Casualty ‘Roadman’ ~ Episode Review

Casualty provided us with a very focused and centred episode this week, Elle and Jacob were at the heart of it, joined by Alicia, Louise, Iain and a newly returned (and what a welcome return it was too!) Josh. Here are some highlights from what felt like an intimate episode yet was extremely wide-reaching in its messages.

Jacob Masters (CHARLES VENN), Elle Gardner (JAYE GRIFFITHS) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Adrian Rogers

Josh is back! ~ Josh was always a favourite of mine and his return for Charlie’s 30 year celebration was a highlight of that milestone episode, for me. He already seems to have a good relationship with Iain and they made a great combination. It was heart breaking when he mentioned the devastating explosion which lost him his family, while chatting to a patient. Josh has a lot of history behind him, let’s see if he sticks around long enough to make his mark again. There’s certainly a place for him.

Jacob’s jitters ~ Jacob is so ballsy sometimes that it’s quite a change to see him having doubts and showing the opposite side to his character. His obvious nerves when it came to talking about his career in front of a hall full of school children were quite indicative of the self-doubting character trait that we see little of. I like the relationship he has with Elle too, the history between the pair is palpable but strengthens their friendship.

Elle ~ Elle was at the heart of the action in this episode, mocking Jacob, holding her head high for sending her son to a school which hasn’t got the best reputation. However, having given her careers talk and handed over to Jacob, with smug satisfaction at the way her son had stuck up for her – things took a nasty turn. Gang warfare was prominent in the school and Elle’s lad came a cropper as a result. The impact of his injuries wasn’t straight forward, and the worry led Elle to the chapel where it was clear she hadn’t considered she’d be setting foot voluntarily.

Keep the faith ~ Louise had sown the seed for Elle’s dalliance with God, having admitted that her religion and faith had helped her in the past and was still a part of her life. An interesting side to her character that hadn’t particularly been explored before.

More of the same ~ I’d like to see more episodes with similar configurations, just a few cast members leading a couple of main plots – and doing it very well. This enabled us to see various dimensions to a handful of regular characters. More of this, please!

The cast list for the episode: Casualty Cast

Casualty ‘End Of The Road’ ~ Episode Review

Casualty’s main focus was on Connie’s relationship with Hugo, this week – as well as heralding the return of Lily (against Dylan’s better judgement). Here are some highlights from a fast-paced and intense episode…

Hugo (BILLY ANGEL) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Jez ~ Jez is still seeing his new boyfriend, and will certainly make enemies once his identity is revealed more widely. I was slightly relieved when it seemed as if Jez was going to be dumped… shame that didn’t happen!

Lily Returns ~ Although Dylan is dubious that it might be too soon, Lily is back at work following her accident and almost immediately drops the ball when she misses a tell-tale sign on a young patient. However, she picks it up so quickly (of course she does, it’s Lily!) and Sam is offering compliments by the end of shift. Will Lily apply for one of the Consultant positions?

Iain’s interest ~ Iain is still showing interest in Lily – for numerous reasons as we know, but he appears to be genuinely worried about her returning to work and has Louise looking out for her. 

Mummy Connie ~ Connie has loved playing mum to Hugo, especially when her own daughter doesn’t want a bar of her. However, the time has come for him to return to his family and move with them to Scotland. Connie is secretly devastated but handles it with her usual matter of fact manner. However, Hugo doesn’t take it well either – and he demonstrates his displeasure by running away. The drama that unfolds has a happy conclusion, but not without ‘crying’ over spilled milk – or in fact wine!

Popular Sam ~ Sam is continuing to ingratiate himself (not!) with the Consultants as he informs them that applying for their own job looms ever nearer – I think it would be a great cost cutting exercise if he left, personally. Sorry to all the fans of Tom Chambers!

Cast List: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rtnc7

Casualty: Break Point ~ Episode Review

The episode following Cal’s death was always going to be a harrowing one to watch, it was distressing to see Ethan returning to work and also watching the rest of the team coping with the fall-out. Brilliantly performed and filmed, though – here are a few highlights:

Connie Beauchamp (AMANDA MEALING) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Charlie ~ You can always rely on Charlie to be the shoulder to cry on with an open office door, plus reliable Charlie is first to greet the bereaved brother upon his arrival at the ED.

