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Casualty: An explosion at Holby Airport!

An explosion at Holby Airport, and the casualties included (a) a heavily pregnant woman, (b) the man who almost raped Mads and (c) lots of other people we don’t need to worry our pretty little heads about, but let’s just say A&E was heaving.

Clinical Nurse Manager Linda proved to be far more effective at wrangling the press than she’d ever been at wrangling her staff. She left that side of things to Tess, who is a beacon of Organisational Skills when the going gets tough. Though where was Charlie? It’s not like him to miss a Major Incident.

Linda realised that, apart from organising tea for the press, the thing she liked best about nursing was… well, nursing. She even got to help deliver the heavily pregnant woman’s baby! Mind you, so did Tess, with no detrimental effect on her legendary organisational skills, but Linda decided that being Clinical Nurse Manager was not what she wanted from her career, and Tess was welcome to have her old job back. I think she was forgetting that it had been Tess’s decision to stop doing the job in the first place, but still…

Meanwhile, Mads had saved the life of the man who tried to rape her, but he was caught out by karma when it was found he had syphilis. This was enough to persuade his wife to stop giving him an alibi for the night of the attack, so with luck he’ll soon be Behind Bars. Mads’s temporary flirtation with wearing a headscarf now apparently over, she looked sufficiently approachable for Lennie to be able to tell her he loves her – news she greeted with her trademark wide-eyed stare.

Adam got the chance to atone for his recent god complex by not accidentally-on-purpose killing, torturing or illegally medicating the rapist bloke, which was nice. It looks as though we’ve seen the last of Adam, though, as he walked out of the ED in that looking-back way that lets you know we won’t be seeing him for a while.

Posted by PLA, on holiday at Lake Fernando’s and typing on an iPhone, hence all mistakes can be blamed on predictive text.


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Casualty: This isn’t who you are

(Series 25, Ep.45 & 46) Belatedly catching up on two weeks’ worth of Casualty, and we find the spotlight still very much on Adam and his “god complex.”

If Adam really was a god, and had the power to smite his enemies, he would reserve quite a bit of smiting power for paedophiles. Now, no-one in their right mind likes paedophiles, but Adam really, really doesn’t like them. He dislikes them so much that, even if they bear a stunning resemblance to lovely Chris Mead off of Waterloo Road, he has no qualms about torturing them a bit to get them to ‘fess up. Honestly, that’s what he was doing last week – torturing poor old Chris Mead, who turned out not to be a paedophile (apart from in a strictly technical sense, but let’s not go into that) and ended up having to have his leg amputated.

This week, the patient Adam had previously dosed up with a mythical urge-dampening drug was back in the ED, after taking too many of the pills and passing out. This meant Adam had to do some urgent track-covering so no-one found out about his illicit trip to the pharmacy. This was made more difficult because Kirsty was following him around like Inspector Clouseau and wanting Answers.

One of the answers that Kirsty got was from a patient with a terminal condition, who advised her to live life like she was writing her very own self-help book – parachute jumping and all that. Kirsty was bored with trying to get Adam to behave like a mere mortal instead of Zeus in scrubs, and fed up with everyone going quiet when she approaches since they found out Warren used to beat her up. So she bundled some belongings in the car, added Little Miss Glum, and threw her wedding ring out of the car window on the Clifton Suspension Bridge on her way to a new life. It didn’t even smash another car’s windscreen and cause a multiple pile-up, which must be a first for Casualty.

Next time: An explosion at Holby Airport – it’s been a while since we had one of those – and Adam has the chance to “atone for his sins.”

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here)


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Casualty: Adam knows best

(Series 25, Ep.44) Last week, we were informed that Adam has a “god complex.” Frankly I’m not seeing it, myself. What I’m seeing is a doctor who’s trying to do the best for his patients and grappling with moral dilemmas. He doesn’t always choose the path through the moral dilemma that others would, but that’s the nature of moral dilemmas and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve got a god complex.

