Tag Archives: james anderson

Holby City: A Valentine for Christmas

oliver holby(Series 17, ep.11) Ric Griffin’s back! And his very first action was to rescue a tramp who was being beaten up by a bunch of Holby’s disaffected youth. It wasn’t not just any old tramp, though – it was only the blue-eyed charmer formerly known as Young Dr Oliver Valentine, looking somewhat the worse for his bereavement-induced career break.

“He’s one of ours,” said Ric as he wheeled him into AAU, because for now, Ollie is a patient rather than a doctor (though he still knows his U’s and E’s from his LFT’s). Months of not looking after himself very well and a brush with a nasty virus in the Andes had knackered his heart, and his liver wasn’t far behind. There’s only one man who can sort out a mess like that – Elliot Hope and his untested-on-humans Assist Device, and that’s what Oliver had flown all the way back and hitchiked from Heathrow for.  Continue reading


Filed under Holby City

Holby City news: Henrik Hanssen and Oliver Valentine return!

hanssen4It’s the news that thousands of Holby City fans have been waiting for. It’s just been announced that Guy Henry is returning to Holby to reprise his role as Henrik Hanssen, the fabulously tall, enigmatic and looming Swedish former CEO and Director of Surgery. He’s looking forward to it, too:

“I’m so pleased to be reunited with Mr. Hanssen,” he says. “He’s such a weird and wonderful character to play – I’ve missed him! And the cast and crew at Holby are such fun to work with – I’ve missed them too. We don’t know what dark acts may have befallen Henrik during his time away in Sweden but I do believe that, when he looms down the corridors of Holby once more, his wit and his scalpel will be as incisive as ever! Can’t wait – see you on the ice!”

ollie-holby1In other excellent news, it’s also been revealed that James Anderson will be returning as Dr Oliver Valentine. Will he still be angry and bitter following the death of Tara, or will he have regained some of his sunny disposition? Most importantly, will his pig-ear-suturing and coin-juggling skills still be on point?

“I’m so thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring Ollie back to Holby,” he says. “There are lots of surprises in store, but one thing I can say: he’s older now – wiser, even – and I can’t wait to get stuck into playing this altogether more grown up Valentine to the one I left behind. Step up Oliver 2.0! Holby is a wonderful, nurturing family to return to, and I’m hugely excited.”

Also announcing the return of Kaye Wragg playing Essie, Executive Producer Oliver Kent and Series Producer Simon Harper told us,

“Essie was a big hit in her short stint with us earlier this year and so we were really keen to bring her back as soon as we can – finally it’s time to see if romance can happen for Sacha. He really deserves it.

“We were gutted when we lost James Anderson last year and we’ve been trying to persuade him to come back for a while. Finally the threats and thumb screws have paid off and the heart throb of Holby is coming back. He’s going to set someone’s heart a-flutter…

“And finally – HANSSEN IS BACK. The titan of Holby. We are thrilled to welcome Guy Henry back to the Holby family. We can’t wait to see how he gets on with Selfie…”

Sue H


Filed under Holby City

Holby City: Then there were no Valentines

oliver valentine holby(Series 15, ep.39)  It was the final episode for the man we’ve come to know fondly over the years as Young Dr Oliver Valentine. James Anderson has left for pastures new (including an episode of Poirot, apparently, which is excellent news – Mr PLA and I love to settle down in front of a good Poirot on a damp Sunday afternoon). I’ll miss Ollie, but more for the character he used to be than the one he’s been recently. As emotions go, sadness is not the most fun one to watch, and the poor lad has been immersed in sadness since the death of the lovely Tara.

James Anderson does misery beautifully, what with having those amazing blue eyes that brim with tears at the drop of a sad hat, and he also does anger really well – the scene recently where he nastily let rip at Prof Hope was shocking and upsetting to behold. Oliver’s reaction to Tara’s death, which was basically to put up a wall against the world, tell everybody everything was fine, and then shout a lot was realistic and consistent with his previous reaction to Penny’s death, but from a viewer perspective it maybe went on a bit too long and got just a little bit boring. It overshadowed the things I’ve always loved about Oliver – his fun side, his way with a witty one-liner, his kindness, his relationships with the other staff members.

Thank goodness, then, that we had a little glimpse of this right before he left in two touching and perfectly crafted scenes, one with Jac and the other with Elliot.   Continue reading


Filed under Holby City

Holby City: I was always a bit too good for you

chrissie holby(Series 15, ep.37) Sacha and Chrissie. Did it all start out so promisingly? Not really. A one night stand that resulted in My Son Daniel. An intervening “romance” with Dull/Gay Dan. A wedding that probably wouldn’t have happened if Jac hadn’t issued a subtle threat. And months and months of patients and hospital visitors telling Chrissie that she’s waaay too gorgeous and wonderful for dear old Sacha, and her blushing prettily and agreeing with them.

