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Holby City: Bar bills, buskers and bright yellow chairs

(Series 21, ep. 6 ‘Force Majeure’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 5.2.19) For my full review, get yourself over to Metro (and peruse all the other excellent Holby City content while you’re there). But before you immerse yourself in all that, I have a few things to add.

– It seems odd that Ric is having all of these ‘cash-strapped NHS’ battles on AAU, while only a few floors above Ange can bring in her daughter as a locum CT surgeon more or less just to help her persuade one patient to have an operation. And don’t get me started on the gaudy decor and bright yellow chairs in the YAU (Yow!). Someone somewhere needs to get a grip on the finances.

– It was very amusing that everyone on AAU was putting their best face on while Ric was sort of hoping for them all to be ankles-deep in blood and vomit to show Francoise how desperate things were.

– Why was that busker out in the dark by the Raf Di Lucca Memorial Lump? It seemed very random, and a little bit dangerous for her when you think about all the shady stuff that’s gone on in that shrubbery over the years.

– The nurses apparently call Cameron ‘Camo’ because he’s nowhere to be seen. This is mostly applicable when there’s a bar bill to pay.

– Emma Curtis, who played Holly, did a really nice job of making Holly frustratingly stubborn but quite sweet and vulnerable at the same time. Her story was really sad, though imagine how many more shades of horror Holly might have had to go through if Professor Gaskell and his ‘miracle cures’ were still a thing.

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Holby City: Love and an elevator

(Series 20, ep. 44 ‘The Family You Choose’ by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 30.10.18) This week’s in-depth review can be found over at Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts.

– That lift dropping gave me the horrors. I have actually been in this situation in the Empire State Building of all places – the lift dropped from the 80-something floor to the 60-something with me, Mr H and Ms H and assorted other tourists inside. As soon as we pressed the panic button for assistance the display changed to floor 2 – probably so we didn’t panic. I panicked anyway, but I’m British so I did it quietly and passive-aggressively (this was mainly directed at the group of French teenagers who thought it might be fun to jump up and down while we waited).

– I’ve also been stuck in a lift very briefly at ITV in London. If I’m going to be stuck in a lift it must be at a prestige location.

– I’m very much enjoying the little bromance between Jason and Xavier. And Jules Robertson has been doing brilliant work with Jason’s character. His comic timing is wonderful.

– Halloween and Frieda were made for each other, really, and today’s outfit was perfect for the occasion while not frightening the patients. And I loved Frieda’s reaction to news of the lift dropping: ‘How exhilarating.’

– It seems that Jac and Fletch isn’t going to happen, which is good news as far as Team Joseph & Jac 4 Eva (i.e. me) is concerned. But my goodness, Rosie Marcel and Alex Walkinshaw are incredible together. That scene where he was talking about a parallel universe, you could almost hear this universe holding its breath for a minute or two. Stunning work.

– The actual lift plummet situation looked far more dramatic on the autumn trailer than it did in the episode, but it was an interesting way to get various story strands spread over more people, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the consequences in the coming weeks. Possibly Meena will now start to join the dots more about Gaskell and the come-uppance he so richly deserves will be heading his way. Or not.

– Quick plug for the Holby book. It genuinely is almost sold out everywhere and there won’t be any more, so if you’ve been thinking it’s a perfect Christmas gift idea it’s best not to hang around (unless you want a soggy second-hand one from eBay).

(Pictures: BBC)

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Holby City: The mysterious smoking man

(Series 20, ep. 31 ‘Child in Your Shadow’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 31.7.18) Here’s this week’s Holby City summarised in handy bullet points. For my more in-depth review, please head over to Metro.

– I loved Jac being too posh to push Fletch’s car, but at the same time being willing to help him out. I still don’t know if romance is possible between them, or whether I even think that would be a good idea, but I love their friendship.

– It’s also lovely how Holby keeps reminding us of Arthur Digby, with Serena pointing out that one of the F1’s was very much like him.

– Henrik Hanssen is very good at wrapping presents. He’s also very thoughtful with his gift-giving. Despite Roxanna’s reaction, that little brooch that reminded him of her student days said so much.

– Evie and Fletch together are always brilliant, and Macey Chipping is such a good actress. 

– Donna sticking up for Fletch with social services was really nice to see. Donna can be so kind.

– When Serena said that Meena and Nicky needed taking down a peg or 12, I heartily agreed. I was thinking more along the lines of the time Michael Spence rammed little admin guy George Binns’ head towards a corpse though. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a great mentor.

– Essie is apparently going to be ‘head bridesmaid’ for Lofty and Dominic’s wedding. I also want Zosia to come back to be a bridesmaid.

– Hanssen’s face when Dominic told him he was happy. I love how Hanssen cares for his people.

– Jesse Birdsall was well cast as Fletch’s dad. You can see an Essex geezer through-line from him via Fletch down to Mikey ‘Artful Dodger’ Fletcher.

– Fans of Holby/Casualty crossovers will have been pleased to hear Evie mentioning the time Fletch ran off with Tess-from-Casualty. Fletch was less pleased to hear this.

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Holby City: Doctors, nurses and their messy lives

(Series 20, ep. 18 ‘Headstrong’ by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 1.5.18) It was one of those shifts that had started off so busy that its busyness could only be conveyed via the medium of a quick montage. Fletch had gone into work early to deal with a myriad of nurse stuff. he also made a strong case to CEO Abigail that AAU needs some new nurses and a senior staff nurse, and for that latter role only Donna will do. Abigail said yes to the new nurses and senior staff nurse, but she wasn’t convinced by the Donna part, because Donna wasn’t up to speed on some little protocol or other. I hate to keep comparing Abigail with Hanssen, but I’m quite sure he wouldn’t have put ignorance of a new protocol over being a damn fine nurse. Serena certainly didn’t.  Continue reading

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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: Ric in the dock

(Series 19, ep. 56 ‘Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 31.10.17) Did Ric Griffin forget to prescribe anticoagulants to his patient Mrs Warren, thereby causing her death? He doesn’t make that kind of mistake, he says. He also says he told Donna to give Mrs Warren the anticoagulants, but she doesn’t remember him doing so. And she would remember – she doesn’t make that kind of mistake either.

It’s clear that someone made that kind of mistake – but who?  Continue reading

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Holby City: How messy life can be

(Series 19, ep. 40 ‘Sleep Well’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 11.7.17) Fran isn’t evil, or a villain, or a baddie. She’s a hurt, angry, damaged person. Jac knows this, because she’s similarly damaged. Where they differ is that Jac has dealt with all the hurt she’s suffered over the years by exercising a huge amount of self control – sometimes Jac is just held together by willpower alone. Fran is more needy and volatile.  Continue reading

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