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Casualty: There’s detached and there’s too detached

connie holby(Series 29, ep.7) There’s a huge, Jeff-shaped hole in the department, and everybody is feeling it. Dixie can’t sleep, but work isn’t really doing it for her either: “He’s at home, he’s here… there’s nowhere I can go to get away from Jeffrey Collier.” So she spends her time trying to take every shout, and back at base clutching Jeff’s own personal coffee mug to her heart and glaring at Ash. If only Ash hadn’t gone and got his leg carelessly impaled, none of this would have happened, etc.

Everybody else is suffering too. Robyn is emotional; Big Mac talks to Invisible Jeff when he’s alone. What’s needed is sensitive and kindly leadership. What they have is Connie Beauchamp.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Our hero

charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.6) To throw the loss of Jeff into terrible and heart-breaking perspective, his beautiful teeth were front and centre in many of the scenes in this episode. Not just his teeth, obviously – that would be very macabre indeed. And a bit sick. But the many photographs of him at the funeral, in lockers, at the wake etc, all showcased the former nicest pearly whites in the NHS.

The funeral itself was genuinely moving. For once there wasn’t the usual scene where someone tries to give a eulogy, gets overcome with tears and the eulogy has to be finished by someone else. Jamie (who’d jetted in from Australia) and Dixie (who’d come direct from answering a shout to a rubbish dump) gave lovely speeches, and then all the paramedics held up their radios so someone in the control room could add one last call to Paramedic Collier before signing him off for the last time. There was even a faithful dog to watch the coffin make its final journey.   Continue reading

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Casualty: It’s what we do best

image(Series 29, ep.5) Staff members in peril is a thing that happens a lot in Casualty. Who can forget Tess impaled on a spike, Charlie having a heart attack and Abs plummeting from the first floor? There have been too many staff traumas to mention, but it always brings out the best in Holby’s top quality A&E staff.

This week, the staff members in peril situation was dialled up to 11, as not one but five of them were involved in a nasty car crash – and a brilliantly-done car crash it was. I’m sure I lost contact with my seat for a second, it was so sudden.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Casualty without Charlie? Seriously?

noel charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.3)  “Do I really want a department without Charlie?” mused Tess at the start of this episode. The answer to that should really be an unequivocal “no,” but nobody seems very convinced of that. Charlie showed up at the hospital twice – the first time because he was bored and he thought they might be able to do with his help; and the second time because he’d been called by Tess when she realised they really could do with his help, but he turned up only to declare he’d had half a pint of beer and was therefore unfit for work, and spent the rest of the shift in the waiting room doing a crossword. These appearances were accompanied by any passing staff members gazing sadly at him, or being mildly irritated by his presence, and I still can’t really work out why.

Only Lofty was able to find some value in the former stalwart of emergency medicine, by enlisting his help with a vulnerable patient – none other than Carl Au (formerly known as the legendary Barry Barry in Waterloo Road), sporting a dental abscess so bad it was making his eye bulge.   Continue reading

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Casualty: That’ll teach me to miss episodes

charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.2) Dipping my toe back into the waters of Casualty after quite a long break, I found myself a bit confuzzled. I thought Jeff had left? Didn’t he go off with Stella from Corrie? Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to see his beautiful teeth once again. My sentiments were also shared by the radiant Tamzin, who has dumped her fiancé and was last seen outside The Pub (the one Casualty staff go to because they simply aren’t welcome at Albie’s) with her face firmly attached to Jeff’s. Bless.

Someone who really ought never to leave Casualty is Charlie Off Of Casualty, though in this case my sentiments are not shared by his colleagues, who apparently can’t wait to give him a carriage clock and wave him off. The reason for this is that he’s been behaving a bit oddly recently (how can they tell?), which is partly explained by the angina that Lovely Elliot Hope was diagnosing in the “Previously…” segment – but was there also a hint that Charlie might be heading for a dementia storyline? That would be interesting.

Since I last saw Rita her hairstyle has gone a little out of control and so has she. I’ve obviously missed some big plot point concerning her former/current husband, but she was behaving in a very upset manner, getting very over-involved with a bogus rape case, and hitting the bottle. Obviously I don’t know everything that led up to this, but I found it a somewhat depressing storyline for a woman who was formerly as competent and assured as Rita.

And there was a storyline about an ageing rocker called “Tyger Wicked,” who was Britain’s answer to Iggy Pop in his day, apparently. I was going to say that “Tyger Wicked” was a completely silly and implausible name for an ageing rocker, but then I thought of Alvin Stardust. Anyway, Tyger’s presence made Max get all excited, which took his mind off missing Zoe, who is away doing Strictly Come Dancing.

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Casualty: Fletch’s heroic exit

fletch casualty(Series 28, ep.43In this episode, Tess faced my biggest train-related fear – having to sit opposite an annoying kid who whinges on about his life and makes you play table football with Skittles.

As if that wasn’t dreadful enough, the train also derailed spectacularly and Tess was left in a terrible state waiting for a knight in shining paramedic garb to come and rescue her. Cometh the hour cometh not just the expected Jeff, but also the unexpected Fletch, who told Tess he loved her before un-impaling her from whatever was impaling her and carrying her out of an exploding train carriage to safety. Hero!

tess casualtySo Tess is safe, Fletch is safe, their secret love is no secret any more, so it’s hurrah all round. Except not – because Tess, who is practically built from Moral Fibre, can’t be happy in a relationship that started off with lies and cheating and whatever. Indeed, the reason she was on the train in the first place was that she was on her way to a job interview in Birmingham, because she can’t cope with seeing Fletch and his lovely quiff day in, day out.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Beauchamp is back

connie casualty(Series 28, ep.31) Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing, as if that needed saying) made her much anticipated return to Holby City hospital last night – albeit via the ED entrance in Cardiff rather than the Wyvern Wing entrance in Borehamwood.

She was accorded the traditional “foxy female” arrival – a taxi door opens and we see killer heels, legs clad in trousers that say “I’m here to do business – but in style,” then the full gloriousness of Connie and her new, longer hair.

She was accorded many a “Phwoar”-type glance from any male she passed and a “who is that fabulous woman?” glance from the women. The wardrobe department had also given her the most figure-flattering set of scrubs ever seen in the NHS.

The scrubs were part of the reason why I didn’t feel quite relaxed with this Casualty debut, though. I’m used to Connie only wearing scrubs in theatre. The rest of the time she’s supposed to wear something stylish and perfectly accessorised and swan from bed to bed dispensing “Let’s just wait for the test results, shall we?” brisk kindliness to the patients and snappy “Why am I still waiting for those test results?” to junior doctors and nurses.   Continue reading

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