(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
(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
(Series 29, ep.38) Dylan has been left quite unsettled about the recent number of deaths on his watch. He shouldn’t be too despondent – I remember not so long ago there was a fuss about Dr Zoe Hanna being the top doctor for losing patients – but the reason for that turned out to be that she was the one who took the most difficult patients in the first place.
Dylan is a very rational person so he should work this out, but this week a brush with a “holistic practitioner” (played by Tony Hirst, Eileen’s fireman boyfriend off of Corrie) may be about to make him worryingly superstitious. He discovered that all the people who died were treated in bay 4, and according to Eileen’s fireman, 4 is an unlucky number and means death. Normally Dylan would greet this information with the skepticism and sarcasm he employed for most of the episode, but for some reason even though the therapist’s snake oil turned out to be aspirin, Dylan’s grip on rational thinking has been a bit loosened. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.37) The BBC Casualty website informed us that “Dylan has another bad day,” so I wasn’t expecting a happy outcome for his patient (a woman, Anne, whose husband had dementia and whose son didn’t seem all that bothered). As it turned out, the story was rather sweet, but very sad. The woman died – due to carbon monoxide poisoning, rather than the car crash she’d been involved in. Dylan failed to spot the carbon monoxide poisoning, hence it being another bad day for him. The husband with dementia, Clive, was played by George Layton (previously a TV medic himself), and his portrayal of Clive’s confusion and distress in his old age was really poignant to watch. The story didn’t end entirely negatively – Clive’s son finally stepped up to the task of looking after his father, and turned out to be rather nice after all. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.36) Charlie’s waste of skin son Louis is a handful. No sooner was Charlie’s back turned than Louis had summoned a dealer, acquired some drugs and was found in a toilet cubicle about to inject them into himself. Earlier on a patient had died in the department of a heroin overdose, and it would be callous to say Charlie used this as a handy learning resource for Louis, but that’s what happened – there’s nothing like having your face shoved at a corpse while your normally placid dad goes all shouty at you (“It’s take your son to work week!”), to make you reconsider your life’s goals. Louis had a bit of a cry and asked his dad to help him, so Charlie took him home and locked him in the kind of room serial killers generally keep their victims in while they wait for Robson Green or Idris Elba to track them down. I don’t think Robson or Idris will be visiting Charlie any time soon, but Connie and Tess might pop round with flowers and/or soup (probably not soup, in Connie’s case, unless she has a hamper delivered from Fortnum’s), because they’re both worried about Charlie. Continue reading
(Series 29 ep.35) In the world of Holby/Casualty, if you’re an unpopular person trying to be liked, you bring cupcakes for the team. If you’re a serious try-hard (Sahira Shah, Lilah Birdwood) you bake them yourself.
I doubt whether Connie Beauchamp spends her evenings glued to The Great British Bake-Off, so her cupcakes were very much shop bought (and not from Greggs, either, I’m willing to bet). Still, it was going to take more than that and a staff pep talk – after which Lofty remarked, “I still wouldn’t trust her with my grandad, though.”
Connie tried to hide in her office a bit, and it took Rita, of all people, to coax her out. “You need to lead,” Rita told her. Later on in the episode Rita rather impressively kneed a nasty man in the knackers, so it was a good episode all round for her. Much more effective than cupcakes. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.33) Connie Beauchamp has left the building. She has resigned from her post and reactions within the ED were, predictably, mixed.
My reaction was mixed too, and I’m still confused. I was preparing a little valedictory paragraph for her, but she’s in the cast list for next week so perhaps that’s a bit previous.
For this week at least, though, there was a void where a Clinical Lead should be. So who would replace her? Max didn’t want it to be Zoe again. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a Clinical Lead in bed before midnight and keep them there till 6 AM?” he reasoned. A phone call to Zoe from Henrik Hanssen sealed Dylan’s fate – he was the choice to take the job, at least as a temporary measure. This was a rather bizarre choice given the hoo-ha that was made after Jeff’s death about the Clinical Lead needing people skills, but Hanssen does move in mysterious ways. “Why are you doing this to me?” Dylan complained to Zoe. “I thought we were friends.” By the end of the episode he was already losing sight of his new desk under a pile of paperwork. Let’s hope Dervla enjoys filing.
All the patients this week came from one incident, as so often happens. It wasn’t a multi-vehicle pile-up on the ring road, but a robbery of an amusement arcade gone wrong. The medical problems were mainly fairly simple – a few dislocations, broken bones and grazes, although there was a lady who thought she had leukaemia but didn’t. This was further complicated because there was a bad man who was running a sweepstake on when she would die. Dr Lily Chao got very involved in this because at first they thought the woman who didn’t have leukaemia couldn’t speak English, so Lily spoke to her in Chinese and gained her trust.
It all culminated in a fist fight in the waiting area. Charlie had a proper rant. “You come into my ED with your broken bones and your busted noses and your sob stories… Get out!” he fumed, all stampy and cross. Tess had to take him aside and patiently explain to him that he wasn’t normally like this and maybe he needed time off to look after his waste-of-skin son Louis.