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SHELLEY ViSiON: Keep taking the tablets, Holby..


THIS week we turn to the most compulsive, most deranged programme on television. Yes, it's Holby City.

Holby is set in Holby General, a hospital that each week is over-run by murderers, alcoholics and sex maniacs marauding round the corridors. And the patients don't help much either.

It's TV crack - instant, mind-altering, utterly addictive.

Last week's show reached a new low - or high, considering how hallucinogenic it all was: a brilliant mix of American soaps like The Young And The Restless and Britain's answer to Twin Peaks.

The sight of the entire staff sitting in the bar wearing pig masks was seriously disturbing.

(This was their way of celebrating hospital boss Connie Beauchamp going off to do research on pig hearts. Happy days !)

Then there was the hospital's ingenious way of making the array of assaults and attempted homicides that invariably take place on the ward (by incompetent or inebriated members of staff) more bizarre. This was the appointment of Miranda sitting in the middle of the chaos serenely playing La Bamba on the harp. (No, honestly! I saw her with my own eyes.)

Recently two of the more normal characters in the show have checked out totally. Firstly, the tediously sensible consultant nurse Mark Williams (Jesus of Nazareth himself - Robert Powell) has, for no obvious reason, taken up cocaine.

(After the departure of drug-addicted doctors Stitch and Guppy, it seems the writers drew lots and came up with Jesus.)

"It was a couple lines of Charlie!" Jesus argued to his friend and colleague, Elliot Hope.

"Sorry," carped Elliot. "I don't speak jive." (Eh?)

Then there's the previously reliable Sister Kyla Tyson who has, overnight, become an alcoholic.

"I wake up, I throw up," she wailed to Pouting Patsy Kensit. "I'm a bad mother, I'm a lousy friend and I'm a drunk."

But apart from that she's just dandy ! We saw her knocking back several shampoo bottles filled with vodka - followed with another of conditioner. Not so much Wash & Go as Wash & Fall Over.

Having failed to seduce consultant Ric Griffin (using the unusual tactic of reciting a menacing version of "this little piggy went to market" and chanting "oink oink!" at him), she tried blackmailing him.

Ric and Ade Edmondson had been conducting secret operations on orphans smuggled in from Africa (as you do).

Kyla was last seen wandering around the bar with her pig mask on, sobbing.

Viewers at home probably knew how she felt.

Luckily (amazingly), Holby still has a few really good, realistic, characters: Maddy Young, Mr Strachan (not Gordon), Donna the nymphomaniac - although, to be fair, sex addiction is a job requirement in Holby.

ANY patient being treated by weirdos like the twitchy, anaemic Joseph Burn (a human ghost), man-eating android Jac Naylor or poor Patsy acting her little socks off to win a Bafta for Best Pouting In A Serial Drama would run a mile.

Having killed a patient (oops!) last week, tonight in her struggle to keep her job Kyla takes up jogging (to get to the off-licence before closing) and asks Pouting Patsy Kensit to vouch for her. Not the best choice - Patsy being a murderer herself.

Tune in to see sex-maniac Mr Strachan discover whether he has the clap.

There's also a young nun having visions and what appears to be stigmata (yes, I know, another one).

You might think Holby is so far-out it doesn't need any dream scenes, nightmares or horror-filled flashbacks.

Unfortunately - or as I prefer to see it, fortunately - the writers seem to be taking even more drugs than their characters. Holby City is the one series on television where anything is possible.


WASH AND THROW: Kyla and Pouting Patsy
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 13, 2007
Next Article:3AM: GERI'S A DOUG.

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