I wanted it to work out, because I want Sacha to be happy, but it was never going to last. Sacha never thought he was good enough, Chrissie always thought she was too good. I liked how, when the break came, it came as a result of a situation that was morally and emotionally complicated, rather than the more obvious route of Chrissie having an affair, or the less obvious route of Sacha having one. My sympathy for Chrissie has fluctuated over the last few weeks, with last week’s behaviour in the red button episode being particularly unimpressive, but this week I did feel sorry for the way she was sidelined in the Levy Family Drama (Helen was good value, though).   Continue reading


Filed under Holby City

Holby City: It’s time to stop with the Tiny Tears act and man up

ollie holby(Series 15, ep.36) Possibly it doesn’t help that I watched the second half of this episode before I watched the first half, due to social circumstances, but even after I watched it again in the right order I still felt a little confused.

It seems I was completely wrong last week about Dr Posh and Ollie being a fun team. This week Dr Posh was being a bit of a dick and was apparently just there to be a thorn in Oliver’s already aggrieved side. In fact, Dr Posh doesn’t seem to have had the same personality for more than two weeks running. Is it any wonder I prefer Digby? You know where you are with Digby.

What I am sure about is that Ollie’s scathing attack on Elliot at the end of the episode, even though we knew it was out of grief and he was turning on the person he feels closest to, was absolutely shocking. He wanted to make Elliot hurt as much as he was hurting, and bringing up the manner of Gina’s death in such brutal terms was quite stomach-turning and far more shocking than him physically pushing Elliot.

Ollie really needs to follow Jac’s advice and stop with the Tiny Tears act and man up. James Anderson has eyes which are perfectly designed to be brimming with tears (“Such pain hiding behind those beautiful blue eyes,” as his patient pointed out), and his acting in this episode was brilliant, but he’s also great at the comedy stuff, which he hasn’t had the chance to do recently. Frankly I’m as worn out as Jac is by all the grief. Even Ollie’s counsellor is thinking he’s wallowing a bit.   Continue reading


Filed under Holby City

Holby City: The problems of parenthood

michael holby(Series 15, ep.35) Michael Spence is really at his finest when he gets emotionally involved with his patients (not in a sleazy sense, you understand; I’m talking purely professionally). When his heart is as engaged as his head, he gets all kick-ass like the time he thrust Little George Binns’ head at a corpse.

This week he struggled with the difficulties of being an extremely long-distance parent, with daughter Jasmine about to land  at Holby International Airport any minute and Michael still up to his elbows in gastric unpleasantness. The patient who tugged at his heart-strings (and mine, I have to admit) was Seb, a young man who was dying of cancer. Seb had the weirdest father ever – a beardy man who looked a tad like Brian Blessed and seemed to have the emotional range of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Seb’s mother had popped to Uganda on some unspecified business, neither of them apparently thinking that they should really be with their son. They were a stoic sort of family all round, with Seb fairly comfortable with the idea he didn’t have long left – although he was afraid of pain. Michael decided he wanted to surgically buy Seb some more time to see his mother, and the only time the beardy dad showed he really cared was to kiss his son’s forehead before he went into theatre.

The surgery was less successful than it could have been, and Seb had to get used to the idea of his death all over again. Michael felt guilty, but possibly not as guilty as he felt when Jasmine’s plane landed early and Ric Griffin smugly did the chauffeuring honours. Jasmine is fantastic, and I loved how she swanned along the corridors with Digby struggling after her with a pile of luggage.   Continue reading


Filed under Holby City

Holby City: Digby saves the day, if not the episode

(Series 15, ep.34)  Due to house moving etc, I’m still forced to watch Holby City on iPlayer with very poor bandwidth. Maybe it summarises my feelings about this episode when I tell you I didn’t especially mind the regular pauses for “buffering.”

What was wrong with it? No Darwin, hardly any doctoring, and two, rather tedious, storylines. I hate being critical, honestly I do, but once in a while a dud episode happens along and this was it.

holby cityThe Coroners Court scenes were dull and even the presence of the sublime Guy Henry failed to lift them. It was only at the end when it really came to life.  Dominic put his bunny-boiling scheme into action by claiming that Malick had given Amanda Layton a drug to suppress her respiratory system. Digby saved the day with a wodge of research to show the aforementioned drug would have a completely different effect (wouldn’t Hanssen have known this?). It looked like Dominic’s career as a doctor was in ruins and he’d have to fall back to being a hair model, but Malick stepped up to the witness-box and came clean about his “error of judgement” in ripping the jeans off his junior colleague. Understandably, Nathan was none too happy and left the courtroom, but it was the first time Malick has really shown much of a backbone.   Continue reading


Filed under Holby City