Tag Archives: Laila Rouass

Holby City: The passion of the lonely Swede

(Series 14, Ep.27) Finally we waved goodbye to Sahira Shah the Registrah. She was looking anguished to the very last, emoting left, right and centre and getting inappropriately “passionate” (not in that way) about a patient. No clinical detachment, that’s her problem. Someone who has no problem with clinical detachment is Henrik Hanssen. His problem is more of the attachment than detachment type, and the person he was attached to was the aforementioned Shah. Once he knew she was leaving, he got ever so slightly tetchy, in a buttoned-up sort of way, telling her she could “drive her self-esteem from the fawning attentions of our finest beta males.” It’s a beautiful description of Greg Douglas, but it gave Sahira the clue that Hanssen didn’t just like her because of the quality of her parachute stitching. Duh. “Are you in love with me?” she asked him, and he responded by shooing her out of his office. Literally. “Shoo! Shoo!” he said.

We’re used to patients speaking the brains of the staff on Holby, but Hanssen found he could only speak his own heart about Sahira via the medium of trying to console a patient whose son was dying. In one of the most desperately sad scenes ever, all the more so for its restraint and calm, Hanssen finally told us how he was feeling. “The time of separation has come,” he told the father, as Sahira looked on. “The acute anguish will diminish, to be replaced by a dull ache which will not go. That much I know.” Lovely work by Guy Henry and a lovely piece of writing.

Elsewhere, Luc wanted to take a blood sample from Eddi for some reason, and to distract her he kissed her. This service is not offered by my local hospital and I want to know why.  And Malick let the power of being Clinical Skills Tsar go to his head and got all arrogant and, well, Sahira-ish about a patient.

Next time: Annalese turns up with some news for Michael. Maybe she wants him back, now she’s seen how lovely he looks with facial hair. Not that she’s shallow or anything.

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Holby City: A Ukrainian, a Chinese and a clown walked into a hospital…

(Series 14, Ep.26)  There’s a special magnetism between Greg and Sahira. That can be the only explanation for why every time they look at each other their beepers go off. It was happening constantly during the episode, and of course each beep was perfectly placed to thwart a Deep Meaningful Conversation. Greg did manage to tell her he loved her, but she was unable to reply as she was already hurtling off down a corridor at the command of her beeper. You’d swear Henrik Hanssen was in a control room somewhere coordinating all this. Greg has given up pursuing her along corridors bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!” He’s on crutches anyway, which has slowed him down a bit. Now he’s reduced to slumping in corners looking mournful, particularly when she said she was going to move to Nottingham with Rafi and enjoy all those cycle paths and finding out what their second child is called.

All this was just tedious, but the bit that really, really irked me was when Sahira was binned off an operation in favour of Jac, because “there’s no place for domestic entanglements in theatre.” Indeed not, and hurrah, but why did we then have to suffer the sight of Jac being unable to stitch up a heart that was shredding up like a used Kleenex and Sahira waltzing in, all scrubbed up, to save the day with some of her legendary stitching? Beyond annoying.

Thinking about Holby characters over the years, I realised that most of them are slight caricatures or one-dimensional when they arrive. You get a peg on which you can hang them – Donna the party girl, ditzy Chantelle, angry Malick, smooth operator Michael Spence, enigmatic Hanssen. Bit by bit, more sides of them are revealed. This can go on for years, as with Jac, whose story has evolved the whole time she’s been in the show. But with Sahira, I think the mistake the writers made was trying to offer a fully rounded, beloved character right from the off. We were expected to believe she was a brilliant surgeon, loving mother, object of adoration etc etc. It was too much for one character to bear all at once and it tilted the emphasis away from characters we genuinely did know and love and made her irritating. Jac’s comment to her this week, “Take a rest, Wonder Woman.  Eat a cupcake,” summed it up nicely.

