Tag Archives: Edward MacLiam

Silent Witness: Well that was a quick solve!

(Series 21, ep. 2 ‘Duty of Candour’ by Matthew Arlidge) This episode was simpler to follow than last week, and we definitely know the murderer this time, but there were still several paths and mini plots to keep us occupied for the episode. Keeping the Mexico arc going, the episode starts with Nikki waking up in a strange man’s bed, something that would have been the subject of many a joke in the Harry era, yet now it’s a symptom of her PTSD. Jack is coping by fighting like he always does, flirting with his sparring partner, and being distant with Nikki.

It turns out the woman Jack was boxing with was the DI on the case this week. Jack initially thought her partner was the ‘guv’ but I took one look at that man and knew instantly that he was not. Throughout the episode he had a scared look on his face, as though he was about to cry or be sick, or both. No, what they needed was someone to be tough, someone like Naomi Silva. It was a good job they had her on the case as it seems like she really knows how to do her job, I’ve never seen a murder be so swiftly solved in Silent Witness: 20 minutes into the episode, the suspect was pressed up against DI Silva’s car, chased up lots of stairs before finally giving in, and jumping off the roof. He must have felt guilty after killing his wife who he found out was carrying another man’s baby, and then killing that man, played by none other than Edward MacLiam, one of two Holby alumni in this episode. Continue reading

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Holby City: Goodbye, Irish Dr Greg

(Series 14, Ep.29)  Irish Dr Greg, eh? He’s been in Holby for over two years, and unfortunately for a large chunk of that time he’s been forced to run up and down corridors moaning, “Sahira! Sahira!” What a waste. It all started out so promisingly, as well. We first encountered him as Connie Beauchamp’s bit of Hot Irish Totty when she temporarily relocated to a posh private hospital in London. Subsequently he enjoyed a flirtation with the magnificent Mary Claire and the predictably flirtatious Chrissie and even a bit of a bromance with Joseph Byrne. He was a bit cheeky, a bit funny and – it was occasionally hinted – he might have Hidden Depths.

The depths got seriously hidden during the Sahira saga, when he became not much more than a sighing, hankering love-lorn loon. Then Sahira goes, and for his exit storyline Edward MacLiam is finally – finally – given a storyline to get his teeth into. Picking up from last week’s sexual abuse plot, Greg found himself in all kinds of trouble this week when the abused girl, Lucy, stabbed her father with a pair of scissors. Mary-Claire got the wrong end of the stick and thought Greg was being “inappropriate” with Lucy. Greg almost let the evil abusive father die in theatre. And it was left to Elliott (kindly) and Hanssen (cunning) to sort everything out. Meanwhile, Greg was spilling out his heart about his own past abuse to Lucy: “I’ve never had a life, not a proper one,” he told her. “I’ve never been close to people.” Not for want of trying, we might say, but the point was that he didn’t want Lucy to carry the shame and secrets in her life that he’d carried in his. It was touching and, like last week, beautifully written and played.  Lucy was persuaded to tell all and get help, but it was all a bit of a scandal, nonetheless, and it was better for Greg’s career for him to relocate to somewhere that wasn’t Holby. “A few phone calls from me and a reference overestimating your ability will probably help,” Hanssen told him.

The saddest scene was when Greg had to say goodbye to Mary-Claire. Niamh McGrady is another good actor who isn’t given all that much to do, but when she does she’s fantastic. Her poor wee face when Greg kissed her on the cheek was so sad.

And Malick was bailed out of a tricky spot by cunning, scary and rather magnificent new consultant Serena Campbell.

Next time: Tara tries to impress Jac (uh-oh!), Ric clashes with Serena  Campbell and Eddi tries to pretend her kiss with Luc didn’t mean anything. Good luck to all of them.

Posted by PLA          (more Holby here)

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Holby City: Learning from experience

(Series 14, Ep.28)  Malick had himself a weird, slightly stalkerish fan this week. It wasn’t Dull Dan, it was one Spike, a rather annoying medical student who somehow had the idea that The Malick was the greatest doctor since doctors were invented. Previously this has been very much Malick’s opinion of his own worth as well, so surely having an adoring fan would only make him worse? Well, it didn’t, because Spike was just plain annoying. He also went the maverick route by suggesting surgery to a patient after Hanssen had already decreed that surgery was not a viable option for him. Malick agreed with Spike, and sharpened his scalpel. Naturally everything went tits-up and Malick was forced to admit that sometimes there’s nothing that can be done. And his acolyte was forced to admit that heroes were fallible and this doctoring lark was more complex than he’d first realised. The highlight of this storyline was a world-class loom from Hanssen. Having been missing for most of the episode, he materialised in spectacular fashion behind Spike to shake a sorrowful head at the eager young Clinical Skills Tsar.

