(Series 20, ep. 1 ‘The Prisoner’ by Ed Sellek 2.1.18) This stand-alone episode dealt with four days in the life of Ric Griffin, in prison on remand following his assault on Jeremy Warren, and Oliver Valentine, returning to the world after being in a coma since being shot in the head.
Ric might have a posh voice and an air of refinement, but he has great intelligence, a boxer’s instincts and he’s seen a bit of the world. While prison obviously came as a huge culture shock for him, he navigated prison politics quite well. When he was befriended by a prisoner called Dillon (played by the brilliantly named Chord Melodic), it took him a little while to realise that Dillon had an agenda – he wanted Ric to use his medical contacts in the outside world to get drugs into the prison. As soon as he’d worked out what was what, Ric refused to have any part of the scheme – with the result that he’s now a marked man. Indeed he’s possibly literally marked by now, because when we last saw him he was surrounded by Dillon’s thugs in the prison yard. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 51 ‘Veil of Tears, Part Two’ by Michelle Lipton 26.9.17) Some marriages last longer than others on Holby City (and in real life), but the marriage of the auspiciously named Mr and Mrs Valentine scarcely made it past ‘I do.’ The wedding night was spent with the bride, still in her wedding dress, keeping vigil at her unconscious father’s bedside. The groom, meanwhile, had had time to change into a lovely blue shirt that matched his eyes. In fact Ollie was looking at his most dashing throughout the episode.
And he’s nice as well. I mean, he’s a proper catch – the sort of man who’ll support your career, putting his own plans on hold to stand by you by moving to America for six months and doing an AAU-type job in New Haven just so you can fulfil your dreams of being a top CT surgeon. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 50 ‘Veil of Tears, Part One’ by Joe Ainsworth 19.9.17) Ollie was delighted to see pocket-sized, Herzig-hearted God botherer Lexy, who had turned up to officiate at the Zollie wedding. Frankly I wouldn’t have been so pleased – have we ever seen Lexy preside over something that ended happily?
But surely nothing could go wrong this time. The wedding was in a magnificent location (Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, which looked like it deserved a BBC drama all to itself). The bride looked incredibly beautiful and the groom was adorable. The guest list had been whittled down to a bare minimum – Ollie’s marvellously sarcastic mother (Diana Kent), his old pal Nick (Christopher Goh), Dominic and boyfriend Freddie and – because nobody had remembered to un-invite him – Lofty. Curly Watts and his David Bowie tribute act had also been cancelled, somewhat frustratingly for those of us who were eager to experience his ‘Space Oddity.’ Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 49 ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ by Joe Ainsworth 12.5.17) Zosia was really out of her depth in this episode, trying to cover for her father’s increasingly worrying behaviour. In that sense she’s more like him than she would probably want to admit – it’s the Self family way to try to cover for shortcomings and push through problems as if they don’t exist. It’s exactly how he treated her bipolar until it reached crisis point.
Crisis point in Guy’s case came during a neuro operation, when Zosia was already knuckles deep in the brain of Darwin patient o’ the week, Christian Pinnington (Jamie Maclachlan). Selfie was supposed to be doing the op himself, but he’d been drinking earlier, and was definitely not himSelf. Zosia had seen warning signs earlier and had tried to emphasise the risks of the procedure to Christian in the hopes that he would decide not to go ahead. If she’d added, “and I think the surgeon might not be entirely stable,” I think she’d have succeeded. Continue reading
(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. 47 ‘Keep On Running’ by Michelle Lipton 29.8.17) It was the Holby Half Marathon (in aid of skin cancer charities in honour of Arthur Digby) and Lofty was wearing a chicken suit. He fully expected Dominic to be wearing an egg costume because they were supposed to see what would come first, the chicken or the egg. That would have been hilarious (and educational), but Dominic hadn’t taken the plan seriously and had come dressed as a Proper Athlete, and accompanied by his new boyfriend Freddie (Aaron Fontaine). Poor Lofty. Luckily he had a man dressed as Where’s Wally for company.
The Curse of the Holby Friend/Relative struck poor Freddie when a car ran into the marathon and Freddie ended up as the main victim. This gave Dominic the chance to have some doubts about whether he was ready for a relationship. It gave Lofty the chance to look sad that, if Dom was ready for a relationship, it was going to be with someone who wasn’t Lofty. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 46 ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Angela Holden 22.8.17) It’s breathless post-holiday catch-up time, and apologies in advance if this review is more brief/even more befuddled than usual – I watched it through a happy fog of jet-lag.
As is the Holby way, Zosia was offered a job totally out of the blue. Its a six month residential placement at Yale, which is in America and isn’t just another fictional suburb of Holby. Hence it’s a Very Big Deal, and Jac gave her until the end of the day to decide. Zosia was a bit worried about how to tell Ollie, but he was fine with it once he’d blinked back a manly tear at the thought of being without her for six months.
When Zosia later changed her mind and said she’d be staying at Holby but switching to Neuro, Jac told her she shouldn’t be spending her life “emotionally care-taking for some man whose needs are always going to come before her talents” – and that’s exactly what Zosia was doing. But the man wasn’t Ollie, it was Selfie. He divided his time in this episode between being the arch manipulator he is (sowing seeds of doubt in Ollie about how Tara was treated before she died, and in Zosia about how much Ollie still cares about Tara) and making a few odd, out-of-character mistakes. Zosia decided she needed to keep an eye on him.
When he wasn’t worrying about Tara, Ollie was pondering a job offer of his own. Ric very much wanted him to stay on AAU and even offered him the incentive of a lovely cholecystectomy. Frankly I’d prefer chocolates, but whatever does it for you. Ollie was quite tempted to stay on shoe-sick central, where the staff are nice (ie not Jac), but on the other hand he knows full well that those darker blue Darwin scrubs suit him so much more.
In other news, Lofty didn’t seem happy to discover that Dominic had a date.