(Series 19, ep. 21) There was ninja-level acting in AAU this week, as Serena’s “what doesn’t kill you makes you a better F1” mentoring of Jasmine reached critical point. Catherine Russell showed yet again what a great range she has as an actor – there was no sign of cheeky, Shiraz-swilling Serena as grief for her daughter has made her more angry, upset and confused than she knows how to deal with. Some of her scenes were heartbreaking – especially the little moment when she looked at her sleeping patient and you knew she was picturing Elinor, her meltdown in front of all the staff and her speech to the counsellor at the end.
Lucinda Dryzek has also been excellent in this storyline. Jasmine’s whole body language has changed – she’s tired, worn down, stressed out. But you never lose the feeling of who she essentially is – the perky, lively, optimistic person who seems to be the opposite of her sister. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 18) Hanssen was back, but he wasn’t wearing the tie of authority. he was wearing the open-necked shirt of civilian life. “Avante garde for the NHS,” according to Dominic. Hanssen wasn’t there as CEO, but as a patient’s relative. His son Fredrick (William Postlethwaite – son of Pete) had been in an accident, and needed surgery.
There was a strange drug in Fredrick’s system, the fictional Oxamorol, manufactured by Lovborg, the family business now run by Fredrick. It was a magic bullet for depression, according to Fredrick. Hanssen was devastated to think that he might have passed his own depression to his son.
The truth was actually even more devastating than that. Fredrick was using himself as a guinea pig to test the drug, which had already been shown to have nasty side effects including possible and actual death. He was willing to risk his own life, but also to cover up the negative trials that had already been done. And he didn’t even have depression, dismissing Hanssen’s condition as a weakness. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 3) That was such a dense episode – “dense” in the sense of there was a lot packed into it, rather than it was stupid, which it certainly wasn’t.
Much of it centred on Henrik Hanssen, which is always a marvellous thing. In this case, though, it led to him taking a period of “gardening leave,” which isn’t a good thing, because it means he won’t be around for a while. He’s drafted in Ric Griffin to deputise, because Holby needs its moral compass. “When will you be back?” Ric asked Hanssen. “When you most need me, I imagine,” was the response, which was a fabulous reply because it already has me thinking of some future episode when everything is looking dire and dreadful, and suddenly – there he’ll be, looming and magnificent in a nice suit, to save the day. I also loved what Simon Harper said on Twitter: “Hanssen is Aslan to Holby’s Narnia, he comes and goes and sometimes has other lands to attend to.” Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 1) There was another glimpse of Digby in the pre-titles ‘previously’ section. We aren’t being allowed to forget his sweet face, and I love it that his death is still affecting the characters into this new series.
The return of Michael Malone (Andy Lucas), who was the person who was going to get the experimental stent before Zosia manoeuvred to let Digby have it, was always going to be tough for Zosia. Every week I’m growing to admire Camilla Arfwedson more and more as an actress. Her face is like a landscape over which you see patterns of sunshine and clouds moving constantly. When she spoke about Digby to Michael Malone (“He was my best friend and I wasn’t there when he needed me”) it was such a sad scene. Then, in Michael’s dying moments, she wheeled his bed out to the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery, and I doubt whether the Shrubbery has ever seen anything more poignant in its varied life. Zosia’s face as she sat under the tree, and the way she tucked the blankets around Michael after he died, made me cry. Again. How many tears can Digby’s death wring out of me? As for poor Zosia, I’m very worried for her. I just hope Ollie comes good and looks after her, because I rather love the way he says her name, like it tastes delicious in his mouth. Continue reading