Tag Archives: duncan pow

Silent Witness: Five murders for the price of one

Guest post by Hannah Yates

(Series 21 ep. 1 ‘Moment of Surrender’ by Ed Whitmore) This episode was exactly what we needed to ease Nikki back into the Lyell and for us viewers to ease into a new series and fully understand what was going on without having a migraine. I am joking, of course.

The episode started with a creepy house in woods where a family were on holiday, as all good murder stories should start. This was followed by the angry father grabbing a knife and shouting at some kids in creepy masks outside to match the setting. We don’t actually see what happens because this is where the new theme tune kicks in. It’s as though they know the viewers aren’t going to be happy with the theme tune change, as they follow this up with scenes of Jack in a tightly-fitting t-shirt. Less nice is the fact that Nikki is still having flashbacks and hunky Jack isn’t answering her calls. As we find out later, he feels guilty that he wasn’t the one to find Nikki and can’t deal with her being back or in fact looking at her, or talking to her, so much so that he misses various pieces of evidence. I personally feel like this episode is setting them up as a potential couple, although if you have taken a look at spoilers for future episodes, you’ll have seen that Nikki is due to have yet another love-interest this series – we’re taking votes now on whether this one is either a bad guy or will be dead by the end of the two-parter he arrives in.  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: You mean he’s not a real supply teacher?

lenny waterloo road(Series 9, Ep.9) Being Halloween and that, this week’s episode had a sinister turn. Guest artiste Duncan Pow (Holby’s tragic Dr Linden Cullen, who lives on in the form of a memorial shrubbery) played supply teacher Frankie McGregor. Only he wasn’t really a supply teacher, and he wasn’t really Frankie McGregor. Obviously with the water-tight policies and procedures in place at Waterloo Road this was spotted at once, wasn’t it?

Erm… no. The kids spotted something was wrong when “science teacher” Frankie knew so little about Physics that he made Sue Spark look like Stephen Hawking, but Sue didn’t notice because she was immersed in wedding plans.

simon lenny christine waterloo roadFrankie took a bit of a Special Interest in lonely, isolated young Lenny Brown, and that should perhaps have rung alarm bells, particularly when Frankie offered to take Lenny fishing to a remote spot. Christine wavered about giving permission for about five seconds, then decided it would be a bit of fun for the lad and gave them the go-ahead.   Continue reading


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Holby City: The last of Linden

(Series 12, Ep.55) The episode started at the end, as Holby often does, with Joseph and Dr Penny Valentine looking on in shock as paramedics covered up a body in the hospital garden. Then the action went back to seven hours previously. Who was the dead person? It would have been a mystery if the Sky EPG hadn’t already helpfully informed me it was Linden (grrr!).

So Linden Cullen met his end by being cracked over the head with a vodka bottle, wielded by a heroin addict. It was all Faye’s fault – she’d been stroppy and unsympathetic with the junkie (who also had a heart problem) and had him thrown out of the hospital. Belatedly, Linden had realised that you can’t trust a word that Faye says. Joseph has been telling him this for months.

Maybe we can also blame Linden’s habit of ducking into the hospital chapel – that’s where he was when he was supposed to be on the ward giving the junkie some methadone. Whenever Linden has a problem he always rushes to the hospital chapel.

He started his Holby career by being rather splendidly enigmatic and tortured. He was a man who held a secret anguish: he was closed-off, unapproachable, staunchly moral and somewhat repressed. As such he was fabulously attractive, in a Thorn Birds kind of way. There’s nothing a girl likes more than a challenge, and several people, including the late-lamented Maddy, tried to crack his holy facade.

No woman got close until he fell for the icy charms of Faye Byrne. Loving Faye came with a double dollop of guilt for Linden – not only was he still in love with his late wife Olivia, but Faye was married to Joseph. The Olivia problem was sorted out when her ghost gave him permission to stop feeling guilty about her death and move on with his life. The Joseph problem was a little messier, and Linden got thumped a few times for his pains. Was Faye worth it? You’d have to say no. Continue reading

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Holby City: Heaven knows I’m miserable now

(Series 12, Ep.54) We’re used to the Holby device whereby patients are used to “speak the brains” of one of the main characters. Recently an inspirational patient persuaded Ric Griffin to have treatment for his cancer, for example.

