Tag Archives: hugh quarshie

Holby City x Casualty: So much to enjoy

For a full review of both episodes head over to Metro. But first, it’s random thoughts time…

Well that was all very exciting, wasn’t it? I think the thing I enjoyed the most about the crossover episodes was seeing unfamiliar combinations of familiar characters. Dylan working with Serena was a highlight and I really want Dylan to be lured to Elstree as soon as possible. They have a Lidl really close to the studios – I think anyone would be tempted.

Other things I enjoyed:

– Hanssen walking along the corridors with a torch. Finally we’ve discovered the only way to stop him looming is to put lights on him so you can see him coming.

– Zosia’s comment ‘Wouldn’t be Holby without a crisis.’ Indeed not.

– The guilty/delicious feeling of listening to Ric having a go at Sacha about his parenting skills (when he thought Beka might be pregnant) when we knew Ric was going to have to take a close look at his own family very soon.

– The evil electronic door locks that kept Connie out of her trauma theatre and locked Essie and Beka into the CT room. It was like the hospital had a mind of its own. Evil!

– Elle and Ric. It’s about time Ric walked down the aisle again and I like Elle a lot more than I like that Francoise.

– Sacha’s favourite shirt had to be ripped! I expect by next week Jac will have sourced him another one, because she’s good like that.

– Ange seriously deep-down thinking that the entire scenario was just an elaborate ruse to get her off the Holly Cartwright case.

– Jac pretends to be all head and no heart, but as soon as Sacha is in peril she’s fighting Connie tooth and claw. And Connie gave as good as she got.

– The touching scene between Essie and Beka.

– Noel coming clean to Hanssen about clicking the link and the email, and hearing that Hanssen really had nominated him for an award.

And now we’ve got the spring trailer to watch as well! Some interesting-looking new characters, and the return of some old faces – including a total shock at the end…

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Holby City: Bar bills, buskers and bright yellow chairs

(Series 21, ep. 6 ‘Force Majeure’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 5.2.19) For my full review, get yourself over to Metro (and peruse all the other excellent Holby City content while you’re there). But before you immerse yourself in all that, I have a few things to add.

– It seems odd that Ric is having all of these ‘cash-strapped NHS’ battles on AAU, while only a few floors above Ange can bring in her daughter as a locum CT surgeon more or less just to help her persuade one patient to have an operation. And don’t get me started on the gaudy decor and bright yellow chairs in the YAU (Yow!). Someone somewhere needs to get a grip on the finances.

– It was very amusing that everyone on AAU was putting their best face on while Ric was sort of hoping for them all to be ankles-deep in blood and vomit to show Francoise how desperate things were.

– Why was that busker out in the dark by the Raf Di Lucca Memorial Lump? It seemed very random, and a little bit dangerous for her when you think about all the shady stuff that’s gone on in that shrubbery over the years.

– The nurses apparently call Cameron ‘Camo’ because he’s nowhere to be seen. This is mostly applicable when there’s a bar bill to pay.

– Emma Curtis, who played Holly, did a really nice job of making Holly frustratingly stubborn but quite sweet and vulnerable at the same time. Her story was really sad, though imagine how many more shades of horror Holly might have had to go through if Professor Gaskell and his ‘miracle cures’ were still a thing.

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Holby City: Will Ric go viral?

(Series 21, ep. 5 ‘Mad As Hell’ by Martin Jameson 29.1.19) For a full review of this episode pop over to Metro. Before you go, one or two random thoughts.

– I really enjoyed the medical/political slant to this episode. The pressures on the NHS and the dedication, commitment and frustration of the staff working in it were brought out in dramatic style. Because the message was carried in the specific human stories of Gareth Gannon (who was heartbreaking – nice work from Trevor Georges), Tavia Milner’s grandmother and Denise Mullins, it didn’t feel that we were being preached to. We felt the dilemmas that Ric and co. faced right along with them.

