Tag Archives: michael spence

Holby City: Dead man walking

It was Beautiful Dr Penny Valentine’s first day as an F2! Hurrah! Elliott gave her some balloons to celebrate. He’s lovely, is Elliott. Then Penny proceeded to fill the day with the kind of ninja-level doctoring that makes you wince and gasp at the same time – a bit of cardiocentesis here, a little chest drain there. And, following a pep talk by the aforementioned Elliott, even Frieda was being nice(ish) to her.

Meanwhile, the rivalry between Michael Spence and Ric Griffin gathered momentum. Ric discovered traces of cocaine on Michael’s desk and stormed off to find him. Michael was in the middle of an operation – not ideal when you’re off your box on Class A drugs. Ric tried to be subtle. “I found something on your desk.” Michael wasn’t into subtlety, what with being coked-up, cocky and cuckolded. “You found something in my house,” he counter-accused. He meant lollipop-headed Annalese, having discovered that she’d had a fling with Ric.

Ric could have had Michael struck off for his druggy behaviour, but Ric is, by his own admission, a “dead man walking,” as his cancer has spread to his liver. He didn’t want to take Michael’s career down, because Holby needs good doctors in tight trousers.

Doctors don’t come any better, or more handsome, than The World’s Most Beautiful Heart Surgeon, Joseph Byrne. I was speculating how very good he would look with a touch of guyliner, and thinking that he’d make a darn good vampire. But I digress. When Faye was rushed off to Obs & Gynae after she came over all woozly, Joseph rushed after her, concerned for the future Baby Byrne. Faye has been keeping him at the length of a couple of arms recently, but he was so adorable and concerned – and Linden was so Not There – that she was actually pleasant to him for a change and even let him feel her bump (good of her, since earlier he’d had to watch from the margins as half the hospital copped a feel of Faye’s bump). And she’s agreed to take the test to find out if Baby Byrne will have the same disability as the late Archie.

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Holby City: How would Jesus run the hospital?

After the high drama of the last few episodes, this one was a bit low-key. It centred on a porters’ strike, which meant big queues for CT scans and Young Dr Oliver Valentine pressed into service pushing people around on trolleys.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, as they say. The man, in this case, being Mark “Jesus” Williams. His deft handling of the aggrieved porters impressed Chairman of the Board Cunningham so much that, at the end of the episode, he was encouraging “Jesus” to apply for Leslie Ash’s old job as CEO.  I can just imagine his job interview. “So, Mr Williams, how would you describe your management style?” He’d fix the interview panel with his trademark lugubrious stare, sigh a bit, and say, “Sorrowful yet irritated. But I’m good with a catheter.”

Connie got back from Texas (yee-har!) to discover that, once again, she is not Director of Surgery. This role is being shared by Michael and Ric, who were both a bit scared to tell her. Michael said that her skills were really needed on the shop floor – Connie is at her best when elbows-deep in heart valves and aortic aneurysms rather than all the boring paperwork stuff, he suggested. Connie’s facial expression (somewhere to the north of Norway, climate-wise) would suggest she has other views.

She was somewhat distracted by the appearance of an old friend of hers who needed surgery. This friend was from the days when Mrs Beauchamp was plained old “Con” from Peckham, and she doesn’t like being reminded of her ‘umble roots, so she was ready to bin the friend off to a London hospital. This was until Joseph, with whom Connie is writing a research paper, spotted that the friend is a perfect case for their research.

It was Donna’s first day as a ward sister, and what with the porters’ strike and everything, it’s safe to say she didn’t enjoy herself.

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Holby City: Family-related shocks for Jac and Faye

I’ve said the words “poor Jac” once before. It was when she was trapped in a contaminated operating theatre with Joseph and she told him how she felt about him. Obviously feeling as I do myself about The World’s Most Beautiful Heart Surgeon, I could relate. And also, Rosie Marcel plays Ice Queen Jac so well that when she crumbles, you have to crumble right along with her.

There were signs last week that the Ice Queen was melting towards the mother who abandoned her when she was 12. Having donated one of her kidneys to save her mother’s life, this week saw them living together, and Jac getting almost touchy-feely – she was even buying flowers, and talking of buying a bigger flat so they could have a room each.

All wasn’t well medically, though, what with Jac’s wound getting infected and her mother apparently not tolerating her medication well. Michael Spence was worried. Not as worried as Jac was when her mother went AWOL, and she set off by car through the countryside to track her down at the home of her late grandfather. But when Jac passed out in a lay-by, she had to summon help from Michael Spence. Meanwhile she did a bit of ninja-level self-surgery to try and clean out her wound. I just hope no-one was eating while this scene was on.

