Tag Archives: catherine russell

Holby City: Something going on that I’m not yet aware of

PLA group holby 3(Series 22, ep. 3 by Katie Douglas 21.1.20) Pop over to Metro for my in-depth probe of last night’s episode. But first…

– Catherine Russell is going to be so much missed at Holby. Feisty, fearless, funny, flawed Serena Campbell has been a wonderful character and I hope we see her back again at some point in the future. And I also look forward to seeing whatever Catherine does next.

– Line of the week: (Sacha’s response on hearing that Essie has been out dancing) ‘Tea- or line-?’

– Line of the week 2: (Alex) ‘I’m not lonely, Serena, I’m just sad.’

– Serena’s farewell to the group in the doorway was really moving, especially her words to Cameron that Bernie had been proud of him.

– Though she did leave the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery behind without a last glance at the final resting place of her mother and of Bernie’s ashes. And the Raf Di Lucca memorial Lump. And the Digby memorial Wonky Plaque. Okay, I concede that if she’d stopped to look at all that she’d have been wandering around that Shrubbery for hours while Donna, Jason, Sacha etc shivered in the doorway and got muscle strains from prolonged waving and smiling tearfully.

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Holby City: Three years on

serena holby 53(Series 21, ep. 53 ‘Mothers and Their Daughters’ by Patrick Homes 31.12.19) Pop over to Metro for my review of this episode. But before you go…

– As I did in the previous lions and lambs episode, I found myself wondering which I am. I think I’m probably a lamb/shepherd hybrid, if that’s a thing.

– Cam is quite the centre of attention, isn’t he? It mainly is because there are no other males of an eligible age at that hospital.

– I liked the moody opening with Serena in the rain mangling a rose. When we saw at the end that she was standing in a graveyard – was that actually the Holby garden with added gravestones? Or a real graveyard with added Serena?

– All of this business about Max closing the YAU (it had to happen) and putting Darwin out to tender is clearly leading up to the return of Henrik Hanssen. The moral compass once again needs recalibrating and he’s the only man with the skills.

– Essie has lovely hair.

– Happy New Year!

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Holby City announces Catherine Russell’s departure

GenericsSad news from Holby City today as it’s been announced that Catherine Russell will be leaving after seven years playing Serena Campbell.

Catherine explained her reasons for the change, saying, ‘Playing Serena Campbell and being part of the Holby family has been an absolute delight. I just need to get out there, frighten myself again and pretend to be someone else.’

It’s been promised that Serena will make a ‘heroic’ exit in early 2020. She’ll face a ‘dark reminder’ of the past and we’ll see her ‘joyously rebellious side’ as she fights for her family and the values she holds dear. The door will also be left open for her to return – Catherine says ‘Hopefully I’ll be able to revisit the hospital as it really is the most wonderful place to work!’

Catherine has put a video on Twitter about her decision here

Executive Producer Simon Harper has paid tribute to Catherine’s work on the show. ‘She’s truly one of the Holby greats,’ he says. ‘We are all very sad to say goodbye to her – but it’s no surprise such a talented actor should want to go and play other roles again after seven outstanding years.  Catherine, we wish you all the best, while raising a bucket of shiraz to the glory that is Ms Campbell – and I just can’t thank you enough.’

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Holby City: Evan’s back! Dead!

19076400-low_res-holby-city(Series 21, ep. 44 ‘Hubble Bubble’ by Joe Ainsworth 29.10.19) Pop over to Metro to peruse this week’s review. But first…

– You’d have assumed things would have gone back to normal after the craziness of last week, but you’d be wrong. It’s Halloween, so we must have ghosts. Evan was a very good ghost (he even did that twitch thing that he started to do in the cottage-in-the-country episode).

– I’d have also enjoyed a Ghostly Gaskell, but you can’t have everything.

– They keep showing Joseph in the ‘Previously’ sections (thank you, Holby people) – so I think we have to blame a lot of Jac’s mental anguish on her heartbreak at having to deal with losing him yet again. I can relate.

– Bernie (whom we and Cameron have to deal with losing on a gradual and weekly basis) has now taken her rightful place in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery where her remains will be free to drift around the delightful landscape and possibly settle as a fine dust on the Raf Di Lucca Memorial Lump.

– It was nice of Cameron to offer Serena a bit of ash and also nice of her to refuse (‘She was your mother’), but what about his sister Charlotte? Did she have no view as to her mother’s final resting place?

– I hope Jac’s getting lawyered up ready to fight That Stacey and the Man with the Missing Balls for custody of Emma.

Dominic was so sweet with the trick-or-treat kids. It seems to be Lofty who has the problem with impending fatherhood, which is inconvenient to say the least.