Maverick Nurse Kirsty disagrees with me, because Adam is way more maverick than she is at the moment, and she’s not happy. This is the woman who used to enjoy testing rules to breaking point. Anyway, the moral maze in which Adam found himself this week concerned a man who was dying of mesothelioma, which he’d got by being in contact with asbestos from his father’s factory. He was about to testify in a law suit against the company, currently owned by his brother, Gary Kemp out of Spandau Ballet. Gary really needed the brother out of the way so he didn’t testify, and tried to persuade Adam that his patient didn’t want to be resuscitated. Adam saw through the handiness of this scheme, however, so Gary resorted to a spot of cyanide poisoning. This unlikely eventuality was spotted by Dr Dylan Keogh, and Gary ended up in the police station, and the brother lived just long enough to do his testimony via video link. Maverick Nurse Kirsty was cross that Adam chose to tell the brother that Gary had tried to kill him. “It wasn’t your call, Adam,” she told him. Technically, maybe not – but Adam’s actions seemed fairly sound to me.   Continue reading


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Casualty: What’s in the green bag, Adam?

(Series 25, Ep.42) Big Mac wasn’t a happy man when he was asked to add “deep cleaning of trolleys” to his already burdensome list of duties – doing the crossword, some impromptu gambling, joshing with Noel and a little light portering. It didn’t take long before you could see his point, though – resus was literally awash with gore, after a man threw up more blood than a man has a right to do and most of it ended up on the floor. You wouldn’t want to be the person deep cleaning that particular trolley.

The deep cleaning thing was part of yet another initiative designed by Henry to make life for casualty staff so much more difficult. Poor Lush Linda was struggling to cope with the added admin and mutinous staff, but she found an ally in Nick Jordan’s new PA, Emily (catchphrase: “I’m helpin’!”). Emily left at the end of the episode intent on becoming a nurse, and I hope that when she finishes her training – which will probably take three weeks in Holby time – she’ll be back at Holby (either upstairs in Holby City or downstairs in Casualty), because she was lovely.

Meanwhile, the programme information told us that “Adam’s God complex continues.” Continues? When did it start? Have I missed something? Anyway, this God complex was signalled in NICE BIG LETTERS by a recurring motif of Adam’s big, godlike eye peering through a glass at a little fly, over which he had the power of life or death. Subtle, huh? The patient over which he wielded this power was a paedophile, beaten up within an inch of his life by the father of one of his victims (this father was the man who was heaving up blood all over the floor in resus – so often we get two for the price of one with Casualty patients).

The paedophile’s mother was played by the radiantly gorgeous Denise Welch, but frankly that’s all he had going for him (and she didn’t like him either). He told Adam he couldn’t cope with the horrible impulses that made him behave the way he did, and said he wanted a way out. The power was in Adam’s hands – an ethical dilemma indeed.

Lennie wanted to be Adam’s wing man (“I’m your boss, not your friend,” said the ever-chirpy Adam), but he was a little concerned when Adam visited the pharmacy and obtained a small green bag of something or other. Was Adam planning to despatch the sex offender to the hereafter with a hypodermic? Well, no, he wasn’t. His God complex doesn’t go quite that far. Instead he provided the man with something hormonal to (hopefully) curb his urges, and released him back into the wilds of Holby. Let’s just hope we don’t hear of him again.

And, in case we missed the fly metaphor the first time, and the second, the episode closed with Adam’s big eye looking at the fly, and then Adam releasing it into the air. That’s just what Big Mac doesn’t need – a department crawling with flies while he’s trying to deep clean.

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty here)


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Casualty: Violence or death

(Series 25, Ep.40) Sometimes Casualty can be so hard to watch. I don’t mean the close-up shots of broken glass being picked out of a bloodied hand – I’m kind of hardened to that now. It’s the emotional, human stuff that they do really well, like this episode’s story of an old man (Godfrey Jackman) seriously ill with cancer who just wanted to die peacefully in his own home. Adam stuck his neck out, defying Nick Jordan and a pig of a consultant to get the man sent back home. But they didn’t leave us with a comforting vision of him dying in a nice clean bed with the sun streaming through the net curtains. Instead he fell on the floor, and we last saw him lying on the floor in his wife’s arms, in awful pain.

