From this week I’ll be reviewing Holby City for metro.co.uk , so for the full review that you know and (hopefully) love, please head over there and have a look.
Meanwhile, this week’s Holby in bullet points:
(Series 20, ep. 28 ‘Into the Light’ by Becky Prestwich and Nick Fisher 10.7.18)
– Gaskell taught Roxanna to shriek in the Shrubbery.
– And she needed a good shriek by the end, after discovering that Prof Gaskell has been keeping a lot of secrets about his trial.
– Jac is putting her faith in the Prof and Roxanna to sort out the problems with their trial, despite finding out that another of the test subjects has died.
– Ethan Hunt escaped the ED to roam the big corridors upstairs, where we found he wasn’t exactly a stranger to Roxanna and the Prof (and not just because they watch him on Casualty).
– The Prof ended the episode doing some more of his trademark staring at patients – but the patient this time was none other than Essie Di Lucca.
– Essie was recovering from surgery after Hanssen and a non-speaking obs & gynae expert (where’s Fleur Fanshawe?) had operated on her for ovarian cancer.
– We met Raf’s dad, Enzo.
– Donna was house-hunting, but suitable properties were out of her reach. She’s now decided to train to do botox and whatnot as a way of earning extra cash.
– And they had a lovely selection of cupcakes at Pulses.
(Series 20, ep. 26 ‘Fallen Idol’ by Kathrine Smith 27.6.18) Nicky accidentally dropped a flask of what may or may not have been E. coli, meaning she and Xavier were trapped in a room with only half a bag of chicken crisps for company while they waited for the decontamination team to arrive. “I didn’t know I was stepping into a toxic germ-dungeon,” Zav complained, though he’s worked so much on AAU that he must be used to it by now.
This was the opportunity for some serious truth-telling, with Zav telling Nicky she wastes her potential by drinking too much and having a bit of a chaotic lifestyle. In return she had a go at him about how he was a rubbish boyfriend to Meena, and we finally found the deep secret in his past – that his parents blame him for his younger brother’s death. That’s as much as we were told, which was a bit annoying because in real life someone with the famed people skills of Nicky would have wanted Detail. I know I would have. Possibly the details are being left for another time, maybe when Maman et/ou Papa Duvall appear in person having succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative and in need of the medical skills of their sibling-killing son. Continue reading
(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
(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
(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. 19 ‘Bubble Wrap’ by Ed Sellek 8.5.18) It’s becoming increasingly clear that Prof Gaskell is a little bit… shall we say single-minded in his pursuit of his medical trial. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the trial isn’t going all that well. He’s had one successful patient – the one in Lisbon who miraculously walked again after the Prof cured him. But then his first Holby City patient, Fiona, died. The Prof let Essie take the blame for that one, even though he knew that the fault lay with his trial. His second Lisbon patient is currently in a very bad way indeed – organs all failing and only being kept alive by very extreme measures. The doctor who’s looking after her on a daily basis, Leo (Nathan Osgood), described her current state as being “buried alive.” This is dreadful, and cruel, but the Prof doesn’t see it that way. What he sees is that a miracle is just over the horizon, as long as his research continues. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 16 ‘New Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be’ by Nick Fisher 17.4.18) At the beginning and end of this episode we saw F1 Nicky McKendrick as a child (played by Chanel Zinyemba). Even as a nipper she was practising her surgery skills on assorted toys. This is because she’s Super Keen (and possibly somewhat spooky).
It was her first day on Darwin, and she was Super Keen to make a good impression on Jac. So was Fletch, who’d got Jac a welcome back card and a cactus – “small, redhead, very prickly” as he confirmed with Sacha later, before they decided they’d take turns looking after it, both as a literal cactus and a metaphorical Jac. They won’t be able to look after Jac in person, because she’s looking after herself by taking more time off to get better from her gunshot injury. Continue reading