S6 E29 ‘In the Line of Fire’ – S7 E25 ‘Shock to the Heart’
[To Diane] You’ll find there’s a lot of shouting in the army.
Will – full name Lord Will Curtis Harding – had a high upbringing. His army background, had led him to have a rigorous and tough attitude towards his career in surgery, however he lacks personal skills and is often warned about his poor bedside manner. Will is a private man – his colleagues know little of him, such as the fact that he is married with two children.
We are first introduced to Will, when he is still working for the army in S6 E29. Diane makes a visit to the Army hospital to instruct a surgical team on trauma techniques. She is met by Will, with whom she hits it off, and Colonel Humphreys. The three witness abuse between soldiers but the victim will not report his tormentors. Before Diane leaves, having impressed the hospital, she asks Will out for a drink but he refuses and she assumes that she will never see him again. In S6 E31 however, Will arrives as a new registrar and his confidence verges on arrogance. Diane is put out when he does very little to acknowledge her. In S6 E34, during a tense operation, Will questions Zubin’s role in Tom’s departure. Zubin exerts his authority and Will compares the NHS to the Army, saying both institutions have their share of backstabbers.Zubin supports Will’s actions when he makes a difficult decision during the operation and, once the drama is over, Zubin explains the reasons behind his dislike of Tom. They decide to put the misunderstanding behind them. In S6 E35, the new consultant, Connie Beauchamp, arrives on Darwin. Dressed in a sharp designer suit and high heels, she quickly turns heads. Will is not so easily impressed by her looks and they clash. But when he reluctantly comes to terms with the fact that he has a female boss, he apologises for his behaviour, and Connie agrees to give him a second chance. In S6 E36, Will finds it difficult working under Connie’s direction. She puts him in his place when she does not agree with a judgement call that he makes. She sweeps his protests aside, saying she understands his need to assert himself but not at the expense of her patient. In S6 E38, tensions rise at Holby, as Will finds it increasingly difficult to work under Connie. After constantly berating and belittling him, she questions him about his privileged upbringing, letting him know that she got her position through hard work alone. Things come to a head in Connie’s office, when, instead of disciplining Will, she orders him to go out for a drink with her. Although he’s clearly uncomfortable with the situation, she’s enjoying the power game – especially when she discovers he’s a Lord. In S6 E39, Will is adamant that Connie’s charms will not work on him. He heads into her office, just as a sheepish-looking Mubbs is leaving. Connie, unfazed by Will witnessing her rendezvous with Mubbs, continues her attempts to seduce him, but Will declines again. When Chrissie innocently asks Will if he wants to go for a drink after a difficult day, he mistakenly thinks she is flirting. Chrissie is indignant and rebukes Will, saying that public schoolboys don’t do much for her. In S6 E44, Mickie helps Will to perform emergency heart surgery. Will is impressed by her ability and tells her that she should consider retraining as a surgeon. In S6 E45, Connie tells Will she has a file of patient complaints about his attitude and informs him that she will be observing his bedside manner throughout the day. Will fails the test dramatically when he assumes a patient is faking her condition and tries to send her home. When she collapses – she is, in fact, seriously ill – her husband threatens to lodge an official complaint with the Board. Will asks Connie to defend him but she refuses to commit herself. In S6 E46, it is the day of Will’s disciplinary hearing. He chooses to stay in ITU and save a patient’s life rather than attend. Connie is impressed when he explains this and she takes responsibility for his actions to the board. When he finds out he has been reprieved, a grateful Will offers to buy Connie lunch. However, she says she expects more than this from him. In S6 E48, Connie orders Will to attend Ric’s party. After a few drinks, they flirt and she follows him into another room. Will kisses her passionately and Connie pushes him on to the bed in a steamy clinch. However, before things can go any further, she gets up, leaving Will confused. Connie reveals that she does not want him; she just wanted to prove he could not resist her. In S6 E50, Connie is keeping a close eye on Will and, when he makes a poor judgement call with a patient, she punishes him by sending him to a teaching class that night. Ric warns Connie that if she keeps criticising Will, he might quit. Connie tells him that Will has the potential to be an excellent surgeon but he needs to be disciplined. In S6 E51, Will has had only a few hours sleep after working late for Connie. It is his son’s birthday, but Connie pages him to come to work. She refuses to let him leave early and, in the evening, his wife turns up on the ward and shouts at him for missing his son’s party. Connie later reprimands Will, telling him to leave domestic issues at home.
