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Holby City: Have-a-go Tuesday

(Series 23, ep. 43 by Michelle Lipton 8.2.22) Take a look at my review of this episode over at Metro (I write about Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders on Metro these days too). But before you go…

That was a brilliant speech by Donna. It’s clear where she lays the blame for the problems in the NHS and why she thinks nothing is going to get better in the next couple of years. Maybe not until a general election, in fact.

Naylor’s Rose – what an adorable idea, that the rose grower would name a rose after the woman who’d saved his life. And that it’s quite a ‘spiky little thing’ is very appropriate.

But how sad that, unless/until the miracle I’m confidently expecting happens, she may not be around to see the rose bloom.

It was lovely to see Bernie and Serena back as a couple.

And Serena instantly spotted there was something between Hanssen and Russ. She even managed to convince me that there was something between Hanssen and Russ. Then of course there’s Guy Henry’s magnificent range of micro-expressions doing their best to convince me too.

Line of the week: (Jac – trying to stop Nicky doing surgery that’s out of her league) ‘It’s not have-a-go Tuesday.’ Oh but it is, though.

If The Radiant Donna has left Holby I will be very upset. I need to see her radiance for as long as possible.

Parenting critique of the week: (Nicky has some blunt words for Bernie) ‘I’m not going to create some messed up little kid so desperate for my attention they turn out like Cameron.’

Line of the week 2: (Russ) ‘You’ve gone all awkward.’ (Hanssen) ‘I think you’ll find I’m always awkward.’


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Holby City: If the police do not lock her up I will kill her myself

(Series 23, ep. 25 by Katie Douglas 21.9.21) Head over to Metro to read this week’s full review. But before you go…

Blimey! We knew that Fletch and Donna would blow up when they found out about Jeni, but that was powerful work from Alex Walkinshaw and Jaye Jacobs. I especially loved Donna’s reaction. She’s a mature mother these days and her conversations with Mia were kind, sensitive and compassionate. But when she’s angry she’s the tough scrapper that she was when she was first on Holby and Fletch (‘If you’d have bothered to parent your kid instead of making eyes at some sexual predator then none of this would have happened’) and Evie got both barrels. Heaven help Jeni if Donna gets hold of her.

Ange being sore and hormonal was realistic and quite sweet. And she seems to have found a prince of a man in young Josh. As I said in my Metro review, I hope this doesn’t mean something terrible is going to happen to him.

Line of the week: (patient Nicola) ‘Do you believe in crystals?’ (Jac) ‘I believe they exist.’

Fanboy of the week: (Jeong-Soo is thrilled to be working on Darwin with Jac) ‘I may be just a faceless drone but you’re the queen bee, so consider me pleased just to be up here.’

Brother of the week: (Dominic delivers his opinion on his new siblings) ‘Squashed up, wrinkly balls of skin. But nice ones.’

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Holby City: Nooooo!!!

Holby City S22 - Ep14Pop to Metro for a review of this episode. But before you do…

Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen it…


– I already knew that Zav was going to die in this episode before I watched it, but I didn’t know how. I was expecting some huge showdown between him and Cameron and for Cameron to do something really evil, possibly involving a scalpel in the basement (ouch). When he messaged Zav to meet him in the bowels (ouch) of the hospital I thought my predictions had been correct.

– So for Zav to get run over by a bike – well, that was a bit of a let-down. More plausible, and it does hold out the possibility for Cameron to become a reformed character eventually because so far he hasn’t done anything irredeemably bad. If he’d stabbed Zav in the hospital’s nether regions (ouch) that would have been the end of him as a character because really bad people always have to get their punishment in TV dramas.

– But Cameron is really reminding me of Coronation Street character John Stape – a serial killer, but generally more by accident than design.

– Donna though! Oh my lord. Jaye Jacobs broke my heart, and not for the first time.

– But talking of hearts, Nicky sobbing over Zav’s organ was a bit much. It’s not professional and it’s not hygienic.

– Essie chose the worst possible time to make her announcement, bless her.

– And yes, I am worried about Fletch.

– But that worry will have to be parked for a few months as Holby is now on a lockdown-induced break for a couple of months. See you on the other side!


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Holby City: Donna’s big decision

A while back, The Radiant Donna discovered she had a small female relative called Mia, who was something to do with her dad.  Anyway, in last night’s episode, the small relative and her granny pitched up at the hospital, quite literally as they used the tree at the front as a brake. Sadly, granny died after a heart attack, which left darling Mia (and my word, this child is adorable – and acting-wise she could almost give Simon from Corrie a run for his money) all alone.

Apart from Donna. But could the ditzy party girl face up to the responsibility of suddenly being the sole carer of a five year old? In a plotline which echoed the same dilemma that had faced Dr Zoe Hanna on Casualty not too long ago, and a final scene that had been faced by Linden and Holly even more recently, at the last minute Donna decided she couldn’t let Mia be taken into care, and rushed down from the Window of Regret (the one on the stairwell overlooking the main entrance) to scoop Mia up from the nice social services lady.