Meanwhile, Tara Lo was getting to grips with the concept of patients dying, thanks to the hospital clown (yes there is one, and no, it’s not Greg). This was a man introduced by Chantelle as being just the sweetest man imaginable, so kind, so funny, so great with the kids. You just knew with an introduction like that he’d be collapsed on the floor within a minute. It turned out he had cancer, knew it, but was refusing treatment because it stopped him being able to amuse the kids.

And Luc let Liam down, so Liam trashed Luc’s van. Eddi helped him to sort it out again and Luc came good for Liam in the end.

Next time: It’s Sahira’s last day.  How will we manage without her? And, more importantly, will we find out why Hanssen cares so much?

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Holby City: The passenger seat

(Series 14, Ep.25) Henrik Hanssen’s favourite game of People Chess continued this week, as he drove a further wedge into the Shah/Raza marriage by telling Sahira he was going to take her off CTU duties. She was horrified. She’s put passion into that CTU – oh lord, don’t we just know how much passion she’s put into it? We’ve suffered along with her as she’s filled entire chest cavities with her tears. And now she’s being told she’s in the passenger seat. Jac had a little gloat, Irish Dr Greg felt Sahira’s pain and Hanssen smiled enigmatically and waited for her to find out he’d done what he did because Rafi had a word with him last week. Hanssen just knew that this wouldn’t go down well with Sahira.

Meanwhile, Rafi was in Poirot mode (he is actually a bit of a David Suchet lookey-likey in a certain light) and was keeping an eye on Irish Dr Greg, following Hanssen’s tip-off last week. He just winds them up, and away they go… It all ended up with patients dying, Sahira getting all angsty in theatre (as per usual) and Irish Dr Greg being punched by Rafi. A satisfactory day’s work for the hyper-tall Swede, apart from the dead patients bit.  Continue reading


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Holby City: You are not the only surgeon at Holby

(Series 14, Ep.24) Poor old Rafi. He spent years being the invisible househusband of Sahira Shah the Registrah. He gave up the chance of a job in Nottingham (where they have miles of cycle paths, and he just loves cycle paths) to stay at Holby, and now he is completely unable to persuade his wife to leave work on time so he can spend quality (and quantity) time with her. The kids hardly know who she is any more, and she’s forgotten the name of the one who isn’t My Adorable Son Indy altogether. What’s an anaesthetist to do? Well, he could drug her and prop her up in an armchair at home so the family could all admire her, but that would be unethical and more than a little weird. So what he did this week was put his foot down and tell her she simply must leave work on time so they could go for a posh meal, with wine and everything, and put their heads together to try and remember the name of their second child.

She agreed to this plan and even put some of the red lipstick on that she wears when she’s trying to do posh, the one that doesn’t really suit her. But of course Sahira may be a wife and mother, but foremost she is a Deeply Caring and Committed Surgeon. Henrik Hanssen, who loves her in a spooky, unrequited way, knows this about her and threw the tempting morsel of a girl with a thyroid cancer called Raymond (that was the cancer’s name, not the girl’s. Don’t ask) in her way.  Sahira made a huge effort to resist this gambit, by roping in Young Dr Oliver Valentine to do the surgery instead of her. I felt completely sorry for Boy Valentine. He knew he was out of his depth and so did Sahira and it was a shocking way to treat a junior colleague and a patient. Boringly, it meant that yet again Sahira could swoop in at the last minute and leave everyone marvelling at her supernaturally brilliant surgical skills.   Continue reading


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Holby City: With a little help from Faith

Behind the scenes photo: James Anderson @jimeroo

(Series 14, Ep.23) He’s a funny old soul, Elliott Hope. His heart is very much in the right place, but his methods are sometimes a tad batty. Thus, we found him squirreling away disused items of CT machinery in the basement (that basement must have vast numbers of unused rooms – there’s always a spare one when you need it), pending being shipped off to the Ukraine to save loads of Ukrainian lives. But one man’s life saving machinery is another man’s scrap metal, and Elliott discovered someone moving the stuff out for scrap. An altercation ensued, during which Elliott sustained what my dad would call “a thick ear” and the other bloke had a heart monitor dropped on his toe. Double ouch. Some of the other staff found this rather amusing. “You really are a museum piece, aren’t you?” Slinky Dr Alex purred when she discovered his altruistic plans.  Jac took to calling him “Sir Bob.”  Continue reading


