead of her. I felt completely sorry for Boy Valentine. He knew he was out of his depth and so did Sahira and it was a shocking way to treat a junior colleague and a patient. Boringly, it meant that yet again Sahira could swoop in at the last minute and leave everyone marvelling at her supernaturally brilliant surgical skills.   Continue reading


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Holby City: If something works, why not use it?

(Series 14, Ep.20) We’ll start in Darwin this week, I think. They were having a clear-out of some old machines – the ones that go beep, only they don’t beep as loudly as today’s more modern, shinier versions, so they had to go. You didn’t have to be a long time student at the Holby University of Televisual Medicine to know this was all really just an analogy for dear old Elliott Hope and his charming old-fashioned ways, but just in case you missed it the daughter of a patient was on hand to spell it out in nice big letters. “If something works, why not use it?” she said, of the machinery and of Elliott. She and her father had travelled from Kiev, and we know that Kiev’s state hospitals are not over-endowed with machinery of any type. The father, Petro, had a serious heart condition (of course), and he and his daughter had come to find Elliott on the recommendation of the doctor he met at Christmas.  Would Elliott go out on a limb and offer surgery to a person who wasn’t, strictly speaking, entitled to it? Continue reading


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