Irish Dr Greg threw himself into his work as a way to get over the loss of his favourite Registrah, and found himself with a patient who was a bit of a madam, throwing herself at any man who happened to wander by (when you have the likes of Young Dr Oliver Valentine wandering by, why the hell not?). And she was only 15. Continue reading

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Holby City: A Ukrainian, a Chinese and a clown walked into a hospital…

(Series 14, Ep.26)  There’s a special magnetism between Greg and Sahira. That can be the only explanation for why every time they look at each other their beepers go off. It was happening constantly during the episode, and of course each beep was perfectly placed to thwart a Deep Meaningful Conversation. Greg did manage to tell her he loved her, but she was unable to reply as she was already hurtling off down a corridor at the command of her beeper. You’d swear Henrik Hanssen was in a control room somewhere coordinating all this. Greg has given up pursuing her along corridors bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!” He’s on crutches anyway, which has slowed him down a bit. Now he’s reduced to slumping in corners looking mournful, particularly when she said she was going to move to Nottingham with Rafi and enjoy all those cycle paths and finding out what their second child is called.

All this was just tedious, but the bit that really, really irked me was when Sahira was binned off an operation in favour of Jac, because “there’s no place for domestic entanglements in theatre.” Indeed not, and hurrah, but why did we then have to suffer the sight of Jac being unable to stitch up a heart that was shredding up like a used Kleenex and Sahira waltzing in, all scrubbed up, to save the day with some of her legendary stitching? Beyond annoying.

Thinking about Holby characters over the years, I realised that most of them are slight caricatures or one-dimensional when they arrive. You get a peg on which you can hang them – Donna the party girl, ditzy Chantelle, angry Malick, smooth operator Michael Spence, enigmatic Hanssen. Bit by bit, more sides of them are revealed. This can go on for years, as with Jac, whose story has evolved the whole time she’s been in the show. But with Sahira, I think the mistake the writers made was trying to offer a fully rounded, beloved character right from the off. We were expected to believe she was a brilliant surgeon, loving mother, object of adoration etc etc. It was too much for one character to bear all at once and it tilted the emphasis away from characters we genuinely did know and love and made her irritating. Jac’s comment to her this week, “Take a rest, Wonder Woman.  Eat a cupcake,” summed it up nicely.

Meanwhile, Tara Lo was getting to grips with the concept of patients dying, thanks to the hospital clown (yes there is one, and no, it’s not Greg). This was a man introduced by Chantelle as being just the sweetest man imaginable, so kind, so funny, so great with the kids. You just knew with an introduction like that he’d be collapsed on the floor within a minute. It turned out he had cancer, knew it, but was refusing treatment because it stopped him being able to amuse the kids.

And Luc let Liam down, so Liam trashed Luc’s van. Eddi helped him to sort it out again and Luc came good for Liam in the end.

Next time: It’s Sahira’s last day.  How will we manage without her? And, more importantly, will we find out why Hanssen cares so much?

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Holby City: Work mode

(Series 14, Ep.22)  To start with a handy, pocket-sized summary: No Jac, no Oli, no Frieda, too much Sahira and Greg and a bit of Luc, Eddi and Malick. That just about says it all about the episode, but let’s just send it for a quick ultrasound to make sure we haven’t missed anything.

We got to see more of the formerly invisible Rafi this week. Someone must have had a word, because he wasn’t so mumbly this time. In fact he’s rather sweet in his way. The sort of calm, reassuring type that you’d want in charge of keeping you asleep during surgery. He was not, however, feeling calm about the nanny Sahira had appointed to look after their children (My Adorable Son Indy and the other one who is never mentioned by name). Not only was the nanny a mere slip of a girl at 25, but she had a nicotine habit. Sahira didn’t want to talk about the Adorables while she was at work. “Work mode, remember?” she reminded him in her usual pompous style.  Work mode, in Sahira’s case, involves a lot of crying, shrieking and reminding Irish Dr Greg that they are Just Friends. And a bit of parachute stitching when there’s time.  “I can’t do this!” she emoted to Irish Dr Greg later. The pressure of having a quiet husband, a smoking nanny, dying patients and a fondness for Irish surgeons with lovely noses is proving too much for her to bear. Something’s got to give, and I don’t really care what it is as long as it happens quickly.

In the department we fondly know as AAU, a mysterious young man with cheekbones turned up with a mysterious woman who mysteriously knew which street Eddi had lived on in Leeds. Was she perhaps some savant who could pinpoint regional accents with devastating accuracy? No, she was simply the girlfriend of the man with the cheekbones, who happened to be Eddi’s brother.  Family members turning up always throws light on the main character, and we discovered a bit about Eddi’s troubled relationship with her mother. And it’s all bringing Luc and Eddi a bit closer.

Hanssen gave Malick the Clinical Skills Teacher  job, and frankly was a bit over-enthusiastic with the mentoring. At one point Malick was performing surgery and Hanssen was cheering him on from the observation window like a proud parent. All most odd.