In S7 E1, Will’s wife turns up at work with their children, telling him she is going for a job interview and he will have to look after them for an hour. When she returns to pick up the children, she informs Will that she got the job. In S7 E3, Will tries to rush through his patients so that he can get home to his wife and son, but when one of them dies after an operation, he has to stay behind to explain to the father what happened. Later, Connie finds Will sitting alone in the corridor and tells him that when he is at work, the hospital is his priority. In S7 E5, Will is despondent after losing a patient. He writes a letter of resignation but Connie rips it up. Connie admits that she has been playing games with him but says she was doing it so he could realise his potential. In S7 E10, Will tells Connie that he wants to become more of a team player and he will replace Zubin as Santa at the Christmas party. She thinks this is a fantastic idea and later gives him his costume. Will is shocked as Connie is dressed as a sexy Miss Santa and Will is her elf. In S7 E12, Will and Chrissie go for lunch, but the canteen has run out of food. Will complains to the cashier who throws him out. Connie later tells Will that the catering manager has complained about him and tries to get him to apologise. When he refuses she demands he resolve the situation. At the end of his shift, Will walks past the canteen – he hesitates, but decides to walk past. In S7 E13, The canteen staff are on strike in protest at Will’s behaviour last week. Connie tells Will she has arranged a meeting to resolve the situation. Will tries to talk to Maureen, the cashier he offended but they remain at odds with each other. Later, the matter is still unresolved when Will refuses to apologise in the meeting. Connie ends the discussion by saying she will take the matter to a higher level. Will examines a patient called Brian who quizzes Will on the strike and his opinions of the hospital. Brian discharges himself before Will can look at his test results. When he sees Brian has a life threatening condition he goes to find him outside and tells him he needs emergency surgery. Connie tells Will she has had a call from the Holby Gazette – Brian is a journalist who has written a front page article about Will’s opinions. When Brian comes round he is grateful to Will for saving his life. He apologises for writing the story and guarantees Will his right to reply. Will tells Connie but she says he cannot get involved and must keep a dignified silence – she tells him she is suspended. In S7 E14, Connie orders Will to her office, she tells him if he wants to keep his job he must apologise to the striking canteen workers. Will apologises to the canteen staff and they call off the strike. They mock him because of the newspaper reports of his aristocratic title, as does Connie when he informs her he has ended the strike. In S7 E18, Will is trapped in theatre with Zubin and Ric as a man orders them to treat his child. Ric is injured in the process. In S7 E19, Connie takes a crew up to photograph Will whilst he is operating. He protests but she says that she has done her research – he won a medal in the army and thus will make a great interview subject. In S7 E20, Will is annoyed about the interview in the paper calling him a hero. He tells Connie that he asked the journalist to leave his military record out of the piece but Connie tells him she wanted it in. Later, the hospital systems are not working and Chrissie and Donna have had enough of Connie. Will stands up to Connie and says that she only bully’s him to hide her own inadequacies and cracks in her management style are now beginning to show. In S7 E22, Mickie’s friend Jodie starts to get breathless and feverish and Mickie convinces her to go to the hospital. As a favour Will examines Jodie, but she is cagey about her symptoms and refuses to have an x-ray. She tells Will she recognises him from the article in the paper and asks if he is a war hero. In S7 E23, Jodie collapses again and is brought in. Jodie tells Will that the large scar on her back is from a car crash. She reveals she was a nurse in the medical corp. When Mickie leaves Jodie and Will talk and it is obvious that they knew each other from the corp. and had some history. Connie operates on Jodie and remarks that the scar tissue on Jodie’s back is terrible, the surgeon butchered her. Will becomes increasingly uncomfortable when Connie says that the injury looks more like a shrapnel wound. Connie is forced to remove Jodie’s lung. When she awakes and hears the news Jodie blames Will for ruining her life – again. Mickie assumes that the pair were once an item and storms out. In S7 E24, Mickie asks Jodie for the truth about her and Will. Jodie reveals that they were in the rapid response team in Sierra Leone together. Will oversaw a mission which resulted in Jodie being wounded. Will then botched her operation, leaving her with permanent health problems. Will apologises to Jodie, but she is too embittered to listen. Jodie tells Mickie that Will’s father intervened to get him off the hook and to get him decorated. Will tells her that he did not want the medal but had to take it. A tearful Will goes into his office to write his resignation. Chrissie comes in and convinces him that he must stay – she rips the letter up. Will leaves for the day in good spirits after saving a patient’s life. Elsewhere, Jodie has gone missing. Mickie spies her in the car park and rushes over. Jodie gets into her car – Mickie tries to stop her but she speeds off and drives her car straight at Will – crashing into scaffolding. The debris covers both Will and the car – Mickie looks on helpless. In S7 E25, Will is left impaled on a pole and trapped underneath the scaffolding and debris, with another man, Dermot. Will tells Connie he knows he is dying and that Jodie drove into him deliberately. Will and Dermot are taken into Darwin theatre. Connie manages to separate Dermot from the pole. Connie fights to save Will – tensions run high as they take him off bypass and see if he can sustain himself. Everyone breathes a huge sigh of relief when he can. When Will comes round he thanks Connie for saving his life, but his condition suddenly worsens. Connie is forced to open up his chest there on the bed and delve in to find the bleed. Connie does everything in her power to save him, but she is unable to help him recover a second time. Will dies at 3.15am. In S7 E26, it is the day of Will’s memorial service. Holby Chief Executive, Peter, tells Connie that it is important that there is no negative publicity surrounding Will’s death. Connie gives a reading about Will at the service. Will’s grieving wife Susan tells Connie to shut up and tell the truth. Susan claims that Connie made Will’s life a misery by bullying and harassing him. She also adds that his death is Connie’s fault – if she had not put his picture in the paper Jodie would never have tracked him down. She finishes her outburst by saying Will’s blood is on Connie’s hands. After the service Mickie speaks to Susan, saying that she blames herself for Will’s death, Susan reassures her that it was nothing to do with her.