Exciting news for fans of both Casualty and Holby City! On Saturday 2nd and Tuesday 5th March there are going to be two special crossover episodes, with characters from both shows plunged into a dramatic, action-packed situation.
The story involves a cyber-attack which takes out most of the hospital’s automated systems. Worse still, Sacha (Bob Barrett) and his daughter Beka (Francesca Barrett), along with Ric Griffin’s granddaughter Darla (Naomi Katiyo), are involved in a car crash. Sacha’s injuries are serious and Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) is ready to operate to save his life – but there’s only one theatre available and Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) needs it to try to save one of her own team.
Executive Producer Simon Harper promises ‘pure, nail-biting, taut, emotional medical drama’ as well as ‘delicious conflict’ between Jac and Connie as they battle to save their friends and colleagues. He also hints at a secret relationship: ‘Who from Casualty has been secretly carrying on with whom from Holby?’
Both episodes were written by Michelle Lipton and directed by Steve Brett. Harper says he’s ‘so proud of both the Cardiff Casualty and Elstree Holby crews and casts in making the mind-boggling logistics work, quite aside from their creative wizardry.’
(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. 2 ‘China Crisis’ by Joe Ainsworth 8.1.19) Happy new year, Holby fans! The review for this episode is over at Metro, and now I’ve come out of Christmas hibernation I can summon up a few additional random thoughts about it.
Tom Campbell-Gore succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative/Friend/Staff Member fairly easily, didn’t he? It’s a shame, really, as I was rather enjoying his arrogant ways. And enjoying Serena putting him in his place very much.
I rather like Ange at first sight, though she does remind me of Colette Sheward in a practical, sleeves-up, no-nonsense kind of way.
Has the YAU (I hear that in my head as a James Brown sort of ‘Yow!’) been conceived so that Holby can nurture the next generation of young acting talent by bringing in lots of Young Adults? It would be very commendable if so, but I do get a bit vexed by these ‘units’ that take over perfectly sensible wards. It’s usually Darwin that gets corners of it stolen by other departments, but they always get their territory back in the end. I wonder how long the YAU will last before someone decides they need the beds back?
Essie does love a Special Uniform, doesn’t she?
Cameron’s appearance on Darwin prompted some of the best lines of the week (‘That’s all I need, another pound shop Hugh Grant’ and the line about ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ from Jac), but I think my favourite line in the whole episode was ‘Serena Campbell. No Gore.’
The scenes between Lorraine Chase and Jaye Jacobs were beautiful.
(Series 20, ep. 48 ‘Hold My Hand’ by Robert Goldsbrough 27.11.18) Head over to Metro for my proper, grown-up review. But first, here are my random thoughts o’ the week.
– We know that Berenice Wolfe knows 13 different ways to kill with her bare hands, so Dr Leah Faulkner should perhaps watch out. Or should it be Serena who watches out, given that she’s the one being unfaithful?
– Is anyone getting behind the idea of Lerena, or is the whole idea of Serena and Anyone Who Isn’t Bernie just an abomination that can’t be contemplated?
– Hanssen was just lovely with his patient Maeve, wasn’t he? Sacha levels of niceness. I really hope he does take up the ‘poisoned chalice’ of the Desk of Power, not least because I want the decor in there returning to calming Scandinavian neutrals ASAP.
– Despite missing fingers, people barfing blood and deluded young men trying to half kill themselves for afterlife kicks, this was actually a nice, normal episode after all the Gaskell craziness. Doctors, nurses, sick people – and Jac Naylor, a doctor and a sick person at the same time.
– I genuinely am going to miss Dr Meena Chowdhury. I liked her entitled-princess-meets-harsh-reality story arc, the way she’s fragile and lonely but inside her there’s a core of sterner stuff.
– I’ve already seen next week’s episode and the one after that. My lips are entirely sealed and no amount of bribery or cajoling will unseal them. My Pulses Loyalty Card is depending on my silence (buy 15 muffins, get one muffin for 10% off. They don’t just give them away at Pulses).
(Series 20, ep. 46 ‘Report to the Mirror, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 13.11.18) This week’s review is over at Metro as usual. A few additional thoughts:
– This episode went total body-horror, with Jac having the awful and full knowledge that to get the dreaded implant out of her she had to place her life in the hands of a man she knew she couldn’t trust at all. It’s scary enough having surgery when you know the surgeon is sane and competent and has your best interests at heart, but Gaskell? Yikes. And you could see all of that playing across Jac’s face coupled with the absolute determination that she had no alternative.
– The sight of Lana’s body with open wounds in Gaskell’s lab was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on Holby. I loved how for a few seconds Ric and Sacha couldn’t quite comprehend what they were seeing either. It was absolutely horrific.
– The line of the episode for me was the Professor saying that Essie was ‘lying down in a cold, dark room.’ If Hanssen hadn’t immediately chipped in to say that she had a headache, would other people have picked up on just how sinister that sounded?
– The showdown at the lake was quite epic. I liked the hallucinatory bits where Hanssen thought Gaskell was on the bank with him rather than being in the water. Hanssen’s struggle to overcome the effects of the neurotoxin and stay with reality was mirrored by his struggle to understand the full extent of what Gaskell had been doing – particularly when he realised that Gaskell had killed Roxanna.
– This whole storyline has been ambitious and brilliantly done. Gaskell was a bit sinister right from the get-go, but never went full mwah-hah-hah until right at the end. It’s been gruelling, though. Hopefully there’ll be some lighter storylines coming up in the run-up to Christmas. After all this (admittedly brilliant) drama and horror we could do with a bit of sparkle, some romance, and a very large glass of Shiraz.
(Series 20, ep. 45 ‘Report to the Mirror, Part One’ by Andy Bayliss 6.11.18) As usual, you can see my full review of the episode over at Metro. I do have a couple of extra thoughts though, before you go.
– Jac’s description of her implant, ‘It cracks, it creaks… it throbs and it pulses.’ How on earth has she concentrated on surgery and stuff with all that going on inside her? Yikes.
– Abigail Tate disappeared without much ceremony, didn’t she? So Henrik Hanssen, the former CEO who’s still suffering all types of post-traumatic stress, takes it upon himself to pick up his old job where he left off. This is what moral compasses do. I hope he restores his office decor back to its former serene splendour ASAP though.
– Wasn’t Sacha lovely with Zav’s mum? Isn’t Sacha lovely generally? The world needs to Be More Sacha.
– It looks like the Gaskell story is coming to a huge climax next week (clip here). Will we be left with a Mr Nasty vacuum after that? Is that why Selfie’s coming back, to plug the villain gap?
(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).