Holby City returns tonight with the first episode filmed under Covid restrictions – and they hit the ground running with a dramatic depiction of how the hospital copes as the first wave of coronavirus hits Holby.
As doctors and nurses grapple with a disease that everyone’s still learning about, the staff are also dealing with their own personal issues.
Ric (Hugh Quarshie) – recovering from Guy Self operating on his brain tumour – wakes to find a world that’s completely altered while he’s been in a coma for two weeks. And Sacha (Bob Barrett) has to find a way to cope with his grief at losing Essie. Here’s what’s in store:
1. Ric regains consciousness in a hospital that’s already starting to struggle as the patients suffering from coronavirus add to the already busy workload. Though he ought to be resting, Ric can’t help but pitch straight in to help – against Max (Jo Martin)’s strong advice because, as she warns him, he’s in a high risk group if he catches coronavirus himself.
2. Sacha’s friends desperately try to get through to him, but in his grief for Essie he’s pushing everyone away. In fact he’s behaving in a very un-Sacha-like manner to colleagues, friends and even patients, and seems to have completely lost his usual empathy and kindness. This has disastrous results for one patient.
3. The staff team are joined by three new F1s, who are thrown in at the deep end with only a brief welcome from Hanssen (Guy Henry). How will the new recruits cope?
4. There’s a new health care assistant on AAU – but he’s a familiar face to one member of the team and old memories resurface.
5. As Max struggles to keep on top of the changing Covid situation, she has no option but to close some of the wards, including Darwin – which leads Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) to volunteer for a very different role.
6. Friendships and romantic relationships are tested to their limit – and some may have reached breaking point. Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) and Ange (Dawn Steele), in particular, are struggling. Is it the end of the road for them?
7. As all the staff go above and beyond to cope with the ever more desperate situation, Cameron (Nic Jackman) struggles to cope with the pressure. He finds himself in a situation where one particular patient needs his help – but will he be able to show her the compassion she needs?
8. As Sacha realises the consequences of his actions on one of his patients, he makes a reckless offer which is bound to have all sorts of repercussions.
9. Coronavirus strikes the staff as well as the patients as people fall ill. Will everyone make it through?
10. Most at risk, of course, is Ric – and he risks his own life in a desperate attempt to save a pregnant patient. Will Holby’s longest-serving doctor survive his toughest test yet?
Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.
Holby City returns Tuesday November 10 at the later time of 8:15pm.
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