(Series 21, ep. 5 ‘Mad As Hell’ by Martin Jameson 29.1.19) For a full review of this episode pop over to Metro. Before you go, one or two random thoughts.
– I really enjoyed the medical/political slant to this episode. The pressures on the NHS and the dedication, commitment and frustration of the staff working in it were brought out in dramatic style. Because the message was carried in the specific human stories of Gareth Gannon (who was heartbreaking – nice work from Trevor Georges), Tavia Milner’s grandmother and Denise Mullins, it didn’t feel that we were being preached to. We felt the dilemmas that Ric and co. faced right along with them.
– Hugh Quarshie is always magnificent in this kind of storyline. While Serena and Zav were taking the increasingly pressured situation with the sort of humour that I imagine real-life medics have to deploy to keep functioning, Ric had got to a point where he could no longer ignore how bad things were getting. I wonder whether Ric’s megaphone speech will ‘go viral’? Will he be an internet sensation this time next week?
– I was so sad that Frieda had to lose her dog, and was hoping that its owner would decide she could keep it after all. Hurrah for Jac coming up with a substitute. I thought it was hilarious that Emma was on board with the decision to offload Gary – she’s clearly her mother’s daughter and prioritises practicality over sentiment.
– The scene where Frieda broke down and cried about Roman (and the dog) was incredible.
– You know you’re getting old when CT surgeons start looking younger every day, but Chloe Godard does look awfully young to be a hotshot CT surgeon. And that’s in a hospital that already has ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ on the staff.
(Series 21, ep. 4 ‘A Daring Adventure Or Nothing At All’ by Isla Gray 22.1.19) For my full review of this episode head over to Metro. But a couple of things before you go…
– I felt so sorry for Frieda, because I could really believe in her and Roman as a couple. Not least because of the beautiful way she says his name. I had to google about opening the window to let his soul out, to check it was really a thing, but somehow I knew from the way she did it that it is a thing. It’s a very beautiful thing, I think. I’m glad that at least before Roman died he had a chance to show Frieda that he really was the man she’d always loved.
– Now I want to talk about the decor in the YAU (Yow!). First of all, where did the cash-strapped NHS find the money for all that etched glass and whatnot? And secondly, isn’t a bit patronising to think the young adults need surrounding with the bright colours and cartoony shapes of play school?
– And why isn’t anybody (Sacha?) kicking up a fuss about having half of Keller carved off for the YAU?
– I’m not really getting the Foetus/Fauntleroy rivalry. One minute they’re friends(ish – going to karaoke together at least), the next minute they aren’t. For Nicky it’s a bit of a replay of what she went through with Meena.
– Mia is very amusing. She talks like an adult, but in a believable way. I really like the Mia/Donna/Zav combo.
– And for anyone who would like to know more about Pathological Demand Avoidance (as seen in the Ellen/Ange storyline) there’s a useful website here.
(Series 20, ep. 44 ‘The Family You Choose’ by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 30.10.18) This week’s in-depth review can be found over at Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts.
– That lift dropping gave me the horrors. I have actually been in this situation in the Empire State Building of all places – the lift dropped from the 80-something floor to the 60-something with me, Mr H and Ms H and assorted other tourists inside. As soon as we pressed the panic button for assistance the display changed to floor 2 – probably so we didn’t panic. I panicked anyway, but I’m British so I did it quietly and passive-aggressively (this was mainly directed at the group of French teenagers who thought it might be fun to jump up and down while we waited).
– I’ve also been stuck in a lift very briefly at ITV in London. If I’m going to be stuck in a lift it must be at a prestige location.
– I’m very much enjoying the little bromance between Jason and Xavier. And Jules Robertson has been doing brilliant work with Jason’s character. His comic timing is wonderful.
– Halloween and Frieda were made for each other, really, and today’s outfit was perfect for the occasion while not frightening the patients. And I loved Frieda’s reaction to news of the lift dropping: ‘How exhilarating.’
– It seems that Jac and Fletch isn’t going to happen, which is good news as far as Team Joseph & Jac 4 Eva (i.e. me) is concerned. But my goodness, Rosie Marcel and Alex Walkinshaw are incredible together. That scene where he was talking about a parallel universe, you could almost hear this universe holding its breath for a minute or two. Stunning work.
– The actual lift plummet situation looked far more dramatic on the autumn trailer than it did in the episode, but it was an interesting way to get various story strands spread over more people, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the consequences in the coming weeks. Possibly Meena will now start to join the dots more about Gaskell and the come-uppance he so richly deserves will be heading his way. Or not.
