Tag Archives: Guy Henry

Holby City: When Henrik stopped being Mr Hanssen

hanssen holby(Series 15, ep.52)  Henrik Hanssen has been one of the greatest ever Holby characters. A mystery wrapped in an enigma encased by a formal suit, he was always intriguing and fascinating. The character was beautifully written, especially in the early days when odd little clues about his background were leaked out bit by bit, but it was Guy Henry’s stunning acting skills that really brought him to life. Having to work with the constraint that Hanssen was a character who didn’t really show emotion, his inner feelings had to be revealed by the most subtle acting, and by clever, telling details like the way he ate his sushi and arranged his pencils.

The exit episode for such a special character needed to be very good indeed, and last night’s episode was wonderful (beautiful writing by Nick Fisher). There had to be quite a lot of suspension of disbelief – that Digby was allowed to operate on the woman he loves even though he’d been a puking, shivering mess not long before; that no neurosurgeon was available at all (I’m sure in an emergency one could have been summoned from The Mythical St James’ or the Hadlington or somewhere if there really wasn’t one at Holby); that Ric Griffin took no part in the surgery to re-attach Malick’s hand even though he’s always been the go-to guy when veins needed sorting out; and so on. But, really, I wouldn’t have wanted to sacrifice any of the drama just to make things more realistic. Having Digby and Hanssen outside the operating theatre biting their nails while a Guest Artiste Surgeon did all the vital stuff wouldn’t have been the same as having them perform heroic deeds themselves.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Look out! Look out! Look out!

digby chantelle holby(Series 15, ep.51)  Talk about emotional rollercoaster! I don’t mean Serena’s birthday, though I dare say it’ll be one that she won’t forget – and she doesn’t even know (or care) about beloved Tim dying in AAU or Mo and Sacha kissing in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. She doesn’t even know yet about the car crash right at the end, but obviously she’s going to, as half her colleagues were involved and there’ll quite probably be some life-saving surgery to get stuck into next week.

Phew. Let’s rewind a bit. It was the day of the Young Doctor of the Year award ceremony, and Digby was practising his speech – or his “rambling love letter to the Swede,” as Zosia put it. And this would be a good place to mention that I really, really like Zosia. I think there’s going to turn out to be a lot to her, and given time she could be one of the great Holby characters.

I also really love Digby and find him laugh-aloud funny. My favourite line was when his patient had just informed him that she was planning to call her unborn baby Destiny. Digby was explaining why she was in pain. “The appendix is being pushed up by the… by Destiny,” he said.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Parental guidance

(Series 15, ep.50)  Parenthood was at the front and centre of proceedings in all three departments this week, with Chrissie wondering how My Son Daniel would fare without her should the worst happen, Jac and Jonny going to an antenatal class and Hanssen pondering whether to meet the son he’s never seen. To add to the overall theme, Jac got a baby to hold and Hanssen got a young boy to look after. Chrissie got Paul O’Grady.

holby cityTo Keller first, and Malick was out to prove himself to be consultant material. Hanssen said Malick would work with him for the day. It gave Hanssen the excuse to ask Malick what it was like suddenly finding himself the parent of a grown up son and to repeatedly lecture him about remaining rational at all times when dealing with patients.

Fredrik (Hanssen Junior) was on his mind, though, and it did make him overreact when it came to the welfare of young Josh, who had cystic fibrosis and needed surgery to sort out his spleen. Josh also had an absentee parent, a mother who’d left him because she was mentally ill, but who turned up to upset the apple-cart by taking him out of the hospital so he could collapse in the car park. He also collapsed in the stair-well earlier. If only he’d have collapsed in the toilets as well he’d have scored a  hat trick.

hanssen holbyThe car park collapse caused Hanssen to actually run, which was a magnificent sight, but not as magnificent as him getting all shouty with the boy’s mother. Unfortunately he blew it slightly when he was about to operate. With the mother’s words of “treat him with the same care you would your own son” ringing in his ears, he went a bit wobbly and had to hand over scalpel duties to Malick.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Chances of survival

jonny jac holby(Series 15, ep.49)  Second only to the “last-minute-dash-to-the-airport-to-stop-loved-one-leaving” scenario, the “father’s-last-minute-dash-to-the-abortion-clinic” has to be one of the most over-used scenarios in drama. We had it in Holby City this week, but because it was Jac at the clinic and Jonny doing the dashing, I actually cared about it.

