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Holby City: Can we keep her?

(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.

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Holby City: Dofty together, Berena apart

(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.

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Holby City: Distance makes it wander

(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.

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Holby City: Love, marriage and other life events

(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.

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Holby City: Nothing but the work

(Series 20, ep. 38 ‘One Man and His God’ by Andy Bayliss 18.9.18) I’ve written a nice long review of this episode over at Metro, but before you go to have a look here are some additional thoughts.

– The ending was just about the most twisted, terrifying thing I’ve ever seen on Holby. The idea of deliberately leaving someone in a ‘locked in’ state (especially as we knew that Roxanna’s mother had already experienced that) – well, even the most seasoned Gaskell-watcher will have been shocked at just how far his drive to succeed has pushed him.

– We’ve had murderous people on the wards of Holby before (Nurse ‘Killer’ Kelly Yorke in series 5/6; Hanssen’s son last year), but Gaskell is an entirely different kettle of fish. The scary thing about Gaskell is that he truly believes he’s only one step away from the next great medical breakthrough. He takes no pleasure in people being hurt or dying, but at the same time he views anyone who suffers during the course of his experiments to be collateral damage. The bigger picture is all he cares about.

– I loved the flashback scenes. Young Gaskell, Hanssen and Roxanna were perfectly cast and played their parts brilliantly, and Andy Bayliss’s script filled in plenty of blanks about each of them in a subtle and moving way. I also liked how the different sets of flashbacks were in the minds of each of the three older characters, so each one had a slightly different focus.

– Scenes between Hanssen and Dominic have become as precious and lovely as scenes between Jac and Sacha. It’s a similar dynamic – a closed-off, apparently cold person and someone who is expressive and emotionally open who sees them for who they really are.

– Gaskell’s last words to Roxanna – ‘forgive me’ – were chilling. I honestly doubt she’s going to be forgiving him any time soon, even if he ‘fesses up and sorts out the mess he’s left inside her head (if that’s even possible).

(Picture: BBC)

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Holby City: Well that was a shock

(Series 20, ep. 32 ‘Bygones’ by Jon Barton 8.8.18) For my more in-depth look at this week’s episode, please head over to Metro. But before you go, read on for a few random thoughts.

– The scene where Serena helped Evie tell Fletch how she felt and he reacted with tears was brilliant. Alex Walkinshaw and Macey Chipping have such a natural on-screen rapport, and it came across as absolutely realistic and genuine.

– I honestly didn’t guess that the person in the bed at the beginning/end was going to be Jac. I thought Steven, Evie, possibly Essie (though it probably wouldn’t have been Fletch at her bedside), maybe even a patient who’d suffered as a result of Fletch being too preoccupied with his family troubles. So that ending came as a real shock.

– Steven was appearing everywhere – he was in Pulses, he was in Fletch’s office, he was in Albie’s (when Albie’s was actually closed). If he gets this porter job Fletch wants him to go for (and of course he will), expect him to turn up in the basement, on the roof and in random operating theatres. Expect him to find parts of the hospital we didn’t even know existed.

– Sacha’s tears when Essie got the news about her cancer! Bless him, he’s like a well of loveliness. And I’m ever so glad Essie is coming back.

– When Donna drew the man with the beard, I thought it might be Tom Wyrick, the patient on Darwin. That would have put the cat among the pigeons if Lofty had transferred MRSA to Darwin.

– Actually my first thought about Donna’s drawing was that it was Jarvis Cocker.

– It’s amazing how even though most people seem to die or suffer terrible effects not long after the Prof’s scalpel has touched them, everyone is still (just about) convinced he’s a miracle worker.

– I loved Essie’s shirt dress thing.

– And how can Donna just fling a fascinator on her head and look fabulous?

– I’m now desperately worried about Jac. I don’t do prayers, but if any eyelashes fall out this week that I can wish on, I know what I’ll be wishing for.

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Holby City: The mysterious smoking man

(Series 20, ep. 31 ‘Child in Your Shadow’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 31.7.18) Here’s this week’s Holby City summarised in handy bullet points. For my more in-depth review, please head over to Metro.

– I loved Jac being too posh to push Fletch’s car, but at the same time being willing to help him out. I still don’t know if romance is possible between them, or whether I even think that would be a good idea, but I love their friendship.

– It’s also lovely how Holby keeps reminding us of Arthur Digby, with Serena pointing out that one of the F1’s was very much like him.

– Henrik Hanssen is very good at wrapping presents. He’s also very thoughtful with his gift-giving. Despite Roxanna’s reaction, that little brooch that reminded him of her student days said so much.

– Evie and Fletch together are always brilliant, and Macey Chipping is such a good actress. 

– Donna sticking up for Fletch with social services was really nice to see. Donna can be so kind.

– When Serena said that Meena and Nicky needed taking down a peg or 12, I heartily agreed. I was thinking more along the lines of the time Michael Spence rammed little admin guy George Binns’ head towards a corpse though. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a great mentor.

– Essie is apparently going to be ‘head bridesmaid’ for Lofty and Dominic’s wedding. I also want Zosia to come back to be a bridesmaid.

– Hanssen’s face when Dominic told him he was happy. I love how Hanssen cares for his people.

– Jesse Birdsall was well cast as Fletch’s dad. You can see an Essex geezer through-line from him via Fletch down to Mikey ‘Artful Dodger’ Fletcher.

– Fans of Holby/Casualty crossovers will have been pleased to hear Evie mentioning the time Fletch ran off with Tess-from-Casualty. Fletch was less pleased to hear this.

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