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Casualty: Charlie Fairhead. Kind but daft

big mac casualty(Series 30, ep. 36) Is it just me or is Big Mac nothing but a misery drain? He seems to lurch from one crisis to the next. It’s not been five minutes (ok, a year) since he was raiding Robyn’s food bank cupboard and living on a diet of beans and mandarin segments because he was skint. Now he’s addicted to painkillers and has taken to stealing pills from patients and their relatives.

Luckily for him, he has Charlie on his side. Good old Charlie, who makes sure Big Mac goes to his Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and locks away the stolen prescription meds for safekeeping. In his own locker. Oh, Charlie. Even those of us who hadn’t watched the summer trailer yet could tell exactly where that’s going to lead.

connie casualtyMeanwhile, Connie was introducing herself to the world of school sports days and the super-competitiveness of other parents. Who knew it was such a social faux pas to win the parents’ egg and spoon race (without even the assistance of Blu-Tack to keep the egg on the spoon)? My favourite moment was when Connie changed her Louboutins for trainers: style, status and competitive drive in one easy lesson. And Connie finally seems to be bonding with darling Grace Sulky-Madam.

I dip in and out of Casualty a bit, and I’m sure that last time I looked Iain and Rita were very much smitten with each other. Under the influence of his new laddish colleague, Iain now seems a bit less smitten. When Rita found herself homeless, Iain agreed she could stay with him, but he’s making it clear that lovey-dovey coupledom is not on the cards. The twerp.

And, via a patient story about a woman who thought she was dying but actually wasn’t, Robyn managed to get a bit closer (not in a romantic sense) to Quiet David.

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Casualty: Cal withstands Charlie’s stare for two episodes

cal casualty(Series 30, ep. 17 & 18) The last time I dipped my toe into a Casualty review, Cal had just discovered his birth mother has Huntington’s and there’s a 50/50 chance that either he, Ethan or both might have inherited it.

Two episodes later and he’s still struggling with whether or how to tell Ethan that not only has he grown up with a mother who didn’t give birth to him, but that he might have a life-changing diagnosis in the offing. The Casualty writers have been trying to help Cal with his decision by throwing patients his way who can speak his brains. Last week it was a sad, sad story of a woman (played by the wonderful Sheila Hancock) who was hiding her cancer diagnosis from her beloved partner. This week another woman was hiding a cancer diagnosis from her beloved partner (a pattern is emerging here) until her baby could safely be born.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Secret Santa

cal charlie casualty(Series 30, ep. 16) The bottom has already fallen out of Cal’s world, but the hole just gets deeper and deeper. This week Charlie discovered – by secret means known only to Charlie – the name and address of Cal’s birth mother. When they got there, they were initially mistaken for carers, because Cal’s mother Emilie (Carol Royle) has Huntington’s disease and is severely disabled. On the plus side, Cal discovered that Ethan is also Emilie’s biological son, so at least they are still brothers. Sadly either, both, or neither of them might have inherited Emilie’s condition.

Emilie was lovely, but as usual Cal was all about Cal. Possibly I’m not being fair and anyone would have reacted as he did in that situation. I’m hoping he’ll go back to see Emilie when he’s had time to process things a bit – though this being Casualty, it’s probably only a matter of weeks before the poor woman finds herself being rushed into A&E for a swift reunion anyway.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Get that hunk out of my ED!

casualty(Series 30, ep. 15) Jacob Masters. He sounds like a superhero, doesn’t he? And there he is, 6’1” (I looked him up on IMDb) of solid muscle, lovely teeth and a winning way with a bandage. He also has a smooth way with the laydeez, as Connie Beauchamp can attest, having woken up with him and then allowed him free range of her kitchen to make breakfast (with limited ingredients – it’s fair to say Connie is no Nigella as far as keeping her pantry stocked is concerned).

Obviously he couldn’t resist showing off and making “sleeping with the boss” quips as soon as they got to work, and it was nice to see a glimpse of the old Connie as she slapped him down a bit.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Cal’s left holding the baby

cal casualty(Series 30, ep.8) If you hadn’t seen the red button episode last week you might have been a bit bewildered to see Cal and Ethan now living with a very tiny baby. The baby is apparently the offspring of Taylor, and I say “apparently” because you can never be sure of anything with Taylor. Though she did had a spot of postpartum bleeding last week to prove she hadn’t just found the baby on a skip.

cal ethan holbyEthan, who is extremely sensible and cautious, wants Cal to have a DNA test to find out if the little girl – named Matilda by Cal, after their late mother – is really a baby Knight, as Taylor claimed before scarpering.  Continue reading

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Casualty: The beating heart of the hospital

charlie casualty(Series 30, ep.1 & 2) Wow. Talk about emotional rollercoaster. Leading directly on from last week’s (literally) explosive wedding episodes, series 30 kicked off in dramatic style. Who better to save the life of Dr Zoe Hanna/Walker than Charlie Fairhead? After all, he’s the heart and soul of Holby A&E, as someone pointed out during the episode. He’s been in Casualty since day one, his eyes failing to focus on anything in particular but his attention always firmly on the task in hand. He’s stalwart, dependable, loveable Charlie.

So when he went down with a heart attack not long after his brave rescue of Zoe, it was tense. And upsetting. The entire regular cast threw themselves into the proceedings and were completely believable as they struggled with the apparently imminent loss of their beloved mentor, confidante and friend.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Tess leaves, world just about carries on turning

tess charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.44) This episode was the exit of beloved senior nurse Tess Bateman, a woman who has endured much during her time in Casualty, including being impaled on a spike for a whole episode and an affair with Fletch – two experiences that are in no way comparable. Personally I’ll remember her most fondly for her dancing partnership with the wonderful Abs. They were so sweet.  Continue reading

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