(Series 21, ep. 3 ‘The Burden of Proof’ by Gerard Sampaio 15.1.19) For my full review, pop yourself over to Metro. But before you go, here are a few random thoughts.
– ‘Oh please, can we keep her?’ I think everybody will have been nodding along with Serena’s wish to have Lola Griffin/Williams on AAU every Tuesday until the end of time. Sharon D Clarke is fabulous in the role – charming, feisty, charismatic, she has an almost magical way with patients and staff alike. I absolutely love her.
– I didn’t think Dominic’s ‘lie’ about being useless at Physics was a big deal, really. It was just an awkward attempt to bond with Harriet rather than a reversion to his ‘Psycho Dom’ days. The exaggeration of his experience in the surgical procedure was more serious, but what doctor on Holby hasn’t occasionally done that? Cut him some slack, Ange.
– Is it just me, or does Holby get an unusual number of patients (and staff) who want to join, or have already joined, the army?
– I’m very glad we didn’t have to witness Nicky and Cam at Albie’s karaoke night. If there’s two things I can’t cope with on TV it’s karaoke scenes, and people who can’t dance trying to dance (hence why I can’t watch Strictly). And nosebleeds. That’s three things.
– I’m excited to see what Lofty gets to wear for his new job of Discharge Coordinator. Maybe he can wear the green scrubs that Essie used to have when she was Transplant Coordinator? Not the exact same ones because I shouldn’t think they’d fit.
– What on earth were Lola and Ric up to to get him that head injury? On second thoughts, best not to dwell on that one.
(Series 21, ep. 2 ‘China Crisis’ by Joe Ainsworth 8.1.19) Happy new year, Holby fans! The review for this episode is over at Metro, and now I’ve come out of Christmas hibernation I can summon up a few additional random thoughts about it.
Tom Campbell-Gore succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative/Friend/Staff Member fairly easily, didn’t he? It’s a shame, really, as I was rather enjoying his arrogant ways. And enjoying Serena putting him in his place very much.
I rather like Ange at first sight, though she does remind me of Colette Sheward in a practical, sleeves-up, no-nonsense kind of way.
Has the YAU (I hear that in my head as a James Brown sort of ‘Yow!’) been conceived so that Holby can nurture the next generation of young acting talent by bringing in lots of Young Adults? It would be very commendable if so, but I do get a bit vexed by these ‘units’ that take over perfectly sensible wards. It’s usually Darwin that gets corners of it stolen by other departments, but they always get their territory back in the end. I wonder how long the YAU will last before someone decides they need the beds back?
Essie does love a Special Uniform, doesn’t she?
Cameron’s appearance on Darwin prompted some of the best lines of the week (‘That’s all I need, another pound shop Hugh Grant’ and the line about ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ from Jac), but I think my favourite line in the whole episode was ‘Serena Campbell. No Gore.’
The scenes between Lorraine Chase and Jaye Jacobs were beautiful.
(Series 20, ep. 50 ‘The Right Sort of Animal’ by Ed Sellek 11.12.18) Pop over to Metro for a full review of this glorious episode. Before you go, some random thoughts.
– How fabulous was this episode? I love the quirky things that Ed Sellek puts in his scripts and there were loads of them here. Xavier’s reference to The World According to Garp (telling Serena she was ‘pre-disastered’) has shot him right up in my estimation, and there was another literary reference with Morgan the Organ – the poor man who got hit right in the middle of Pachelbel’s Canon (ouch). The stained glass face stuck in Lexy was brilliant too.
– Reverend Richard Coles’ appearance was really nicely done. His character Henry De Havilland added to the general quirkiness of the wedding in a really joyous way.
– Greta (Zoe Croft) looked absolutely beautiful.
– I also loved Greta’s advice to Dom. Both Greta and Jason are great at getting straight to the heart of things and cutting through the nonsense.
– It was nice to hear Lee Mead using his singing talents, and well done to David Ames for being able to be sung at without going bright red and giggling. Or is that just me?
– It was also lovely to have a Dofty wedding. I was so happy I forgot (till it was over) that Carole Copeland and Sheilagh Chiltern weren’t even there. Luckily both of them will be making appearances in the next few months (see the winter trailer) – but will they ever meet?
– I have a lot of thoughts about Berena, which you can read about in a separate piece over at Metro.
(Series 20, ep. 49 ‘Love Is’ by Michelle Lipton 4.12.18) Pop over to Metro if you’d like to see my full review of this episode.
– It was quite a sad one, wasn’t it? Serena crying on Fletch, Dominic crying on Essie. At least we had Frieda and that lovely dog to cheer us up.
– It wasn’t all bad on the Berena front, either. It’s always glorious to see Bernie, though of course the pleasure of seeing her was tainted by the dread that she would find out about Serena and Leah and would invoke one of her famous 13 ways to kill with her bare hands. Or just be really sad, which would be worse. For now, things are looking like they might work out after all.
– Dominic and Lofty, though… David Ames breaks my heart when Dominic is sad, but it doesn’t make me like Lofty any less because you can see his actions come from being caring and thoughtful. He’s just too cautious.
Line of the week – Bernie: ‘Whatever happened to absence makes the heart grow fonder?’ Donna: ‘Too much distance makes it wander.’
