Series Producer Oliver Kent promised a different series debut compared to previous years and there certainly was a marked difference in style and approach.
Instead of focusing on the scene of a disaster, Casualty explores the impact such a disaster has on the victims, families and the staff at Holby. Dealing with such a sensitive plotline as a gun shooting at a college, Casualty succeeds in producing a powerful and thought provoking episode.
In the new series, Lenny and Yuki return to the hospital as CT1’s, following the collapse of the JAFA fellowship. Key character in this episode (and brilliantly acted by Steven Miller), Lenny’s over-confident arrival and his continued unprofessional behaviour soon hits him hard as he also struggles to overcome personal issues affecting him.
Despite a notable episode absence of Nick Jordan, the Casualty crew show their strength and compassion; including Zoe showing her emotions, Jeff left shattered after witnessing the shooting first hand and Charlie’s fighting spirit. New nurse Madiha, immediately nicknamed ‘Mads’ by Charlie finds it difficult on her first shift as she struggles with people’s accents. And Holby’s Donna Jackson finds her way onto the ED shift to assist with the ensuing disaster; one she’ll never forget and changes her outlook on the role of the ED department. And a brief mention of Ric’s condition attempts to smooth the crossover.
Ex-Eastenders Michelle Collins high profile guest stint is brief in the first episode however is more prominent in future weeks.
As Lenny tells us ‘They’ve all got to live with what they’ve seen today’ and over the coming episodes we’ll see just how widespread the fallout is.