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.

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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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Holby City: Shake yourself by the hand

(Series 14, Ep.16) The power of love, eh? A force so immense and marvellous that at least five people have had a hit single about it. It’s a force that’s reduced Irish Dr Greg from being a rogueish charmer with a twinkle in his eye to being a moping, dopey fool constantly sighing about his unattainable love. If the unattainable love was Jac Naylor, I’d understand it, but it’s only Sahira Shah the Registrah, a woman who has done little to impress us apart from show off her brilliant parachute stitching, cry a lot and bring cupcakes in for the staff.

Greg’s devastating sex appeal hasn’t been enough to convince the Registrah that he is the man for her. His witty banter and ever-available shoulder to cry on haven’t done it either. What’s a lovesick boy to do? Run off to Hanssen and try to get him to convince her not to leave, that’s what. As if that’s going to make him look any less spineless than he does already.

It’s not a bad plan, as plans go, because Hanssen not only harbours fond feelings for the world’s most emotional CT surgeon himself, but he also has Influence. Such is the reach of his mighty power that Sahira’s invisible husband, Rafi, has now been offered a job at Holby. Well, they haven’t had a proper anaesthetist since Annaliese and Weird Dr Green left.  Though his invisibility may present a bit of a challenge in theatre.  Now Rafi has no reason to go to Nottingham and Sahira can stay under the wretched gaze of Hanssen and Irish Dr Greg for a bit longer. That’s the plan, anyway.

Meanwhile, everybody’s favourite Ukrainian emo, Goth Dr Frieda, had her F1 results. Things didn’t look good, as she was summoned to Hanssen’s office. Had she failed? She thought so, but no – she’d passed with the highest score in the region. Top F1 in the whole of Holbyshire! Or Wyvern District or whatever it is. Hurrah! After hearing this good news, Frieda felt it was only polite to give Hanssen a little compliment in return. “Nice job… running the hospital,” she told him. “Shake yourself by the hand.”

Chrissie and Sacha were back from their holiday in Australia, and looking all tanned and lovey-dovey.  Sacha’s attempt to be nice to Dull Dan backfired a little when Dan assumed Chrissie had told Sacha about Dan’s complicated sexuality. It all ended amicably when Dan supported Sacha when a patient accused him of causing her to get an infection during surgery. This patient was a horse breeder, and in possibly the most blatant example of speaking-your-brains I’ve ever heard on Holby, she told Dan about a stallion she had who was somewhat reluctant to do his stallionly duty. “You can’t fight nature, can you?” she said. This caused Dan to assume his Thinking Face.

Next time: New consultant Alex Broadhurst (Mad Maya from Corrie) keeps Michael Spence on his toes. Dr Oliver Valentine shows us what he can do.  And Dull Dan is still struggling with “who he really is” and gets another patient to speak his brains about it.

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Holby City: The indecisive registrah

(Series 14, Ep.15) In the little recap segment at the beginning of the episode, we were once again shown Greg and Sahira’s kiss from a couple of weeks ago.  Nope, it’s no good. No matter how many times I watch it, it’s still not conveying passion, or a tragic love that can never be. It’s not a Jac/Joseph kind of kiss. Or a Connie/Jayne Grayson’s husband kind of kiss. They looked like a pair of reasonably attractive crash test dummies had been superglued at the lips.

And if you don’t buy the intended passion in that kiss, frankly the whole Sahira and Greg storyline is a bit of a damp squib. Tedious, then, that the episode revolved around them revolving around each other. They want to be together, but Sahira has “everything to lose,” what with the adorable son Indy, the invisible husband Rafi and… whatever. They had to go to a fundraising do, which gave Sahira the chance to wear a posh frock and gave them the chance to get drunk together and then get to the door of Sahira’s room and almost give in to temptation, until they were interrupted by a timely text from Hanssen. Presumably this means that they’ll spend the next episode with Greg trotting after her bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!” and she’ll spend the episode muttering at him that it’s got to stop and he must keep his distance. Again.

Back at Holby, Goth Dr Frieda was worried that she hadn’t completed the assessments she needs to graduate from being an F1 to an F2, so she was given a tricky patient to diagnose and Michael Spence (still wearing the grizzly beard look and frankly looking a bit foxy) promised to get the assessment to Hanssen before the deadline. Frieda’s patient was a very bad stand up comedian, but you just knew all the best punchlines would be Frieda’s. It’s her deadpan delivery. Weirdly, though, Dr Luc Hemingway had to talk her through intubating her patient. Wasn’t that the sort of thing she was doing with her eyes shut when we still thought she was a nurse?

It was also a testing time for Chantelle, who had her driving test. Ric Griffin has been following through on his promise to give her driving lessons, and it paid off. Is our Ric getting a tiny bit fond of the World’s Sunniest Nurse? He was staring down from the Window of Regret as she came back from her test, but maybe he was just making sure she didn’t crash into his car again.

This was the first visit to the famous Window in quite a few weeks. I’ve missed it. Will Greg use it as a vantage point from which to stare longingly at the form of the divine Sahira as she heads off for Nottingham next week? We can but hope.

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Holby City: Completely professional in the face of romantic disaster

(Series 14, Ep.14) Much of this episode centred on the efforts of Eddi McKee, the Best Nurse in the Hospital, to find a niche that was appropriate to her massive and varied talents. She loves the hurly burly and excitement of AAU, because it’s not a good day’s work till someone’s been sick on your shoes, but she can’t stand Dr Luc Hemingway. So she goes off to Keller, where you have time to do a quick sudoku between ward rounds. There’s no pesky Hemingway there, with his know-it-all attitude (don’t you just hate a know-it-all?). But of course the Best Nurse in the Hospital is entirely wasted in a ward where people are quietly recovering from bowel resections and it’s not long before she’s back in AAU, bravely leading the troops through a power cut. With all this to-ing and fro-ing, you wouldn’t think she’d get any time to do any actual nursing, but she’s the Best, so she does. And she’s got time to get all cross with Dr Luc when he makes more of his irritating assumptions about a patient. He’s even more irritating when he turns out to be right.

Registrah in Cah

Meanwhile, Irish Dr Greg spent the episode staring mournfully at Sahira Shah the Registrah as she swished past him on her way to various urgent bedside moments. Dr Greg loves Sahira, but he doesn’t think she loves him back, what with the husband and the adorable little son Indy and everything. She’s even planning to leave Holby! (We’ll help her pack!). So Greg does what anyone would do, and goes to Dull Dan for advice. DD says he should be, like him, “Completely professional in the face of romantic disaster.” If Dan can keep calm and carry on while his erstwhile fiancee is on honeymoon with the man of her dreams who isn’t him, Greg can surely cope with a little knock-back from a registrah. Only Greg can’t. He’s Irish, and they have passion and poetry running through them like the word Blackpool runs through rock. Just ask Bono. In a strangely shot scene outside Hanssen’s office, where Greg looks close one second and far away the next, he declares his love for Sahira. He knows her so well, he says, that he knows she constantly hums CBeebies theme tunes. Well, if she does I’ve never heard her. But that’s love for you.

Not a lot of Jac this week, as she had to knock Oli’s research project into shape so she was wearing a virtual Do Not Disturb sign. But she did have time to utter what will be our motto of the week: “Punctuality is next to godliness. Which is just one rung below consultant.” Got to love her.

Next time: Mary-Claire is back! ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls will be played! But will Sahira be able to resist Greg? (not if he’s playing and/or humming ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls).

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