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Holby City: Work mode

(Series 14, Ep.22)  To start with a handy, pocket-sized summary: No Jac, no Oli, no Frieda, too much Sahira and Greg and a bit of Luc, Eddi and Malick. That just about says it all about the episode, but let’s just send it for a quick ultrasound to make sure we haven’t missed anything.

We got to see more of the formerly invisible Rafi this week. Someone must have had a word, because he wasn’t so mumbly this time. In fact he’s rather sweet in his way. The sort of calm, reassuring type that you’d want in charge of keeping you asleep during surgery. He was not, however, feeling calm about the nanny Sahira had appointed to look after their children (My Adorable Son Indy and the other one who is never mentioned by name). Not only was the nanny a mere slip of a girl at 25, but she had a nicotine habit. Sahira didn’t want to talk about the Adorables while she was at work. “Work mode, remember?” she reminded him in her usual pompous style.  Work mode, in Sahira’s case, involves a lot of crying, shrieking and reminding Irish Dr Greg that they are Just Friends. And a bit of parachute stitching when there’s time.  “I can’t do this!” she emoted to Irish Dr Greg later. The pressure of having a quiet husband, a smoking nanny, dying patients and a fondness for Irish surgeons with lovely noses is proving too much for her to bear. Something’s got to give, and I don’t really care what it is as long as it happens quickly.

In the department we fondly know as AAU, a mysterious young man with cheekbones turned up with a mysterious woman who mysteriously knew which street Eddi had lived on in Leeds. Was she perhaps some savant who could pinpoint regional accents with devastating accuracy? No, she was simply the girlfriend of the man with the cheekbones, who happened to be Eddi’s brother.  Family members turning up always throws light on the main character, and we discovered a bit about Eddi’s troubled relationship with her mother. And it’s all bringing Luc and Eddi a bit closer.

Hanssen gave Malick the Clinical Skills Teacher  job, and frankly was a bit over-enthusiastic with the mentoring. At one point Malick was performing surgery and Hanssen was cheering him on from the observation window like a proud parent. All most odd.

Next time: Eddi’s brother Liam lets her down; Elliott has problems with his scheme to send the old machines to the Ukraine; and Frieda is irritated by Tara.

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Holby City: An operating theatre full of my admirers

(Series 14, Ep.19) Finally, finally we got a glimpse of Sahira Shah the Registrah’s invisible husband Rafi. What have we learned? (a) He’s not invisible. (b) His surname is not Shah, it’s Raza (or “Razzer,” in Irish Dr Greg-speak) and (c) he mumbles. That’s about all we’ve learned, really. “Have you met Rafi?” Sahira said to Jac, by way of introducing them. “I’ve heard almost nothing about you!” said Jac. Having met Rafi myself now (televisually speaking), I can see why he wouldn’t be a major talking point.

Irish Dr Greg was not pleased with the appearance of Dr Razzer, but at least it stopped him wandering the corridors uttering his desperate cry of “Sahira! Sahira!” Instead he was reduced to Gazing Mournfully and rescheduling people’s operations to try and avoid his beloved Registrah. Of course it all went tits-up in theatre, when an under-age patient turned out to have an allergy he hadn’t thought of mentioning to the aforementioned Dr Razzer when he did his pre-op checks. Speaking of which, isn’t it funny how, when we have a main character who’s an anaesthetist (Zubin, Annaliese) they’re always hovering around the wards and ITU. But the rest of the time, anaesthetists are confined to sitting at the head end during operations and not saying much.