I cared because I really want Jac to have the baby. It feels like this is a huge moment in her life, where she could open up and find out how it feels to love someone unconditionally and have them love her back. The alternative is for her to become ever more closed-off. You never know with Jac, though. She could have gone through with a termination, basing everything on cold logic and statistics.

Jonny Mac is the total opposite of her in many ways – he’s all emotion. In fact he almost explodes with emotion sometimes, such as when he was running around the clinic yelling at Jac’s voicemail on his phone (why did no one come out and ask him to shush?). He’s also an enlightened, sensitive man who wouldn’t dream of telling a woman what she could and couldn’t do with her own body, and this has held him back from telling Jac how he really feels.

jac holbySo it was lucky for him that Jac decided she’s going to keep the baby anyway. Maybe there was a tiny tad of cussedness about it, as the doctor in the clinic turned out to be someone Jac had known (and disliked) a long time ago. “We called you Jac Frost at medical school,” she said. “You had a nickname, too,” said Jac, and when asked what it was, she said, “I don’t use language like that any more.” Advantage Ms Naylor!   Continue reading


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Holby City: Sometimes it’s better not to know

(Series 15, ep.43) You have to feel sorry for Prof Elliot Hope. He’s known more human suffering than most men – the loss of his beloved Gina, living in his car for a while because he had to sell his house, being romantically pursued by Lady Byrne, almost being shipped off to The Mythical St James’ during the Darwin-Goes-Plastic debacle.

Things have been looking up for him recently though, with the arrival in his life of Psych Sharon. This week we discover they’re already at the arriving at work together, cheek pecking in public, dog walking phase. So sweet! Elliot even trusts Sharon with his beloved Samson!

And then she went and ran him over. Samson, not Elliot. It was only a little nudge, but enough to break his leg. I loved how Elliot’s first reaction was to send for Jac Naylor – Elliot and Jac have operated on Samson before, so she knows her way around a dog. But they called a vet, and Elliot was given the bad news that Samson had bone cancer and the kindest thing was to put him to sleep. Sniff! As if poor Elliot hasn’t had enough euthanasia in his life. And he doesn’t know that it was Sharon who caused the accident.

Dr Sharon was very much in demand, with two whole patients and a dog to worry about. Just as well Oliver Valentine has left – she’d never have been able to fit him in as well. On Keller she was consulted about the memory loss patient from last week. Digby felt he was just stringing them along in order to lure the lovely Chantelle away. When they found out the true identity of Memory Man, Sharon’s advice was Don’t Tell Him Yet. So Digby told him. Well, it was clinically urgent to stop him flirting with Chantelle. It ended up with Memory Man running through the ward in his pants and getting in what’s technically known as a “right state” and Hanssen having very stern words with his new mentee. I do love it when Hanssen has stern words.

Digby was entirely in the wrong and screwed up massively, but even worse for him was Chantelle telling him that their kiss didn’t mean anything and she doesn’t have a romantic thought in her head for him (and she does have thoughts in her head, you know – she gets really cross when people think it’s just air).

On AAU, the new anaesthetist kept being referred to as “Edward…” because apparently nobody could remember his surname. Odd, that, when as a memory aid they could have remembered that it was awfully similar, indeed exactly the same, as that of Queen of the Hospital Serena Campbell. This was on account of them being previously married and that. Serena was on fine form, getting all shouty and irate at her ex (it’s fair to say he rattles her – she ain’t over him yet, I reckon) and sarcastic with her staff, while being kind and lovely to a frightened patient in theatre.

Pregnancy watch – Jac is apparently taking spinning classes in an effort to keep the weight gain under control, though I’m sure I heard Jonny Mac use the word “chubby” within her hearing (and she didn’t destroy him with a Death Stare – how she’s mellowed). In the bar for the wake for Elliot’s dog (Sharon’s idea) Jac was having to resist the peanuts.

Next time Mo faces up to the repercussions of her recent transplant case; Chrissie gets the results of her latest scan; and who will Serena take to the ball?

