(Series 16, ep.8) This week we got to know more about Guy Self (or “Selfie” as he’s never called, but he should be). He lost his wife, which knocked his surgical confidence for a bit, but now he’s back. And he likes Miles Davis.
Do we know this because he confided in Sacha over a lemon and poppy-seed muffin at Pulses? No, we know it because a former colleague of his has arrived in the form of Colette Sheward. She appeared like a terrifying amalgam of Sahira Shah the Registrah and Best Nurse Eddie McKee – briskly efficient, stroppy and northern like the latter, and apparently indispensable to the CEO like the former. Irritating, in other words.
Colette had brought a patient with her. He was a former patient of Selfie’s and only Selfie could cure him blah blah. Which he duly did, and Colette couldn’t wait to get on the phone to the hospital the patient was supposed to be treated at and gloat a bit. Selfie then offered her a job. “I’m nothing without you,” he bleated. But is he anything with her? We’ll have to wait and see, because I remain to be convinced about either of them. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.7) It was Malick’s farewell episode, and didn’t we just know it? He was given maximum opportunity to do all the classic Malick things – rush around going “Grrr,” shout at Digby, have an almighty strop, mess up a bit of surgery and try to worm out of it, and wrestle with his conscience about what kind of father he was to Jake. The only typical Malick thing that he didn’t get to do was have a steamy encounter in the locker room, but there was hardly time for any of that nonsense because he was so busy elsewhere.
It was actually all rather magnificent (apart from the sloppy one-handed chest drain incident – what happened to the standard cry of “We need some help in here”? And surely there’s a call button in the CT scanner room?). Since he damaged his hand, Malick has (understandably) been a tad immersed in self-pity, which has at times been fairly tedious to watch. By the end of this episode he’d recovered his mojo, but incorporated a few life lessons into it and become a humbler and wiser man. He’s The Malick again, but he’s Malick 2.0 – teacher, mentor, father. Ego restored and off to Sweden with his son and a James Brown soundtrack. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.6) “After the year I’ve had…” Chrissie kept complaining throughout this episode, and I think we were meant to sympathise with her and think, “Yes, Chrissie love, you have had a horrible year and you deserve to run off into the sunset with the most attractive American medic in the hospital.”
But instead of thinking about poor Chrissie’s breast cancer problems, and My Son Daniel’s traumatic bone marrow donation and Sacha’s deception re same, all I could think about was how horrible she’s been to Sacha. It was left to the ever-wonderful Jac to sum up the car crash that has been Sacha and Chrissie: “You sleep with him – you break his heart. You have his child – you break his heart. You literally beg him to marry you and you break his heart. And now you’ve even found a way to divorce him, yet still give him a little bit of hope so you can break his heart again.” It was all true, and Chrissie wandered through the episode being as smug, self-righteous and manipulative as she has been recently. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.4) Jonny and Bonnie. It just can’t happen. It rhymes, for a start, and it’s impossible to make into one of those portmanteau names – though I have come across “BJ” on Twitter, which is almost certainly meant to be rude. Because the main reason Jonny and Bonnie can’t happen is that it’s making The Glorious Jac unhappy, and anything that makes Jac unhappy makes me unhappy.
Bonnie (she’s nice, darn her, and pretty too) is no longer an agency nurse. She’s a full-time, fully paid-up staff member, although obviously that means less within the fluid staffing configurations of Holby City than it would almost anywhere else. She is also “stepping out” with Jonny Mac, a fact which got our Jac so rattled she made a too-deep incision during surgery. Obviously she’s Jac, so she saved the patient anyway and treated her to a most beautiful piece of post-operative Naylor sarcasm. When the (annoying new-agey) patient complained that Jac had done an open procedure instead of a laparoscopic one as promised, Jac replied, “This morning you were suffering pericardial effusion as a result of your own actions and now, as a result of mine, you can go back to shopping and having lunch.”
Jac is aware of how she appears to other people, though. “I’ve just been called grouchy,” she said to Mo. “On a good day, maybe,” Mo replied. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.3) Henrik Hanssen’s parting words to Chantelle were, “Don’t ever stop being Nurse Lane.” But can she get over the car crash to continue being the sunny, joy-spreading nurse she once was?
She was back to work for her first shift. Serena told her she was on admin only, but that was never going to last for longer than it takes to shout “We need some help here!” Digby gave her a cuddly “Back to work bird” to bring her luck, which was adorable of him. It was all going reasonably well until Chantelle caught sight of Malick’s arm while the dressing was being changed and the hideous sight made her throw up. After that she was in a bit of a flap.
She tried to compensate by spreading extra joy to her patients, including a woman whose pregnancy test had come back positive. Chantelle wasted no time in giving the happy news to the patient’s boyfriend. Sadly it wasn’t a pregnancy but a tumour, and the patient died in a very messy way in the operating theatre. I couldn’t help thinking the scene in the Keller theatre was a bit frantic, with Mr T and Digby panicking a bit more than you usually see on Holby, where a spurting artery usually elicits nothing than a raised eyebrow and a call for some suction and 4-0 Vicryl. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.2) Arthur Digby is my kind of guy. The kind of guy who’ll bring you breakfast in bed and then demonstrate the workings of your brain via the medium of a croissant. And he has the most beautiful smile.
Still feeling guilty and worried about Chantelle, he installed her in Keller so he could keep an eye on her and so she could be among her friends and other ill people. She also came in handy by deploying her legendary people skills on a lady who was not being the most cooperative patient, because she wanted to put off her surgery till the man of her dreams arrived for a night in a posh hotel. The woman’s niece and Digby thought this man was literally something from the old lady’s dreams, but Chantelle had faith that he’d turn up because she’s a romantic.
Later, when Digby suggested she move in with him, she accepted partly because she’s scared to be by herself at the moment, but there was more to it than that. When the old lady was talking about her dream man, Chantelle was overcome by emotion for a minute and had to have a little cry. She wants true love and romance and security. Whether Digby is the person to provide it remains to be seen, but for now she’s about to fill his no doubt unhomely home with cushions and fluffy items. He couldn’t be happier, bless him. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.1) You can imagine that Antoine Malick wouldn’t make a great patient even if it was only for something fairly trivial like an ingrown toenail. He’d be tetchy and stroppy and wouldn’t do as he was told.
Now factor in that he’s almost lost his hand and will only ever regain 85% of the movement in it at best, and you have to feel sorry for him, and maybe just as sorry for the people looking after him.
This comprised a crack team of new Queen of the Hospital Serena, Michael Spence, Digby and occasionally Ric Griffin. The episode opened with a strange dreamlike sequence in which the four of them were ranged at one side of a long table drenched in a heavenly light discussing the fact that Malick is only half the man he used to be.
Ric thought Malick needed counselling. “We have a very good counsellor,” he said, though who that might be now that Psych Sharon has gone is anybody’s guess. Continue reading
(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
(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
(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.
To 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.
The 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