Bob Barrett plays loveable doctor Sacha Levy, but his character is about to hit some troubled times next week. Bob reveals to holby.tv what’s in store…
There is a big storyline coming up for Sacha, can you tell us about Ella?
Ella is played by Emma Hiddleston who is a wonderful actress and a lovely person, her brother is Tom Hiddleston who is now a big famous film actor.
Ella is a trainee Doctor and we initially she her predominantly with Michael who thinks she is a waste of space. She is very shy, very mouse like and Michael dismisses her as useless, as do Chrissie and Eddi. After that Ella decides to quit, but Sacha comes along and it looks like he is the only person that will believe in her.
How Does Sacha use his persuasion to make her stay for the rest of the shift?
She tries to quit but Sacha charms her to stay – and tells her that if she goes it will ruin her chance of becoming a Doctor. Sacha then tells her to just give it one last chance, treat one more patient and if that works out then stay for the rest of the day – and that’s how he hooks her in.
Do you think he was right to encourage her to keep working?
Yes I do, I really do. I think at this stage he has struck an unspoken but small bond with her. He likes her, they get on and he feels at this point that everyone has misunderstood her and that he has a chance to rehabilitate her.
What is Ella’s next patient like?
The next patient is called Kitty and is a fantastic character. You find out in the episode that Kitty has an unusually high pain threshold. In fact she is a bit of a goth and her style makes her look like a mini-Frieda. When they meet, Ella pulls back the curtain and thinks ‘oh my goodness!’ But it turns out that she is the perfect patient for her who is not going to complain and who is going to be lovely to her.
How Do Ella and Sacha interact with another patient, Colin?
Colin is quite a tricky patient. Sacha is very rarely weary, but he is weary of Colin and is worried about him. Colin is subtly aggressive, but he warms to Ella – perhaps because he feels Ella is weak and that he can bully her. Sacha realises this and wants to keep an eye on it, but at least he knows Ella is going to be OK.
How do things take a turn for the worse?
It all centres around Colin, who is a teacher and his ex-pupil Arlow, who don’t get on. When Arlow and Hayah, two teenagers from his old school, come into AAU Colin is immediately on edge, especially when Arlow recognises him. Arlow is loud and dominates the ward, and it falls upon Hayah, who is the patient, to keep him in check. Colin feels very threatened by Arlow’s presence and it really starts there. Arlow jokingly threatens Colin whilst he is in the loo and the episode darkens from there on. There is a point where Sacha can send Arlow from the ward, but he believes Arlow is a decent guy so he lets him stay – that’s when things take a turn for the worse.
How Does Ella react to the incident?
Colin and Arlow get into a fight and Sacha goes to separate them but Colin has taken a scalpel in the melee, which changes hands to Arlow. Sacha then thinks he has taken a punch but it’s not a fist, it’s the scalpel which has hit an artery. Sacha falls to the ground and realises straight away the severity of the situation, he needs Ella to help staunch the bleed – but instead Ella bursts into tears, says she can’t do it and leaves the ward.
How does Chrissie cope with it?
She is devastated. She sees what happens, runs over and calls Michael who is in surgery. Michael advises Chrissie over the ‘phone that she needs to staunch the bleed, otherwise Sacha will die. This immediately ups the pressure on Chrissie. She is a brilliant nurse, but she is incredibly upset – luckily Eddi is on hand and there to help too.
Does the outlook for Sacha look good?
By the end of the episode, Michael states that the next few hours are critical and it really is in the balance.
What was the storyline like to film? Was it strange being a patient rather than a Doctor?
It was fantastic to film with a great crew and Sean Glynn who directed the episode. It was such fun, we spent 8 hours filming the stabbing scene and I could really feel it was a big moment. As a patient it is very strange, you feel very vulnerable because you are in bed all the time.
What feedback do you get from viewers about the romance with Chrissie?
I get great feedback. I think people love seeing Sacha happy, but they are wary because they know Chrissie’s history and some people feel that it is just a matter of time before she has an affair. But these episodes show a different side to Chrissie and it will be interesting to see how the other side to her plays out. People like to see Sacha happy…even if they think it might be short lived.
Do you think Chrissie is the right woman for Sacha?
I think he feels she is the right woman for him. I think he ‘gets’ her. He doesn’t see her as some kind of ‘trophy girlfriend,’ he sees her for who she is. I was asked recently are the two soul mates? I don’t think that Sacha has ever really met his soul mate but I think if Chrissie was honest she would say her soul mate was Owen. Sacha does look after her though and loves her for who she is and at this stage in her life that is incredibly important to her. They also have this amazing child and it is important for him that they do their best for Daniel. I think Sacha belives she is the right woman for him.
You have been on the programme for 2 years now, are you enjoying it?
Yes I love it. If anything my love for the programme has deepened as time has gone on, it is fantastic.
Besides this current storyline, what have been your other most memorable scenes to film?
I loved the Christmas episode as I got to do scenes with Rosie and I loved the Sacha/Jac scenes – ‘Jacha’ scenes I think they were called! I loved working with Frieda too, that was great. It’s not so much storylines, I just love playing Sacha and especially the comedy elements – the off the wall comedy stuff, like when Sacha and Frieda had to deal with a patient who had a flower stuck in his bum! I love patient stories which allow Sacha to be apathetic with them. The episode with Dudley Sutton for instance was brilliant. This is such a well written show that I just love all the scenes I’m in.