Tag Archives: Hasina Haque

Casualty: An explosion at Holby Airport!

An explosion at Holby Airport, and the casualties included (a) a heavily pregnant woman, (b) the man who almost raped Mads and (c) lots of other people we don’t need to worry our pretty little heads about, but let’s just say A&E was heaving.

Clinical Nurse Manager Linda proved to be far more effective at wrangling the press than she’d ever been at wrangling her staff. She left that side of things to Tess, who is a beacon of Organisational Skills when the going gets tough. Though where was Charlie? It’s not like him to miss a Major Incident.

Linda realised that, apart from organising tea for the press, the thing she liked best about nursing was… well, nursing. She even got to help deliver the heavily pregnant woman’s baby! Mind you, so did Tess, with no detrimental effect on her legendary organisational skills, but Linda decided that being Clinical Nurse Manager was not what she wanted from her career, and Tess was welcome to have her old job back. I think she was forgetting that it had been Tess’s decision to stop doing the job in the first place, but still…

Meanwhile, Mads had saved the life of the man who tried to rape her, but he was caught out by karma when it was found he had syphilis. This was enough to persuade his wife to stop giving him an alibi for the night of the attack, so with luck he’ll soon be Behind Bars. Mads’s temporary flirtation with wearing a headscarf now apparently over, she looked sufficiently approachable for Lennie to be able to tell her he loves her – news she greeted with her trademark wide-eyed stare.

Adam got the chance to atone for his recent god complex by not accidentally-on-purpose killing, torturing or illegally medicating the rapist bloke, which was nice. It looks as though we’ve seen the last of Adam, though, as he walked out of the ED in that looking-back way that lets you know we won’t be seeing him for a while.

Posted by PLA, on holiday at Lake Fernando’s and typing on an iPhone, hence all mistakes can be blamed on predictive text.


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Casualty: You’ve got to have faith

(Series 25, Ep.44) This Casualty and Holby concept of using the patients to illuminate the inner psyches of the regular cast (which loyal readers will by now know I call “Speak Your Brains“) is getting ridiculous. This week, top-of-the-range guest artistes Andrew Sachs and Anita Dobson were made to suffer as a bullied and beleaguered Jewish couple, basically to give Mads the oomph she needed to report her assault to the police. Rachel and Mendel Lan (Dobson and Sachs) were pharmacists who’d been bothered by a nasty, heroin-addicted thug for years, so Rachel took it upon herself to add a little something extra to the methadone he was forcing her to give him, but not before her husband had been seriously injured.

It didn’t end well – the old man had a stroke and Rachel was arrested, but not before pouring out her woes to Mads, and her regrets that the thug hadn’t been stopped earlier. Mads gave it that wide-eyed stare and nodded a bit, and then told Lenny (whom she’d earlier told about the attack) that she was now ready to talk to the police. Credit here to Ashley Artus, who played DI Berkeley. It’s not often that an actor with a bit-part as a policeman in Casualty manages to exhibit any personality, but DI Berkeley was quirky and realistically patronising (he talked very s-l-o-w-l-y to Rachel, who was both getting on a bit and had an accent).

The episode was called Pascal’s Wager, a term which I confess I had to look up. It apparently means that, in the absence of any proof either way as to the existence of God, it makes more sense to live life as if he/she/it does exist, because you’ll be happier. Something like that, anyway. I’m not quite sure how that related to the episode, apart from the Lans were Jewish and Mads is Muslim, but still…

In other news, Dr Dylan Keogh slept in his car so the homeless girl from last week could sleep in his houseboat, but when he found her collapsed, and found out she was only 15, he was in big trouble. Thanks to his ninja-level diagnostic skills he managed to get out of the fine mess he was in, and save her life, but not before a short period of being unemployed, when Nick Jordan told him to resign. He’s now been reinstated, again, which is good news because he fancies Dr Zoe Hanna, and it’s been too long since we’ve seen the old Dr Zoe Hanna magic in full force. After a spot of after-work flirtatious banter, she sauntered off. “Stop waggling!” said Dr Dylan. “Stop looking!” she threw back at him. But of course he won’t. Ah, those trademark Dr Zoe Hanna pencil skirts. Fabulous.

Next time: Oh, look out. Adam’s fabled “god complex” is back.

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here)


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Casualty: What’s in the green bag, Adam?

(Series 25, Ep.42) Big Mac wasn’t a happy man when he was asked to add “deep cleaning of trolleys” to his already burdensome list of duties – doing the crossword, some impromptu gambling, joshing with Noel and a little light portering. It didn’t take long before you could see his point, though – resus was literally awash with gore, after a man threw up more blood than a man has a right to do and most of it ended up on the floor. You wouldn’t want to be the person deep cleaning that particular trolley.