Ethan ~ Ethan has been ignoring the fact that he has a voicemail from Cal, he can’t bring himself to hear the voice of his recently departed brother. It takes Alicia and Charlie gently prompting to encourage him to hear the message, and the realisation that it was Ethan who should have been on the receiving end is unsettling in the extreme.

Dylan ~ Dylan is also out of sorts, he struggles to deal courteously with a patient who has not helped himself when it comes risking his health. I suspect that Dr Keogh will take as much time as the rest to get over losing a colleague.

Jez ~ I expect that the paramedic who can’t keep it in his trousers will not be in favour when his current liaison is discovered. The Ellison family is public enemy number one and Jez is playing a dangerous game with his latest squeeze.

Connie – The on-going saga between Grace and Connie still doesn’t appear to be resolved, but being called mum by Hugo is an interesting turn of events and one that she is keen to brush off as a slip yet appeared touched by.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, she’s also fiercely taking Sam to task over the fact that she has to apply for her own job.

Casualty Cast

Casualty ‘Life’s For Living’ ~ Episode Review

Casualty has really upped its game this series and their recent plot involving David’s (Jason Durr) Bipolar has been unsettling yet fantastic to engage in. The climax that the storyline reached in this week’s episode was extraordinary, here are a few highlights:

David Hide (JASON DURR) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Dylan’s dire warning ~ Dylan (Will Beck) makes a frantic (or as frantic as it gets for Dylan) telephone call to Robyn (Amanda Henderson) who is currently a passenger in David’s car. Everything is put into perspective when Dylan reveals that the Psychiatrist David has talked of is a figment of his imagination. Having to keep an expressionless face and calm persona so as not to alarm the driver is surely one of the toughest challenges Robyn has had to handle so far – and yet there’s so much more to come!

Determined David ~ David is enjoying the freedom of the open road and completely oblivious to the fear or predicament of his passenger. Declaring that he wants to live in the now, he throws Robyn’s mobile phone out of the car with thoughtless abandon and cuts off her line of communication. I was biting my nails and hiding behind a cushion, I don’t know about you?!

Team Chuffy ~ Team Chuffy aka Duffy and Charlie (Cath Shipton and Derek Thompson) are on the case helping Max (Jamie Davis) to track Robyn’s whereabouts. Luck favours their efforts when they are able to trace Robyn’s mobile phone, which is of course lying in the wet road. Their discovery means it’s time for the rescue team to jump into action, thank heavens!

Robyn Miller (AMANDA HENDERSON), Charlie Fairhead (DEREK THOMPSON), Lisa Duffin (CATHY SHIPTON) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Grave danger in the graveyard ~ David’s destination of choice is that of a church, the graveyard of which is home to his brother’s remains. It seems that David is not the only member of the Hide family to suffer with mental health issues and his brother’s Depression led him to suicide. Robyn is in labour, meanwhile and with a drained car battery and no answer at the church, she is forced to have David as her unwitting midwife. While she lies on his brother’s grave, and it pours down with rain. The scenes between Henderson and Durr are nothing short of outstanding. I will stick my neck out here and say they’re probably some of the finest that I’ve seen Casualty produce. Robyn’s baby girl arrives alarmingly quickly and to add to the already horrendous situation, the new mum has retained the placenta which means she’s bleeding out. It’s fortunate that Team Chuffy and their sidekick, Max are on the scene before long – but it doesn’t look good!

Help is at hand ~ It may have been the very last thing that David wanted, but help is at hand in the form of the Mental Health team and he goes along willingly. Whether he would have done without a pep talk from Dylan? Who knows? Dylan puts some responsibility onto David’s shoulders by advising him of the tribunal that he’ll face for a Nurse on his shift having to be sectioned. It seems to catalyse the lightbulb moment for David, fortunately for all concerned.