It’ll be interesting to see how that little relationship goes. Meanwhile, a relationship which is not going at all well is that of Faye and Joseph. Faye has taken to slumping in the hospital chapel for extended periods of time, clutching the little prayer card that Linden gave her. Is she seeking comfort in the Lord, or hoping for a bespectacled Scotsman to heal her pain?

Either way,  it’s all very upsetting for The World’s Most Beautiful Heart Surgeon,  Joseph Byrne, and it’s affecting his work. He had to be bailed out by Jac, and that didn’t sit very well with her at all. In fact, she’s told Michael Spence that she will be going all out to try to get Joseph’s consultancy job from him.

There was a new cast member, a locum doctor on AAU, George Kerwin (played by Joseph May).  He’s Canadian and he hardly ever blinks, and he’s wasted no time in asking Maria out for a drink. What is it about Lovely Ginger Nurse Maria that men find so irresistible? Only the previous day, Pale Thin Nurse Nicky Van Barr was sighing about her. I assume he’ll get even more pale and thin now.

Now some exciting news – apparently we’re soon going to be treated to one of those rare episodes where Holby and Casualty collide (I love those), when Charlie-from-Casualty has a heart attack and has to be operated on by Elliott-from-Holby. Elliott Hope, the life of the world’s most baffled-looking nurse will be in your hands.

Posted by PLA          (see all Holby and Casualty posts)


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Holby City: The ghosts of Linden’s past

Holby City has never been a programme to shy away from the supernatural, considering it’s full of doctors and nurses and scientific people like that. In recent memory we’ve had a whole episode that was in Maddie’s head as she lay dying, and Donna talking with her father after he’d passed away to a place that hopefully smells less of disinfectant.

Last night, as Linden and Holly decorated their home for Christmas, Linden was being haunted by his late wife Olivia, who appeared in awkward places in a red coat, like a taller version of the scary midget in Don’t Look Now. She also had a sideline in writing TELL HER THE TRUTH in condensation on various bits of glass. Obviously this stressed Linden out a fair bit, and Holly putting Stand By Me on his jukebox (who’d have guessed Linden would have a jukebox?) was the last straw. He yelled, Holly cried, and she ran away.

Linden was summoned to Holby at the request of a very ill patient, his Catholic priest. This man offered sage words of advice along the lines of TELL HER THE TRUTH (Linden was feeling a theme developing by this point), and asked Linden to borrow a pen, which he then put in his pocket. The pen, we felt, would have some Significance later.

By way of flashbacks, we discovered the truth of what happened the night Linden’s wife died in a car accident. Linden had tried to save her by doing a roadside tracheostomy. This hadn’t gone well, so Linden always blamed himself for Olivia’s death. Holly had been present at the time, and Linden couldn’t ever face talking about it so had given Holly into the care of her grandparents.

Father and daughter had all this out by the side of a road, and I did think that Holly had thrown her backpack into quite a dangerous place on a bend. As she went to retrieve it, a car coming round the bend crashed into her. And guess what? Linden was forced to perform an emergency tracheostomy, using the very same pen that the priest had given him. This time it was successful, Holly was saved, everyone agreed Linden hadn’t been in any way responsible for Olivia’s death. Linden wanted to thank his friend the priest – but it turned out he’d died before Linden had the pen conversation with him.

It all ended rather emotionally, with Linden listening to Stand By Me on the jukebox that Olivia had given him, and dancing with the ghost of his wife. PLA Jr was in tears, so I feel a bit Scrooge for calling the episode more than a tad contrived (two roadside tracheostomies in one family? A heavy snowfall when the trees are all still covered in green leaves? The likelihood of the pen in your pocket being a Bic when you need one?), and just a bit slow and irritating.

It was left to The Radiant Donna Jackson to bring some light into the proceedings with her karaoke rendition of Stand By Me, at a fundraising do for her late father’s charity (we’ll pass swiftly over Mark “Jesus” Williams and his rendition of Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody).  There was still no sign of Connie or Ric, but we’re promised that next week Thandie is going to be putting pressure, as only Thandie can, on Lauren Minster, to reveal exactly what happened the day Archie died. Let’s hope she’s successful, so Connie can be de-suspended and come back in time to make Christmas crackers out of Michael Spence’s knackers for losing her robots.

(Oh, and PS – Chrissie is pregnant again. Young Dr Oliver Valentine is not the father. He did finally get to kiss Daisha though, so it’s probably just as well).

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Holby City: Joseph Byrne’s beautiful mind

Joseph Byrne (the world’s most beautiful heart surgeon) is wearing himself to a frazzle trying to get to the bottom of who killed Archie. We know this because he’s started scribbling clues on sheets of glass, in a manner very reminiscent of the character Russell Crowe played in A Beautiful Mind.

Joseph has a beautiful mind too, as well as a beautiful face, even though derangement has meant he’s temporarily stopped shaving. But he has cracked what killed Archie – it was potassium. And by the end of the episode he’d cracked who’d wrongly administered the potassium – it was Lauren, the nurse who is now conveniently away on holiday. All Joseph has to do is get someone to believe him, or support him, and no-one will, because he came about the evidence in a dodgy manner and it would never stand up in court. What we really need is for Lauren to get back from her holidays and ‘fess up. Then Faye would be exonerated, and Connie and Ric could come back (hurrah!). And Joseph could have a shave and get back to saving lives and being wound up by Jac.