Next time: Eddi’s brother Liam lets her down; Elliott has problems with his scheme to send the old machines to the Ukraine; and Frieda is irritated by Tara.

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Holby City: An operating theatre full of my admirers

(Series 14, Ep.19) Finally, finally we got a glimpse of Sahira Shah the Registrah’s invisible husband Rafi. What have we learned? (a) He’s not invisible. (b) His surname is not Shah, it’s Raza (or “Razzer,” in Irish Dr Greg-speak) and (c) he mumbles. That’s about all we’ve learned, really. “Have you met Rafi?” Sahira said to Jac, by way of introducing them. “I’ve heard almost nothing about you!” said Jac. Having met Rafi myself now (televisually speaking), I can see why he wouldn’t be a major talking point.

Irish Dr Greg was not pleased with the appearance of Dr Razzer, but at least it stopped him wandering the corridors uttering his desperate cry of “Sahira! Sahira!” Instead he was reduced to Gazing Mournfully and rescheduling people’s operations to try and avoid his beloved Registrah. Of course it all went tits-up in theatre, when an under-age patient turned out to have an allergy he hadn’t thought of mentioning to the aforementioned Dr Razzer when he did his pre-op checks. Speaking of which, isn’t it funny how, when we have a main character who’s an anaesthetist (Zubin, Annaliese) they’re always hovering around the wards and ITU. But the rest of the time, anaesthetists are confined to sitting at the head end during operations and not saying much.

Sahira had to pitch in and help save the patient, and Hanssen paid a visit to loom at everyone through the glass, so we had an operating theatre full of Sahira’s admirers. I’m not including the scrub nurse in this, but she can’t be immune to the charms of the Registrah, surely?  Continue reading

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Holby City: Brains duly spoken by a gangrenous foot

(Series 14, Ep.17) Ooh, but I loved this episode. There was so much going on. So many amusing sets of sparring people, so many funny lines, I hardly even noticed Jac Naylor wasn’t there.

To Dull Dan first of all (he’s a bit less dull these days, but it’s so hard to let a good nickname go). Last week we had his sexual orientation being illustrated via the metaphor of a reluctant stallion. Apparently that was not enough to make Dan properly think about whether he’s a gay man trapped in a dull man’s body, so this week’s speak-your-brains came courtesy of a woman with a gangrenous foot. If she didn’t deal with it, Dan told her, it would have to come off. “What you don’t deal with will eat you away,” somebody said (it might even have been Dan himself). In case that was too subtle, Malick weighed in with, “Ignore it till it goes toxic.” Dan’s Thinking Face was in position for a great deal of the episode, apart from when it was replaced by his Confuzzled Face. This was generally thanks to Mary-Claire (hurrah! Given a bit of screen time at last), who spent the episode winding him up. As did Malick. “Orthapaedics. Real man’s work!”

Goth Dr Frieda is rather like Sacha, in the sense that she lights up any scene she’s in. Not bad for a surly Ukrainian emo. She also brings out the best in the other people in the scene, mainly because her bullshit detector is so finely tuned and so ruthless that people can’t get away with any pompous nonsense. When Frieda’s around, Eddi’s rather fun and forgets she’s supposed to be The Best Nurse in the Hospital and all the pressures that involves. One of the very best partnerships is Frieda and Michael Spence. They play off each other beautifully, Michael seeming to get Frieda’s humour and appreciate her no-crap integrity. So it was a bit upsetting to discover that this was Frieda’s last day on AAU. New consultant Alex Broadhurst (Sasha Behar) thought Frieda should try to get a place on Darwin. While there are a few up there (yes, you, Sahira)who could do with Frieda’s brand of telling-it-like-it-is, I really want her to stay on AAU. So does Michael. “I’m gonna miss you, Petrenko,” he told her, adding, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

Michael had other worries, as Hanssen, with his usual penchant for treating people rather like chess pieces, decided the clinical lead position should be open to competition. The competition includes the aforementioned Alex Broadhurst, who is seriously competent and doesn’t have a murky background of exploding boobs to blot her copybook.

In the absence of Sahira, Greg channelled his energies into being horrible to Dr Oliver Valentine. He kept getting little digs in about Oli being under Jac Naylor’s thumb (hello? Oli is not the one who spends most of his time wandering the corridors bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!”), but Oli had the last laugh when his and Jac’s research project on therapeutic hypothermia came in handy and saved his patient’s life. Oliver was really sweet with this patient. Her baby had been stillborn and she carried the ashes everywhere in a little urn. While Irish Dr Greg could only manage a very wooden, “I’m sorry for your loss,” when she told him, Oli took the time to listen and help her. He’s very good at all that touchy-feely stuff.

Next time: It’s Valentine’s day, so what luck that there’s a character called Valentine, and what luck Chantelle hearts him. Or is it? Does he heart her back? And Sacha has money worries.

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