(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.
From 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.
“What are you doing in my bedroom?” Frieda asks a somewhat naked Xavier. More to the point, what is she doing in her bedroom, as she seemed to have left last week.
Carole Copeland! Always a joy. Please let her meet Sheilagh soon.
Berena reunited! A nation rejoices. But there are hints that this might mean Serena will be leaving, which would fling a nation into mourning.
(Series 20, ep. 13 ‘No Matter Where You Go, There You Are – Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 27.3.18) Last week’s cliffhanger made us wait an entire week for the verdict in Ric’s trial. And this week, we got that verdict, though it was a very low-key affair. We didn’t see the courtroom. We didn’t even see Ric. We heard the news as relayed to Ollie by Meena, and then Serena popped up to Darwin to present Fletch with a bottle of celebratory Shiraz.
Celebratory? Yes! Because the news is good. Ric Griffin is a free man!
Having swiftly wrapped up the ‘Ric’s Prison Hell’ storyline, the episode settled in to the topic at hand, which focused on Oliver Valentine and his determination to get back to being a doctor once again, and Henrik Hanssen’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with the consequences of his son’s actions. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 10 ‘Square One’ by Kathrine Smith 6.3.18) There seems to be something of a power-grab going on at Holby. Prof Gaskell, aided and abetted by old chum Roxanna, is about to be installed on the board as Director of Medicine. Have we had one of those before?
Hanssen has given his approval via one of those in-car consultations that he’s specialising in these days. I picture him spending his days sadly patrolling the car park at 15 MPH in case he’s needed, but terrified to get out of the car.
Roxanna’s motives in getting Gaskell a place on the Iron Throne of Holby are altruistic (she thinks it’ll help Ollie to get the treatment he needs, and she believes in the Prof and his work), and I could probably say that about the Prof, though I’m not at all sure I entirely trust him. His guinea pig patient, Fiona, died this week, and in the comfort of his lab the Prof realised that his trial had failed. He’s keeping this news between him and his voice recorder though, and hasn’t told major funder and cheerleader Essie, or Serena, or Roxanna. I’m sure he really believes it’ll work eventually and he mustn’t stop now, but the last person we saw with that kind of attitude to a trial was Fredrik, and look how that turned out. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 8 ‘Hard Day’s Night’ by Michelle Lipton 20.2.18) I’m undecided about new registrar Xavier* Duval (Marcus Griffiths), but I think at the moment we’re meant to be. He has his twonkish side (“Delivering a baby is like watching your favourite pub burn down,” whatever that means apart from he can’t be bothered), but then after said baby is delivered (by Meena, Nicky and Donna) he gives Donna his credit card to go out and buy a load of stuff for it because the baby was totally unexpected and the mum (Jamie-Rose Monk, who was excellent) has nothing ready. So I would say he’s a man of gestures. Some are nice gestures and some aren’t, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of person he is behind the gestures before we can say whether Zav could ever replace Raf. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 5 ‘One Day at a Time’ by Isla Gray 30.1.18) Prof Gaskell is a strange one, isn’t he? He spent a good chunk of this episode reciting poetry, either to himself or to patients, in a somewhat doomy voice. I can’t help thinking it’s not really what you want when you’re just coming round from anaesthetic.
The patient he was reciting William Blake to at the end was a mystery person in Lisbon. Was this a flashback, or had he nipped to Lisbon quickly at the end of the shift? And is this mystery person (relative? partner?) the reason why he’s so driven to succeed with his stem cell treatment?
So many questions. I expect we’ll get answers, and probably more questions, in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, this was the week of his pioneering operation, which was so pioneering it was on live video link to the entire hospital and, indeed, the world. Plenty of pressure there for Prof Gaskell (who deals with pressure via the aforementioned poetry), Meena (who trembles, drops things and hides in out-of-order toilet cubicles) and the patient, Fiona (Shannon Murray). The surgery was apparently a success, despite a very hairy moment when I was sure Meena was going to drop the graft on the floor. I wonder if the 30 second rule applies in operating theatres? Continue reading