The deep cleaning thing was part of yet another initiative designed by Henry to make life for casualty staff so much more difficult. Poor Lush Linda was struggling to cope with the added admin and mutinous staff, but she found an ally in Nick Jordan’s new PA, Emily (catchphrase: “I’m helpin’!”). Emily left at the end of the episode intent on becoming a nurse, and I hope that when she finishes her training – which will probably take three weeks in Holby time – she’ll be back at Holby (either upstairs in Holby City or downstairs in Casualty), because she was lovely.

Meanwhile, the programme information told us that “Adam’s God complex continues.” Continues? When did it start? Have I missed something? Anyway, this God complex was signalled in NICE BIG LETTERS by a recurring motif of Adam’s big, godlike eye peering through a glass at a little fly, over which he had the power of life or death. Subtle, huh? The patient over which he wielded this power was a paedophile, beaten up within an inch of his life by the father of one of his victims (this father was the man who was heaving up blood all over the floor in resus – so often we get two for the price of one with Casualty patients).

The paedophile’s mother was played by the radiantly gorgeous Denise Welch, but frankly that’s all he had going for him (and she didn’t like him either). He told Adam he couldn’t cope with the horrible impulses that made him behave the way he did, and said he wanted a way out. The power was in Adam’s hands – an ethical dilemma indeed.

Lennie wanted to be Adam’s wing man (“I’m your boss, not your friend,” said the ever-chirpy Adam), but he was a little concerned when Adam visited the pharmacy and obtained a small green bag of something or other. Was Adam planning to despatch the sex offender to the hereafter with a hypodermic? Well, no, he wasn’t. His God complex doesn’t go quite that far. Instead he provided the man with something hormonal to (hopefully) curb his urges, and released him back into the wilds of Holby. Let’s just hope we don’t hear of him again.

And, in case we missed the fly metaphor the first time, and the second, the episode closed with Adam’s big eye looking at the fly, and then Adam releasing it into the air. That’s just what Big Mac doesn’t need – a department crawling with flies while he’s trying to deep clean.

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here)


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Casualty: Violence or death

(Series 25, Ep.40) Sometimes Casualty can be so hard to watch. I don’t mean the close-up shots of broken glass being picked out of a bloodied hand – I’m kind of hardened to that now. It’s the emotional, human stuff that they do really well, like this episode’s story of an old man (Godfrey Jackman) seriously ill with cancer who just wanted to die peacefully in his own home. Adam stuck his neck out, defying Nick Jordan and a pig of a consultant to get the man sent back home. But they didn’t leave us with a comforting vision of him dying in a nice clean bed with the sun streaming through the net curtains. Instead he fell on the floor, and we last saw him lying on the floor in his wife’s arms, in awful pain.

Away from that story, and away from Mads deciding to wear a hijab for work (very nice she looked in it, too – it exactly matched her scrubs), the main storyline was about Jeff trying to befriend an Angry Young Man. Since Polly died, Jeff has taken on Polly’s do-good persona (or his own brusque, Jeff version of it, anyway). This Karl was the cousin of the person who did the college shooting, but Jeff recognised a more noble spirit in him and took him out for the day on the ambulance. I’m not sure this is strictly within ambulance rules, and Dixie wasn’t thrilled, but Jeff was convinced that Karl had the makings of a top-notch paramedic.

Then Karl came under the influence of one Vix, a spoiled rich girl with an unhealthy obsession with death and danger. Instead of having posters of My Chemical Romance and Jedward (for example) on her wall, she had lots of press cuttings about the college shooting, which should have given Karl the clue to run very fast in the opposite direction. But Vix appealed to his insecurity and vanity, and pretty soon she had him playing chicken on the railway line. He managed to save her from being squashed by a train, but instead she got herself a massive electric shock and subsequently died.

So Karl will now meekly go back to being mentored by Jeff and become a staunch, upright citizen will he? I’m guessing not, as this episode was the first part of a two-parter (always an ominous sign), and when last seen Karl was in a bit of a strop and had taken to heart Vix’s theory that the only worthwhile acts are death and violence. Stay away from Holby College is my advice.

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty posts here)


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Casualty: The question is, are you a real nurse?

(Series 25, Ep.38, 39) I just watched Saturday’s episode, and it’s sapped my blogging energy. But I shall stagger on to that in a minute. First a brisk stroll through last week’s episode, the one where Mads came face-to-face with the cabby who tried to rape her (I say “tried,” because it’s not clear whether he succeeded – the suggestion seemed to be that she fought him off).

Previously, I’ve liked Mads. She’s been a really original character – shy, conventional, but with an independent streak and a subversive sense of humour. There was a lovely episode where a patient from Pakistan reminded Mads of her culture, and particularly told her not to be led astray by the likes of that strumpet Dr Zoe Hanna, but Mads went to the pub after work anyway, with that wide-eyed expression on her face that looks like she’s just arrived on a time-and-culture machine but she thinks she’ll fit into this new world just fine.

