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Holby City: I see dead people

I see Roxanna! (Picture: BBC)

(Series 20, ep. 42 ‘Stains’ by Patrick Homes 16.10.18) For this week’s review click over to Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts:

– Donna and Zav – is ‘Zonna’ ever going to be a Thing, do you think, or are they just going to continue having these Moments? When he told Alex that she was in her late thirties with two sprogs and she didn’t need the likes of either of them, I think he was speaking more about his own insecurity. Or is he really a twonk?

– Hurrah for Sacha and his clear-sighted assessment of Prof Gaskell, and having the balls to tell him to his face. At least there’s one person at Holby who doesn’t subscribe to the Cult of Gaskell. Sadly Hanssen seems just as far away from learning the truth as ever. What’s it going to take to expose the Prof’s crimes? Or will it go undetected and poor Roxanna will have died in vain? Surely that can’t happen?

– Essie was getting very judgemental about that murderer patient, wasn’t she? Particularly when you remember the rather ugly history of her own grandfather. Then she went and told Hanssen what a genius Gaskell is and completely threw him off the scent. Oh, Essie! Not your finest week.

– When the murderer asked Gaskell to kill him and Gaskell didn’t, it shows that he does have ethics – but in Roxanna’s case ethics were over-ridden by the necessity to keep his trial going, come what may. If I’m being kind I might call him a ‘bigger picture’ kind of guy.

– When Steven was talking confidently about nits to Jac, and Fletch said Steven had never so much as been near him with a nit comb when he was a kid, I thought Steven’s life-changing secret was going to be that he had a secret other family somewhere that Fletch never knew about and he’d spent many years happily examining his children’s heads for lice in a way he’d never done with Fletch.

– An insight into the writer’s thinking: episode writer Patrick Homes (@PatrickHomes) tweeted yesterday ‘Tonight’s episode of #holbycity was written listening to Pixies “Where is My Mind” on an endless loop. It may or may not show…’

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Holby City: Risky business

(Series 20, ep. 25 ‘Primum Non Nocere, Part Two’ by Patrick Homes 20.6.18) This episode started exactly where the last one left off, if we ignore a bit of preamble with Prof Gaskell muttering ominously to an unseen someone on a ventilator. Meena had just told the Prof of her worries about the trial, and Jac was just about to go into surgery.

Abi had found someone called Dr Philippe Duplessis (Wela Mbusi) who was keen to watch Jac’s op. He was in a similar line of research to the Prof, only his trials were confined to mice. He was excited to see a guinea pig instead, in the form of Holby’s top CT surgeon.

Jac was having a few pre-op worries – the anaesthetist had gone AWOL, the Prof kept wandering off, it was looking like a bit of a shambles – but she went ahead anyway.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Decisions, decisions

(Series 20, ep. 24 ‘Primum Non Nocere, Part One’ by Patrick Homes 12.6.18) The fancy Latin title of the episode means ‘First, do no harm.’ It’s the reminder from the Hippocratic Oath that doctors are not really supposed to make things worse.

It fell to Meena (that jacket looked gorgeous on her, btw) to be the one to start uncovering what we might call the irregularities in Prof Gaskell’s trial. She found the notes from the Fiona Fawcett case, and heard about the recent trial patient in Tangiers, and there were some worrying parallels.

Meena is not a fool. She’s nervous, under-confident and over-eager to impress, but she’s smart and perceptive and she realised she was onto something worrying. She talked to Prof Gaskell about it, but he brushed her concerns aside in that slightly threatening way he has. She asked colleague and boyfriend Xavier what she should do, and he said there were plenty of people higher up the food chain who could take the responsibility for dealing with the information and it wasn’t up to her to do it.  Continue reading

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Holby City: A man of character

(Series 20, ep. 12 ‘No Matter Where You Go, Part One’ by Patrick Homes 20.3.18) It was the day of Ric’s trial – and at the very end of the episode the verdict was in! But we’re going to have to wait for another week to find out what it is, because this was the first of a two-parter. AAAARRGHH!!

What we did discover was the reason Ric has been so tight-lipped about what was going on during the three hours he was away from the hospital on the fateful day of Mrs Warren’s death. We know he was helping Jason, who was having trouble with ex-girlfriend Lola (Megan Jones), but what we didn’t know was that he was delivering Lola’s baby, in a car. And the reason he still won’t tell anyone about that is that the father of the baby, who’d been beating Lola up, also happens to be a policeman. If any of it was mentioned in court, he might find out where Lola and the baby are. This matters to Ric because he’s a man of conscience who would do the right thing anyway, but as an extra factor he’d just heard from his daughter Jess that she was thinking of going back to her abusive ex. The refuge Ric took Lola and the baby to was one Jess had had to make use of in the past.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Damage already done

(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

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Holby City: Time to get serious

(Series 19, ep.53 ‘The Coming Storm’ by Patrick Homes 10.10.17) From a medical point of view, this was a curious episode in that there were no patients o’ the week at all, on any ward. We never saw the Darwin patient apart from in the operating theatre, the AAU patient was barely conscious and the Keller patient was brain-dead.

So an easy shift all round then, yes? Well… no. In fact it was a very difficult shift for all concerned.

Fletch had his suit on for his first board meeting as King of Nurses. He looks quite nice in a suit (although everyone said that one didn’t fit him properly, but I didn’t actually notice), but the suit doesn’t suit him because he’s a hands-on kind of guy who likes to be in scrubs. “There’s a new sheriff in town,” he told Jac, attempting a “fake it till you make it” confidence about the whole King of Nurses gig. “Why is he dressed like an estate agent?” Jac replied. Jac and Fletch are beyond marvellous together. She’s designated his emails as spam. His special ringtone for her is a witch’s cackle.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Not your average WAG

(Series 19, ep. 42 ‘Baggage’ by Patrick Homes 25.7.17) Since Donna’s return there’s been a bit of mystery surrounding her. Why isn’t she relishing her WAG status and swanning about getting spa treatments and buying over-priced luxury goods for her swanky mansion, rather than mopping up pee, pus and sick in AAU? Why does she look sad when she thinks nobody is looking? And why has her credit card been declined?

We discovered the answers to all these questions when her niece/adopted daughter Mia (Briana Shann) turned up at Holby. One thing I especially loved was that Hanssen remembered Mia. I remember them having a sweet little scene together when he found her alone in the corridor in her first incarnation. Hanssen also very sweetly paid Donna’s bill when Pulses declined her credit card. He was very busy being Enigmatic and Delightful all over the hospital this week.  Continue reading

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