(Series 21, ep. 2 ‘China Crisis’ by Joe Ainsworth 8.1.19) Happy new year, Holby fans! The review for this episode is over at Metro, and now I’ve come out of Christmas hibernation I can summon up a few additional random thoughts about it.
Tom Campbell-Gore succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative/Friend/Staff Member fairly easily, didn’t he? It’s a shame, really, as I was rather enjoying his arrogant ways. And enjoying Serena putting him in his place very much.
I rather like Ange at first sight, though she does remind me of Colette Sheward in a practical, sleeves-up, no-nonsense kind of way.
Has the YAU (I hear that in my head as a James Brown sort of ‘Yow!’) been conceived so that Holby can nurture the next generation of young acting talent by bringing in lots of Young Adults? It would be very commendable if so, but I do get a bit vexed by these ‘units’ that take over perfectly sensible wards. It’s usually Darwin that gets corners of it stolen by other departments, but they always get their territory back in the end. I wonder how long the YAU will last before someone decides they need the beds back?
Essie does love a Special Uniform, doesn’t she?
Cameron’s appearance on Darwin prompted some of the best lines of the week (‘That’s all I need, another pound shop Hugh Grant’ and the line about ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ from Jac), but I think my favourite line in the whole episode was ‘Serena Campbell. No Gore.’
The scenes between Lorraine Chase and Jaye Jacobs were beautiful.
(Series 20, ep. 41 ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Joe Ainsworth 9.10.18) For a full review of this episode, head over to Metro. Before you go, a few additional points:
– What a brilliant bit of acting from Marcus Griffiths as Xavier sat in the Linden Cullen Temple of Anguish (AKA the multi-faith room/prayer room/whatever). Holby actors seem to be very good at crying on demand. It must make them very tricky to live with.
– It was a nice outcome to find that Reg didn’t have dementia and wasn’t being beaten up by Alex, but had a treatable condition after all. Maybe he’ll get well enough to become a porter.
– Hanssen is holding himself together well, but Guy Henry is such a superbly subtle actor that you can see the emotion just under the surface. He’s channelling his love for Roxanna into caring for Gaskell, and when and if the story fully comes out about what he’s been up to – well, it’ll be a double blow and I honestly don’t know how Hanssen will start to cope with that.
– There’s definitely chemistry between Donna and Xavier. Is he the kind of man who’d be happy to have a girlfriend with two children, though? He’s always seemed a bit of a player, so we’ll have to see.
– There’s been a mixed reaction to Leah’s pursuit of Serena, and I can see why. If you’re very invested in the Berena relationship then it’s not easy to think of Serena even contemplating anyone else. Quite possibly she’s going to carry on rejecting Leah and be happy with her long-distance love, but it’s interesting to see her being tested. It also made for some very funny scenes, especially when Ric and Serena were inside the office and Leah was outside, fully aware that Serena was listening to everything she was saying.
– Scary Sue needs to be a regular character. Sometimes new people arrive on Holby and it takes a little while to work out who they are as characters. I feel like we already know Sue, thanks to the way the writers have brought her in and Angela Lonsdale’s funny, clever portrayal of her. And of course you can never have too many Sues.
(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
(Series 20, ep. 15 ‘Tate Gallery’ by Joe Ainsworth 10.4.18) Number one reason to like new CEO Abigail Tate: she wears slippers under her desk. Number one reason to dislike her: she uses the phrase “blue sky thinking.” She’s no Hanssen, that’s for sure. He’d never wear slippers under his desk, and he was accustomed to giving his pep talks from the stairs next to AAU. Abi gives hers via video.
She wanted blue sky thinking and “game changing ideas” from the entire staff team, and the prize was a lot of money to spend developing the winning idea. That’s even more of an incentive than a Pulses’ gift card, I’m sure you’ll agree. Ric thought he’d have another go with the artificial bladder idea that got such short shrift last week and Sacha also had some exciting thing to pitch. Judging all of this was Abi, Prof Gaskell, a man who didn’t say anything and Sanjay from EastEnders (Deepak Verma). Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 14 ‘Tete a Tate’ by Joe Ainsworth 3.1.18) Today we met new CEO Abigail Tate (Olivia Poulet). She’s a heart surgeon, so well done to the fictional HR department for finding a Hanssen/Jac combo (jobs-wise) at such short notice.
It remains to be seen what she’ll be like as a CEO. Her managerial style seems at first glance to be ‘by the book and a tad on the cautious side,’ but that’s perhaps sensible given that she had one doctor just back from a spell in the nick and another one attempting who-knows-what maverick stuff all over the place. At times like this a bit of caution is probably what’s needed. All the same, she could have been more supportive of Ric’s artificial bladder idea.
That’s the CEO side of her job, but we haven’t seen what Abi’s like with a scalpel in her hand yet. What Fletch has already concluded is that she is no Jac Naylor. He was being especially fussy with her because he was rather fond of her patient, Hannah (Sasha Clarke), who was one of Evie’s (sort of) teachers, but Abi is going to have her work cut out impressing Holby’s best bearded nurse. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 4 ‘Hanssen Is as Hanssen Does’ by Joe Ainsworth 23.1.18) I’m actually quite annoyed that writer Joe Ainsworth used the title ‘Hanssen Is As Hanssen Does’ before I’d thought of it. It’s brilliant.
And it gave us a clue straight away that it was going to be quite a Hanssen-focused episode. The poor man was struggling with the psychological after-effects of his son going on a shooting rampage around the hospital, and we saw various flashbacks of Fredrik in his rather dashing ‘We need to talk about Fredrik’ gunman outfit. Not that Hanssen was pondering how Fredrik really rocked the hoodie-and-boots look. He was too busy thinking about the lives lost or altered forever, and that sort of serious and sad thing. His veneer of calm was still there, but it was paper-thin and you could see it was a struggle for him just to keep functioning. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 50 ‘Veil of Tears, Part One’ by Joe Ainsworth 19.9.17) Ollie was delighted to see pocket-sized, Herzig-hearted God botherer Lexy, who had turned up to officiate at the Zollie wedding. Frankly I wouldn’t have been so pleased – have we ever seen Lexy preside over something that ended happily?
But surely nothing could go wrong this time. The wedding was in a magnificent location (Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, which looked like it deserved a BBC drama all to itself). The bride looked incredibly beautiful and the groom was adorable. The guest list had been whittled down to a bare minimum – Ollie’s marvellously sarcastic mother (Diana Kent), his old pal Nick (Christopher Goh), Dominic and boyfriend Freddie and – because nobody had remembered to un-invite him – Lofty. Curly Watts and his David Bowie tribute act had also been cancelled, somewhat frustratingly for those of us who were eager to experience his ‘Space Oddity.’ Continue reading