(Series 20, ep. 7 ‘Precipice’ by Tony Higgins 13.2.18) Poor Ollie. It looked like he was on the mend last week, but this week the bullet that’s still in his brain started leaking poison. It would have to come out, said Roxanna. This threw Ollie into a proper rage (how brilliant is James Anderson being at the moment?), and he said it should have been Roxanna who got shot, not him. Bless him, he’s not himself at all, is he? That’s not normal Ollie behaviour. He accused Roxanna of using him as a way of avoiding her grief over her dead husband (whose ashes were in her desk drawer), and he was right about that – she’s been living at the hospital because she can’t face going home. I bet she’s pleased she opted for that low-maintenance hairstyle now, hospital facilities being what they are.
But back to Ollie and his life-or-death surgery, which he only agreed to after Prof Gaskell had a quiet word (and I mean quiet – he’s got one of those voices that’s more of a vibration than a sound, and I have to say I find it rather thrilling as long as he isn’t overdoing it with the poetry). Predictably, things went a bit beep in theatre, but Ollie came through it, only to wake up from the anaesthetic temporarily unable to see, hardly able to move, and convinced he was still engaged to Zosia. Nooo!!! Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 4 ‘Hanssen Is as Hanssen Does’ by Joe Ainsworth 23.1.18) I’m actually quite annoyed that writer Joe Ainsworth used the title ‘Hanssen Is As Hanssen Does’ before I’d thought of it. It’s brilliant.
And it gave us a clue straight away that it was going to be quite a Hanssen-focused episode. The poor man was struggling with the psychological after-effects of his son going on a shooting rampage around the hospital, and we saw various flashbacks of Fredrik in his rather dashing ‘We need to talk about Fredrik’ gunman outfit. Not that Hanssen was pondering how Fredrik really rocked the hoodie-and-boots look. He was too busy thinking about the lives lost or altered forever, and that sort of serious and sad thing. His veneer of calm was still there, but it was paper-thin and you could see it was a struggle for him just to keep functioning. Continue reading
(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
(Series 20, ep. 1 ‘The Prisoner’ by Ed Sellek 2.1.18) This stand-alone episode dealt with four days in the life of Ric Griffin, in prison on remand following his assault on Jeremy Warren, and Oliver Valentine, returning to the word after being in a coma since being shot in the head.
Ric might have a posh voice and an air of refinement, but he has great intelligence, a boxer’s instincts and he’s seen a bit of the world. While prison obviously came as a huge culture shock for him, he navigated prison politics quite well. When he was befriended by a prisoner called Dillon (played by the brilliantly named Chord Melodic), it took him a little while to realise that Dillon had an agenda – he wanted Ric to use his medical contacts in the outside world to get drugs into the prison. As soon as he’d worked out what was what, Ric refused to have any part of the scheme – with the result that he’s now a marked man. Indeed he’s possibly literally marked by now, because when we last saw him he was surrounded by Dillon’s thugs in the prison yard. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 63 ‘We Need To Talk About Fredrik’ by Patrick Homes 12.12.17) Three weeks have passed in Holby time since the events shown last week. The funerals of Raf, Fredrik and David have already happened (Fredrik in Stockholm, without Hanssen’s attendance) and the process of rebuilding has started.
Rebuilding lives shattered by recent events is not going to be quick or easy – we saw with the death of Digby that Holby takes the aftermath of huge events seriously and I expect the repercussions of the shooting will be felt for a long time.
Rebuilding staff numbers is simpler and came courtesy of The Mythical St Francis’s. Remember it’s merging with Holby? Three new doctors – or rather, two new doctors and one old friend – chose this week to merge in Holby’s direction. Continue reading