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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: 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: Selfless. Kind. Brave

(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

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Holby City: Her name was Dr Lo

(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

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Holby City: We need to talk about Sacha

(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

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Holby City: Watch out for that man!

dominic-holby(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.

dominic-zosia-holbyIt 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

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