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Holby City: Holby’s huggiest medic needs a hug

(Series 20, ep. 29 ‘The Friend Zone’ by Katie Douglas 17.7.18) This week’s in-depth Holby City review can be found at its new home on Metro. Pop over and give it a look (and peruse all their other lovely TV content while you’re there).

Meanwhile, here’s the episode in bullet points:

– Sacha and Patricia. Would that ever have worked? Are their names too awkward to say in the same sentence? We’ll never know now, because she made it quite clear that she doesn’t view him as boyfriend material. The fool.

– Sacha and Essie, though – they are so lovely together. But are they the kind of lovely couple who are better off being friends, or do we want them to get back together?

– It breaks my heart when the cuddliest man in the hospital needs a cuddle himself. Anyone who wants to join a Cuddle Sacha Squad, we assemble at dawn!

– I seriously want to knock Nicky and Meena’s heads together. They’re both good doctors in their way, but if I was a patient I wouldn’t want to be treated by them.

– Even being faced by a young woman with a life-limiting illness didn’t make them stop and think that life was too short for petty squabbles.

– And you’d have to be desperate to want to get back on Gloomy Gaskell’s team.

– I still can’t decide about Zav. Is he a bit of a sweetheart, as Serena is apparently starting to think, or a bit of a twonk? And are he and Donna heading for a romance do you think? If they are, I suppose we’ll have to refer to them as #Dav, because #Zonna is weird and #Xonna is worse.

HOLBY CITY BEHIND THE SCREEN – Celebrate the NHS and Holby City with the official guide to the show.

HALF A WORLD AWAY – My new novel: love and treachery in Cold War Berlin.

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Holby City: Cradle to grave

(Series 20, ep. 27 ‘The Anniversary Waltz’ by Joe Ainsworth 3.7.18) This episode was Holby City’s tribute to the NHS on its 70th anniversary, and it was full of lovely moments.

It was topped and tailed with voiceovers of Ric, Serena, Xavier and Jac talking about what the NHS means to them. To Serena “it’s a beautiful thing – a health service available to all, from cradle to grave.” Ric agrees: “Every patient who comes through those doors is equal.” Xavier, meanwhile, likes “the action, the buzz.” And Jac? “None of your business.” Jac doesn’t gush, not even for the NHS.

Holby was the receiving hospital for casualties when the roof of Holby indoor market collapsed. Beds were cleared, protocols were enacted, everyone had to be on top of their game. Patient Lennie Jefferies (Gary Beadle) immediately recognised Serena – or “Dr McKinnie,” as he’d known her. Many years earlier he’d been stabbed in a knife fight, and the young doctor who’d saved him had been Serena. Not only had she saved his life, but she’d inspired him to turn his life around and he was now a father and a model citizen. When he was found to be suffering from some nasty internal injuries it fell to Serena again, with Ric’s help, to try to save his life. Again she succeeded. 

I emitted a small squeaking sound when Lennie was visited later by his daughter. Her name was Serena.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Killer microbes everywhere

(Series 20, ep. 26 ‘Fallen Idol’ by Kathrine Smith 27.6.18) Nicky accidentally dropped a flask of what may or may not have been E. coli, meaning she and Xavier were trapped in a room with only half a bag of chicken crisps for company while they waited for the decontamination team to arrive. “I didn’t know I was stepping into a toxic germ-dungeon,” Zav complained, though he’s worked so much on AAU that he must be used to it by now.

This was the opportunity for some serious truth-telling, with Zav telling Nicky she wastes her potential by drinking too much and having a bit of a chaotic lifestyle. In return she had a go at him about how he was a rubbish boyfriend to Meena, and we finally found the deep secret in his past – that his parents blame him for his younger brother’s death. That’s as much as we were told, which was a bit annoying because in real life someone with the famed people skills of Nicky would have wanted Detail. I know I would have. Possibly the details are being left for another time, maybe when Maman et/ou Papa Duvall appear in person having succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative and in need of the medical skills of their sibling-killing son.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Risky business

(Series 20, ep. 25 ‘Primum Non Nocere, Part Two’ by Patrick Homes 20.6.18) This episode started exactly where the last one left off, if we ignore a bit of preamble with Prof Gaskell muttering ominously to an unseen someone on a ventilator. Meena had just told the Prof of her worries about the trial, and Jac was just about to go into surgery.

Abi had found someone called Dr Philippe Duplessis (Wela Mbusi) who was keen to watch Jac’s op. He was in a similar line of research to the Prof, only his trials were confined to mice. He was excited to see a guinea pig instead, in the form of Holby’s top CT surgeon.

Jac was having a few pre-op worries – the anaesthetist had gone AWOL, the Prof kept wandering off, it was looking like a bit of a shambles – but she went ahead anyway.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Decisions, decisions

(Series 20, ep. 24 ‘Primum Non Nocere, Part One’ by Patrick Homes 12.6.18) The fancy Latin title of the episode means ‘First, do no harm.’ It’s the reminder from the Hippocratic Oath that doctors are not really supposed to make things worse.

It fell to Meena (that jacket looked gorgeous on her, btw) to be the one to start uncovering what we might call the irregularities in Prof Gaskell’s trial. She found the notes from the Fiona Fawcett case, and heard about the recent trial patient in Tangiers, and there were some worrying parallels.

Meena is not a fool. She’s nervous, under-confident and over-eager to impress, but she’s smart and perceptive and she realised she was onto something worrying. She talked to Prof Gaskell about it, but he brushed her concerns aside in that slightly threatening way he has. She asked colleague and boyfriend Xavier what she should do, and he said there were plenty of people higher up the food chain who could take the responsibility for dealing with the information and it wasn’t up to her to do it.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Summer trailer – the highlights

“What are you doing in my bedroom?” Frieda asks a somewhat naked Xavier. More to the point, what is she doing in her bedroom, as she seemed to have left last week.

Carole Copeland! Always a joy. Please let her meet Sheilagh soon.

 

Berena reunited! A nation rejoices. But there are hints that this might mean Serena will be leaving, which would fling a nation into mourning.

 

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Holby City: Only so much glory to go round

(Series 20, ep. 21 ‘Belonging’ by Katie Douglas 22.5.18) Junior doctors are very competitive, aren’t they? Always wanting to get their noses into the exciting procedures with the best surgeons, tripping over each other to get their hands on the most obscure and gory thing possible.

Meena and Nicky are no exception, although in their case it comes with a side order of stroppy hair-tossing and foot-stamping that reminds me of when PLA Jr used to go to an all-girls’ school. In other words, it’s a tiny bit irritating and makes me think, “Oh, just grow up, will you?” But on the other hand (as with PLA Jr’s school days) I have sympathy for them, too – it’s not easy being a young woman in a competitive environment.  Continue reading

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