Away from that story, and away from Mads deciding to wear a hijab for work (very nice she looked in it, too – it exactly matched her scrubs), the main storyline was about Jeff trying to befriend an Angry Young Man. Since Polly died, Jeff has taken on Polly’s do-good persona (or his own brusque, Jeff version of it, anyway). This Karl was the cousin of the person who did the college shooting, but Jeff recognised a more noble spirit in him and took him out for the day on the ambulance. I’m not sure this is strictly within ambulance rules, and Dixie wasn’t thrilled, but Jeff was convinced that Karl had the makings of a top-notch paramedic.

Then Karl came under the influence of one Vix, a spoiled rich girl with an unhealthy obsession with death and danger. Instead of having posters of My Chemical Romance and Jedward (for example) on her wall, she had lots of press cuttings about the college shooting, which should have given Karl the clue to run very fast in the opposite direction. But Vix appealed to his insecurity and vanity, and pretty soon she had him playing chicken on the railway line. He managed to save her from being squashed by a train, but instead she got herself a massive electric shock and subsequently died.

So Karl will now meekly go back to being mentored by Jeff and become a staunch, upright citizen will he? I’m guessing not, as this episode was the first part of a two-parter (always an ominous sign), and when last seen Karl was in a bit of a strop and had taken to heart Vix’s theory that the only worthwhile acts are death and violence. Stay away from Holby College is my advice.

Posted by PLA          (more Casualty posts here)


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Casualty: Ruth’s back! Charlie’s back! Mads is in danger!

(Series 25, Ep.36) If and when Charlie Fairhead ever dies, it will be necessary to have him stuffed and mounted in a glass case in the reception area of Holby City A&E department. Yes, it might freak out the patients a little bit, but it’s unthinkable that the place could run without him.

Having been ousted to the sunny heights of the Psych Ward for the duration of Dr Ruth Winters’ psychiatric illness (handy, that), Nick Jordan decided that, now Ruth was back, Charlie really ought to be back as well. Thus everyone will get the benefit of his uncanny ability to be reassuring while not making eye contact with the person he’s talking to (his eyes always seem to be watching an imaginary cricket match in the distance), and he’ll also be on hand to restrain Ruth if she goes off on one again. It’s a win-win situation.

It was a hell of a shift for Ruth to make her reintroduction to medical life. Henry (what is his job title, please? He’s sort of in charge when Hanssen is unavailable) had signed up to some scheme whereby Holby would alternate GP referrals with mythical “other Holby hospital” St James’s, but this had gone wrong so the ED was full of people who should really be at the other side of Holby. Mayhem. Throw in a deaf boy who’d swallowed a particularly vicious weedkiller, Henry’s daughter who’d been run over by a motorbike because she’s going blind and she hadn’t seen it coming, Adam being angsty (is this “again” or “still”?) and Mads asking if she could avoid contact with youngish male patients because her fiance was a bit traditional that way (Tess’s answer: “No.”), and you have a recipe for stress.    Continue reading


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Casualty: A fish called Jordan

(Series 25, Ep.35) The differences in management style between Nick Jordan and Miriam Turner were exemplified in their approach to the staff’s grief at the loss of Polly. Miriam, of the touchy-feely school of human resource management, declares an open-door policy. She wants the staff to pop in any time and unburden themselves, take a little time to mourn their loss. She doubtless has laid in several boxes of tissues just in case. There’s a book of condolence for them to sign.

“How is the open-door policy working for you?” Nick asks her, knowing full well that the door may be open but no-one is going through it. It’s not the Casualty way, which is to suck it up and get on with it, and Nick knows this.

However, it was Miriam who got the clinical lead job, so it’s Nick who had to pack up his bits and bobs and head for the exit. A nation of Casualty fans prepared to mourn yet another loss. Then a little miracle arrived in the form of a small boy with a self-inflicted banged-up thumb. He turned out to be Miriam’s step-grandson, who was there to try and reunite her with his father, her stepson, who has Parkinson’s and needs her support. Without consulting the stepson in question (whom she hadn’t seen for ten years), Miriam decided her family had greater need of her than her workplace, and she told Hanssen she was quitting.       Continue reading

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Casualty: The death of Polly the paramedic

(Series 25, Ep.34) Sorry I’m late with this review. Three words by way of explanation: Bank. Holiday. IKEA.