Line of the week: (Ric, on possibly meeting the health minister) ‘I must remember to wear my formal pyjamas.’ 

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Holby City: We don’t want Ric to be a dead guinea pig

max serena holby 42 ss(Series 21, ep. 42 ‘Hope is a Powerful Drug’ by Simon Norman 15.10.19) Pop yourself over to Metro for my full review of this episode (and a side-ponder about Ric). But first…

– I was unreasonably excited by the glimpse of Joseph in the ‘Previously…’ section. One has to take the few crumbs one is given.

Line of the week 1: (Jac) ‘The competency level just went up.’

Line of the week 2: (Chloe, about Evan) ‘Was he in any pain?’ (Cameron) ‘In my opinion, not nearly enough.’ Yes, Cameron!

Line of the week 3: (Sacha) ‘You can’t just do things ad hoc!’ This clearly marks a radical new change in policy for Holby, where things are done ad hoc on a weekly basis.

– I loved Jac being sympathetic to Chloe. It was perfect. Jac knows that the last thing Chloe needs is mollycoddling – she gets enough of that from Ange.

– What a drippy woman that Frankie is.

– But Callum (the Keller patient) was brilliant. It was one of those guest turns that makes me wish he could be in it every week. We haven’t had a good sociopath in Holby for… oooh, weeks. He was absolutely charming with it, as well.

Max McGerry is wonderful. Max McGerry v Serena is genius.

Line of the week 4: (Max) ‘There is another option. Option C.’ (Serena) ‘Are you pausing for dramatic effect?’ (Max) ‘Did it work?’

– I loved the sequence at the end with Ric hearing the voices from his past accompanied by Arvo Pärt (Fratres For Strings And Percussion – I looked it up). This makes me very excited for the ‘return of Diane Lloyd’ episode. Excited – but nervous…

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Holby City: Another memorial in the Memorial Shrubbery

serena alex holby 31(Series 21, ep. 31 ‘Things My Mother Told Me’ by Martin Jameson 30.7.19) Please head over to Metro for this week’s in-depth review (it’s quite a long one, so maybe get the kettle on – and read this bit – first).

– Does Nicky really like Cameron, romantically, do you think? She responded fairly sharpish to his kiss. But she must have seen him mooning about after Chloe?

– When Alex said she was the love of Bernie’s life do you think she was? There was amazing chemistry between them when we first saw Alex soon after Bernie’s arrival on Holby. The army was a huge part of Bernie’s identity and Alex shared that in a way Serena never could. It was clear that Serena was very precious to Bernie, though, and there was no attempt to airbrush her out of her life as soon as Alex was back on the scene.

– It was interesting that the Darwin patient, Delia, was scared of the treatment she was going to have. I’m sure most people are scared before operations but on Holby they hardly ever show it.

– There was a little reminder that Lofty has a baby on the way, although he doesn’t realise it. That’s obviously going to be a Thing in the not-too-distant future.

– As is Evan. Though I do wonder whether Chloe really needs a divorce – was the bedside wedding legal?* I suppose Evan is the type who’d have rushed off and got all the legal stuff sorted the minute his drip was removed.

– Carole can’t leave, because we haven’t seen her and Hanssen dancing yet, and I so much want to see Dancin’ Hanssen.

– Line of the week: (Carole) ‘Dominic has made a new life for himself and I’m very happy for him but if it’s alright with you I’m going to hang on to my Dazzle.’ Said so much in just one line. Beautiful.

* I have now heard from an extremely reliable source that the bedside wedding was indeed legal, so Chloe does need a divorce, or at least an annulment.

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Holby City: So many questions

alex heather peace serena holby 30(Series 21, ep. 30 ‘Don’t Leave Me’ by Gerard Sampaio 23.7.19) For a full review of this episode please head over to Metro. But first…

– I really enjoyed this episode and was gripped from start to finish. There were so many questions: could Bernie really be alive or was Serena just kidding herself? What was the mystery about Sunny/Vanessa and Kian’s insistence that Sunny had to have her operation today, come what may? And is Oskar going to turn out as spooky as his father?

– Beautiful work by Nic Jackman in this episode. For too long he hasn’t had much to do apart from be competitive with Nicky and gaze longingly at Chloe, so it’s good to see him having a big storyline to work with. 

– It’s always wonderful to see Heather Peace in anything. I would love to see her in Holby full-time – she has such incredible screen presence.

– Isn’t it always the way? You just get your hands full of lung and the lights go out.

– Line of the week: (Oskar) ‘‘Is that bloood? So muuuch! Can I touch it?”

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Holby City: He hasn’t changed a bit

dominic serena isaac holby 24.jpg(Series 21, ep. 24 ‘Over My Dead Body’ by Joe Ainsworth 11.6.19) For my rather long review of this episode pop yourself over to Metro (best make a cup of tea – and read this bit – first).

