Goodbye, Holby City


  Well, goodbye Holby City.  It’s been 23 years, and over 1,000 episodes … and I’ve watched pretty much all of them.  It was nice to see some old faces making cameo appearances in the final few episodes, although there were so many others whom I’d like to have seen – Chrissie Williams, Nick Jordan and Anton Meyer, to name but a few, and it might have been appropriate to have seen Frieda Petrenko, whom I *think* is the only Ukrainian character ever to have a long-running part in a British drama series.  A lot of characters have come and gone over the years.  So many of them have been killed off that it’s a wonder that anyone applies to work at Holby City Hospital!   To be fair, the scriptwriters did acknowledge that, by showing the junior doctors being horrified at how few of the previous winners of the Junior Doctor Award were still alive!

It was sad to see Jac Naylor killed off in the final episode, but the media have been quick to point out that this was all highly symbolic, killing off such a central character as the series itself was killed off.   And at least some of the other characters were given happy endings, and the final episode concluded with a bit of a verbal love letter to the NHS.

The story is that Holby City‘s been axed as part of a “levelling up” programme.  Well, normally I’d be delighted to see anything in the north – Waterloo Road‘s coming back, and it’s back being filmed in Rochdale – being given priority over anything filmed in London, but Holby City isn’t really a London thing.  Holby’s based on Bristol, after all.  And it doesn’t really identify with any one community.  Characters come from all over the UK and sometimes beyond – it’s amazing the range of accents you seem to find in the hospital on any one day!   And it’s always included characters representing different communities, without making a big virtue-signalling deal of it.

And it’s never really “jumped the shark”.  I think there was plenty of life left in it.  It’s covered all sorts of storylines over the years, both in terms of medical storylines and in terms of the characters’ personal lives, but it was still coming out with fresh plots, and I’m very sorry that the BBC’s decided to axe it … especially as it’s being replaced in the schedules by Masterchef, which, with all due respect to it, is hardly high-quality drama.  But anyway.  Goodbye, Holby City.  Thanks for the memories, and you will be missed.


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