On the subject of Jac, she actually smiled this week! The smile was in the general direction of Young Dr Oliver Valentine, but it was more a smile of pleasure that she’d inflicted a very awkward patient on him than anything else. But still, the Ice Queen does seem to be thawing slightly towards Young Dr Oliver. He is quite a catch, too. Yes, he can be a bit of a dick, but he’s young and male so we’ll cut him some slack. He can also be rather lovely, as in this episode when he supplied said awkward patient with some chicken soup, because she’d told him her granny used to make her it when she was ill and he thought it would soften the blow of having to give her some bad news vis-à-vis her reproductive organs. He also paid for Daisha to go to the Philippines at Christmas to visit her son. Awww.

The Radiant Donna Jackson slipped on some sick early in the episode which was a great chance to swing the lead and spend most of the time having a little rest in a cubicle. Matron made her wear a support collar in case she had whiplash, and Donna blamed this for her poor performance in a test about hygiene on the wards (an initiative cooked up by Leslie Ash apparently for the express purpose of humiliating Chrissie, for reasons I couldn’t quite work out). Maria came first in the hygiene test, meaning she is now ward hygiene monitor and gets a little pay rise. The Radiant Donna was not best pleased.

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Holby City: The most attractive staff in the NHS

Connie, Ric and Faye are still away on “gardening leave” while the cause of Archie’s death remains unexplained. Joseph (the world’s most beautiful heart surgeon) thinks he has explained the death – he’s got his hands on the toxicology report, and some unusual substances had been given to Archie before the point where Faye changed his saline drip – hence, the death had nothing to do with Faye doing that. The problem is that Joseph has nowhere to go with this information, because he obtained it somewhat illegally. Leslie Ash won’t touch it with a bargepole – she’s the kind of chief exec who plays things by the book, unlike Jane Grayson who was a feisty sort who would do whatever it took.

I just hope Joseph has a breakthrough next week. I can live quite happily without seeing Faye on a weekly basis, but Holby is just not the same without Connie. Jac Naylor does her best, and is extremely good at bitchy put-downs, but Connie is in a league of her own. She’s like a sexy, elegant, kitten-heeled, non-swearing version of Malcolm Tucker. If you can picture such a thing.

This week’s storyline revolved mainly around the stunningly beautiful Dr Penny Valentine (Holby really does have the most attractive staff in the entire NHS, apart from the anaesthetists, who are all weird-looking since Art Malik left). Dr Penny had been told to improve her people skills, and she did this by getting just a tiny bit over-fond of a hunky fireman who has only weeks to live unless he gets a heart transplant. One feels it can only end in tears and a particularly mournful song over the closing credits.

Linden’s daughter Holly had her first day as a care assistant, and the radiant Donna Jackson was appointed to look after her. The radiant Donna wasted no time in trying to dig up some info about Linden, who has never divulged much about his personal life. Holly was at first as reticent as her dad, but Donna cracked her and discovered that Linden’s wife had died in a car crash. But our Donna has matured in recent months, and when she got the chance to pass this juicy gossip on, she claimed that she didn’t know anything because Holly was a very private person. I love Donna. She got the best line of the night – after saving a patient with quick thinking and prompt action, she modestly shrugged off Holly’s admiration saying, “I went on a course. Free sandwiches.”

Young Dr Oliver Valentine’s tricky patient of the week was a boy who’d been stabbed by a gang of boys – using his own knife, which he was carrying because his father had told him he must defend himself. This father was severely in need of a trip to Jeremy Kyle for a word with Graham about anger management, and I’m a bit worried we’ll be seeing him again, possibly “tooled-up” next time. We haven’t had a hostage-type-situation on Holby for, ooh, a couple of months now – I’d say one is long overdue.

(More Holby City…)

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Holby City: Suspended!

holby-city-connieIn the second of this week’s Holby two-parter (more about the first one here), Faye’s disabled son Archie died. Patsy Kensit did a heartwrenching job of showing Faye’s grief, her entire body convulsed in sobs. But Joseph stole the grief show, as his normal stately composure broke down to allow one tear to glide artistically down his beautifully-sculptured cheek.

A post-mortem will no doubt reveal that Archie’s death was caused by being administered drugs intended for the woman who stabbed Maddy. However, currently CEO Leslie Ash has suspended Faye, because she changed a bag of saline without proper authorisation, and Ric and Connie have been requested to “take leave” because they tried to cover this up.

Elsewhere, Connie proved that she’d be quite terrifying at the head of a mecha-army as she finally got to demonstrate her new robot. She couldn’t do a proper demo, because Michael Spence had crashed the robot while playing with it earlier. Typical boy.

Maria came face-to-face with Maddy’s killer, and cunning Mark Williams attempted to convince the aforementioned killer to confess to the police.

And Donna tried to set Young Doctor Oliver Valentine and Daisha up on a date, but Daisha was having none of it.

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