Despite the controversial nature of the episode, viewers will be fighting back tears in an emotional episode set in Switzerland to end Series 8.
Surgeon Connie has flown with Elliot’s wife, Gina, who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease to a clinic in Switzerland that assists suicides. Meanwhile Elliot, who has found it difficult to deal with the tragic nature of his wife’s condition, remains at home oblivious to Gina’s plans. He thinks she has gone to the Lake District with a friend.
‘Gina can’t bear to be a burden to her husband any longer,’ explains Gillian Bevan, who plays her. ‘She is adamant that Elliot wouldn’t understand her decision.’
Gina is sure Elliot would have tried to stop her flying to Switzerland, but she later admits to Connie that she wants to see her husband before she dies. Connie then reveals she’s already called Elliot and that he’s on his way.
When Elliot arrives, he does his best to talk Gina out of the assisted suicide, offering to give up work to become her carer. But she finally convinces him she wants to die. The couple reminisce about old times, before Gina decides she’s ready to take the lethal injection the clinic has prescribed for her. Both Elliot and Connie are with Gina as she dies.
‘It’s been a tough role to play – although I’m so glad I did it,’ says Gillian. ‘I did a lot of research with people at the Motor Neurone Disease Association and they were wonderful. I just hope this raises awareness for them and for people who have the disease.’
Meanwhile Connie’s own life takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that she’s pregnant with Sam Strachan’s baby.