(Series 29, ep.21) I thought at the beginning that this episode was going to be annoyingly Valentine-themed – Robyn had a card for Lofty (which he thought was from Max), Ethan was writing one for Honey, Max was giving Zoe random gifts – but then it took a very dark turn indeed, and became something dramatic and quite unsettling.
Central to it was guest artiste Marcia Warren. Why was her character, Olive, in prison, and why was she being kept away from other prisoners? When another woman crashed a furniture van into the prisoner transport van containing Olive, everyone ended up in hospital. And the word soon spread – Olive was “The Sweetshop Lady” – the convicted murderer of four children, and so infamous she had her own nickname. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.19) Big Mac, Noel, Honey and Louise have a Come Dine With Me type cooking thing going. They take turns to impress each other with the amazingness of their cuisine (while the others rummage in their knicker drawer and bicker, if it’s anything like the real CDWM). The problem is that it’s Big Mac’s turn and he has no money for ingredients. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.18) Casualty is really on fire at the moment, and this was another cracking episode with plenty of drama, a bit of suspense and some light relief thanks to the wonderful pairing of Chelsee Healey and George Rainsford.
Grace, once again obliged to hang around at the hospital after Granny Strachan was burgled, went missing – and there were two potential child abusers wandering around the hospital as well. Connie felt that grip of fear that any parent has felt on losing sight of their child, and Charlie pitched in with anecdotes about Louis going missing when he was a nipper. It’s different for Connie, though – Grace has always been with a nanny, Granny or at boarding school, so all this was new to her. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.15) This review is brought to you from a freezing cold Haasler Towers, in between rib-cracking bouts of coughing. The twin spectres of the Flu Grinch and a boiler with an electrical fault have not heralded the best start to a new year ever seen, but at least there’s always Casualty to liven up the mood with its festive blend of misery and trauma.
What’s happened to Connie Beauchamp since she left Darwin? She was always a bitch, but she was always our bitch and there was a certain style and sass to her bitchiness. Now she’s just horrible, jumping to all kinds of stereotypical conclusions about the unwashed oiks who have the misfortune to pass in front of her stern gaze (and that’s only the staff). Yes, she’s having trouble with daughter Grace and this might even lead to a disciplinary for Connie, but it’s not enough to make me have sympathy for the way she treated a poor woman who was only doing her best to look after her children. What’s happened to Con from Peckham, who had at least a vague memory of her council estate roots? Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.14) This episode featured two men of God, one of them apparently Jesus; two fathers, one of the religious sort and one the father of Honey; several Santas, most of them secret; and several visits to the Jeff Collier Memorial Bench.
Big Dreadful Accident of the Week was an enormous chandelier thing plunging on to the congregation in a church. Among the wounded were the vicar, Father Jackson, a choirboy called Marty who had apparently only recently arrived from the 1930s, and Holly, with whom Father J was in love in a tortured and tempted way. Oh, and Santa, who’d previously been to Holby to have a bell removed from his hand.
Charlie and Ash were soon on the scene with the paramedics. “We’ve got one for St James’s here,” proclaimed Charlie, which probably meant he’d triaged the patient for dramatic potential and found no detectable storyline. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.13) Casualty was getting in the seasonal mood in an episode packed full of Christmas songs, tinsel, fairy lights, a live turkey, grown men dressed as reindeer and close-ups of a disgusting abscess being drained. Festive!
The main story revolved around Ash and his post-Jeff reinvention of himself as a medically trained Bruce Willis. “No one dies on my watch,” is his new motto, and it was technically true – but outcomes would have been much better without his intervention. He sent a panicking, asthmatic father off to find out what pills his son had taken, even though Dylan was coping quite well without this information. The result was that the father accidentally ran someone over and was arrested for being over the limit, having been happily cooking a festive meal and having a glass of wine just before his son took the pills. Ash did manage to save the run-over man by refusing to give up on the chest compressions even when the situation looked dire, so he thought it was a job well done – but the patient wouldn’t have been there in the first place if Ash had only done what Dylan told him. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.12) The repercussions of the crash in which Jeff lost his life (#RIPJeff) are still being felt all over Holby A&E, but this week everybody ended up taking a few steps forward on the road to recovery.
After scattering Jeff’s ashes last week, Dixie even felt restored enough to play a little joke on Iain (it still sounds odd to me when Dixie arrives at a trauma scene and says, “My name’s Dixie and this is Iain,” rather than “this is Jeff”). She pretended she’d kept a few ashes back and placed them in a toy ambulance on the dashboard of the real ambulance. Iain kept giving this funny looks throughout the episode, till he summoned up the courage to have a peep inside – to find a note saying GOTCHA! Oh, how I laughed, while wiping away a tear for the late lamented Jeffrey. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.8) Zoe’s back, and her task is apparently to heal the post-Jeff grief with her soothing presence. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Connie doesn’t want to share her office because she needs somewhere to offend bereaved relatives in private. Ash doesn’t really want to share his office – he needs somewhere to hide from Dixie, who is still blaming him for Jeff’s death (out loud – she was yelling “It should have been you!” at him at one point). Max has no office, though he’s happy to share a ciggie, but Zoe is trying to give up nicotine and she’s already given up Max. And Honey keeps calling her Hanna. “I’ve heard all about you, Hanna.”
But Zoe does help, you know, because she’s a fantastic doctor and it hasn’t been the same without her. She and Dixie had a lovely bonding moment towards the end of the episode. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.7) There’s a huge, Jeff-shaped hole in the department, and everybody is feeling it. Dixie can’t sleep, but work isn’t really doing it for her either: “He’s at home, he’s here… there’s nowhere I can go to get away from Jeffrey Collier.” So she spends her time trying to take every shout, and back at base clutching Jeff’s own personal coffee mug to her heart and glaring at Ash. If only Ash hadn’t gone and got his leg carelessly impaled, none of this would have happened, etc.
Everybody else is suffering too. Robyn is emotional; Big Mac talks to Invisible Jeff when he’s alone. What’s needed is sensitive and kindly leadership. What they have is Connie Beauchamp. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.6) To throw the loss of Jeff into terrible and heart-breaking perspective, his beautiful teeth were front and centre in many of the scenes in this episode. Not just his teeth, obviously – that would be very macabre indeed. And a bit sick. But the many photographs of him at the funeral, in lockers, at the wake etc, all showcased the former nicest pearly whites in the NHS.
The funeral itself was genuinely moving. For once there wasn’t the usual scene where someone tries to give a eulogy, gets overcome with tears and the eulogy has to be finished by someone else. Jamie (who’d jetted in from Australia) and Dixie (who’d come direct from answering a shout to a rubbish dump) gave lovely speeches, and then all the paramedics held up their radios so someone in the control room could add one last call to Paramedic Collier before signing him off for the last time. There was even a faithful dog to watch the coffin make its final journey. Continue reading