 

 

Casualty ‘It Starts With The Shoes’ ~ Episode Review

Casualty was all about David (Jason Durr) this week and I felt it demonstrated how well the show is tackling, highlighting and engaging in mental health issues. When you’ve a strong actor like Mr Durr taking on such a role, plus a talented team around him, it has great potential to work. I think that this episode worked… and then some! Here are the highlights:

Programme Name: Casualty 30 - Series 31 - TX: 04/03/2017 - Episode: Casualty 30 25 (No. 26) - Picture Shows:  David Hide (JASON DURR) - (C) BBC / Alistair Heap - Photographer: Alistair Heap
Picture Shows: David Hide (JASON DURR) – (C) BBC / Alistair Heap – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Disaster for David? ~ David has been reducing the amount of meds he take for his Bipolar. This is self-imposed and in his case, highly non-recommended. However, his inability to feel emotions, especially in relation to his son, have led him up this path. Now, his son is going to have to move to Spain and David behaves even more bizarrely as the moment he has to let him go, approaches. Hiding him in the ED and letting him have a day off school, having run-ins with Jacob (Charles Venn) into the bargain. His intelligence and know-how in matters appertaining to mental health come to the fore and help immensely in a crisis with a Schizophrenic patient. However, his emotions run so incredibly high once he waves goodbye to his son (applause to Harry Collett who plays Oliver), that David takes matters into his own hands and throws away his meds. Oh dear!

Squirrel Robyn! ~ Robyn (Amanda Henderson) is by far one of David’s closest confidantes. She picks up on a comment about secret squirrel, tonight and asks if he’s calling her one because of her red hair. It’s a sweet and very telling moment in itself, not at all a scene to be dismissed. I fear for Robyn with David being such a pal, though – especially as she will be clueless to his current arrangements re: meds.

Programme Name: Casualty 30 - Series 31 - TX: 04/03/2017 - Episode: Casualty 30 25 (No. 26) - Picture Shows:  Oliver (HARRY COLLETT) - (C) BBC / Alistair Heap - Photographer: Alistair Heap
Picture Shows: Oliver (HARRY COLLETT) – (C) BBC / Alistair Heap – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Elle’s ear ~ Elle (Jaye Griffiths) hands over to David in this instalment, holds her hands up to his knowledge where mental health is concerned and listens to his opinion. That’s quite a step forward for her, and also carries its risks, especially if David goes off the rails once he is completely off his meds. However, there’s no denying that Elle showed strength of character when she allowed David to be heard.

More trouble from Gem ~ Gem (Rebecca Ryan) is working in her newly acquired job and Iain (Michael Stevenson) is relieved that she has a reason to stay on track. However, when she gives the wrong change to a patient, alarm bells ring. With further investigation it seems that she is not thieving but lacks basic maths and indeed reading skills. Iain’s test in the ambulance bay proves the theory, it looks like there’s a long way to go for his little sister, but I am loving Rebecca Ryan in the show. I hope she becomes a long term fixture.

Lilly ~ Crystal Yu couldn’t be more different to Lilly in real life, two interviews with the lady herself have been proof enough of that. Crystal has been one of my favourite interviewees to date. Lilly as a character has evolved hugely since she first started in the ED and her involvement with Iain and his sister has played its part in that. What’s remarkable is the lighter side to her personality that is gradually emerging. I hope that we continue to see more light and shade to her persona. I quite like this new side to Lilly and hat’s off to Crystal, she plays the part brilliantly.

Casualty ‘Back To School’ ~ Episode Review

Picking up from where we left off last week, I enjoyed the continuation – it almost felt as though it followed real time. Alicia (Chelsea Halfpenny) has yet to be confronted by Cal (Richard Winsor) about the discovery of the rogue cuff link in her bedroom, but his facial expressions and narrowed eyes are speaking volumes as his suspicions are well and truly roused. Charlie (Derek Thompson) has his ear bent by the Romeo of Holby and Ethan (George Rainsford) is staying out of his brother’s way as well as Alicia’s. This is set to get messier if you ask me!

Meanwhile Charlie is disappointed in the wedding invitations which have arrived and are not quite what he was expecting! Good job Duffy (Cath Shipton) hasn’t seen them… especially given Cal’s opinion of them.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 10/01/2017 - Programme Name: Casualty 30 - Series 31 - TX: 14/01/2017 - Episode: Casualty 30 18 (No. 19) - Picture Shows: PC Jessie Nichols (BRYONY AFFERSON), Sgt Ray Thompson (TERENCE MAYNARD)   - (C) BBC - Photographer: Alistair Heap
Picture Shows: PC Jessie Nichols (BRYONY AFFERSON), Sgt Ray Thompson (TERENCE MAYNARD) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Elle (Jaye Griffiths) is under considerable pressure following Connie’s (Amanda Mealing) reporting of her handling of Grace’s (Emily Carey) case, it puts Jacob (Charles Venn) in a difficult position between his lover and old friend. Unfortunately for fans of Jacob and Connie, it looks like their relationship has been the victim of Connie’s campaign against Elle. It was also a mentally taxing scenario for Jacob when it appeared that Sgt Ray Thompson (Terrence Maynard) had caused undue harm to a raver during a raid. Jacob was right to be suspicious and PC Jessie Nichols (Bryony Afferson) almost took a beating for having witnessed the despicable behaviour from Sgt Thompson.