– Hugh Quarshie is always magnificent in this kind of storyline. While Serena and Zav were taking the increasingly pressured situation with the sort of humour that I imagine real-life medics have to deploy to keep functioning, Ric had got to a point where he could no longer ignore how bad things were getting. I wonder whether Ric’s megaphone speech will ‘go viral’? Will he be an internet sensation this time next week?

– I was so sad that Frieda had to lose her dog, and was hoping that its owner would decide she could keep it after all. Hurrah for Jac coming up with a substitute. I thought it was hilarious that Emma was on board with the decision to offload Gary – she’s clearly her mother’s daughter and prioritises practicality over sentiment.

– The scene where Frieda broke down and cried about Roman (and the dog) was incredible.

– You know you’re getting old when CT surgeons start looking younger every day, but Chloe Godard does look awfully young to be a hotshot CT surgeon. And that’s in a hospital that already has ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ on the staff.

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Holby City: Can we keep her?

(Series 21, ep. 3 ‘The Burden of Proof’ by Gerard Sampaio 15.1.19) For my full review, pop yourself over to Metro. But before you go, here are a few random thoughts.

– ‘Oh please, can we keep her?’ I think everybody will have been nodding along with Serena’s wish to have Lola Griffin/Williams on AAU every Tuesday until the end of time. Sharon D Clarke is fabulous in the role – charming, feisty, charismatic, she has an almost magical way with patients and staff alike. I absolutely love her.

– I didn’t think Dominic’s ‘lie’ about being useless at Physics was a big deal, really. It was just an awkward attempt to bond with Harriet rather than a reversion to his ‘Psycho Dom’ days. The exaggeration of his experience in the surgical procedure was more serious, but what doctor on Holby hasn’t occasionally done that? Cut him some slack, Ange.

– Is it just me, or does Holby get an unusual number of patients (and staff) who want to join, or have already joined, the army?

– I’m very glad we didn’t have to witness Nicky and Cam at Albie’s karaoke night. If there’s two things I can’t cope with on TV it’s karaoke scenes, and people who can’t dance trying to dance (hence why I can’t watch Strictly). And nosebleeds. That’s three things.

– I’m excited to see what Lofty gets to wear for his new job of Discharge Coordinator. Maybe he can wear the green scrubs that Essie used to have when she was Transplant Coordinator? Not the exact same ones because I shouldn’t think they’d fit.

– What on earth were Lola and Ric up to to get him that head injury? On second thoughts, best not to dwell on that one.

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Holby City: People are dead! People are in agony!

Holby City Series 20 - Ep46(Series 20, ep. 46 ‘Report to the Mirror, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 13.11.18) This week’s review is over at Metro as usual. A few additional thoughts:

– This episode went total body-horror, with Jac having the awful and full knowledge that to get the dreaded implant out of her she had to place her life in the hands of a man she knew she couldn’t trust at all. It’s scary enough having surgery when you know the surgeon is sane and competent and has your best interests at heart, but Gaskell? Yikes. And you could see all of that playing across Jac’s face coupled with the absolute determination that she had no alternative.

– The sight of Lana’s body with open wounds in Gaskell’s lab was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on Holby. I loved how for a few seconds Ric and Sacha couldn’t quite comprehend what they were seeing either. It was absolutely horrific.

– The line of the episode for me was the Professor saying that Essie was ‘lying down in a cold, dark room.’ If Hanssen hadn’t immediately chipped in to say that she had a headache, would other people have picked up on just how sinister that sounded?

– The showdown at the lake was quite epic. I liked the hallucinatory bits where Hanssen thought Gaskell was on the bank with him rather than being in the water. Hanssen’s struggle to overcome the effects of the neurotoxin and stay with reality was mirrored by his struggle to understand the full extent of what Gaskell had been doing – particularly when he realised that Gaskell had killed Roxanna.

