(Series 20, ep. 50 ‘The Right Sort of Animal’ by Ed Sellek 11.12.18) Pop over to Metro for a full review of this glorious episode. Before you go, some random thoughts.
– How fabulous was this episode? I love the quirky things that Ed Sellek puts in his scripts and there were loads of them here. Xavier’s reference to The World According to Garp (telling Serena she was ‘pre-disastered’) has shot him right up in my estimation, and there was another literary reference with Morgan the Organ – the poor man who got hit right in the middle of Pachelbel’s Canon (ouch). The stained glass face stuck in Lexy was brilliant too.
– Reverend Richard Coles’ appearance was really nicely done. His character Henry De Havilland added to the general quirkiness of the wedding in a really joyous way.
– Greta (Zoe Croft) looked absolutely beautiful.
– I also loved Greta’s advice to Dom. Both Greta and Jason are great at getting straight to the heart of things and cutting through the nonsense.
– It was nice to hear Lee Mead using his singing talents, and well done to David Ames for being able to be sung at without going bright red and giggling. Or is that just me?
– It was also lovely to have a Dofty wedding. I was so happy I forgot (till it was over) that Carole Copeland and Sheilagh Chiltern weren’t even there. Luckily both of them will be making appearances in the next few months (see the winter trailer) – but will they ever meet?
– I have a lot of thoughts about Berena, which you can read about in a separate piece over at Metro.
2019 is the 20th anniversary year for Holby City – and you can expect lots of guest appearances and surprises in the run up to the 1,000th episode in the autumn.
First off, long-standing Holby fans will be delighted to hear of the return of Sharon D. Clarke as the inimitable Lola Griffin, ex-wife of the esteemed Ric. For those who haven’t met Lola yet you’re in for a treat – she’s one of my favourite ever Holby characters. She’ll only be back for one episode, in which she’ll ‘hold a mirror up to Ric’ as he reflects on his time at Holby. ‘I spent 3 ½ happy years playing Lola,’ Sharon says. ‘She was the kind of woman I would have loved to have seen on my screen when I was growing up. I was very proud to bring her to life and be a part of the Holby family. I’m so excited to be treading the wards again, and seeing what Lola will be getting up to for Holby’s 20th Anniversary. Hey, Ric, Lola’s back in town!
Denis Lawson also returns as CT surgeon Tom Campbell-Gore, who will be a rival to Ric for some crucial funding. This storyline will also introduce new surgeon Ange Godard (played by Dawn Steele). Lawson, who left Holby in 2004, says, ‘I have great memories of my time on Holby City and I’m delighted to be back on my old stomping ground with the Holby cast and crew.’
Executive Producer Simon Harper is also teasing more excitement to come in the months ahead. ‘We want to give the audience a whole year of anniversary treats, paying homage to the show’s heritage with some delicious returning characters – but also celebrating the new, working towards the 1000th episode around Bonfire Night… which is set to be an explosive story indeed!’
He’s also delighted about Denis and Sharon returning to Holby. ‘It’s a massive thrill to have Denis back, not only as one of our country’s foremost actors but also as one of Holby’s original bad boys in the show’s early years! Tom Campbell-Gore hasn’t changed a bit since he left Holby 15 years ago and definitely has some scores to settle with Ric… And it’s such a coup to have Sharon here again. It’s fantastic too, given how in demand she is – not only is she a fabulous actor and a much loved tender, funny Holby character but we clearly couldn’t let the anniversary pass without the appearance of one of Ric’s many ex-wives to ruffle his feathers.’
I can’t wait!
Former EastEnders actor Jack Ryder and TV and theatre star Amy Lennox are about to join the cast of Holby City. Amy will play doctor Chloe Godard, the daughter of Ange (played by Dawn Steele, who is also about to make her debut on the show). Jack Ryder will play a surgeon called Evan – who is also Chloe’s on/off boyfriend.
Amy said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Holby as Chloe Godard and working with such an amazing cast and crew over at BBC Elstree. Chloe has some really great storylines coming up that I can’t wait to share with you all. So excited!“
Jack says he’s “delighted to be joining Holby City and look forward to working with such a talented group of people. I can’t wait to give a voice to this exciting new character and serve a show that people love.”