Then there’s David (Jason Durr) who finds out by chance (due to the admission of his boy’s teacher to the ED) that his Son is appearing in a school play. With Robyn (Amanda Henderson) to accompany him, he gets to see the production. I get the impression that David is on a downward spiral, though. It’s always a delight to see the friendship between David and Robyn, it’s developed into a mutually beneficial relationship and I hope they’ll continue to be there for one another. Although this is Casualty and nothing is ever happy for long!

 

Casualty ‘Not In Holby Anymore’ ~ Episode Review

When you consider The Wizard Of Oz, do David (Jason Durr), Louise (Azuka Oforka) and Noel (Tony Marshall) immediately spring to mind as the Lion, the Tin Man and Scarecrow? No? Try watching this week’s episode of Casualty and you might change your mind. In an instalment filled with flashbacks, this truly trippy episode focuses on how the department are handling the rotten report handed dealt to them by Archie Grayling (James Wilby) AKA dad of Sebastian Grayling (Rik Makarem) and AKA Lily’s (Crystal Yu) ‘type’ and more…

Jacob (Charles Venn) is not taking the role of helping the team to make improvements to the kind of level that Charlie (Derek Thompson) feels he should be, so he and Duffy (Cath Shipton) set upon a Wizard of Oz style mission. What’s at stake? Breakfast of course, the sweetest breakfast Charlie’s ever had? I shouldn’t have thought so since this one would involve Jacob, but still, the challenge is on. More than one challenge it seems, which shows the lighter and comedy side of Charlie and Duffy. In fact I think the scenes that they are being given are going a long way to proving how well suited the pair of scamps are! David, Louise and Noel are left in bewildered bafflement for much of the episode, not to mention that Noel’s role is slightly redundant with the introduction of Elle’s (Jaye Griffith) Star Wars style self-service check-ins for patients.

Programme Name: Casualty 30 - Series 31 - TX: 26/11/2016 - Episode: Casualty 30 13 (No. 13) - Picture Shows: Charlie Fairhead (DEREK THOMPSON), Lisa Duffin (CATHY SHIPTON), Dorothy - (C) BBC - Photographer: Alistair Heap
Picture Shows: Charlie Fairhead (DEREK THOMPSON), Lisa Duffin (CATHY SHIPTON), Dorothy – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

On the emergency side, drugs and night club crushes are at the heart of the programme. Dodgy dealings, a protective brother and drug-fuelled carelessness lead to a near-loss and the requirement for Psychiatric input. All of which was portrayed extremely realistically and I admit my heart was in my mouth when David took it upon himself to jump from a great height to be the hero of the hour. It’s a pity nobody saw him do it. Although there were plenty of witnesses about when he roared like a lion for Charlie, back at Holby!

There’s also more disapproving looks and comments from Dylan (Will Beck) as Sebastian is still not up to scratch. Looking forward to seeing how this mentorship is going to continue to play out.

 

Casualty ‘About My Mother’ ~ Episode Review

Another smasher of a performance from Amanda Mealing as Connie is back at work, despite Elle (Jaye Griffiths) expressing her misgivings and pushing Jacob (Charles Venn) to talk her out of it. There’s a mystery inspector on the loose and the doctors and nurses decide to compete against one another as they set out to prove that the ED is running smoothly.

Meanwhile I was intrigued to see that Lily (Crystal Yu) is still pursuing Archie (James Wilby) and that he is equally keen to continue to see the young doctor. As a pairing, all the flaws are obvious, yet it’s remarkably easy to see why Lily has fallen for him. However, she remains clueless that he is the Inspector that the team are so concerned about. Or I imagine she’s clueless, and if she is, will his report be the catalyst that throws her into Iain’s (Michael Stevenson) arms? I hope so!

