Tag Archives: bob barrett

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: Promised you a miracle

(Series 20, ep. 5 ‘One Day at a Time’ by Isla Gray 30.1.18) Prof Gaskell is a strange one, isn’t he? He spent a good chunk of this episode reciting poetry, either to himself or to patients, in a somewhat doomy voice. I can’t help thinking it’s not really what you want when you’re just coming round from anaesthetic.

The patient he was reciting William Blake to at the end was a mystery person in Lisbon. Was this a flashback, or had he nipped to Lisbon quickly at the end of the shift? And is this mystery person (relative? partner?) the reason why he’s so driven to succeed with his stem cell treatment?

So many questions. I expect we’ll get answers, and probably more questions, in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, this was the week of his pioneering operation, which was so pioneering it was on live video link to the entire hospital and, indeed, the world. Plenty of pressure there for Prof Gaskell (who deals with pressure via the aforementioned poetry), Meena (who trembles, drops things and hides in out-of-order toilet cubicles) and the patient, Fiona (Shannon Murray). The surgery was apparently a success, despite a very hairy moment when I was sure Meena was going to drop the graft on the floor. I wonder if the 30 second rule applies in operating theatres?  Continue reading


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Holby City: Ollie helps out

(Series 20, ep. 3 ‘There by the Grace of…’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 16.1.18) Many years ago I used to work with people who had physical disabilities. I think it says a huge amount about James Anderson’s well-observed, thoughtful acting that, in this episode, Ollie reminded me really strongly of a man I worked with who was disabled after a head injury – the speech patterns, the mannerisms – and I hadn’t thought about that man for years.

For plot reasons, Ollie was on AAU this week. Roxanna thought it would be helpful for him to have the stimulus of being surrounded by people barfing on other people’s shoes all day long, but just in case it was too much he was popped into a side room and the staff were told not to get him over excited.  Continue reading


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Holby City: Don’t be a martyr

image(Series 20, ep. 2 ‘Ready Or Not’ by Robert Goldsbrough 9.1.18) When we left Ric Griffin surrounded by violent thugs at the end of the last episode, I wondered whether we’d next see him at Holby as a patient. Instead, we saw this week that he had been badly injured, but not as badly as fellow inmate Danny (Gruffudd Glyn), who was brought in to AAU in a bit of a mess.

Danny passed a message to Sacha that Ric didn’t want Donna going to the prison, so Sacha got Fletch to ask her to work overtime. Then Sacha went to the prison on his own.

Sacha is full of compassion and kindness, but he doesn’t have the same level of street-smarts as Ric does. Ric is just about surviving in the prison because he knows it’s best to keep your head down and your mouth shut. When Sacha discovered that Ric had been beaten up, he had to do something to help.  Continue reading


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Holby City: Shadow of a gunman

(Series 19, ep. 62 ‘Group Animal, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 7.12.17) I don’t know how I can do this brilliant, tense, suspenseful episode any justice other than to give you a blow-by-blow account of what happened. There was so much detail in it, and not a single scene was wasted or slack. Brilliant work from writer Andy Bayliss. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the episode!  Continue reading


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Holby City: All bleeding eventually stops

(Series 19, ep. 61 ‘Group Animal, Part One’ by Andy Bayliss 5.12.17) Jac has been suffering for months now – ever since Jasmine died back in June. We saw her pain in the weeks just after that – remember when she looked so tightly held together it seemed like she might explode at any minute? Since then she’s been her snarky, sarcastic, business-as-usual self, until recently – when it became clear that she hasn’t dealt with losing her sister at all, and she isn’t coping.

And then this episode started with Jac, looking more relaxed than she has for weeks, telling Raf that she was leaving Holby. She was going to take her daughter a long way away, and concentrate on being a mother and being happy.

Thousands of Jac Naylor fans blinked back tears of disbelief. Holby without Jac? Surely not? But worse was to come.  Continue reading


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Holby City: Facing up

(Series 19, ep. 60 ‘Hiding Places’ by Gerard Sampaio 28.11.17) They’re dropping like flies at Holby. We lost lovely Damon Ford and spooky Fredrik Johanssen last week, and this week we waved goodbye to the beautiful smile of Nina Karnik and the luscious locks of Matteo Rossini. It’s just as well some new blood is arriving soon, because Holby is just haemorrhaging staff at the moment.

It seemed certain this week that we’d lose Nina, but it was less clear what would happen to Matteo. Determined to bring her baby up in a supportive family atmosphere, Nina was planning to move to Amsterdam, where her sister and nieces and nephews would provide the family. Matteo, meanwhile, signalled his distress with what Ollie called “a slight but appreciable dip in his grooming standards.” In other words, his hair was not looking quite as luscious as usual.  Continue reading


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