Posted by PLA (on holiday with rubbish Internet so no photos)


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Holby City: Sons and daughters

mo holby(Series 15, ep.42)  Mo has placed herself firmly in the category of “maverick” this week (and what doctor worth his or her salt in Holby hasn’t been in that category at one time or another?). Determined that her heart transplant patient Hattie wouldn’t die, she told a teeny weeny fib when the heart donor’s mother tried to withdraw consent, and said the procedure was too far gone and couldn’t be stopped.

mo jonny holbyIt was one of those cases where you could see everyone’s point. Mo felt justified because if she hadn’t done what she did, there’d have been two dead girls at the end of the episode instead of one. She also had it in her mind that Hattie’s mother (beautifully played by Eva Pope) had already lost one child. On the other side was the grief of Nicole, the donor’s mother (Lizzie Hopley, also heartbreaking – the scenes between her and Eva Pope were really touching), and poor Jonny Mac, caught in the middle and trying to do what was right and follow procedures.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Then there were no Valentines

oliver valentine holby(Series 15, ep.39)  It was the final episode for the man we’ve come to know fondly over the years as Young Dr Oliver Valentine. James Anderson has left for pastures new (including an episode of Poirot, apparently, which is excellent news – Mr PLA and I love to settle down in front of a good Poirot on a damp Sunday afternoon). I’ll miss Ollie, but more for the character he used to be than the one he’s been recently. As emotions go, sadness is not the most fun one to watch, and the poor lad has been immersed in sadness since the death of the lovely Tara.

James Anderson does misery beautifully, what with having those amazing blue eyes that brim with tears at the drop of a sad hat, and he also does anger really well – the scene recently where he nastily let rip at Prof Hope was shocking and upsetting to behold. Oliver’s reaction to Tara’s death, which was basically to put up a wall against the world, tell everybody everything was fine, and then shout a lot was realistic and consistent with his previous reaction to Penny’s death, but from a viewer perspective it maybe went on a bit too long and got just a little bit boring. It overshadowed the things I’ve always loved about Oliver – his fun side, his way with a witty one-liner, his kindness, his relationships with the other staff members.

Thank goodness, then, that we had a little glimpse of this right before he left in two touching and perfectly crafted scenes, one with Jac and the other with Elliot.   Continue reading


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Holby City: Emotionally involved

michael holby(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


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Holby City: Digby saves the day, if not the episode

(Series 15, ep.34)  Due to house moving etc, I’m still forced to watch Holby City on iPlayer with very poor bandwidth. Maybe it summarises my feelings about this episode when I tell you I didn’t especially mind the regular pauses for “buffering.”

What was wrong with it? No Darwin, hardly any doctoring, and two, rather tedious, storylines. I hate being critical, honestly I do, but once in a while a dud episode happens along and this was it.

holby cityThe Coroners Court scenes were dull and even the presence of the sublime Guy Henry failed to lift them. It was only at the end when it really came to life.  Dominic put his bunny-boiling scheme into action by claiming that Malick had given Amanda Layton a drug to suppress her respiratory system. Digby saved the day with a wodge of research to show the aforementioned drug would have a completely different effect (wouldn’t Hanssen have known this?). It looked like Dominic’s career as a doctor was in ruins and he’d have to fall back to being a hair model, but Malick stepped up to the witness-box and came clean about his “error of judgement” in ripping the jeans off his junior colleague. Understandably, Nathan was none too happy and left the courtroom, but it was the first time Malick has really shown much of a backbone.   Continue reading


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Holby City: A need-to-know situation

(Series 15, ep.30) For anyone who missed the throwaway comment the other week about Jac and Jonny sleeping together after the tragic loss of Tara, it was included in the recap at the beginning of this one, followed by Jac getting the news about her endometriosis. Keep these things in mind, because we’ll be needing them by the end of proceedings.

malick holbyBut first to Keller, where Malick was given the task of looking after the girlfriend of a serial killer. Only he wasn’t to think of her as the girlfriend of a serial killer. She was just supposed to be “a body on the table.” He didn’t bother to warn his staff about who they’d be dealing with and just told them not to react when they recognised her from television. They were probably expecting Lorraine Kelly or Gail from Coronation Street, which meant it was all a bit of a shock to find they were caring for Amanda, a woman who’d refused to give evidence against her boyfriend, a nasty man who’d killed lots of women. Chantelle found it impossible to even raise a smile, never mind get a cannula in straight. Luckily new F1 Dominic seemed pretty competent, when he wasn’t busy casting adoring glances and compliments in the direction of Malick (dear Malick, he needs that, what with being so under-confident).

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