– ‘I was desperate for you to see how much I’d changed,’ said the man who hasn’t changed at all. Including that when he resorts to violence, as he did here, it’s still as shocking as when we first saw him hit Dominic all that time ago. I think it’s because Marc Elliott’s portrayal of Isaac is of a monster who works primarily on the psychological and emotional level, always with a veneer of charm and reasonableness. His violent outbursts come apparently out of nowhere and are more disturbing for being unexpected.

– His callous attitude to his father was stomach-turning too.

– Talking of stomach turning, that remark by Chloe to Dom about his ‘receptionist mother’ was really nasty, particularly because we all love Carole so much. So does Dominic, as you could see on his face. He was wounded on her behalf, and also perhaps a part of him felt the truth of what Chloe was saying – that he’d been as willing to drop his receptionist mother as he’d been to change his name from Darren to Dominic.

– Hanssen and Oskar – adorable. Holby are so good at casting child actors, and it was a brilliant idea to bring Hanssen and his grandson together like this.

– I guessed straight away that Oskar’s problem was that Hanssen was wearing scrubs. I find Hanssen in anything other than a suit quite odd, too.

– They really do need a neurosurgeon at Holby, don’t they? The number of times no neuro person has been available, because they’re all either dead or at home watching Blue Planet with Oliver Valentine.

– Quote of the week – Essie: ‘Has [Oskar] moved into the office?’ Hanssen: ‘He has made a little land-grab there.’

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Holby City: Family matters

dominic holby 15(Series 21, ep. 15 ‘The Family Way’ by Becky Prestwich 9.4.19) As usual, pop over to Metro to read my full review of this episode.

But before all that…

– David Ames is wringing every last drop of emotion out of this storyline and he’s being brilliant as usual. Bringing Roger back was a lovely idea, both as a sort of avatar for Lofty but also because he’s a lovely character in his own right and it was nice for Dominic to have some support.

– I’ve had a scathingly brilliant idea that Steven Fletcher should turn out to be Dominic’s father (the father hasn’t been mentioned or asked about, weirdly). That would make Dominic Fletch’s brother and Dominic would become a Fletchling. Of course that’s too far-fetched even for this far-fetched storyline, but a girl can dream.

– The episode was beautifully written (by the marvellous Becky Prestwich) and didn’t go over-the-top with Ange’s reminiscences about her six months with Baby Dom (was it Ange who named him Darren? If not, what did she call him?). This left the imagination to fill in the gaps of those sweet and stressful months as she bonded with her little boy only to realise she had to give him away.

– The scene where Serena talked to Donna about daughters was beautifully written, too, and Catherine Russell delivered the most touching performance.

– Zav’s little talk with Mia was perfect. It took me a while to warm to Zav, but I think he’s entirely precious now. The relationship between him and Donna is a wonderful thing.

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Holby City x Casualty: So much to enjoy

For a full review of both episodes head over to Metro. But first, it’s random thoughts time…

Well that was all very exciting, wasn’t it? I think the thing I enjoyed the most about the crossover episodes was seeing unfamiliar combinations of familiar characters. Dylan working with Serena was a highlight and I really want Dylan to be lured to Elstree as soon as possible. They have a Lidl really close to the studios – I think anyone would be tempted.

Other things I enjoyed:

Hanssen walking along the corridors with a torch. Finally we’ve discovered the only way to stop him looming is to put lights on him so you can see him coming.

– Zosia’s comment ‘Wouldn’t be Holby without a crisis.’ Indeed not.

– The guilty/delicious feeling of listening to Ric having a go at Sacha about his parenting skills (when he thought Beka might be pregnant) when we knew Ric was going to have to take a close look at his own family very soon.

The evil electronic door locks that kept Connie out of her trauma theatre and locked Essie and Beka into the CT room. It was like the hospital had a mind of its own. Evil!

Elle and Ric. It’s about time Ric walked down the aisle again and I like Elle a lot more than I like that Francoise.

Sacha’s favourite shirt had to be ripped! I expect by next week Jac will have sourced him another one, because she’s good like that.

– Ange seriously deep-down thinking that the entire scenario was just an elaborate ruse to get her off the Holly Cartwright case.

– Jac pretends to be all head and no heart, but as soon as Sacha is in peril she’s fighting Connie tooth and claw. And Connie gave as good as she got.

– The touching scene between Essie and Beka.

Noel coming clean to Hanssen about clicking the link and the email, and hearing that Hanssen really had nominated him for an award.

And now we’ve got the spring trailer to watch as well! Some interesting-looking new characters, and the return of some old faces – including a total shock at the end…

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