– Do not miss next week’s episode. That’s all I’m saying.
(Series 20, ep. 48 ‘Hold My Hand’ by Robert Goldsbrough 27.11.18) Head over to Metro for my proper, grown-up review. But first, here are my random thoughts o’ the week.
– We know that Berenice Wolfe knows 13 different ways to kill with her bare hands, so Dr Leah Faulkner should perhaps watch out. Or should it be Serena who watches out, given that she’s the one being unfaithful?
– Is anyone getting behind the idea of Lerena, or is the whole idea of Serena and Anyone Who Isn’t Bernie just an abomination that can’t be contemplated?
– Hanssen was just lovely with his patient Maeve, wasn’t he? Sacha levels of niceness. I really hope he does take up the ‘poisoned chalice’ of the Desk of Power, not least because I want the decor in there returning to calming Scandinavian neutrals ASAP.
– Despite missing fingers, people barfing blood and deluded young men trying to half kill themselves for afterlife kicks, this was actually a nice, normal episode after all the Gaskell craziness. Doctors, nurses, sick people – and Jac Naylor, a doctor and a sick person at the same time.
– I genuinely am going to miss Dr Meena Chowdhury. I liked her entitled-princess-meets-harsh-reality story arc, the way she’s fragile and lonely but inside her there’s a core of sterner stuff.
– I’ve already seen next week’s episode and the one after that. My lips are entirely sealed and no amount of bribery or cajoling will unseal them. My Pulses Loyalty Card is depending on my silence (buy 15 muffins, get one muffin for 10% off. They don’t just give them away at Pulses).
(Series 20, ep. 43 ‘Too Good To Be True’ by Gerard Sampaio 23.10.18) I’ve reviewed this episode in lingering detail over at Metro, but before you go to have a look please bear with me while I waffle on about a few additional things.
– Serena’s blouse. While I applaud a bold colour choice, I don’t think lime green is really her. It might look different on a big telly, but when I was watching the preview on my laptop screen it was making her hair look a bit greenish too. That could be just my laptop or my eyesight, I suppose.
– I thought the girlfriend of the Keller patient was going to turn out to be one of Leah’s former conquests when she recognised her. The story was actually more interesting than that. I wonder whether seeing Leah away from Serena has changed the minds of the people who thought she was a crazed stalker? She seemed rather nice here.
– When Bradley from EastEnders needed his brain operation and Dominic was telling him confidently that ‘our neuro team’ would sort him out I was thinking who’s that, then? Roxanna is dead, Gaskell’s in Lisbon and when we last heard of Selfie he was at home watching Blue Planet with Oliver Valentine (on Thursdays at least).
– The Fletch and Jac will they/won’t they – I’m really hoping it just fizzles out, because though they are great together, Sacha has just moved in with Jac and I don’t want him feeling like he’s a third wheel while Fletch and Jac play happy families. And Jac is a great mother to Emma and seems to get on with Evie, but coping with Mikey and the other Fletchlings? I can’t see it.
– Congratulations to everyone at Holby for winning the Inside Soap award for Best Drama Storyline for last year’s brilliant hospital shooting episode. Relive every tense moment in my blow-by-blow-account review of the episode here.
– And thank you to the BBC for mentioning the Holby book over the closing credits. It’s selling out fast (there are no copies left at the warehouse, so when current stocks sell out that’s it), so if you haven’t got yourself one yet, here’s where to get a copy.
(Series 20, ep. 41 ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Joe Ainsworth 9.10.18) For a full review of this episode, head over to Metro. Before you go, a few additional points:
– What a brilliant bit of acting from Marcus Griffiths as Xavier sat in the Linden Cullen Temple of Anguish (AKA the multi-faith room/prayer room/whatever). Holby actors seem to be very good at crying on demand. It must make them very tricky to live with.
– It was a nice outcome to find that Reg didn’t have dementia and wasn’t being beaten up by Alex, but had a treatable condition after all. Maybe he’ll get well enough to become a porter.
– Hanssen is holding himself together well, but Guy Henry is such a superbly subtle actor that you can see the emotion just under the surface. He’s channelling his love for Roxanna into caring for Gaskell, and when and if the story fully comes out about what he’s been up to – well, it’ll be a double blow and I honestly don’t know how Hanssen will start to cope with that.
– There’s definitely chemistry between Donna and Xavier. Is he the kind of man who’d be happy to have a girlfriend with two children, though? He’s always seemed a bit of a player, so we’ll have to see.
– There’s been a mixed reaction to Leah’s pursuit of Serena, and I can see why. If you’re very invested in the Berena relationship then it’s not easy to think of Serena even contemplating anyone else. Quite possibly she’s going to carry on rejecting Leah and be happy with her long-distance love, but it’s interesting to see her being tested. It also made for some very funny scenes, especially when Ric and Serena were inside the office and Leah was outside, fully aware that Serena was listening to everything she was saying.
– Scary Sue needs to be a regular character. Sometimes new people arrive on Holby and it takes a little while to work out who they are as characters. I feel like we already know Sue, thanks to the way the writers have brought her in and Angela Lonsdale’s funny, clever portrayal of her. And of course you can never have too many Sues.