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Casualty: Over-worked and under-intoxicated

dylan casualty(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

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Casualty: Tough love

charlie casualty(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

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Casualty: Respected, not liked

connie casualty(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

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Casualty: Dylan in charge

dylan casualty(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.

lily casualtyAll 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.

Sue H

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Casualty: Connie and Charlie’s big adventure

charlie connie casualty(Series 29, ep.32) It’s not often we get to leave the grim confines of Holby, but this Romanian adventure was well worth the air fare. It was gripping and thoroughly enjoyable.

In pursuit of Charlie’s waste-of-skin son Louis, Connie and Charlie hurtled to Bucharest, pausing only for Connie to grab her Touche Eclat, a gorgeous woolly jumper and some hand sanitiser.

Bucharest looks rather lovely, albeit cold. There was snow on the tops of the buildings, but mainly slush underfoot, which was nicely atmospheric but probably a bit of a nightmare for the actors.  Continue reading

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Casualty: End of a short stretch

connie casualty(Series 29, ep.31) Free the Holby One! Who’s going to join me in my campaign to get Connie out of prison? I’ve got the placards, I’ve prepared the online petition…

Oh, hang on. She’s already out. Blimey, that was quick. And we have to thank none other than Charlie Fairhead, the Hercule Poirot of Wyvern. He didn’t even have to look in Rita’s locker to know that the missing pills were there (how thick is Rita to keep them in her locker anyway?). He just knew, because he’s Charlie and he sees into the human soul. “Do you really hate her that much?” he said to Rita, with a shake of that grizzled head, before convincing the police that the pills just happened to turn up.

So Connie is free. She hardly had time to get used to walking in flat shoes and sleeping in low thread-count sheets and she was out again, feeling the green green grass of Holby beneath her Louboutins.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Connie looks at life from both ends

connie charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.28) The very sad Alfred Maxwell story continued, and we found that Connie had been visiting him in his care home after work every day. Alfred was unable to speak any longer and relied on spelling words out by blinking. The words he spelled out to Connie were stark: “Help me die.”

Charlie has, of course, been in exactly the same position with beloved Megan, so he was well placed to advise Connie. “It’s a hard way to say goodbye to a friend,” he said. Connie also knows this, having supported Elliot Hope on his trip to the assisted suicide clinic with his wife Gina, who also had MND. This scene was classic Charlie – some wise words and that middle-distance stare that’s his trademark. No matter how dire the circumstances get, you feel like the world is still balanced nicely on its axis as long as Charlie’s around.  Continue reading

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