It was something of an unsatisfying episode anyway (Casualty, not the trip to IKEA). The problem is, when you’ve got a well-beloved regular cast member bleeding to death in the basement, all subplots become irrelevant and tedious. All you want is for someone – anyone – to take heed of the assorted clues and missed opportunities and get down to that basement and do a bit of rescuing.

After being stabbed by mad Hannah last week, Polly found herself locked in a store-room with only Dylan’s dog for company. It wasn’t even a useful dog as it didn’t understand the word “fetch,” as in “Fetch that first aid kid from off that table, would you please?” It did have a go at barking when Big Mac was in the vicinity, which was helpful, but Big Mac was listening to the racing with earphones, which wasn’t.      Continue reading


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Casualty: Nita runs away, comes back, shocks Adam

(Series 25, Ep.27) If I could stir myself to be bothered by the fate of either (former) Maverick Nurse Kirsty or her daughter, Little Miss Glum, then this would have been the episode to do it. Following the death of Nasty Warren and traumatised by seeing her mother cosying up to Dr Adam Trueman while Nasty Warren was still lukewarm, Little Miss Glum (aka Nita) decided that running away was the best option. Yes, this always works well, particularly when you’re in Casualty. Anyway, the first man she hitched a lift with turned out to be nice (Ooh! Way to confound our expectations, scriptwriters!), but the second lot were on the run from another nasty man, having stolen some money from him.

When she found herself surrounded by screaming and corpses, Nita did the right thing and phoned mummy. So there was a lovely reunion between mother and daughter and all’s well that ends well? Not exactly – Adam had a quiet word with her, and she scarpered again. He has that effect on people. When he found her again, she was busy trying to delete a message from Kirsty’s phone. The message was Nita herself, confessing to killing Nasty Warren. Shocker!

Naturally I was less interested in all this than I was in Lovely Staff Nurse Faldren’s testicle, but nothing to report there – we’re still awaiting the results of his ultrasound. Meanwhile he’s not enjoying his new reputation as a lothario with a special interest in the more mature lady, following Lenny’s discovery of him in a compromising situation in Miriam’s office last week. In fact Noel and Big Mac spent so much time teasing him that Miriam had to have a word with them about workplace bullying. She really has taken our Jay under her wing. It’s just a shame she can’t use her influence to get those ultrasound results a bit quicker.

Next time: Results! But will it be good news for Jay? And yet another stroppy new doctor (William Beck) arrives in Holby ED.

Posted by PLA                 (more Casualty here. And if you like Casualty, you have to like Holby, too)

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Casualty: Time to man up

(Series 25, Ep.26) Because I like to know these things, I’ve just discovered via the medium of Google that the medical term for the surgical removal of a testicle is “orchidectomy.”  Such a pretty word for such a daunting prospect. Quite probably it was a word that was looming large in the mind of Lovely Staff Nurse Faldren, as he quietly avoided getting his suspect lump looked at and instead threw his energies into proving he was still very much “one of the lads.” He even had a bet on with Lenny about who would be first to literally charm the pants off any passing female.

Lenny had to concede that Jay had won this bet when he went into new consultant Miriam’s room without knocking, to find her on her knees, in the dark, with her face at very close quarters to Jay’s family jewels. Of course she hadn’t actually fallen for the charms of the prettiest nurse in the ED. She’d noticed that his laddish behaviour was distracting him from his work, and he’d ‘fessed that all was not well with his nether regions. A quick peer at the organ in question with a special torch confirmed that there was, indeed, a “mass.” Miriam was absolutely lovely, and even went with Jay to see a specialist. We’ll have to wait (nervously) and see what the results will be.

Meanwhile, following the death of Evil Warren, Kirsty’s daughter Little Miss Glum has, predictably, gone off the rails and is all angry and shouty. This wasn’t helped by seeing her mother cosying up with Adam, despite Kirsty’s protests that “nothing happened.” The police understandably want to know whether Warren fell or was he pushed, and Kirsty is equally understandably keen for Adam not to mention to them that there was a history of domestic violence, because obviously that would give her a motive. But if she thought Adam was going to lie for her, she was wrong.

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