Tag Archives: Lucy Gaskell

Casualty: This isn’t who you are

(Series 25, Ep.45 & 46) Belatedly catching up on two weeks’ worth of Casualty, and we find the spotlight still very much on Adam and his “god complex.”

If Adam really was a god, and had the power to smite his enemies, he would reserve quite a bit of smiting power for paedophiles. Now, no-one in their right mind likes paedophiles, but Adam really, really doesn’t like them. He dislikes them so much that, even if they bear a stunning resemblance to lovely Chris Mead off of Waterloo Road, he has no qualms about torturing them a bit to get them to ‘fess up. Honestly, that’s what he was doing last week – torturing poor old Chris Mead, who turned out not to be a paedophile (apart from in a strictly technical sense, but let’s not go into that) and ended up having to have his leg amputated.

This week, the patient Adam had previously dosed up with a mythical urge-dampening drug was back in the ED, after taking too many of the pills and passing out. This meant Adam had to do some urgent track-covering so no-one found out about his illicit trip to the pharmacy. This was made more difficult because Kirsty was following him around like Inspector Clouseau and wanting Answers.

One of the answers that Kirsty got was from a patient with a terminal condition, who advised her to live life like she was writing her very own self-help book – parachute jumping and all that. Kirsty was bored with trying to get Adam to behave like a mere mortal instead of Zeus in scrubs, and fed up with everyone going quiet when she approaches since they found out Warren used to beat her up. So she bundled some belongings in the car, added Little Miss Glum, and threw her wedding ring out of the car window on the Clifton Suspension Bridge on her way to a new life. It didn’t even smash another car’s windscreen and cause a multiple pile-up, which must be a first for Casualty.

Next time: An explosion at Holby Airport – it’s been a while since we had one of those – and Adam has the chance to “atone for his sins.”

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Casualty: Adam knows best

(Series 25, Ep.44) Last week, we were informed that Adam has a “god complex.” Frankly I’m not seeing it, myself. What I’m seeing is a doctor who’s trying to do the best for his patients and grappling with moral dilemmas. He doesn’t always choose the path through the moral dilemma that others would, but that’s the nature of moral dilemmas and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve got a god complex.

Maverick Nurse Kirsty disagrees with me, because Adam is way more maverick than she is at the moment, and she’s not happy. This is the woman who used to enjoy testing rules to breaking point. Anyway, the moral maze in which Adam found himself this week concerned a man who was dying of mesothelioma, which he’d got by being in contact with asbestos from his father’s factory. He was about to testify in a law suit against the company, currently owned by his brother, Gary Kemp out of Spandau Ballet. Gary really needed the brother out of the way so he didn’t testify, and tried to persuade Adam that his patient didn’t want to be resuscitated. Adam saw through the handiness of this scheme, however, so Gary resorted to a spot of cyanide poisoning. This unlikely eventuality was spotted by Dr Dylan Keogh, and Gary ended up in the police station, and the brother lived just long enough to do his testimony via video link. Maverick Nurse Kirsty was cross that Adam chose to tell the brother that Gary had tried to kill him. “It wasn’t your call, Adam,” she told him. Technically, maybe not – but Adam’s actions seemed fairly sound to me.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Ruth’s back! Charlie’s back! Mads is in danger!

(Series 25, Ep.36) If and when Charlie Fairhead ever dies, it will be necessary to have him stuffed and mounted in a glass case in the reception area of Holby City A&E department. Yes, it might freak out the patients a little bit, but it’s unthinkable that the place could run without him.

Having been ousted to the sunny heights of the Psych Ward for the duration of Dr Ruth Winters’ psychiatric illness (handy, that), Nick Jordan decided that, now Ruth was back, Charlie really ought to be back as well. Thus everyone will get the benefit of his uncanny ability to be reassuring while not making eye contact with the person he’s talking to (his eyes always seem to be watching an imaginary cricket match in the distance), and he’ll also be on hand to restrain Ruth if she goes off on one again. It’s a win-win situation.

