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Holby City: Holby’s huggiest medic needs a hug

(Series 20, ep. 29 ‘The Friend Zone’ by Katie Douglas 17.7.18) This week’s in-depth Holby City review can be found at its new home on Metro. Pop over and give it a look (and peruse all their other lovely TV content while you’re there).

Meanwhile, here’s the episode in bullet points:

– Sacha and Patricia. Would that ever have worked? Are their names too awkward to say in the same sentence? We’ll never know now, because she made it quite clear that she doesn’t view him as boyfriend material. The fool.

– Sacha and Essie, though – they are so lovely together. But are they the kind of lovely couple who are better off being friends, or do we want them to get back together?

– It breaks my heart when the cuddliest man in the hospital needs a cuddle himself. Anyone who wants to join a Cuddle Sacha Squad, we assemble at dawn!

– I seriously want to knock Nicky and Meena’s heads together. They’re both good doctors in their way, but if I was a patient I wouldn’t want to be treated by them.

– Even being faced by a young woman with a life-limiting illness didn’t make them stop and think that life was too short for petty squabbles.

– And you’d have to be desperate to want to get back on Gloomy Gaskell’s team.

– I still can’t decide about Zav. Is he a bit of a sweetheart, as Serena is apparently starting to think, or a bit of a twonk? And are he and Donna heading for a romance do you think? If they are, I suppose we’ll have to refer to them as #Dav, because #Zonna is weird and #Xonna is worse.

HOLBY CITY BEHIND THE SCREEN – Celebrate the NHS and Holby City with the official guide to the show.

HALF A WORLD AWAY – My new novel: love and treachery in Cold War Berlin.

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Holby City review: It’s moved!

essie holbyFrom 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.

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Holby City: Cradle to grave

(Series 20, ep. 27 ‘The Anniversary Waltz’ by Joe Ainsworth 3.7.18) This episode was Holby City’s tribute to the NHS on its 70th anniversary, and it was full of lovely moments.

It was topped and tailed with voiceovers of Ric, Serena, Xavier and Jac talking about what the NHS means to them. To Serena “it’s a beautiful thing – a health service available to all, from cradle to grave.” Ric agrees: “Every patient who comes through those doors is equal.” Xavier, meanwhile, likes “the action, the buzz.” And Jac? “None of your business.” Jac doesn’t gush, not even for the NHS.

Holby was the receiving hospital for casualties when the roof of Holby indoor market collapsed. Beds were cleared, protocols were enacted, everyone had to be on top of their game. Patient Lennie Jefferies (Gary Beadle) immediately recognised Serena – or “Dr McKinnie,” as he’d known her. Many years earlier he’d been stabbed in a knife fight, and the young doctor who’d saved him had been Serena. Not only had she saved his life, but she’d inspired him to turn his life around and he was now a father and a model citizen. When he was found to be suffering from some nasty internal injuries it fell to Serena again, with Ric’s help, to try to save his life. Again she succeeded. 

I emitted a small squeaking sound when Lennie was visited later by his daughter. Her name was Serena.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Killer microbes everywhere

(Series 20, ep. 26 ‘Fallen Idol’ by Kathrine Smith 27.6.18) Nicky accidentally dropped a flask of what may or may not have been E. coli, meaning she and Xavier were trapped in a room with only half a bag of chicken crisps for company while they waited for the decontamination team to arrive. “I didn’t know I was stepping into a toxic germ-dungeon,” Zav complained, though he’s worked so much on AAU that he must be used to it by now.

This was the opportunity for some serious truth-telling, with Zav telling Nicky she wastes her potential by drinking too much and having a bit of a chaotic lifestyle. In return she had a go at him about how he was a rubbish boyfriend to Meena, and we finally found the deep secret in his past – that his parents blame him for his younger brother’s death. That’s as much as we were told, which was a bit annoying because in real life someone with the famed people skills of Nicky would have wanted Detail. I know I would have. Possibly the details are being left for another time, maybe when Maman et/ou Papa Duvall appear in person having succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative and in need of the medical skills of their sibling-killing son.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Only so much glory to go round

(Series 20, ep. 21 ‘Belonging’ by Katie Douglas 22.5.18) Junior doctors are very competitive, aren’t they? Always wanting to get their noses into the exciting procedures with the best surgeons, tripping over each other to get their hands on the most obscure and gory thing possible.

Meena and Nicky are no exception, although in their case it comes with a side order of stroppy hair-tossing and foot-stamping that reminds me of when PLA Jr used to go to an all-girls’ school. In other words, it’s a tiny bit irritating and makes me think, “Oh, just grow up, will you?” But on the other hand (as with PLA Jr’s school days) I have sympathy for them, too – it’s not easy being a young woman in a competitive environment.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Whose head?

(Series 20, ep. 20 ‘Blind Spot’ by Katie Douglas 15.5.18) Oh, Fletch. At the beginning of this episode we saw him waking up in bed alongside a blonde head (presumably attached to a body, unless Holby has gone very twisted). But whose blonde head could it be?

Flash-back 24 hours, and who should appear at Holby but Sydney Somers (Gemma Oaten), now in charge of the agency that provides the hospital with extra nurses. When she last appeared there was a bit of a spark between her and Fletch, and she has blonde hair, too. It seemed the mystery was solved.

Fletch and Sydney clashed over the agency workers’ terms and conditions of employment, and it almost ended with the agency refusing to supply any nurses at all, which would have meant Donna missing Mia’s school concert. At the last minute, Fletch and Sydney thrashed out a solution and went to Albie’s to celebrate. Which is where they got drunk and ended up sleeping together, yes?  Continue reading

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Holby City: The man who won’t take no for an answer

(Series 20, ep. 19 ‘Bubble Wrap’ by Ed Sellek 8.5.18) It’s becoming increasingly clear that Prof Gaskell is a little bit… shall we say single-minded in his pursuit of his medical trial. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the trial isn’t going all that well. He’s had one successful patient – the one in Lisbon who miraculously walked again after the Prof cured him. But then his first Holby City patient, Fiona, died. The Prof let Essie take the blame for that one, even though he knew that the fault lay with his trial. His second Lisbon patient is currently in a very bad way indeed – organs all failing and only being kept alive by very extreme measures. The doctor who’s looking after her on a daily basis, Leo (Nathan Osgood), described her current state as being “buried alive.” This is dreadful, and cruel, but the Prof doesn’t see it that way. What he sees is that a miracle is just over the horizon, as long as his research continues.  Continue reading

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