(Series 15, ep.38) I think after this episode my love for Michael Spence, which has crept upon me with the stealth of Henrik Hanssen on a ninja activity day, is now complete.
Remember the days when people thought he was just in this doctoring lark for a fast buck, when he liked to inhabit the worlds of Holby Care and the more designer end of cosmetic surgery, shimmering from breast implant to buttock augmentation with as much graceful ease as his tight trousers would allow?
These days his trousers are a slightly more forgiving cut, he’s sporting that delicious grizzled facial hair look, and most of all, he cares deeply about his patients. In a storyline that reached an emotional climax this week, he became very involved in the case of Seb, a young man dying of cancer whose family had apparently abandoned him. Michael’s own feelings of inadequacy as a parent came into play, particularly when his daughter Jasmine turned up on a visit from America and became friends with Seb herself. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.37) Sacha and Chrissie. Did it all start out so promisingly? Not really. A one night stand that resulted in My Son Daniel. An intervening “romance” with Dull/Gay Dan. A wedding that probably wouldn’t have happened if Jac hadn’t issued a subtle threat. And months and months of patients and hospital visitors telling Chrissie that she’s waaay too gorgeous and wonderful for dear old Sacha, and her blushing prettily and agreeing with them.
I wanted it to work out, because I want Sacha to be happy, but it was never going to last. Sacha never thought he was good enough, Chrissie always thought she was too good. I liked how, when the break came, it came as a result of a situation that was morally and emotionally complicated, rather than the more obvious route of Chrissie having an affair, or the less obvious route of Sacha having one. My sympathy for Chrissie has fluctuated over the last few weeks, with last week’s behaviour in the red button episode being particularly unimpressive, but this week I did feel sorry for the way she was sidelined in the Levy Family Drama (Helen was good value, though). Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.36) Possibly it doesn’t help that I watched the second half of this episode before I watched the first half, due to social circumstances, but even after I watched it again in the right order I still felt a little confused.
It seems I was completely wrong last week about Dr Posh and Ollie being a fun team. This week Dr Posh was being a bit of a dick and was apparently just there to be a thorn in Oliver’s already aggrieved side. In fact, Dr Posh doesn’t seem to have had the same personality for more than two weeks running. Is it any wonder I prefer Digby? You know where you are with Digby.
What I am sure about is that Ollie’s scathing attack on Elliot at the end of the episode, even though we knew it was out of grief and he was turning on the person he feels closest to, was absolutely shocking. He wanted to make Elliot hurt as much as he was hurting, and bringing up the manner of Gina’s death in such brutal terms was quite stomach-turning and far more shocking than him physically pushing Elliot.
Ollie really needs to follow Jac’s advice and stop with the Tiny Tears act and man up. James Anderson has eyes which are perfectly designed to be brimming with tears (“Such pain hiding behind those beautiful blue eyes,” as his patient pointed out), and his acting in this episode was brilliant, but he’s also great at the comedy stuff, which he hasn’t had the chance to do recently. Frankly I’m as worn out as Jac is by all the grief. Even Ollie’s counsellor is thinking he’s wallowing a bit. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.35) Michael Spence is really at his finest when he gets emotionally involved with his patients (not in a sleazy sense, you understand; I’m talking purely professionally). When his heart is as engaged as his head, he gets all kick-ass like the time he thrust Little George Binns’ head at a corpse.
This week he struggled with the difficulties of being an extremely long-distance parent, with daughter Jasmine about to land at Holby International Airport any minute and Michael still up to his elbows in gastric unpleasantness. The patient who tugged at his heart-strings (and mine, I have to admit) was Seb, a young man who was dying of cancer. Seb had the weirdest father ever – a beardy man who looked a tad like Brian Blessed and seemed to have the emotional range of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Seb’s mother had popped to Uganda on some unspecified business, neither of them apparently thinking that they should really be with their son. They were a stoic sort of family all round, with Seb fairly comfortable with the idea he didn’t have long left – although he was afraid of pain. Michael decided he wanted to surgically buy Seb some more time to see his mother, and the only time the beardy dad showed he really cared was to kiss his son’s forehead before he went into theatre.
The surgery was less successful than it could have been, and Seb had to get used to the idea of his death all over again. Michael felt guilty, but possibly not as guilty as he felt when Jasmine’s plane landed early and Ric Griffin smugly did the chauffeuring honours. Jasmine is fantastic, and I loved how she swanned along the corridors with Digby struggling after her with a pile of luggage. Continue reading