(Series 20, ep. 11 ‘The L Word’ by Katie Douglas 13.3.18) Holby is nominated for a RTS Award for Best Soap/Continuing Drama this year (and high time too). When you see an episode like this, you have to think how could it not win? Indeed you have to think how come it isn’t in the Drama category too? With acting as nuanced and powerful as we had here from James Anderson, Guy Henry, Hermione Gulliford and others, and production values that equal anything you’d see in things like Line of Duty and Collateral… well, I could go on. I probably will go on, whether it wins or not. But for now, I’d better turn my attention back to this particular, very dramatic and rather intense episode.
Professor Gaskell (or “the Great and Powerful Oz,” as Sacha rather brilliantly referred to him) was thinking that Roxanna was getting a bit emotionally over-involved with Oliver Valentine’s case. He’s shrewdly spotted that unless she’s been in a car with Hanssen or eating pizza in the on-call room, she has at all times been by Ollie’s side, frowning at him encouragingly. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 45 ‘Calm Before the Storm’ by Katie Douglas 15.8.17) In a nutshell: Sacha found God, Nina and Matteo found each other and Selfie found Ollie’s Achilles’ heel. It doesn’t sound like a lot to fill an hour of TV, but I was gripped throughout. The hour just flew by.
Guy Self really is a brilliant baddie, and I think he’s even better this time around than he was during his first stint, because now we know what a complicated personality he really is. He’s no cartoon villain, there’s a vulnerability there which at the moment he is reining in tightly as he reverts to his default setting of Manipulative and Devious – though would the old Selfie have become quite so flustered during surgery? Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 29 ‘Two Hearts’ by Katie Douglas) Sacha Levy is the most caring, empathetic, huggy doctor in the hospital. That’s just a fact. So as soon as he started being snappy with a distressed patient, Essie knew something was up. Her alarm bells were already ringing when she spotted him arriving in yesterday’s shirt with his hair messed up, but she’s no stranger to the walk of shame herself, so that could have been dismissed. But as soon as Sacha starts being less nice to people, we all worry. Then Essie discovered he’s suddenly acquired a shoplifting habit/issue/problem. I really like how not being in a romantic relationship with Sacha has properly freed Essie up to love him and care for him like she couldn’t do when they were trying for babies and she was being all Chrissie 2.0 with him. I also loved how she enlisted the help of Jac Naylor to get him to admit there was a problem. Was he feeling depressed, they wondered? Sacha said that everybody in the room was probably feeling depressed, and given that the room was Pulses I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. Jac wasn’t surprised either. “Except that’s just my personality,” she said. I’m hoping bits of humour like that will be our friend as Sacha recovers from his depression, because it’s very hard watching him suffer. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 11) This review may not be up to my usual impeccable standard, because I watched the episode several days ago in a hotel room in Berlin on a television that warmly embraced the concept of British TV without having an entirely secure connection to it. Therefore it’s entirely possible that I missed some important chunks of dialogue. And possibly action. If I was being entirely professional I’d watch it all again and take notes, but it’s Christmas and there’s sprouts to sort out and whatnot.
It was a good episode though. Lee was back. The man who broke Dominic’s heart – and, more significantly, broke his heart at the time that Arthur was ill. He knows how to press Dominic’s buttons, and there was a tense scene when Lee went AWOL from his bed and turned up in the staff room with a knife in his hand. We all remember why that isn’t a good idea. Was he going to stab Isaac, his love rival for the hand of the fair Dominic? Well, no. But by the end of the episode I rather wished that he had. The final scene between Isaac and Dominic was absolutely brutal, with Isaac showing a cruel streak a mile wide and leaving Dominic in tears and Arthur’s granddad’s medal in pieces. All we can hope now is that Dominic will have nothing to do with Isaac ever again, but to do that would take a lot of self-esteem, and Dominic’s self-esteem is quite a fragile thing. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 48) I know not everyone is on board with the whole #Berena thing. There are some who are against it for the same reasons that Coronation Street has had to fend off complaints recently, and I’ve got no time for that view. There are others who would have preferred Bernie and Serena to have remained as supportive colleagues, and that does make sense and would have been a nice relationship to explore. But where could that have gone, drama-wise, much beyond “Gosh that was a hard day. Let’s kick back with a nice bottle of Shiraz”? It certainly wouldn’t have delivered such blissfully toe-curling scenes as we had last night, as Serena ‘fessed up to a comatose Fletch that she kissed a girl and she liked it, and the even more blissful scenes she shared with Bernie. I’m all for a storyline that brings out the beautifully subtle and elegant comic talents of Catherine Russell. She and Jemma Redgrave are brilliant together, and I’m looking forward to watching this story develop. Continue reading