Linden Cullen is not such an easy nut to crack, however. This week, a patient who had tried to kill himself to be with his dead son (whose death was partly his fault) correctly spotted Linden’s core problem – he was still wracked with guilt over the death of his wife Olivia, and this was stopping him from embracing love and happiness in the arms of Faye. The patient’s advice was that you can either be alive, in which case leave the dead where they are, or you can go and join them.

So Linden toddled off to find Faye, who was languishing overnight in Obs & Gynae after getting a few twinges. Had he come to declare true love and pledge his full and cheerful ongoing participation in the life of Faye and Baby Byrne? No, he had not. He’d come to gaze sorrowfully at her before skulking off again. Miserable git.

A lot more fun was being had by Donna, who persuaded Sacha that Jac fancied him. Could it be possible? She was being unusually friendly, even helping him out in surgery – heck, even smiling occasionally. Sacha asked to see Jac at the end of the shift, and they had one of those amusing conversations where Jac insisted there was no “us,” that she liked Sacha and he was a “lovely guy,” but that there would never be any more between them. But I don’t think I’m alone in hoping there will be something between them one day (staff Christmas party?), because they’d be the oddest, most fun couple.

A lot more fun than Linden and Faye by a merry mile.

Posted by PLA          (more Holby posts here)

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Holby City news: Duncan Pow leaving

As well as losing Connie Beauchamp in the coming weeks, Holby City is also about to lose Linden Cullen. Duncan Pow, who plays him, twittered today:

“Ok gang, I have tried to keep this from you as long as I could. I have known since I decided to leave the show in January that I would be going, I wanted to keep it a secret so that you wouldn’t have the story spoiled for you, but now that it’s been reported in various articles I feel I can no longer keep from being honest with you guys. I left the show back in July and my final few episodes will be screened over the coming weeks. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the show. I feel that the cast, crew and production team are, without a doubt, the strongest on any recurring drama show on TV in the UK.  It had been three years and I always said to myself that I would spend only three years on the show. As it turns out, they have been the best three years of my life but I had to be true to myself and follow the path I have always intended to. Who knows what is around the corner? Not me, for sure, but I feel that that is what is exciting about life. Wherever I go next and whatever I do, I want to thank you all for your support and kind words over the three years I have worked on Holby and expect you all to keep watching religiously (pardon the pun). The team and cast are as strong as ever and I expect the show to continue as an actor. I hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed filming it. I will keep you posted on here as to what is happening in my world but thanks once more for your continued support. Without you guys I wouldn’t have a career or job to tweet about! Thanks again. D x”

Awww… I’ll miss Linden. He was marvellous in his early days, all haunted and tortured and brilliant. And his rivalry with Joseph has been a marvellous thing to watch. Holby’s going to feel all depleted soon…

Posted by PLA    (Holby episode reviews here)


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Holby City: You can’t not be touched by it

(Series 12, Ep.52) Do you remember when Linden used to be all religious? The main symptoms were skulking in the hospital chapel for far longer than was necessary, and being able to resist Faye Byrne.

He’s been away on a religious retreat and got his Christian mojo back, and once again the main effect is that he can resist Faye. Not good news for Faye, what with having dumped Joseph for him and that. Please excuse me if I laugh and say it serves her right.

Meanwhile, there was a new F1 on AAU. She’d had a bad experience in an ED in Manchester (I expect there’s quite a few can say that, and not many of them actually doctors). There was something about her that suggested impermanence, so I wasn’t surprised when she ended up getting acid thrown in her face by a patient who was trying to impress his way into a gang. Linden got all upset because he felt he should have been protecting her. There’s something very wearying about the way Linden makes everything about him.

Some would say that Jac Naylor is, like Faye, a cold-hearted witch. But I am not one of them. I love Jac – underneath her beautifully constructed wall of cold, spiky cynicism, there’s a vulnerable woman, and Rosie Marcel plays her with such skill that even when she’s being a total bitch, you kind of have to love her.

Following her ill-judged remarks about the sainted Ric Griffin the other week, the nursing staff and Sacha were giving her the silent treatment. Actually, what they were doing amounted to workplace bullying, but as it was against Jac no-one seemed much bothered.  Eventually Jac managed to get back on their good side by demonstrating she wasn’t afraid to muck in and drain a stinky abcess when necessary.