Sahira had to pitch in and help save the patient, and Hanssen paid a visit to loom at everyone through the glass, so we had an operating theatre full of Sahira’s admirers. I’m not including the scrub nurse in this, but she can’t be immune to the charms of the Registrah, surely?  Continue reading


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Holby City: Shake yourself by the hand

(Series 14, Ep.16) The power of love, eh? A force so immense and marvellous that at least five people have had a hit single about it. It’s a force that’s reduced Irish Dr Greg from being a rogueish charmer with a twinkle in his eye to being a moping, dopey fool constantly sighing about his unattainable love. If the unattainable love was Jac Naylor, I’d understand it, but it’s only Sahira Shah the Registrah, a woman who has done little to impress us apart from show off her brilliant parachute stitching, cry a lot and bring cupcakes in for the staff.

Greg’s devastating sex appeal hasn’t been enough to convince the Registrah that he is the man for her. His witty banter and ever-available shoulder to cry on haven’t done it either. What’s a lovesick boy to do? Run off to Hanssen and try to get him to convince her not to leave, that’s what. As if that’s going to make him look any less spineless than he does already.

It’s not a bad plan, as plans go, because Hanssen not only harbours fond feelings for the world’s most emotional CT surgeon himself, but he also has Influence. Such is the reach of his mighty power that Sahira’s invisible husband, Rafi, has now been offered a job at Holby. Well, they haven’t had a proper anaesthetist since Annaliese and Weird Dr Green left.  Though his invisibility may present a bit of a challenge in theatre.  Now Rafi has no reason to go to Nottingham and Sahira can stay under the wretched gaze of Hanssen and Irish Dr Greg for a bit longer. That’s the plan, anyway.

Meanwhile, everybody’s favourite Ukrainian emo, Goth Dr Frieda, had her F1 results. Things didn’t look good, as she was summoned to Hanssen’s office. Had she failed? She thought so, but no – she’d passed with the highest score in the region. Top F1 in the whole of Holbyshire! Or Wyvern District or whatever it is. Hurrah! After hearing this good news, Frieda felt it was only polite to give Hanssen a little compliment in return. “Nice job… running the hospital,” she told him. “Shake yourself by the hand.”

Chrissie and Sacha were back from their holiday in Australia, and looking all tanned and lovey-dovey.  Sacha’s attempt to be nice to Dull Dan backfired a little when Dan assumed Chrissie had told Sacha about Dan’s complicated sexuality. It all ended amicably when Dan supported Sacha when a patient accused him of causing her to get an infection during surgery. This patient was a horse breeder, and in possibly the most blatant example of speaking-your-brains I’ve ever heard on Holby, she told Dan about a stallion she had who was somewhat reluctant to do his stallionly duty. “You can’t fight nature, can you?” she said. This caused Dan to assume his Thinking Face.

Next time: New consultant Alex Broadhurst (Mad Maya from Corrie) keeps Michael Spence on his toes. Dr Oliver Valentine shows us what he can do.  And Dull Dan is still struggling with “who he really is” and gets another patient to speak his brains about it.

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Holby City: The indecisive registrah

(Series 14, Ep.15) In the little recap segment at the beginning of the episode, we were once again shown Greg and Sahira’s kiss from a couple of weeks ago.  Nope, it’s no good. No matter how many times I watch it, it’s still not conveying passion, or a tragic love that can never be. It’s not a Jac/Joseph kind of kiss. Or a Connie/Jayne Grayson’s husband kind of kiss. They looked like a pair of reasonably attractive crash test dummies had been superglued at the lips.

And if you don’t buy the intended passion in that kiss, frankly the whole Sahira and Greg storyline is a bit of a damp squib. Tedious, then, that the episode revolved around them revolving around each other. They want to be together, but Sahira has “everything to lose,” what with the adorable son Indy, the invisible husband Rafi and… whatever. They had to go to a fundraising do, which gave Sahira the chance to wear a posh frock and gave them the chance to get drunk together and then get to the door of Sahira’s room and almost give in to temptation, until they were interrupted by a timely text from Hanssen. Presumably this means that they’ll spend the next episode with Greg trotting after her bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!” and she’ll spend the episode muttering at him that it’s got to stop and he must keep his distance. Again.