It was a hell of a shift for Ruth to make her reintroduction to medical life. Henry (what is his job title, please? He’s sort of in charge when Hanssen is unavailable) had signed up to some scheme whereby Holby would alternate GP referrals with mythical “other Holby hospital” St James’s, but this had gone wrong so the ED was full of people who should really be at the other side of Holby. Mayhem. Throw in a deaf boy who’d swallowed a particularly vicious weedkiller, Henry’s daughter who’d been run over by a motorbike because she’s going blind and she hadn’t seen it coming, Adam being angsty (is this “again” or “still”?) and Mads asking if she could avoid contact with youngish male patients because her fiance was a bit traditional that way (Tess’s answer: “No.”), and you have a recipe for stress.    Continue reading

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Casualty: Two on a tower

(Series 25, Ep.33) You know it’s a gruelling episode when there’s a list of helpline information as long as your arm on iPlayer. Sadly I scanned through this and there’s no number to ring if you’ve been affected by boredom/irritation at having to devote 50 minutes of your life to a whole episode of Kirsty/Warren/Nita flashbacks.

Little Miss Glum had taken herself to the top of the fire station tower and was determined to stay up there till Kirsty had filled her in on the real story of her life with Warren. This involved an episode full of flashbacks, in which characters appear as their younger selves by adopting different partings and stronger regional accents. And guess what? Warren was always a nasty piece of work (I know – shocker!), creepy even when he was meant to be being charming, winning the hand of the lovely Kirsty by beating her current boyfriend to a pulp (something she only worked out in this episode).   Continue reading

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Casualty: It’s not what you’ve got, it’s who you are

(Series 25, Ep.32) So who’s the best clinical lead? Is it Nick Jordan, all designer suits, snappy put-downs and brusque, no-nonsense bedside manner? Or the warm, motherly Miriam Turner, who’ll go with you for your medical appointments and put £50 behind the bar on a night out?

I like both of them, but which one should get the job, if there’s only one job? There’s only one way to find out – vote. Yup, Henry and Hanssen decreed that what was needed was a staff popularity contest, with the winner being decided by secret ballot. The ways of the NHS (Holby-style) are many and mysterious indeed.

You could never accuse Nick Jordan of pandering to public opinion or going out of his way to make himself popular – quite the reverse. “In order to win a popularity contest you have to be popular,” Dr Zoe Hanna advised him, but even with hs job apparently on the line, he wasn’t going to compromise by actually being nice. So when a girl was brought into the ED with apparently all the symptoms of being very, very drunk, Nick wasn’t listening to her sister protesting that the girl hadn’t been drinking at all, and must have been drugged. His staff were cross with him. I was cross with him – we’d seen the girl’s orange juice being spiked earlier, so what was Nick playing at? It turned out that the girl’s sister was well-known to Nick for having such a severe alcohol problem that she was, in fact, dying of liver cirrhosis. And just at the point where you’ve thrown your hands in the air in despair at Nick’s lack of bedside manner, and Lenny has cast his vote in favour of Miriam, Nick manages to persuade the father of the two girls, who hasn’t spoken to his elder daughter for years, to donate part of his liver to her. A job well done in the interests of his patient, Nick Jordan-style.

And it turns out that, while a cuddly personality will take you a long way, the ED staff actually prefer the more curmudgeonly approach of Nick. He may be a tad cussed, but he also happens to be a genius, and when you’re up to your knees in blood, guts and trauma, that’s what you want.

Meanwhile, Jay was dealing with a patient with breasts. Continue reading

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Casualty: Nita runs away, comes back, shocks Adam

(Series 25, Ep.27) If I could stir myself to be bothered by the fate of either (former) Maverick Nurse Kirsty or her daughter, Little Miss Glum, then this would have been the episode to do it. Following the death of Nasty Warren and traumatised by seeing her mother cosying up to Dr Adam Trueman while Nasty Warren was still lukewarm, Little Miss Glum (aka Nita) decided that running away was the best option. Yes, this always works well, particularly when you’re in Casualty. Anyway, the first man she hitched a lift with turned out to be nice (Ooh! Way to confound our expectations, scriptwriters!), but the second lot were on the run from another nasty man, having stolen some money from him.

