(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
(Series 18, ep. 51) It seems out of character for someone like Serena – so poised and strong – to be literally running after a romantic interest, begging them not to leave. This is how we know that Bernie Wolfe is more than just “romantic interest.” Falling for Bernie must be, to Serena, like being given a glimpse inside a previously locked room, and then having the door shut in your face just as you’re on the threshold.
It also makes sense that Bernie would run away. She’s been in the place Serena is now, when she fell for Alex, and she’s seen the heartbreak it can bring. The scene where Bernie talked to Dominic on the roof shows that she’s quite fatalistic about relationships. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 49) I was absolutely gripped by this week’s episode. I don’t think there’s a Holby fan on the planet who doesn’t like Fletch. He’s a genuine, kind, caring, funny man who just wants to help people and make a living so he can support his kids. So I was rooting for Fletch, and I love Raf and the bromance between them, so I was rooting for Raf, too. As well as being engaged with the human side of the story, I was intrigued by the puzzle of the mystery illness that got worse and worse, and even had the best medics in TV-land stumped for a while. It was nail-biting stuff, and thank heavens for Bernie, an oasis of calm among all the angst.
A special mention also for Kai O’Loughlin, who plays Mikey Fletcher. This week he subdued his cheeky chappie persona a bit (usually he seems about to burst into a chorus of ‘Consider Yourself At Home‘ at any moment, which is a lovely thing to watch but wouldn’t have been appropriate here) and he was brilliant. He’s completely believable as Fletch’s son and has masses of charm, personality and talent. His scene with Hanssen was absolutely precious. I was glad it was Mikey who provided the clue that eventually led to a diagnosis. “He’s okay now. I’m looking out for him,” he said. Continue reading
(Series 31, ep. 1) For four long weeks we’ve had to wait to find out whether Connie and Grace were going to survive their car plunging down a ravine. Nail-biting tension! But it turned out that that was just a starter tragedy, before the main course of full-on mayhem ensued.
It was the 30th anniversary of the day Charlie Fairhead first walked into Holby ED, with a bit more hair and a Bristol accent, but otherwise basically the same wise, sensible and Special person he is today. Charlie’s first day was also the first episode of Casualty, so this was a double celebration, and the episode had to be even more spectacular than the magnificent cake Noel had organised. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 45) Guy Self. Selfie. Self-centred, selfish, self-absorbed, self-promoting, always the villain of the piece. And yet an episode which started with Selfie in typically arrogant mode with the publication of his memoirs (Head Space – sadly not currently available from Amazon and all good book shops) ended with him in tears – and frankly, I was almost in tears with him.
The cause of this turnaround was the appearance – as a patient – of his mother Valerie, beautifully played by Brigit Forsyth. Zosia didn’t know that Granny was still alive, and she seemed so nice, too. But it was clear that Selfie was a haunted man. It wasn’t until Valerie made her presence felt at a meeting where Selfie was trying to impress bigwigs that her sweet facade started to crack – and as soon as Zosia wasn’t around, we caught a glimpse of something very nasty indeed. Continue reading