Back at Holby, Goth Dr Frieda was worried that she hadn’t completed the assessments she needs to graduate from being an F1 to an F2, so she was given a tricky patient to diagnose and Michael Spence (still wearing the grizzly beard look and frankly looking a bit foxy) promised to get the assessment to Hanssen before the deadline. Frieda’s patient was a very bad stand up comedian, but you just knew all the best punchlines would be Frieda’s. It’s her deadpan delivery. Weirdly, though, Dr Luc Hemingway had to talk her through intubating her patient. Wasn’t that the sort of thing she was doing with her eyes shut when we still thought she was a nurse?

It was also a testing time for Chantelle, who had her driving test. Ric Griffin has been following through on his promise to give her driving lessons, and it paid off. Is our Ric getting a tiny bit fond of the World’s Sunniest Nurse? He was staring down from the Window of Regret as she came back from her test, but maybe he was just making sure she didn’t crash into his car again.

This was the first visit to the famous Window in quite a few weeks. I’ve missed it. Will Greg use it as a vantage point from which to stare longingly at the form of the divine Sahira as she heads off for Nottingham next week? We can but hope.

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Holby City: Completely professional in the face of romantic disaster

(Series 14, Ep.14) Much of this episode centred on the efforts of Eddi McKee, the Best Nurse in the Hospital, to find a niche that was appropriate to her massive and varied talents. She loves the hurly burly and excitement of AAU, because it’s not a good day’s work till someone’s been sick on your shoes, but she can’t stand Dr Luc Hemingway. So she goes off to Keller, where you have time to do a quick sudoku between ward rounds. There’s no pesky Hemingway there, with his know-it-all attitude (don’t you just hate a know-it-all?). But of course the Best Nurse in the Hospital is entirely wasted in a ward where people are quietly recovering from bowel resections and it’s not long before she’s back in AAU, bravely leading the troops through a power cut. With all this to-ing and fro-ing, you wouldn’t think she’d get any time to do any actual nursing, but she’s the Best, so she does. And she’s got time to get all cross with Dr Luc when he makes more of his irritating assumptions about a patient. He’s even more irritating when he turns out to be right.

Registrah in Cah

Meanwhile, Irish Dr Greg spent the episode staring mournfully at Sahira Shah the Registrah as she swished past him on her way to various urgent bedside moments. Dr Greg loves Sahira, but he doesn’t think she loves him back, what with the husband and the adorable little son Indy and everything. She’s even planning to leave Holby! (We’ll help her pack!). So Greg does what anyone would do, and goes to Dull Dan for advice. DD says he should be, like him, “Completely professional in the face of romantic disaster.” If Dan can keep calm and carry on while his erstwhile fiancee is on honeymoon with the man of her dreams who isn’t him, Greg can surely cope with a little knock-back from a registrah. Only Greg can’t. He’s Irish, and they have passion and poetry running through them like the word Blackpool runs through rock. Just ask Bono. In a strangely shot scene outside Hanssen’s office, where Greg looks close one second and far away the next, he declares his love for Sahira. He knows her so well, he says, that he knows she constantly hums CBeebies theme tunes. Well, if she does I’ve never heard her. But that’s love for you.

Not a lot of Jac this week, as she had to knock Oli’s research project into shape so she was wearing a virtual Do Not Disturb sign. But she did have time to utter what will be our motto of the week: “Punctuality is next to godliness. Which is just one rung below consultant.” Got to love her.

Next time: Mary-Claire is back! ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls will be played! But will Sahira be able to resist Greg? (not if he’s playing and/or humming ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls).

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