When Jac and Michael got to her late grandfather’s house, they discovered that rumours of his death had been greatly exaggerated.  There he was, hale and hearty, and there was mum Paula, getting ready for a flight back to India.  Jac, unsurprisingly, was distraught. Apparently her mother didn’t care at all about her, and had only come back to England because she needed a kidney.

Even worse was to come. Paula had another daughter, a 17 year old sister Jac never knew she had, who lived with Paula and had a proper mother-daughter relationship with her. It’s not surprising that Jac adopted this brittle, self-contained, selfish persona is it?

Back at the hospital, having had her nasty infected wound sorted out, Jac was visited by her sister (though not by Paula or her grandfather), but she refused to see her. The only person she can rely on is herself.

Meanwhile, Faye discovered that she’s pregnant, and Joseph is the father. She tried to tell him, but Joseph has completely shut down towards Faye and can only react by being sarcastic and defensive (it’s no wonder Jac and Joseph were attracted to each other), so she didn’t tell him. Nor did she manage to say anything to Linden. It’ll not stay a secret for long…

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Holby City: The ghosts of Linden’s past

Holby City has never been a programme to shy away from the supernatural, considering it’s full of doctors and nurses and scientific people like that. In recent memory we’ve had a whole episode that was in Maddie’s head as she lay dying, and Donna talking with her father after he’d passed away to a place that hopefully smells less of disinfectant.

Last night, as Linden and Holly decorated their home for Christmas, Linden was being haunted by his late wife Olivia, who appeared in awkward places in a red coat, like a taller version of the scary midget in Don’t Look Now. She also had a sideline in writing TELL HER THE TRUTH in condensation on various bits of glass. Obviously this stressed Linden out a fair bit, and Holly putting Stand By Me on his jukebox (who’d have guessed Linden would have a jukebox?) was the last straw. He yelled, Holly cried, and she ran away.

Linden was summoned to Holby at the request of a very ill patient, his Catholic priest. This man offered sage words of advice along the lines of TELL HER THE TRUTH (Linden was feeling a theme developing by this point), and asked Linden to borrow a pen, which he then put in his pocket. The pen, we felt, would have some Significance later.

By way of flashbacks, we discovered the truth of what happened the night Linden’s wife died in a car accident. Linden had tried to save her by doing a roadside tracheostomy. This hadn’t gone well, so Linden always blamed himself for Olivia’s death. Holly had been present at the time, and Linden couldn’t ever face talking about it so had given Holly into the care of her grandparents.

Father and daughter had all this out by the side of a road, and I did think that Holly had thrown her backpack into quite a dangerous place on a bend. As she went to retrieve it, a car coming round the bend crashed into her. And guess what? Linden was forced to perform an emergency tracheostomy, using the very same pen that the priest had given him. This time it was successful, Holly was saved, everyone agreed Linden hadn’t been in any way responsible for Olivia’s death. Linden wanted to thank his friend the priest – but it turned out he’d died before Linden had the pen conversation with him.

It all ended rather emotionally, with Linden listening to Stand By Me on the jukebox that Olivia had given him, and dancing with the ghost of his wife. PLA Jr was in tears, so I feel a bit Scrooge for calling the episode more than a tad contrived (two roadside tracheostomies in one family? A heavy snowfall when the trees are all still covered in green leaves? The likelihood of the pen in your pocket being a Bic when you need one?), and just a bit slow and irritating.

It was left to The Radiant Donna Jackson to bring some light into the proceedings with her karaoke rendition of Stand By Me, at a fundraising do for her late father’s charity (we’ll pass swiftly over Mark “Jesus” Williams and his rendition of Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody).  There was still no sign of Connie or Ric, but we’re promised that next week Thandie is going to be putting pressure, as only Thandie can, on Lauren Minster, to reveal exactly what happened the day Archie died. Let’s hope she’s successful, so Connie can be de-suspended and come back in time to make Christmas crackers out of Michael Spence’s knackers for losing her robots.

(Oh, and PS – Chrissie is pregnant again. Young Dr Oliver Valentine is not the father. He did finally get to kiss Daisha though, so it’s probably just as well).