You wouldn’t get Connie Beauchamp draining a stinky abcess, but you would get her going the extra mile to help an elderly patient while still finding the time to deliver a presentation to the board that secured her the job of Joint Director of Surgery. Michael Spence is just thrilled.

Posted by PLA          (more Holby here, because I love it so)

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Holby City: Doctors love playing God

I’m never any good with a new bit of machinery. Apart from the possible exception of my iPod, no piece of electronic equipment I’ve ever owned has worked properly, exactly as it should, straight out of the box. There’s always a certain amount of tinkering to be done.

Now, either Elliott Hope is a bigger genius than we knew, or the Lung Laser 2000 (or whatever the new piece of kit is called) is completely user-friendly, because no sooner was it out of the cling wrap than he was using it to perform a bit of simultaneous  “resection, coagulation and tissue sealing” on young Footballer Ben. There were the inevitable hiccups, of course. It wouldn’t be proper Holby surgery unless there was a moment when the machines started to bleep and someone yelled “Pressures are dropping!” and/or “We’ve got a bleed!” But, all things considered, and with the help of the glorious Connie, things went off fairly smoothly and Footballer Ben was soon on a trolley on his way back to his whiny mother and a WAG-filled future.

This was such ground-breaking surgery that the rep from the Lung Laser 2000 company showed up to watch it in action, and it was from him that Mark “Jesus” Williams learned that the machine had only been ordered the previous day. Eventually he discovered that Elliott had been swindled out of the charity funds raised for the original machine, and had sold his house to pay for the second. This leaves Jesus with a bit of an administrative headache, and leaves Elliott living in his car with his dog.

Even when Faye Byrne isn’t there, men are still fighting over her, such is her evil sexual power. Joseph and Linden continue to lock horns, though these days it’s about the right to be a father to Faye’s foetus. Joseph is the biological father, but Linden is kind of the sitting tenant of Faye these days, so he’s claiming the moral right to bring the child up. He’s a bit petty, though, that Linden. His dislike of Joseph runs so deep that, even when he had a patient literally dying on his operating table (sats were dropping!) and needed Joseph’s expertise, he wouldn’t let anyone get him. Luckily “anyone” doesn’t include Goth Nurse Frieda, who obeys only her own rules.

Posted by PLA          (more Holby here)


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Holby City: Faye Byrne, the robo-nurse that men can’t resist

In a perfect piece of casting, the frozen-faced Patsy Kensit brings her full gamut of facial expressions (ranging from disappointed sadness to sad disappointment) to bear on the flint-hearted energy drain whom men can’t resist.

This week, she discovered that the child she’s carrying is a boy, which means he has a 50% chance of having the same profound disabilities as her late son, Archie. Clearly an awful situation and one for which we really ought to have the profoundest sympathy for Faye. But that’s next to impossible when she spends an entire episode wringing her hands and being horrible to the wonderful Joseph, at one point telling him more or less to butt out of her business, conveniently ignoring the fact that the child is his as well. “She’s cold,” said my other half. Yes, she is.

Meanwhile, the Doctors Valentine literally almost lost a patient, because they were engaged in a brother/sister spat because of Oliver telling Connie about Penny’s relationship with Scott James. While Penny pretended that the patient had died to upset Oliver, and Oliver pretended to tell the patient’s wife he’d died to upset Penny, the patient himself had gotten bored waiting in a wheelchair in a corridor and had gone walkabout. Luckily he collapsed within easy reach of a nurse who uttered the Holby/Casualty official cry of “Can we have some help here?” and all was well.  Apart, that is, from a dressing down from Connie and Mark “Jesus” Williams, and a humiliating stint in gorilla costumes as part of Jesus’ bid to raise funds for laser surgery equipment.

On the other side of Holby, Michael Spence was attending relationship counselling with his anaesthetist wife, Annalise. We knew when we first glimpsed the counsellor sticking an inhaler thing up his nose that he wasn’t going to last the session without crumpling into a collapsed heap, and thus it turned out. Luckily he had a consultant surgeon and an anaesthetist on hand, and to be fair to them they did remember to roll him into the recovery position before they carried on bickering.

Once they had him safely installed in the hospital, it looked for a minute like a reconciliation was on the cards. At least, Michael thought so, but he was left disappointed in the hospital coffee bar with nothing but a wilting bunch of flowers and two junior doctors dressed as gorillas for company.

