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Casualty: You had one shot

(Series 31, ep. 44 ‘One’ by Paul Unwin) The word that was going through my mind as I watched this one-shot, real-time episode of Casualty was “choreography.” The way the camera moved fluidly around the different parts of the set, at one point even being lowered from the first floor down to the ground and then moving seamlessly on, was nothing short of incredible. Actors would walk into shot, deliver their lines and then the camera would be following somebody else, taking up some other part of the story. Apparently the crew were all in costume in case they happened to appear in any shot, but if they did I certainly didn’t notice them – everyone in the background seemed to be doing the usual doctor-stuff, nurse-stuff and patient-stuff, as always. I didn’t see a mis-step or a thing out of place.

The whole thing had been brilliantly thought out by the writer, Paul Unwin, and the director, Jon Sen, so that the episode had dynamics and pace. The actors all made it look easy, and it was testament to them that after a while I started to forget the “one-shot” aspect of it and got swept into the story. I actually felt a bit emotional by the end, with Jez’s scene with the father of the baby who died in the fire, and then with Duffy’s voice-over. I know that last bit was a tad cheesy, but if such a special episode couldn’t be used as a love letter to the NHS it would have been a missed opportunity.

See the behind-the-scenes video here

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Casualty: Oh, Ethan. Oh, Dylan

alicia-ethan-casualty(Series 31, ep. 16) I haven’t seen Casualty for quite a while now, but dipping back into it this week it didn’t feel like I’d missed much.

The Ethan/Cal/Alicia love triangle is still a thing, with Cal well ahead at the start of the episode, but Ethan once again in the ascendant by the end. Ethan realised – for the umpteenth time – that Cal is a selfish twonk who (a) doesn’t deserve a brother as lovely as Ethan and (b) doesn’t deserve a girlfriend as lovely as Alicia. So he’s putting his own needs first. And Alicia’s needs, of course, because he’s a gentleman and he’s spotted that Alicia prefers him to Cal. This is perceptive of him, given that she’s been too polite to hurt Cal’s feelings by not kissing him in front of Ethan, because she’s sweet like that. I can’t help thinking that Ethan needs to set his romantic bar a bit higher.  Continue reading

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Casualty: More to Hide

david-casualty(Series 31, ep. 5) David Hide is one of the more interesting characters on Casualty at the moment. He’s a bit of an oddball, quiet and quirky, somewhat guarded and closed-off.

This week his back story became the front story, when we met his estranged wife (Lorraine Pilkington) and his son, Oliver (Harry Collett). I forget exactly how old Oliver was, but he was definitely too young to be driving a car. He did it rather well, though. It turns out that David is bipolar and his son probably is, too. They were both up on the roof shouting about it, anyway. Oliver’s mum reckoned that David had once tried to kidnap Oliver, but I don’t expect she meant he was doing it for a ransom. He seems too nice for that sort of thing.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening

jac-casualty(Series 31, ep. 3) A man was struck by lightning near the beginning of this episode, and his wife said it was nature’s way of letting him know he’d been too cautious and had to embrace new experiences. Personally the lesson I took from it is not to hang out of a metal-framed window during a thunder storm, but that’s me being excessively cautious again.

robyn-casualtyThe lightning  message resonated with Robyn, whose boyfriend Glen only has two years to live. He doesn’t have a “bucket list” but Robyn does, so they’ve started on her bucket list with a trip to Euro Disney. Bless.  Continue reading

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Casualty: 30, with stars and sprinkles around it

casualty 30(Series 31, ep. 1) For four long weeks we’ve had to wait to find out whether Connie and Grace were going to survive their car plunging down a ravine. Nail-biting tension! But it turned out that that was just a starter tragedy, before the main course of full-on mayhem ensued.

It was the 30th anniversary of the day Charlie Fairhead first walked into Holby ED, with a bit more hair and a Bristol accent, but otherwise basically the same wise, sensible and Special person he is today. Charlie’s first day was also the first episode of Casualty, so this was a double celebration, and the episode had to be even more spectacular than the magnificent cake Noel had organised.  Continue reading

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Casualty: It’s a special place

duffy casualty(Series 30, ep. 39) Once again, Duffy is back in Holby ED. And, once again, she neglected to tell her oldest and bestest friend Charlie Fairhead that she was back, but as soon as they clapped eyes on each other they went all warm and wistful. Actually, every time nobody was looking apart from we viewers at home, Duffy was looking a little worried. What problems have pursued her from New Zealand only time will tell.

I’m not actually a huge Duffy fan. Cathy Shipton is an excellent actress, but as a character I’ve always found Duffy’s saintliness a bit much. The way she sat with a man who thought he was about to lose his second child but instead lost his wife would have totally creeped me out – she’s just too intense. And she keeps gazing radiantly about her, telling everyone how special Holby is.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Guilty of being dim

charlie casualty(Series 30, ep. 37) The evidence against Charlie Fairhead is mounting. Confiscating the pills Big Mac stole is one thing – he deals with things his own way, he’s very into giving people second chances and supporting his team. So far so sensible. But don’t go and hide the bloody things in your locker, especially when the press is piling the heat on to the extent that Hanssen has to do a press conference about it (and Hanssen hates doing that – it makes him look like an undertaker, apparently). Especially not sensible to leave the pills in your locker, and not lock your locker, and leave your unlocked locker to the prying eyes of new doctor/friend of Hanssen/unknown quantity Elle Gardner. Elle found the pills, and because she doesn’t know Charlie is Special and Unique and The Beating Heart of Holby, she instantly thought he was the pill thief.  Continue reading

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