When she found herself surrounded by screaming and corpses, Nita did the right thing and phoned mummy. So there was a lovely reunion between mother and daughter and all’s well that ends well? Not exactly – Adam had a quiet word with her, and she scarpered again. He has that effect on people. When he found her again, she was busy trying to delete a message from Kirsty’s phone. The message was Nita herself, confessing to killing Nasty Warren. Shocker!

Naturally I was less interested in all this than I was in Lovely Staff Nurse Faldren’s testicle, but nothing to report there – we’re still awaiting the results of his ultrasound. Meanwhile he’s not enjoying his new reputation as a lothario with a special interest in the more mature lady, following Lenny’s discovery of him in a compromising situation in Miriam’s office last week. In fact Noel and Big Mac spent so much time teasing him that Miriam had to have a word with them about workplace bullying. She really has taken our Jay under her wing. It’s just a shame she can’t use her influence to get those ultrasound results a bit quicker.

Next time: Results! But will it be good news for Jay? And yet another stroppy new doctor (William Beck) arrives in Holby ED.

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Casualty: Time to man up

(Series 25, Ep.26) Because I like to know these things, I’ve just discovered via the medium of Google that the medical term for the surgical removal of a testicle is “orchidectomy.”  Such a pretty word for such a daunting prospect. Quite probably it was a word that was looming large in the mind of Lovely Staff Nurse Faldren, as he quietly avoided getting his suspect lump looked at and instead threw his energies into proving he was still very much “one of the lads.” He even had a bet on with Lenny about who would be first to literally charm the pants off any passing female.

Lenny had to concede that Jay had won this bet when he went into new consultant Miriam’s room without knocking, to find her on her knees, in the dark, with her face at very close quarters to Jay’s family jewels. Of course she hadn’t actually fallen for the charms of the prettiest nurse in the ED. She’d noticed that his laddish behaviour was distracting him from his work, and he’d ‘fessed that all was not well with his nether regions. A quick peer at the organ in question with a special torch confirmed that there was, indeed, a “mass.” Miriam was absolutely lovely, and even went with Jay to see a specialist. We’ll have to wait (nervously) and see what the results will be.

Meanwhile, following the death of Evil Warren, Kirsty’s daughter Little Miss Glum has, predictably, gone off the rails and is all angry and shouty. This wasn’t helped by seeing her mother cosying up with Adam, despite Kirsty’s protests that “nothing happened.” The police understandably want to know whether Warren fell or was he pushed, and Kirsty is equally understandably keen for Adam not to mention to them that there was a history of domestic violence, because obviously that would give her a motive. But if she thought Adam was going to lie for her, she was wrong.

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Casualty: That’s one way to get rid of him

(Series 25, Ep.22) After last week’s drama involving Ruth, the spotlight this week turned on the staff member I used to refer to as Maverick Nurse Kirsty. She hasn’t been so maverick recently, mainly because she’s been too preoccupied with fending off blows from her horrible husband Warren.

This week she decided that enough was enough, but did she muster up support from colleagues, the police, women’s aid organisations? Of course not -  she went the “let’s pack a case and try to sneak out” route, which gave Warren ample time to arrive back home and catch her trying to make her escape. The upshot of this was that, by the time Adam charged over there to mount a rescue bid, Warren was already lying at the foot of the stairs with a GCS of 3-ish. Did he fall? Did Kirsty push him? Do I care? Not especially, as I generally find Kirsty quite an annoying character, whether she’s being maverick or a victim. Sounds harsh, and if she was a real person I’m sure I’d feel differently, but she’s a character on Casualty and one I don’t particularly warm to.

