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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: Jac’s desperate measures

(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

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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: Never too many broken hearts

(Series 20, ep. 10 ‘Square One’ by Kathrine Smith 6.3.18) There seems to be something of a power-grab going on at Holby. Prof Gaskell, aided and abetted by old chum Roxanna, is about to be installed on the board as Director of Medicine. Have we had one of those before?

Hanssen has given his approval via one of those in-car consultations that he’s specialising in these days. I picture him spending his days sadly patrolling the car park at 15 MPH in case he’s needed, but terrified to get out of the car.

Roxanna’s motives in getting Gaskell a place on the Iron Throne of Holby are altruistic (she thinks it’ll help Ollie to get the treatment he needs, and she believes in the Prof and his work), and I could probably say that about the Prof, though I’m not at all sure I entirely trust him. His guinea pig patient, Fiona, died this week, and in the comfort of his lab the Prof realised that his trial had failed. He’s keeping this news between him and his voice recorder though, and hasn’t told major funder and cheerleader Essie, or Serena, or Roxanna. I’m sure he really believes it’ll work eventually and he mustn’t stop now, but the last person we saw with that kind of attitude to a trial was Fredrik, and look how that turned out.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Everybody hurts

(Series 20, ep. 9 ‘Ache’ by Martin Jameson 28.2.18) Jac is struggling on despite being in horrendous pain (and Rosie Marcel is making sure we can feel that pain in every agonised breath Jac takes). I suppose she’s worried that if she gave up and went home they would have to get a locum heart surgeon in, what with Jac and Frieda being the only functioning heart surgeons left in the whole hospital. Or worse still, give half of Darwin away to some other unrelated department like they’ve tried before with plastics and neuro. Either way, Jac is not putting up with it and would rather try to carry on with her duties in between spells of lying on the floor with her teeth clenched. I have two solutions for her: (a) Pilates and (b) Mo. I would love to see Mo pop back to hold the fort until Jac is better, and I think Mo is about the only person Jac would trust. Apart from Joseph Byrne, but that ship has long sailed. And Elliot Hope, ditto.

Frieda’s solutions were (a) nagging and (b) very powerful drugs. When Jac was eventually persuaded to take the drugs (which Frieda had written a prescription for), did she thank Frieda for easing her pain and looking out for her? No. She thought Frieda was getting just a bit too uppity and needed taking down a peg by relegating her to the being the one who holds the suction thing in theatre (an important job, but not quite the role Frieda was expecting). Oh, Jac.  Continue reading

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Holby City: He’s alright really

(Series 20, ep. 8 ‘Hard Day’s Night’ by Michelle Lipton 20.2.18) I’m undecided about new registrar Xavier* Duval (Marcus Griffiths), but I think at the moment we’re meant to be. He has his twonkish side (“Delivering a baby is like watching your favourite pub burn down,” whatever that means apart from he can’t be bothered), but then after said baby is delivered (by Meena, Nicky and Donna) he gives Donna his credit card to go out and buy a load of stuff for it because the baby was totally unexpected and the mum (Jamie-Rose Monk, who was excellent) has nothing ready. So I would say he’s a man of gestures. Some are nice gestures and some aren’t, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of person he is behind the gestures before we can say whether Zav could ever replace Raf.  Continue reading

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Holby City: I promise I will fix you

(Series 20, ep. 7 ‘Precipice’ by Tony Higgins 13.2.18) Poor Ollie. It looked like he was on the mend last week, but this week the bullet that’s still in his brain started leaking poison. It would have to come out, said Roxanna. This threw Ollie into a proper rage (how brilliant is James Anderson being at the moment?), and he said it should have been Roxanna who got shot, not him. Bless him, he’s not himself at all, is he? That’s not normal Ollie behaviour. He accused Roxanna of using him as a way of avoiding her grief over her dead husband (whose ashes were in her desk drawer), and he was right about that – she’s been living at the hospital because she can’t face going home. I bet she’s pleased she opted for that low-maintenance hairstyle now, hospital facilities being what they are.

But back to Ollie and his life-or-death surgery, which he only agreed to after Prof Gaskell had a quiet word (and I mean quiet – he’s got one of those voices that’s more of a vibration than a sound, and I have to say I find it rather thrilling as long as he isn’t overdoing it with the poetry). Predictably, things went a bit beep in theatre, but Ollie came through it, only to wake up from the anaesthetic temporarily unable to see, hardly able to move, and convinced he was still engaged to Zosia. Nooo!!!  Continue reading

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