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Holby City: A bad day at the office for Connie

The trouble with these ice-cool, in-control types is that when they fall, they fall hard – and usually alone.

Someone was out to get Connie this week. She was getting nasty notes, and someone smashed up the photo of her daughter which sits on her desk. Was it former old school friend Kevin, whose wife had just died? Connie thought so, and told him she’d call the police if he didn’t stop harassing her.

Then she was attacked in her office (quite savagely – Amanda Mealing twittered today that “I had serious bruises around my neck”) – but it wasn’t Kevin. In fact, Kevin was the one who rescued her. The attacker was the man from a couple of weeks ago, whose mother died. Remember Connie pinched his parking place, and he took so long to get to his mother’s bedside that she’d already died by the time he’d arrived? Grief has apparently turned him into a surgeon-clobbering fiend.

This was a slightly clunky twist which I’d guessed was coming two weeks ago, but almost more troubling than physical assault, as far as Mrs Beauchamp is concerned, is that patients are losing faith in her. While Joseph and Irish Dr Greg were running around some housing estate trying to retrieve a heart, Connie was back at the hospital waiting for the tardy organ and defending her reputation. This is not customary Connie territory – her reputation (more of a legend, in fact) and skills are normally beyond question.

It’s also usually a fact of the Connie Beauchamp persona that she really doesn’t need other people for support or affirmation, but in her hour of need she reached out to Irish Dr Greg. However, earlier in the episode when she was still her former self she was a bit cool with him, and he chose to repay her by being cool in return and going out for a drink with Joseph instead.

Joseph needed a swift half after work because of all the running around chasing missing hearts, but also because Faye told him she is with child. She is also with Linden, but the child is Joseph’s. It would be nice for Joseph to have a friend like Irish Dr Greg, who neatly balances Joseph’s OCD tendencies by being maverick and laid-back and letting his heart rule his head.

I didn’t blog about Holby last week because I was away, but I saw the episode (eventually) and loved the bickering/flirting between Sacha and Jac. I wonder if that’s going to go anywhere?

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Holby City: This is not a drill. Oh, hang on – it is

I’m sure I remember someone in Holby having to drill into someone’s skull with a hand drill, in Africa probably. Joseph, was it? Or Abra? I’ve always been impressed by that kind of on-the-fly improvisational TV surgery since Dr Clive Gibbons did a tracheotomy on Lucy Robinson on Neighbours with a Bic biro and a fruit knife.

It’s not something you’d actually want to try yourself though (unless you’re very, very disturbed), and it wasn’t something Mark “Jesus” Williams felt like doing in Holby last night. He was locked in a tool cupboard with a porter who was suffering from a subdural haematoma. Linden was outside the door shouting out helpful advice. “He’s going to die, unless you relieve the pressure!” “No!” Jesus yelled back, feeling under pressure himself. Luckily he was wearing scrubs for once rather than his suit – being his last day as a nurse before he took up the CEO job, he’d wanted to get his hands dirty. Not quite as dirty as covering them in bits of skull, though. “Drill slowly!” Linden instructed. “How slowly?”  Jesus said. One sensed that he was just putting off the actual moment. He was right to do so, as a key was found, and the porter was rushed off to a more sanitary location to have his head drilled professionally.

Things went a bit pear-shaped for Connie and Joseph this week. Connie’s old school friend Elaine is never going to be the same again following the oxygen deprivation she suffered due to the power cut following the experimental surgery Connie and Joseph did on her. Connie was naturally devastated, but also very keen to make sure that Elaine’s husband Kev didn’t find out that the procedure had never been done before on a live, living, actual patient. It’s one thing disabling your old school friends; it’s quite another possibly being sued for malpractice.

Kev, up till that point quite satisfied that Connie wanted only the best for his wife,  stepped out for a soothing latte, and was standing at the coffee bar with Joseph when up popped Jac Naylor, very amused because Joseph’s research project has gone tits-up.   “Guinea pig numero uno is in a coma isn’t she?” she grinned. And Kev realised she was talking about Elaine.

Kev was naturally upset, and nothing Connie or Joseph could say would calm him down. Later on, Connie discovered that her car had been smashed up. Was this Kev’s work – or could it have been the grieving relative whose car she beat into a parking space earlier? I have to admit, I’m worried for her.

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