An influx of characters at the beginning of the year plus the return of original cast member, actor Michael French, and a regular role for Adrian Edmonson paved the way for a number of fantastic storylines in 2006. Viewers were pleased to welcome established actor Peter Wingfield and actress Phoebe Thomas in November and things are set to continue into 2007 with the arrival of high profile soap star Patsy Kensit. holby.tv look back at HOLBY CITY in 2006…
Best 10 Storylines
1. Gina’s MND – The storyline which most dominated 2006 would have to be Elliot’s wife, Gina’s Motor Neurone Disease, which in a highly controversial story led her to an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland where she ended her life. The finale episode of Series 8 had viewers in tears but the sensitivity of how the powerful scenes were handled was a credit to the show. ‘Gina is very independent, and portraying her courageous battle against MND was really quite a challenge. It was a journey that we both went on,’ said actress Gillian Bevan.
2. Tricia cancer/ death – After overcoming breast cancer, in June Tricia is devastated to learn that the cancer has spread to her liver and her outlook is bleak. She keeps the news from both Mark and her daughter Chrissie until Mark finds her notes and he is determined to do his best by her, for whatever time they have left. Mark pushes for a risky operation where her tumour is successfully removed and the couple eventually marry in the hospital gardens. However as they head off to the airport on their honeymoon. Further tragedy strikes when their car crashes and she dies back at the hospital. Chrissie and Mark are both left in turmoil; Chrissie didn’t get the chance to make amends properly following their feud and Mark is burdened from the fact he was over the limit.
3. Joseph OCD – Son of Lord Byrne, Registrar Joseph Byrne felt the pressure from his father and was heavily burdened by the attempted suicide of his brother, which has left him in a deep coma. All the issues have led Joseph to suffer from OCD which has caused him to take risks in his job and take drugs to curb his symptoms.
4. Bosman case – Nick/ Diane – Arrogant and ambitious Nick Jordan returned to Holby and certainly ruffled feathers. He was determined not to let anyone get in his way and was more interested in stepping up to a job in cardio-thoracics. In the firing line was Diane Lloyd who took the rap for a mistake he made on patient, Helena Bosman. Things turned nasty between the pair and Diane lost her medical reputation leading her to quit Holby for three months.
5. Williams secret – The ongoing secrets between the Williams’ family continued into 2006, until Mark discovered that he was not Chrissie’s father when he sees his father Frank’s paternity test. Chrissie was still left in the dark until three months later in April when the pair are confronted with admitting the truth about Mark. However since Tricia’s death, Chrissie is still unaware of who is infact her real father or that she was the result of a rape.
6. Connie pregnancy – Connie’s pregnancy as a result of a fling with Registrar Sam Strachan came as a shock to viewers but things are set to turn complicated with Connie determined to go through motherhood alone – but will emotional Sam, who already has a child that he doesn’t see, let her have her way?
7. Abra/ pig’s kidney – Abra has always been known for his unconventional and rebellious ways and these reached new heights when he operated on a patient and gave him a pig’s kidney transplant to save his life. Abra embroiled Ric and Mickie in his deception, and with new Consultant Dan Clifford pretty sure of what’s happened, it won’t be long before things catch up with Abra.
8. Mickie exit – Popular but under-used character Mickie left our screens in September. Mickie is blackmailed into helping Abra carry out an illegal transplant operation when he finds out she has been seeing a female patient, Kim. She later decides to quit Holby and head for medical school in Newcastle with Kim.
9. Lola/ Leanne – Lola gets involved in a case involving a single mother and her baby Leanne. When the mother dies, Lola takes it upon herself to look after the baby for the night. Lola is suspicious when Leanne’s father, Steve, turns up on the scene, thinking he may be a drug user and she is later able to foster Leanne when her suspicions are confirmed. When Steve is given custody in December, Lola is still concerned for Leanne’s safety. Calling round his flat, Lola and Dan find Steve collapsed. Lola refused to believe Steve was ready to have Leanne back and blackmailed Matt into giving her information on Steve’s new partner. However Dan stops her from calling Social Services and she is forced to hand Leanne back.
10. Matt stabbing – Nurse Mark Williams became heavily involved in a case involving two bullied brothers and when one of them dies, the surviving brother Ryan becomes even more unruly. When he attacks his tormentor and is brought back in, concerned he will be sent to prison, he tries to flee. Things have dramatic consequences when in his desperation to escape, he lashes out and stabs Matt.
Best 5 Performances
1. Gillian Bevan (MND) – Semi-regular cast member Gillian Bevan deserves recognition for her portrayal of MND sufferer Gina. Of her role she said ‘It has been a fantastic privilege to play Gina. She has certainly made me think about the issues surrounding MND, and the enormous courage a person with MND has to have, just to get through each day.’
2. Paul Bradley (MND) – As his role of devoted Elliot, who finds it difficult coming to terms with his wife’s condition, actor Paul Bradley contributed highly in making the storyline believable and us feeling his character’s pain. Paul drew upon his own experiences after losing his brother, Dara, from a genetic blood disorder two years ago. ‘That Holby story was quite raw for me. I managed to express a lot of my grief and things I hadn’t said to Dara’.
3. Amanda Mealing (MND) – As Gina’s confidant, Connie faced a moral dilemma as she helped Gina apply for the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. Gina wished for it their trip to be kept secret from Elliot, but Connie knew he had to be there for her and called him in the final hour – something she was later glad of. Amanda Mealing played out some excellent emotional scenes with Gillian Bevan.
4. Luke Roberts (OCD) Playing such an oddball character, versatile actor Luke Roberts plays Joseph’s mannerisms perfectly and seemingly with ease.
5. Sharon Maughan – cancer/ death – Following a traumatic few years in the life of Tricia, actress Sharon Maughan never faultered in her portrayal of the unlucky nurse.
Best 5 Romances
1. Gina & Elliot – No couple could have been more devoted to one another than Gina and Elliot and it showed. Gillian Bevan explains ‘Gina’s story is not just about MND. It also explores many emotional issues. In essence, it’s a love story between Gina and her husband Elliot. Elliot cannot come to terms with the fact that she is dying and cannot understand how she finally comes to accept this fact. As Gina’s thoughts turn to how she will die, Elliot is torn by conflicting emotions as a husband, a carer and a medical professional.’
2. Connie & Sam – The flirtations between Connie and her registrar Sam Strachan made for hot discussion. Perhaps too hot when rumours were rife that a passionate scene of the pair from the end of one episode seemed to have been cut dramatically.
3. Tricia & Mark – The couple had their ups and downs, particularly after Tricia’s dramatic revelation that Mark’s father had raped her – resulting in him being the father of Chrissie. However the pair rekindled their romance and Mark supported her through her second cancer ordeal, determined not to give up. The pair wed but tragedy was to cut their marriage short.
4. Diane & Ric – The ongoing will-they-won’t-they saga between Diane and Ric continued into 2006 but enter Nick Jordan who certainly put a spanner in the works. Diane was full of admiration for the arrogant Consultant but after covering for him following a botched operation, Diane felt Ric did not support her enough and they relationship was severely affected.
5. Joseph & Jac – Ambitious Jac gets involved in a romance with Joseph – but are her motives genuine? She’s desperate for a step up the ladder and with Joseph’s father being Lord Byrne, it seems she’s using Joseph to get where she wants to be. But with Elliot’s daughter, Martha, whose feelings for Joseph are a lot more true, coming between them, Jac has a fight on her hands.