– This whole storyline has been ambitious and brilliantly done. Gaskell was a bit sinister right from the get-go, but never went full mwah-hah-hah until right at the end. It’s been gruelling, though. Hopefully there’ll be some lighter storylines coming up in the run-up to Christmas. After all this (admittedly brilliant) drama and horror we could do with a bit of sparkle, some romance, and a very large glass of Shiraz.

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Holby City: Sacha at the end of his tether

(Series 20, ep. 35 ‘Man Down’ by Michelle Lipton 28.8.18) For a full review of this remarkable episode, whizz over to Metro. Before you go, a few additional thoughts:

– What a brilliant performance by Bob Barrett. Since Sacha had his initial breakdown when he was shoplifting etc, he’s seemed fine on the surface but at times a sadness, despair or anger has leaked out. But Sacha is the man who looks after everybody else, and as this episode showed, those are the people who sometimes don’t feel they’re allowed to ask for help (for more on how Bob Barrett sees this aspect of Sacha’s character, have a look at his chapter in the Holby book).

– I loved Ric Griffin’s entirely logical, sensible, reading of the situation in the earlier scenes on the roof. He seemed to have a response to everything Sacha said, but it was in that way that’s trying to be helpful but isn’t really helpful because it’s making assumptions and not really listening to what the other person is saying. It was fantastic writing by Michelle Lipton, and perfectly acted by Hugh Quarshie who showed us that Ric went on a journey of understanding as he finally realised how bad things were with Sacha. His response at the end, to really listen, to hug, to quietly talk, was what Sacha really needed.

– Connor really was a lovely character and I was so impressed with Luke Higgins. Connor was funny and kind and flawed and very loveable, as he had to be to make us feel the extent of Sacha’s pain when he couldn’t save him. I loved how Tyler was there at the end to give Sacha a glimpse of hope.

– Holby just looks gorgeous these days. It looks like a feature film or big, heavyweight dramas like Line Of Duty. The production team all show real ambition and vision in the way they bring the stories to the screen. The scene with Sacha on the roof and Ric hurrying into the hospital building below – all in the same shot – took my breath away.

– If you haven’t seen my interview with Bob Barrett about the episode, have a look here. He also told me some juicy snippets about things coming up which I can’t possibly divulge right now, but let’s just say that there’s a lot of exciting stuff ahead!

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Holby City: The mysterious smoking man

(Series 20, ep. 31 ‘Child in Your Shadow’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 31.7.18) Here’s this week’s Holby City summarised in handy bullet points. For my more in-depth review, please head over to Metro.

– I loved Jac being too posh to push Fletch’s car, but at the same time being willing to help him out. I still don’t know if romance is possible between them, or whether I even think that would be a good idea, but I love their friendship.

– It’s also lovely how Holby keeps reminding us of Arthur Digby, with Serena pointing out that one of the F1’s was very much like him.

– Henrik Hanssen is very good at wrapping presents. He’s also very thoughtful with his gift-giving. Despite Roxanna’s reaction, that little brooch that reminded him of her student days said so much.

– Evie and Fletch together are always brilliant, and Macey Chipping is such a good actress. 

– Donna sticking up for Fletch with social services was really nice to see. Donna can be so kind.

– When Serena said that Meena and Nicky needed taking down a peg or 12, I heartily agreed. I was thinking more along the lines of the time Michael Spence rammed little admin guy George Binns’ head towards a corpse though. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a great mentor.

– Essie is apparently going to be ‘head bridesmaid’ for Lofty and Dominic’s wedding. I also want Zosia to come back to be a bridesmaid.

– Hanssen’s face when Dominic told him he was happy. I love how Hanssen cares for his people.

– Jesse Birdsall was well cast as Fletch’s dad. You can see an Essex geezer through-line from him via Fletch down to Mikey ‘Artful Dodger’ Fletcher.

– Fans of Holby/Casualty crossovers will have been pleased to hear Evie mentioning the time Fletch ran off with Tess-from-Casualty. Fletch was less pleased to hear this.

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