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Holby City: Ollie helps out

(Series 20, ep. 3 ‘There by the Grace of…’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 16.1.18) Many years ago I used to work with people who had physical disabilities. I think it says a huge amount about James Anderson’s well-observed, thoughtful acting that, in this episode, Ollie reminded me really strongly of a man I worked with who was disabled after a head injury – the speech patterns, the mannerisms – and I hadn’t thought about that man for years.

For plot reasons, Ollie was on AAU this week. Roxanna thought it would be helpful for him to have the stimulus of being surrounded by people barfing on other people’s shoes all day long, but just in case it was too much he was popped into a side room and the staff were told not to get him over excited.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Don’t be a martyr

image(Series 20, ep. 2 ‘Ready Or Not’ by Robert Goldsbrough 9.1.18) When we left Ric Griffin surrounded by violent thugs at the end of the last episode, I wondered whether we’d next see him at Holby as a patient. Instead, we saw this week that he had been badly injured, but not as badly as fellow inmate Danny (Gruffudd Glyn), who was brought in to AAU in a bit of a mess.

Danny passed a message to Sacha that Ric didn’t want Donna going to the prison, so Sacha got Fletch to ask her to work overtime. Then Sacha went to the prison on his own.

Sacha is full of compassion and kindness, but he doesn’t have the same level of street-smarts as Ric does. Ric is just about surviving in the prison because he knows it’s best to keep your head down and your mouth shut. When Sacha discovered that Ric had been beaten up, he had to do something to help.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Ghost of Christmas past

(Series 19, ep. 64 ‘Always Forever’ by Simon Norman 19.12.17) What a beautiful Christmas treat of an episode. It provided the most gorgeous send-off for one of my favourite characters, and for an episode that dealt so much with grief and loss it was ultimately the most positive, life-affirming thing.

Who knew that Holby cupboards could produce magic to rival the wardrobe that gets you to Narnia? When Morven went into one, partly to sort out some vomit-covered scrubs and partly to hide from Cameron (back to help out at Holby temporarily and as usual giving Morven all kinds of mixed feelings), she accidentally inhaled a lungful of nitrous oxide from a bottle with a leaky valve.

This resulted in her getting gorgeously giggly – and hallucinating that Arthur Digby was there with her.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Shadow of a gunman

(Series 19, ep. 62 ‘Group Animal, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 7.12.17) I don’t know how I can do this brilliant, tense, suspenseful episode any justice other than to give you a blow-by-blow account of what happened. There was so much detail in it, and not a single scene was wasted or slack. Brilliant work from writer Andy Bayliss. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the episode!  Continue reading

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Holby City: Facing up

(Series 19, ep. 60 ‘Hiding Places’ by Gerard Sampaio 28.11.17) They’re dropping like flies at Holby. We lost lovely Damon Ford and spooky Fredrik Johanssen last week, and this week we waved goodbye to the beautiful smile of Nina Karnik and the luscious locks of Matteo Rossini. It’s just as well some new blood is arriving soon, because Holby is just haemorrhaging staff at the moment.

It seemed certain this week that we’d lose Nina, but it was less clear what would happen to Matteo. Determined to bring her baby up in a supportive family atmosphere, Nina was planning to move to Amsterdam, where her sister and nieces and nephews would provide the family. Matteo, meanwhile, signalled his distress with what Ollie called “a slight but appreciable dip in his grooming standards.” In other words, his hair was not looking quite as luscious as usual.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Will Holby survive?

(Series 19, ep. 59 ‘Hungry Heart’ by Sian Evans 21.11.17) Holby fans are reacting in one of two ways to the character of Fredrik Johanssen – they either love to hate him, or just plain hate him. Either way, that’s job done as far as the excellent Billy Postlethwaite is concerned. Personally I’m in the ‘love to hate him’ camp. I like the way we see the petulant, rejected child at the heart of his various schemings, and I enjoy his “mwah ha ha ha!” face.

He had plenty to brood about in this episode, starting with learning that he hadn’t won the Junior Doctor Prize, which has gone to the lovely Dominic Copeland. Fredrik had brought celebratory cakes, too. No prize, no Holby job, but Nina is impressed by the Swedish Sulker and invited him to apply for a registrar post.  Continue reading

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Holby City: The storm is upon us

(Series 19, ep. 57 ‘Kingdom Come’ by Ed Sellek 7.11.17) Remember a few weeks ago when Hanssen told Fletch that a storm was coming? This week, the storm arrived. The proposed merger with The Mythical St Francis is underway, and Holby is in danger of being closed down.

Obviously this must not be allowed to happen. I refuse to spend my Tuesday evenings watching a programme called St Francis’s. Though they’d probably call it ‘Frank’s.’ No, it won’t do. Holby must stay.  Continue reading

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