Sadly I didn’t feel sorry for her as much as irritated by her in this episode. It wasn’t Hasina Haque’s fault – she was given little else to do but employ her trademark wide-eyed expression, only this time denoting fear. There were too many scenes where the screen was just filled with that rabbit-in-the-headlights visage. And I was irritated that you apparently can’t have a female Muslim character without at some point involving her in  a “bringing shame on the family”-type plot.

Last week also reintroduced Christine Tremarco as Linda Andrews, who previously pitched up as Jess’s free-spirited best friend. This time she looks set to stay a bit longer, because she’s now employed in the ED as a nurse.

This week saw her acting a bit like she’s the new Dr Zoe Hanna – sleeping with unsuitable men, coming into work with a hangover and a bag full of the unsuitable man’s clothing. A shame, this, as she was supposed to be in charge of the whole department. No-one wanted to take over Tess’s job – they all hope Tess will change her mind and do it herself – so Nick Jordan appointed Linda. ″With you at the wheel, we can expect the hospital to be on its knees by lunchtime,” was his vote of confidence, but the plan was to force a more competent pair of hands to take over when Linda messed up.

She wasn’t helped by locum doctor Simon turning out to be her former fiance. You could see why she jilted him if his bedside manner was anything to go by.

Anyway, the plot, such as it was, revolved around an injured boy and his dad, who was supposed to have died in a train crash but who’d used the opportunity to do a Reggie Perrin and disappear. Only now he was back. Only Linda believed him. Also lurking was the very annoying Dr Dylan Keogh, who hasn’t worked in the ED since Polly died.

Wherever Dylan goes there’s an accident (it was a car crash this time). The citizens of Harrogate, where he was due for a job interview, will be no doubt relieved to know that, with a little encouragement from Dr Zoe Hanna, it looks like he’ll be staying in Holby.

A pretty “meh” episode, then. Too much Dylan and Linda, not enough Nick Jordan. No Henrik Hanssen at all, and just the merest glimpse of Ruth. But never mind – episodes are like trains at Holby Station, which looked very small and rural for the seething metropolis that is Holby. There’ll be another one along next week.

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here)


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Casualty: Ruth’s back! Charlie’s back! Mads is in danger!

(Series 25, Ep.36) If and when Charlie Fairhead ever dies, it will be necessary to have him stuffed and mounted in a glass case in the reception area of Holby City A&E department. Yes, it might freak out the patients a little bit, but it’s unthinkable that the place could run without him.

Having been ousted to the sunny heights of the Psych Ward for the duration of Dr Ruth Winters’ psychiatric illness (handy, that), Nick Jordan decided that, now Ruth was back, Charlie really ought to be back as well. Thus everyone will get the benefit of his uncanny ability to be reassuring while not making eye contact with the person he’s talking to (his eyes always seem to be watching an imaginary cricket match in the distance), and he’ll also be on hand to restrain Ruth if she goes off on one again. It’s a win-win situation.

It was a hell of a shift for Ruth to make her reintroduction to medical life. Henry (what is his job title, please? He’s sort of in charge when Hanssen is unavailable) had signed up to some scheme whereby Holby would alternate GP referrals with mythical “other Holby hospital” St James’s, but this had gone wrong so the ED was full of people who should really be at the other side of Holby. Mayhem. Throw in a deaf boy who’d swallowed a particularly vicious weedkiller, Henry’s daughter who’d been run over by a motorbike because she’s going blind and she hadn’t seen it coming, Adam being angsty (is this “again” or “still”?) and Mads asking if she could avoid contact with youngish male patients because her fiance was a bit traditional that way (Tess’s answer: “No.”), and you have a recipe for stress.    Continue reading


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Casualty: A fish called Jordan

(Series 25, Ep.35) The differences in management style between Nick Jordan and Miriam Turner were exemplified in their approach to the staff’s grief at the loss of Polly. Miriam, of the touchy-feely school of human resource management, declares an open-door policy. She wants the staff to pop in any time and unburden themselves, take a little time to mourn their loss. She doubtless has laid in several boxes of tissues just in case. There’s a book of condolence for them to sign.

“How is the open-door policy working for you?” Nick asks her, knowing full well that the door may be open but no-one is going through it. It’s not the Casualty way, which is to suck it up and get on with it, and Nick knows this.

However, it was Miriam who got the clinical lead job, so it’s Nick who had to pack up his bits and bobs and head for the exit. A nation of Casualty fans prepared to mourn yet another loss. Then a little miracle arrived in the form of a small boy with a self-inflicted banged-up thumb. He turned out to be Miriam’s step-grandson, who was there to try and reunite her with his father, her stepson, who has Parkinson’s and needs her support. Without consulting the stepson in question (whom she hadn’t seen for ten years), Miriam decided her family had greater need of her than her workplace, and she told Hanssen she was quitting.       Continue reading

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