Executive Producer Simon Harper revealed that the show has been talking to Jack for some time, trying to find the right part for him. “His powerful, nuanced audition for Evan blew us away. He’s both a household name and a superb actor, and fans who remember him as Jamie in EastEnders are in for a big treat and quite a surprise seeing him in this very different role. Evan is a complex, alpha surgeon who makes some major waves in Holby.” He’s also excited about the addition of Amy to the cast: “Her performance as the strong yet deeply vulnerable Chloe is terrific as she brings to life this fascinating, multi-layered character at the heart of a huge story for 2019.”
(Series 20, ep. 36 ‘Keep Your Friends Close’ by Isla Gray 4.9.18) For a full review, please head over to Metro. But first, a few random thoughts.
– I like the way the Gaskell story is warming up. He hasn’t gone full ‘mwah-ha-ha’ at any point, but we can see how he’s focused to the point of being dangerously obsessed. I have no idea where his moral compass is, which is why it was an excellent idea to put the moral compass of the hospital (Hanssen) up against him. But Hanssen’s view of things has been shaken by what happened with Fredrik, and is further complicated by his feelings for Roxanne.
– I have to wonder, did Gaskell bring all his blue luminous objects with him when he arrived, or are they standard-issue NHS items? Perhaps they’re alien artefacts he got when he was Doctor Who, and their strange intense glow is a form of mind-control. This would explain quite a bit about the Prof.
– Hanssen taking frightened patients out onto the hospital’s scenic fire escapes. Not sensible.
– I’ve honestly forgotten what Meena and Nicky fell out about, but I wish they’d sort it out. I do actually feel sorry for Meena. She’s very lonely and adrift. I think Zav probably knows deep down that she really wants more than just no-strings fun, but he was happy to take what she said at face value. I don’t think either of them is going to feel very good about themselves in the morning.
– Abi was back, which was good news for anyone requiring a CT surgeon because they’ve been a bit thin on the ground of late. But even when she’s there, she never seems quite there, if you know what I mean. Luckily we can see from the Autumn trailer that Darwin is going to get considerably busier soon.
From this week I’ll be reviewing Holby City for metro.co.uk , so for the full review that you know and (hopefully) love, please head over there and have a look.
Meanwhile, this week’s Holby in bullet points:
(Series 20, ep. 28 ‘Into the Light’ by Becky Prestwich and Nick Fisher 10.7.18)
– Gaskell taught Roxanna to shriek in the Shrubbery.
– And she needed a good shriek by the end, after discovering that Prof Gaskell has been keeping a lot of secrets about his trial.
– Jac is putting her faith in the Prof and Roxanna to sort out the problems with their trial, despite finding out that another of the test subjects has died.
– Ethan Hunt escaped the ED to roam the big corridors upstairs, where we found he wasn’t exactly a stranger to Roxanna and the Prof (and not just because they watch him on Casualty).
– The Prof ended the episode doing some more of his trademark staring at patients – but the patient this time was none other than Essie Di Lucca.
– Essie was recovering from surgery after Hanssen and a non-speaking obs & gynae expert (where’s Fleur Fanshawe?) had operated on her for ovarian cancer.
– We met Raf’s dad, Enzo.
– Donna was house-hunting, but suitable properties were out of her reach. She’s now decided to train to do botox and whatnot as a way of earning extra cash.
– And they had a lovely selection of cupcakes at Pulses.
There’s going to be an interesting new addition to the Holby City cast early in the new year. Jemma Redgrave will play general surgeon Bernie (Berenice) Wolfe. Executive Producer Oliver Kent says, “When we dreamed up the character of Bernie Wolfe, we immediately thought of Jemma Redgrave and we were utterly thrilled when she agreed to join the Holby Company.”
Jemma has extensive previous fictional medical experience – from 1995-89 she played Dr Eleanor Bramwell in the TV series Bramwell, which was set in the Victoria era, and more recently she was Dr Zoe Evans in Frankie. She’s looking forward to getting her hands on a scalpel: “It will be great to be practicing medicine again, on one of the BBC’s flagship dramas,” she says. “I am so happy to be joining the cast.”
Bernie Wolfe is described as being a feisty general surgeon with battlefield experience – which will obviously come in handy for all the various power struggles she’s bound to come across in Holby. Oliver Kent says, “Bernie Wolfe will be a force to be reckoned with and I can’t wait to see her locking horns with our established regulars on the wards.”