“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.
(Series 17, ep.9) Not an episode to be watching if you’re feeling at all sensitive about babies for any reason (or sensitive about tinsel, but that’s another story). There were two births, neither of them straightforward – lots of screaming for the first and Mr T up to his elbows in afterbirth with the second – but at least the outcomes were good. The births were also the background for much soul-searching and quite a bit of brains-speak. And, obviously, a chance to bask in the loveliness that is Mr T (MR T!).
AAU was the centre of these neonatal goings-on. There was a newborn with a CDH (the same condition as Jac and Jonny’s Emma) who needed Jac’s surgical skills and Raf’s special ECMO pump. It’s a scary piece of kit for a tiny baby to be attached to, and her mother Helen (Nathalie Cox) didn’t at first consent to the procedure. Later on, Helen talked to Raf about how a mother is supposed to protect her child from nasty things like that happening. She spoke to a backdrop of Jac trying not to be emotional while operating on a tiny child with the same problem as her daughter – and to Raf, who in this episode may or may not have become a parent himself. Continue reading
(Series 17, ep.8) How would Zosia cope with a busy day on a ward where Fleur has “upped the tempo”? Selfie didn’t worry his grey matter with that sort of thing. As long as she’s taking her medication and looking like the hot-shot junior doctor she’s supposed to be, that seems to be fine with him.
Her shift wasn’t made any easier by the presence of Lisa (her former roomie from the clinic), and a patient without a penis (not rare, I know, but this one was a man) who presented a particularly tricky case and kept speaking Zosia’s brains at regular intervals.
Lisa, an artistic type, was convinced that her prescription drugs changed her personality too much, so she refused to take them. She was a wee bit obsessed by Zosia and pretended to have a heart problem so she would be admitted to Holby, but obviously she ended up on Darwin because that’s where people with heart problems are put. This brought her in contact with the fragrant Jesse, who decided she was faking illness and sent her on her way. When Lisa’s sister arrived and explained about Lisa’s mental illness and tendency to take cocaine to self-medicate, Adele told Jesse that if he’d only spent more time with Lisa he’d have spotted that something was wrong. This is because as well as being a HCA, studying for a nursing degree, co-producing the latest life saving heart invention, being Secretary General of the United Nations and just commencing her astronaut training, Adele is also a Top Psychologist. Continue reading
(Series 17, ep.6) Adrienne’s story line was never going to end happily. The actors and writers haven’t flinched from showing the emotional devastation, the little highs but many more lows of dementia for both the suffererer and those around her, particularly her family.
Sandra Voe gave the character of Adrienne great intelligence, humour and grace, which made it even harder to watch the disease make her act in ways that weren’t really “her” – physically attacking Serena being just an outward sign of her deterioration.
So when Adrienne looked her daughter in the face and asked her to “pull the plug” on a life that was increasingly slipping out of her control, we knew she meant it. Serena knew she meant it as well, but as a doctor and as a daughter she pushed it away. In the end, she didn’t have to make the decision and Adrienne’s death (following another stroke) was quiet, gentle and very, very sad. Continue reading
(Series 17, ep.5) The writers of this episode used the fact that it was being screened on Armistice Day to add another poignant angle to the story of Adrienne’s dementia – and to give us the magnificent sight of Serena driving a mobility scooter.
Serena encountered Eric (Dudley Sutton) in the car park. He was an old soldier in full military regalia, selling poppies and riding the aforementioned mobility scooter. He also had an excellent line in persuading senior doctors to part with cash. Unfortunately we know that the car park is never the safest place to be, and Eric got mugged. He wasn’t too badly hurt (he had a dislocated shoulder, but he popped that back in himself. The piece of broken samurai sword that had been embedded in it since the war was a bit trickier to deal with), but his injuries meant a short stay in AAU – where Adrienne had just returned, having been ousted from the ward she was in for plot reasons. She’s (understandably) not keen on AAU. “This is the worst hotel you’ve ever taken me to, George,” she complained to Raf, “and the staff are appallingly rude!” Continue reading
(Series 17, ep.3) Mo might be “Doctor Mo,” star of Radio Holby’s crowd-pleasing medical phone-in, but that’s not really where she wants to be career-wise. She wants to be Miss Effanga, Holby’s well-respected hot-shot CT surgeon. In the zone, but not, as Jac pointed out, “the comfort zone.”
So Mo did what CT surgeons seem to do when they have a point to prove – she decided to do a spot of risky, history-making, ninja-level surgery that makes everyone else go, “Surely you’re not going to try that?”
Was she over-reaching herself and putting her patient at risk? At one point in theatre even Mo thought so. It was the point at which the machines go beep and people start wanting to page Jac. What Mo needed at that point was a pep talk. Possibly a pep talk from a devilishly handsome anaesthetist who just happened to have pitched up on Darwin that very day. It was only Jesse, back to be a thorn in the side of Selfie, but more importantly for this episode, to help Mo believe in herself, carry on with the procedure and save the patient’s life (and buy him a surfboard afterwards). Career credentials restored, Mo resigned from her Doctor Mo job – from now on we must once again call her Miss Effanga. Continue reading
(Series 17, ep. 1) Only last week I was wishing that there was someone on Keller who would speak the plain truth. My wish came true in fine style this week with the arrival of the new Keller consultant, Fleur Fanshawe (Debbie Chazen) – a woman who apparently has no self-editor at all and doesn’t give a hoot whom she offends.
“You’re the eternal registrar with multiple wives,” she greeted Sacha (multiple wives? Wait till she meets Ric Griffin), “And a penchant for a floral shirt.” Dominic was rather smitten. “She’s deliciously diva-esque,” he sighed. He wasn’t so keen when she started calling him Doris, but her description of Sacha as “Pudsey” was cruelly accurate. She’s cruel only up to a point, though, and this is where Fleur Fanshawe’s true brilliance lies. Some people need the sharp sting of a thorn in their side to bring out their A game, and Sacha is one of those people. When Fleur barged into his theatre and took over a procedure over which they’d disagreed (“It’s like Godzilla versus Bambi,” said Dominic), Sacha finally found the nuts to stand up for himself. “What I did expect was your professional respect,” he said. And he got it, because Fleur isn’t a monster. She doesn’t care what people think of her, but she’s not being horrible for the sake of it. She’s blunt with patients for their own good (though the way she spoke to a patient this week was very similar to the way Zosia speaks to them, and when Zosia does it she gets into trouble) and blunt with colleagues if they need it. She’s also very funny. Continue reading