(Series 19, ep. 8) Matteo Rossini, that’s who. On the index of “memorable first appearances,” that has to rank fairly high. I’m not sure he even needed the horse, though, because Dr (Mr?) Matteo Rossini is perfectly memorable on his own terms. It’s not just that he is fabulously good-looking (he is), it’s not just that he has that flirty charm thing going on (he has), and it’s not even that he’s a very good doctor (he is). It’s the way his very presence affected everybody else. Mo was rendered almost speechless by his charisma, Zosia was intrigued, Ollie instantly switched into territory-marking testosterone overdrive, and Jac… well, Jac hated him. And that was a beautiful thing to see, because Jac is at her best when she has a proper rival, and when it’s someone with whom she obviously also has chemistry – it’s going to be a lot of fun. Continue reading
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(Series 19, ep. 6) He’s been the egotistical brain surgeon that everyone loved to hate, or just simply hated. And as such, Guy Self has been a magnificent villain and possibly the most aptly named character ever. This Guy was all about himSelf: a smarmy super-ego who didn’t mind whose feelings were trampled over to get what he wanted.
And yet, by the end, I think everyone will have been pretty much rooting for him. Over the past few months, the writers and John Michie have been steadily filling in the blanks about Selfie’s past life that put his character and his actions into perspective. We’ve always known about his dead wife, and his sometimes fractured relationship with his daughter. Occasionally his treatment of Zosia has been cold and heartless, at other times he’s given her the support she needed, but it’s always been obvious that he loves her. Since we met his monstrous mother (and what a brilliant performance that was from Brigit Forsyth – it was a shame she was killed off so swiftly) and discovered his background of abuse, it’s been clearer why he acted like he did. He craved approval, and he only knew one path through life, which was through ambition and success. His template for being a parent was based on what his own parents had given him, and the loss of his wife had thrown him back on that as the only way he knew how to be. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 5) The very first scene was an unconscious Tristan (frankly, that’s the best kind of Tristan) bleeding all over a passport. Then a flashback to 24 hours earlier.
Despite the episode being called ‘Song of Self, Part One,’ Selfie didn’t do any actual singing. He might have been in the mood for singing to begin with – his Self Centre was about to be built (would they have to flatten the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery to create space for it? Surely not! Serena’s mum’s ashes are there) and the future was looking rosy. He even told his support group that he was finished with them now, because with his Self Centre he wasn’t Nothing or No-one any more.
At the heart of the episode, the story got very dark indeed. Tristan’s nasty side turned out to be far nastier than anyone had suspected. Jemima, back in the hospital after she’d been run over trying to run away from Tristan, was discovered to be pregnant. And Selfie deduced that she was pregnant because Tristan had raped her. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 3) That was such a dense episode – “dense” in the sense of there was a lot packed into it, rather than it was stupid, which it certainly wasn’t.
Much of it centred on Henrik Hanssen, which is always a marvellous thing. In this case, though, it led to him taking a period of “gardening leave,” which isn’t a good thing, because it means he won’t be around for a while. He’s drafted in Ric Griffin to deputise, because Holby needs its moral compass. “When will you be back?” Ric asked Hanssen. “When you most need me, I imagine,” was the response, which was a fabulous reply because it already has me thinking of some future episode when everything is looking dire and dreadful, and suddenly – there he’ll be, looming and magnificent in a nice suit, to save the day. I also loved what Simon Harper said on Twitter: “Hanssen is Aslan to Holby’s Narnia, he comes and goes and sometimes has other lands to attend to.” Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 50) Dr Isaac Mayfield has certainly changed his taste in men. His current beau is the wonderful Dr Dominic Copeland, but in this episode we met his ex. Miles Richardson, King of the Revolutionary Spleen Procedure (Jonathan Firth), was one of those creepy/scary/weird people that, if they sidled up to you at a party, you would make every excuse to get away from. I think he was supposed to have charisma, but he was nasty and manipulative and I didn’t like him at all. He wasn’t very nice to our Dominic, which made Dom go all possessive and defensive with Isaac. Given his history with Lee and the fact that he’s only just starting to trust Isaac, I think this was an understandable response. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 49) I was absolutely gripped by this week’s episode. I don’t think there’s a Holby fan on the planet who doesn’t like Fletch. He’s a genuine, kind, caring, funny man who just wants to help people and make a living so he can support his kids. So I was rooting for Fletch, and I love Raf and the bromance between them, so I was rooting for Raf, too. As well as being engaged with the human side of the story, I was intrigued by the puzzle of the mystery illness that got worse and worse, and even had the best medics in TV-land stumped for a while. It was nail-biting stuff, and thank heavens for Bernie, an oasis of calm among all the angst.
A special mention also for Kai O’Loughlin, who plays Mikey Fletcher. This week he subdued his cheeky chappie persona a bit (usually he seems about to burst into a chorus of ‘Consider Yourself At Home‘ at any moment, which is a lovely thing to watch but wouldn’t have been appropriate here) and he was brilliant. He’s completely believable as Fletch’s son and has masses of charm, personality and talent. His scene with Hanssen was absolutely precious. I was glad it was Mikey who provided the clue that eventually led to a diagnosis. “He’s okay now. I’m looking out for him,” he said. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 43) I’m not sure who commissioned the Digby memorial plaque that was unveiled by Ric in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery, but I’d be asking for a refund (it was rubbish) and also having serious words with the handy-person who made such a hash of nailing it up above the Pondering Pond.
It raised the question – what would be a fitting memorial for the late and much-loved doctor? I assume that those pesky Germans have rebadged the Digby Stent now, so that’s out.
It fell to Ric to solve this puzzle, and eventually he came up with the idea of an academy called the Arthur Digby Foundation, to seek out new medical talent wherever it might manifest itself (starting with Ric’s former boxing sparring partner, who was back again with a leaking aneurysm and a new interest in medicine). I don’t know who’s going to pay for all this, but let’s not worry our pretty heads about that because it’s a lovely idea.
It was a difficult day for Ric. He’s perhaps been worried that he didn’t do everything humanly possible for Digby (though of course he did), and this was made worse when Morven asked him about that very thing. Morven’s sadness breaks my heart, btw. This all led to Ric having a fit of what I shall call the “beep wobbles” – when you’re in the middle of some delicate surgery, the machines are going beep, there’s blood everywhere and you go a bit funny and someone has to take over. I really hope it doesn’t happen in real life as often as it happens in Holby. Continue reading