Programme Name: Casualty 30 - Series 31 - TX: 19/11/2016 - Episode: Casualty 30 12 (No. 12) - Picture Shows:  Connie Beauchamp (AMANDA MEALING), Jacob Masters (CHARLES VENN) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Adrian Rogers
Casualty 30 – Series 31  Connie Beauchamp (AMANDA MEALING), Jacob Masters (CHARLES VENN) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Adrian Rogers

Iain and Jez (Lloyd Everitt) were almost involved in an RTC, this episode when eagle-eyed Iain spotted a little boy by the name of Hugo (Billy Angel) climbing underneath a lorry to seemingly hitch a ride. The inevitable happened as Hugo let go of the undercarriage of the lorry and the ambulance that the boys were driving just stopped short of causing the boy more injuries. When the kid arrived at Holby City he was the first casualty of Connie’s shift. Coincidental, given that the lad was looking for Grace (Emily Carey) as he had missed her. Young Hugo had gone on a date with mini Connie and he still hankers after her. He’s also motherless, has a ‘step-mum’ he’s none too keen on and while the poor fellar is at a low ebb, he discovers he has a half-sibling on the way too. A surprise all round as the baby’s parents have only just found out, as well. Connie treats the situation with tenderness and care. Her performance convinces Elle that she made the right decision in coming back. Now, if only Connie could see her way clear to taking Grace home…

Between an ornamental ice skater presented to Grace by young Hugo, which encourages Grace to speak the word “skate” and a promise from Jacob that he’ll move in with them, Connie takes the next step and Grace is finally, FINALLY discharged. Although the poor child clearly has a long road of rehabilitation ahead of her. Plus there’s the fact that Jacob has slept with someone else and not admitted it to Connie yet. Oh, and there’s the question as to whether Connie wants Jacob to move in because she loves him and wants a family life or if it’s convenient to have a nurse to hand when she is scared that she won’t come up to scratch as Grace’s carer. Let’s not dwell on that yet… I’m sure the script writers have it all in hand and nothing will go as smoothly as we may hope for! I must add huge congratulations to Billy Angel, who made his professional debut in this episode and was outstanding as Hugo.

Photo Credits: BBC

 

 

Casualty ‘Shock To The System’ ~ Episode Review

It’s F1, Dr Sebastian Grayling’s (Rik Makarem) first day on rotation at Holby City Hospital and he’s going to be supervised by Dr Keogh (Will Beck), an ego has certainly been thrown into the mix in the form of Sebastian! The junior doctor does not get off to a great start when he collides with Dervla, Dylan’s beloved dog.

This encounter sets off a frantic search by Dylan and his able assistant, Noel (Tony Marshall), and plays on Sebastian’s mind for most of the shift, too. Of course, the altercation with his boss’s dog isn’t the only misdemeanour from the new kid on the block. One of the central storylines involves an elderly mother who has requested a DNAR be placed on her file and her daughter (played by Shobna Gulati) is not ready to let her go, yet. When the inevitable happens, and the more senior staff are absent from the room, Sebastian foolishly takes matters into his own hands and resuscitates the patient.  You don’t want to get on the wrong side of Dylan, Sebastian! Having done that, Elle (Jaye Griffiths) suspends his rotation, and it looks like the disgraced F1 has a lot of making up to do to be back in favour and in a job! How best to go about getting back in Dylan’s good books? Maybe get on the good side of his dog?

Will
Dylan temporarily loses his dog and gains a new sparring partner

I think that Sebastian is going to be a fantastic addition to the regular cast, he had an ideal first storyline to make his mark with and his ego will bring another edge to the team. It’s also another sparring partner for Dylan, which is never a bad thing in my opinion!

The other storyline which has continued to run and carries on nicely through this episode, is the to-ing and fro-ing between Alicia (Chelsea Halfpenny) and Cal (Richard Winsor) which looks set to become a more permanent fixture after the nature of their relationship comes to a head. This is helped along by female attention directed at Cal by a patient’s other half. In his case, the patient being Andrew Paul from The Bill, I’m sure I wasn’t on my own in championing this guest appearance. His ex-colleague, Trudie Goodwin, is set to appear in the next episode, and she has also played Rik Makarem’s mum in Emmerdale, so it’s reunions ahoy!

Next week sees the potential romance between Duffy and Charlie begin to hot up, so I’m looking forward to reviewing that one!

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