The greatest gift of all (Picture: BBC)
(Series 20, ep. 40 ‘Inscrutable’ by Tony Higgins 2.10.18) Pop over to Metro for this week’s full review and a little extra piece about Jac and Sacha. Before you go, a few additional thoughts…
– I was so excited when Bob Barrett told me that Sacha was going to be moving in with Jac, because it was something both he and Rosie Marcel talked about when I met them last year for the Holby book. It seemed like quite a random idea at the time, but in the context of Sacha’s mental health problems (and Jac’s physical health problems) it really works. Jac really is kind when good friends need help – such as when she secretly financed Professor Hope’s Kibo project.
– I hope Scary Sue from ITU is going to be a regular character. As well as her having a brilliant name (obvs), I really liked her over-sharing northern personality.
– I liked Leah, too. Berena fans are possibly not best pleased at someone making a move on Serena, but Serena has always been a woman with needs. She’s resisting so far, but will her resolve be as strong come Christmas party time? I like that Leah has come to medicine a few years later on in life, so she’ll have a different angle on things from the usual F1s.
– Once again Hiran Abeysekera was really touching as Tyler, and his scenes with Bob Barrett were lovely.
– Hanssen kissing Roxanna’s hand! So absolutely heartbreaking.
– I knew Essie would blame herself for overdoing it with the alphabet board. I bet the Prof is happy he planted that little seed. Essie’s no fool, though, and once Meena and Hanssen have recovered a little, everyone is going to start joining the dots. I hope.
(Series 20, ep. 39 ‘Undoing’ by Nick Fisher 25.9.18) Head over to Metro for a full review of this episode, but before you go here are a few additional thoughts.
– Just when you think the Gaskell storyline can’t get any darker and more twisted, it gets darker and more twisted. Paul McGann has been genuinely terrifying in the last few episodes, as Gaskell has shown he’ll go to any lengths to carry on his research. It’s like there’s a ligature in his own head that shuts off any compassion and empathy that might risk diverting him from his path.
– I’m going to miss Roxanna. I liked her as a character and Hermione Gulliford as an actress. I’m sad that Roxanna never had the chance to go out for a night on the Shiraz with Serena because she always had something else to worry about. From spending weeks frowning at Oliver Valentine trying to will him to recover, to spending weeks frowning at Professor Gaskell, she’s never had a chance to relax.
– Of course Hanssen is going to miss her the most. His line in this episode, ‘I can’t lose anyone else, John,’ shows us that he’s really going to struggle to cope. Maybe Sacha and Frieda can invite him to join Holby Fight Club?
– Fletch really needs to sort his children out. It just isn’t on to have them wandering around the hospital all day long, even though I do enjoy seeing them.
– I loved Jac and Frieda giving Fletch advice about how to handle his teenage daughter. Though I can’t imagine that either of them was exactly what you’d call an average teenage girl.
– Frieda looked amazing in her boxing gear and I think they should rush out an action figure of her in time for Christmas. She’d be an excellent role model for all the un-average teenage girls. And boys.
– It’s lovely to have Sacha back and it’s very nice that he’s got a new hobby. I wonder if being in the basement gives him flashbacks to when he had a room there full of all the stuff that Chrissie didn’t want him to have hanging around at home?
(Series 20, ep. 38 ‘One Man and His God’ by Andy Bayliss 18.9.18) I’ve written a nice long review of this episode over at Metro, but before you go to have a look here are some additional thoughts.
– The ending was just about the most twisted, terrifying thing I’ve ever seen on Holby. The idea of deliberately leaving someone in a ‘locked in’ state (especially as we knew that Roxanna’s mother had already experienced that) – well, even the most seasoned Gaskell-watcher will have been shocked at just how far his drive to succeed has pushed him.
– We’ve had murderous people on the wards of Holby before (Nurse ‘Killer’ Kelly Yorke in series 5/6; Hanssen’s son last year), but Gaskell is an entirely different kettle of fish. The scary thing about Gaskell is that he truly believes he’s only one step away from the next great medical breakthrough. He takes no pleasure in people being hurt or dying, but at the same time he views anyone who suffers during the course of his experiments to be collateral damage. The bigger picture is all he cares about.
– I loved the flashback scenes. Young Gaskell, Hanssen and Roxanna were perfectly cast and played their parts brilliantly, and Andy Bayliss’s script filled in plenty of blanks about each of them in a subtle and moving way. I also liked how the different sets of flashbacks were in the minds of each of the three older characters, so each one had a slightly different focus.
– Scenes between Hanssen and Dominic have become as precious and lovely as scenes between Jac and Sacha. It’s a similar dynamic – a closed-off, apparently cold person and someone who is expressive and emotionally open who sees them for who they really are.
– Gaskell’s last words to Roxanna – ‘forgive me’ – were chilling. I honestly doubt she’s going to be forgiving him any time soon, even if he ‘fesses up and sorts out the mess he’s left inside her head (if that’s even possible).
(Series 20, ep. 37 ‘All Lies Lead to the Truth’ by Robert Goldsbrough 11.9.18) This week’s review can be found over at Metro. Before you go, here are some random musings about the episode.
– Is Meena’s new car cursed? She’s had a terrible time ever since she got it, with a miserable birthday followed by a Boxing Birthday (or is it just my house where we have those?) in which she reverses into Serena’s car and later on knocks down a fleeing neurosurgeon. If I was Meena, I’d be getting that car swapped for something a little less haunted, ASAP.
– I thought Roxanna’s spying on Gaskell was really suspenseful. The bit where she was snooping around the wet lab and he was walking along the corridor was scary. I’m still not sure how she got out. Did she find a secret back door? Or had she gone out of the front door before Gaskell turned the corner?
– And then when she revealed to him what she knew and he turned the tables by trying to tell her that she wasn’t well. Will she wake up and manage to tell Hanssen what she knows before Gaskell can go any further? Or is the staff member with the best quiff since Fletch already destined to be a commemorative plaque in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery? Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 20 ‘Blind Spot’ by Katie Douglas 15.5.18) Oh, Fletch. At the beginning of this episode we saw him waking up in bed alongside a blonde head (presumably attached to a body, unless Holby has gone very twisted). But whose blonde head could it be?
Flash-back 24 hours, and who should appear at Holby but Sydney Somers (Gemma Oaten), now in charge of the agency that provides the hospital with extra nurses. When she last appeared there was a bit of a spark between her and Fletch, and she has blonde hair, too. It seemed the mystery was solved.
Fletch and Sydney clashed over the agency workers’ terms and conditions of employment, and it almost ended with the agency refusing to supply any nurses at all, which would have meant Donna missing Mia’s school concert. At the last minute, Fletch and Sydney thrashed out a solution and went to Albie’s to celebrate. Which is where they got drunk and ended up sleeping together, yes? Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 19 ‘Bubble Wrap’ by Ed Sellek 8.5.18) It’s becoming increasingly clear that Prof Gaskell is a little bit… shall we say single-minded in his pursuit of his medical trial. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the trial isn’t going all that well. He’s had one successful patient – the one in Lisbon who miraculously walked again after the Prof cured him. But then his first Holby City patient, Fiona, died. The Prof let Essie take the blame for that one, even though he knew that the fault lay with his trial. His second Lisbon patient is currently in a very bad way indeed – organs all failing and only being kept alive by very extreme measures. The doctor who’s looking after her on a daily basis, Leo (Nathan Osgood), described her current state as being “buried alive.” This is dreadful, and cruel, but the Prof doesn’t see it that way. What he sees is that a miracle is just over the horizon, as long as his research continues. Continue reading