Back at the hospital, the staff grappled with the problem of what to write in a Get Well Soon card to a person you dislike (Ruth) who is mentally rather than physically ill. It proved to be too much of a challenge even for Jay (who does like Ruth), whose best attempt was a pile of magazines “to take your mind off things.” It was sad but probably a true reflection of life that, even as hospital staff, they found mental illness an embarrassment. They need Charlie to put them straight, but I expect he’s too busy looking after Ruth.

The Get Well Soon card dilemma was solved by a young girl who’d previously been looked after by Ruth, who drew one for her which the staff then signed. This was a really sad subplot. The girl was a pupil at a school for people with special needs, and one of the (male) teachers had befriended her and would take her to his home and make cakes with her. Natually Dr Zoe Hanna thought this was a bit dodgy, but it turned out that there wasn’t anything dodgy at all, just an idealistic and kind teacher being a bit naive. When Dr Zoe Hanna pointed out that this was the kind of thing that ends careers and ends up in court, the teacher had to explain to the girl that, now she was 14, it was no longer appropriate for him to be anything more than a teacher. Bless her, she took the news so sadly and sweetly. “Thank you for being my friend,” she said, “Until I was fourteen.” Sniff.

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Casualty: I think we’ve had enough delusions for one day

(Series 25, Ep.21) Ruth’s shaky grip on reality finally let go in a very big way. She became convinced that a mentally ill patient  was hearing voices which Ruth could also hear, and the voices were telling Ruth that she needed to lock the patient away in the on-call room and perform a retromastoid craniectomy all by herself and with no proper equipment (other than a very big drill and some nasty-looking syringes – it was like the Acid Queen from Tommy). “There’s no such thing as mad,” Ruth reassured her patient.

With this kind of behaviour from the staff you can see why the patient’s father had previously thought it best to keep her in a padded room at home rather than relying on the NHS, but luckily Zoe, Jay, Nick and Tess were all on hand to sort things out. Zoe had to pull Nick out of his first go at heart surgery in some while, but he seemed only too happy to get away from the operating theatre and back to the soothing mayhem of A&E.

Nick persuaded Ruth to unlock the door, and the police pounced and took her away (kicking and screaming) to be sectioned. The saddest thing was Jay pleading with them not to hurt her. Bless him.Let’s just hope now that Charlie can work his magic up on the Psych Ward.

Meanwhile, Kirsty’s husband Warren ‘The Fury’ Clements (this was his bowling name, apparently) was being nice to her for a while, taking her bowling for their anniversary, and really showing why she fell for him in the first place. But you know with Warren that ‘The Fury’ is just beneath the surface, and by the end of the episode he was beating her up again – this time badly enough to send her running to Adam.

Kirsty’s bowling name, by the way, was ‘The Sniper.’ How I would have loved it if it had been ‘Maverick.’

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Casualty: You just got kidnapped. I wouldn’t call that “routine”

(Series 25, Ep.19) Nick Jordan got kidnapped by Jonah Kirby from Waterloo Road (Lucien Laviscount)! And was that a wig he was wearing? Anyway, he didn’t want Nick for his money or his good looks, it was his medical skills he was after – to tend to the girl from last week’s car crash, who’d gotten herself stabbed in the neck.

Nick Jordan is especially good in these kinds of situations. Not scared to face down over-excited teenagers (“Go on! Stab me!”), and keeping a cool head in the face of a spurting artery in a dark, damp warehouse. What a guy.

Back in ED, Adam was worrying about Maverick Nurse Kirsty, who was sporting some nasty-looking bruises and a bad back. She’s being beaten up by her nasty-piece-of-work husband Warren, but despite Adam offering her a bolt-hole, she felt she had no choice but to go back home – where hubby was waiting for her, not in a very good mood. It was a horribly dread-inducing scene to watch, and even though no violence was actually shown, it was heard, and it was nasty. I’m not particularly keen on Kirsty as a character, but you have to have sympathy with her situation.

And we saw Ruth getting ready for a night out clubbing. Her decision to do this rather than go to the pub with Tess looks like it will come back to haunt her in a big way next week.

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