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Holby City: The twilight of the robots

The world’s most beautiful heart surgeon, Joseph Byrne, has still not had a shave, and his OCD is getting the better of him as well (the old obsessive hand-washing when not actually about to perform surgery). You sense he won’t relax (as far as Joseph ever does “relax”) until he’s got to the bottom of who was responsible for Archie’s death. The irony is that he has got to the bottom of it – it was Nurse Lauren Minster mixing up the drug labels. But having come so close to getting Lauren to crack and admit it, Joseph has now been persuaded to back off in case she makes a career-ruining complaint against him for harassment.

As well as all this detective stuff, he managed to fit in an impressive bit of surgery this week, performing an open heart operation on a woman while she was still awake. This woman had balls of steel – not only was she awake, but she could see what was going on in her opened-up chest reflected in one of the lights.

While all this was going on, The Stunningly Beautiful Dr Penny Valentine was doing a little stint on AAU, just in time to see her favourite patient, the firefighter awaiting the heart transplant, being admitted. Dr Penny is more than a bit in love with this man and she got into big bother with Matron for procuring a sandwich for him. Sandwiches aren’t allowed on AAU, for some reason.

There was some nonsense involving a patient with a robotic camera which he managed to steer remotely into an operating theatre without anyone noticing. Given that this thing was about the size of the box I take our cat to the vet in, I found this a little implausible. Snake-hipped Dr Michael Spence had robots very much on his mind, though. A few weeks ago, Connie Beauchamp became Director of Robotics, but since then she’s been on gardening leave, and the robot has remained idle and covered in a dust sheet. It seems that in the NHS the phrase “use it or lose it” applies, and the hunt was on for a robot-qualified person to come and do a spot of kidney surgery. Sadly the man chosen wasn’t quite up to speed on the thoroughly modern model that Holby has, so it looks as though the robot will be making its way to rival hospital St James’. Connie will be absolutely livid when she gets back (if she gets back. Connie is coming back, isn’t she? Please tell me she is). And a livid Connie could reduce Malcolm Tucker to a small heap sobbing for his mummy and his blanky.

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Holby City: Connie’s dream job

amanda-mealing-holbyConnie Beauchamp made no secret of the fact that she wanted to be Director of Surgery at Holby. A while ago I thought she’d cracked it, but that’s the thing with Holby – if you take your eye off the political machinations for a minute, you can easily get confused.

So Michael Spence (who gets his trousers from the 1970s) is currently Director of Surgery. Connie pouted about this for about five seconds, and then carried on with her ambitious schemings as if nothing had happened. And this week, following some deft manipulation of the aforementioned Michael Spence, Connie was crowned – wait for it – Director of Robotics. Has there ever been a more apt job title in the history of the world? It conjures up visions of Connie at the head of an army of steely-eyed surgical androids (no, I don’t mean Jac). “I always get what I want,” she told Spence, in that voice she has that’s like a hypodermic syringe dipped in honey.

Elsewhere on Holby lovely ginger nurse Maria is recuperating but still can’t feel her legs. Donna forced her to cheer up and go and sit by the bedside of a girl with cancer. Chrissie told her dad that she is pregnant with the child of Dr Valentine, who wasn’t yet born when Chrissie took her driving test. Her dad, who is very wise because he used to be Jesus, told her to tell Young Dr Valentine, but she didn’t get the chance because it was his boy scouts night. And Joseph was having a few days off to get his head together. Coincidentally, Linden was also off sick. I wonder if they were resolving their issues online via World of Warcraft?

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Holby City: Maria takes it lying down

phoebe-thomas-holbyPhoebe Thomas, playing lovely ginger Nurse Maria, spent the entire last episode of Holby City horizontal. No, it hadn’t been a heavy night at “the bar” (the one they all go to, although it’s never full and no-one from Casualty ever goes even though they officially work in the same building). “The bar” hasn’t been such a draw for Maria and Donna since Maddy died.

Poor Maria had been involved in a hit and run accident, and as a result she spent half of the episode lying on a bed with a plastic tube in her mouth surrounded by actors crying about what a great mate she was and how Ric Griffin mustnt let her die. The other half she spent lying on an operating table, her midsection covered in fake gore and what looked like a plastic squid, surrounded by Ric Griffin and Michael Spence competing over who wasn’t going to let her die.

Meanwhile Dr Olly Valentine tried to protect Daisha from the knowledge that she was looking after the woman who ran Maria over. Obviously Daisha found out, and she was cross with him, but not so cross that she didn’t agree to finish the programme by joining him at “the bar.” Chrissie is going to be ropeable when she finds out.

And Joseph was all stressed out about Faye and Linden, and got quite cross with Linden at one point, which was rather magnificent to watch.

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