– Quick plug for the Holby book. It genuinely is almost sold out everywhere and there won’t be any more, so if you’ve been thinking it’s a perfect Christmas gift idea it’s best not to hang around (unless you want a soggy second-hand one from eBay).
(Series 20, ep. 39 ‘Undoing’ by Nick Fisher 25.9.18) Head over to Metro for a full review of this episode, but before you go here are a few additional thoughts.
– Just when you think the Gaskell storyline can’t get any darker and more twisted, it gets darker and more twisted. Paul McGann has been genuinely terrifying in the last few episodes, as Gaskell has shown he’ll go to any lengths to carry on his research. It’s like there’s a ligature in his own head that shuts off any compassion and empathy that might risk diverting him from his path.
– I’m going to miss Roxanna. I liked her as a character and Hermione Gulliford as an actress. I’m sad that Roxanna never had the chance to go out for a night on the Shiraz with Serena because she always had something else to worry about. From spending weeks frowning at Oliver Valentine trying to will him to recover, to spending weeks frowning at Professor Gaskell, she’s never had a chance to relax.
– Of course Hanssen is going to miss her the most. His line in this episode, ‘I can’t lose anyone else, John,’ shows us that he’s really going to struggle to cope. Maybe Sacha and Frieda can invite him to join Holby Fight Club?
– Fletch really needs to sort his children out. It just isn’t on to have them wandering around the hospital all day long, even though I do enjoy seeing them.
– I loved Jac and Frieda giving Fletch advice about how to handle his teenage daughter. Though I can’t imagine that either of them was exactly what you’d call an average teenage girl.
– Frieda looked amazing in her boxing gear and I think they should rush out an action figure of her in time for Christmas. She’d be an excellent role model for all the un-average teenage girls. And boys.
– It’s lovely to have Sacha back and it’s very nice that he’s got a new hobby. I wonder if being in the basement gives him flashbacks to when he had a room there full of all the stuff that Chrissie didn’t want him to have hanging around at home?
(Series 20, ep. 37 ‘All Lies Lead to the Truth’ by Robert Goldsbrough 11.9.18) This week’s review can be found over at Metro. Before you go, here are some random musings about the episode.
– Is Meena’s new car cursed? She’s had a terrible time ever since she got it, with a miserable birthday followed by a Boxing Birthday (or is it just my house where we have those?) in which she reverses into Serena’s car and later on knocks down a fleeing neurosurgeon. If I was Meena, I’d be getting that car swapped for something a little less haunted, ASAP.
– I thought Roxanna’s spying on Gaskell was really suspenseful. The bit where she was snooping around the wet lab and he was walking along the corridor was scary. I’m still not sure how she got out. Did she find a secret back door? Or had she gone out of the front door before Gaskell turned the corner?
– And then when she revealed to him what she knew and he turned the tables by trying to tell her that she wasn’t well. Will she wake up and manage to tell Hanssen what she knows before Gaskell can go any further? Or is the staff member with the best quiff since Fletch already destined to be a commemorative plaque in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery? Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 23 ‘None but the Brave’ by Gerard Sampaio 5.6.18) Jac’s back! Her hair is shorter and wavier! But apart from that, she isn’t feeling any better for her time off. In fact, according to Roxanna, she’s getting worse and might be in a wheelchair within a year. Nooo!!!
The reason Roxanna was looking at Jac’s scans is that Jac wants to be Prof Gaskell’s new trial subject. Naturally this is worrying news – we’ve seen the trail of destruction that the Prof tends to leave behind him. Even the Prof was worried. Despite his belief in his own god-like legend, he knows it would be terrible publicity to incapacitate or kill Holby’s top CT surgeon. So he asked Sacha to have a word with her and talk her out of it. Sacha’s opinion of Prof Gaskell is exactly the same as mine – that he pushes the boundaries, but without due concern for the individual patient.
Unfortunately, boundary-pushing is exactly what Jac wants. Though she was almost swayed by Fletch’s persuasive argument that if she dies, Emma will grow up without a mother. Almost. Because she can’t visualise herself as anything but a surgeon, so she’s willing to take a risk. I’m already extremely tense at the prospect of watching that particular piece of surgery. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 22 ‘Only a Word’ by Nick Fisher 29.5.18) You know that everyone in Holby is under the influence of The Curse – that thing that makes the friends, relatives and even casual acquaintances of Holby staff at high risk of accident or serious illness. The Curse was in full effect all over the place this week.
Frieda thought she’d seen the last of Roman, but here he was once again at her door. “Did you order one hot and handsome Ukrainian?” he asked, and this was as light and fun as the encounter got. Because Roman, having recovered from his own wounds, had now brought someone else for Frieda to stitch. Continue reading