Holby City (TV Series 1999– ) Poster

(1999– )

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Arresting stuff
Dodger-97 February 2000
British hospital dramas can be cliched affairs and yet despite sticking to the well-worn rules, Holby City has managed to stand alone as much more than just a Casualty spin-off.

The formula of eager young surgeon kept in check by irascible veteran with a God complex works a treat here, thanks largely to the chemistry between Michael French (Nick Jordan) and the sublime George Irving as Anton Meyer.

Unlike French, Irving's lack of TV baggage has made his character here all the more believable. Roles in The Professionals, Bergerac, The Bill and Boon have given him a good grounding in TV drama and his current role as the self-assured Cardio-Thoracic Consultant Surgeon seems to have been tailor-made for the South Shields-born actor.

The second run has seen the character develop, largely thanks to the arrival of his old sparring partner Mike Barrett (Clive Mantle) who manages to keep Meyer in check while dispensing a few dreadful gags.

"I had this one patient who swallowed a spoon - I told her not to stir."
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I reckon Holby City is doing very well - but what's happened to Casualty?!
emma09079329 October 2006
'Holby City' used to be rubbish, but with the introduction of Connie, Elliot, Mark, Sam S etc, it has turned into a very respectable series - something I would try and get home to watch. I think it is 'Casualty' that has gone downhill - the story lines never seem to go anywhere anymore and I'm not really that bothered if I miss it for an episode of 'Friends', as I can usually catch up because there is never much going on in an episode. If not, my parents can describe the particular episode in quite a lot of detail in a few short sentences. However, if I missed an episode of 'Holby' I would know about it as the story behind it is so much more complex and richly acted through.
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A good drama
walfordqueen6 November 2005
I have been watching Holby City since it began, although it suffers slightly from the story lines revolving too much around the staff the show does give us some intense drama when it wants to. I would recommend watching this to anyone who loves a good drama based around the setting of an hospital. Holby City also has some great characters like the wonderful newcomer Amanda Mealing who plays Connie. Here's to the future of Holby City - may it be long and prosperous and continue to flourish. I don't think Holby is as good as it once was however but it's still a top notch drama and one that the BBC should be very proud to air.
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A brilliant inspiring programme of reality
mathewowen7 December 1999
Holby City has inspired me. 16 years old, I've watched the episodes over and over again and I love the atmosphere. I have now decided to go into medicine, as the lifestyle of the characters in this programme has enthralled me. The acting is brilliant, the effects are wizardry, the atmosphere is memorable and it's a fantastic spin-off from 'Casualty' - Another medical drama set in the same hospital.
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Very arresting.
TheLittleSongbird29 July 2009
I like both Casualty and Holby City, though despite their quite short episodic lengths, both do suffer from some problems with pacing- it is a bit slow, and perhaps not very easy to stick your teeth into. However, it is decently acted, I enjoy the performances of Amanda Mealing, Paul Bradley, Robert Powell and Hugh Quarshie, and when he was in it, Tom Chambers as Sam. I will confess that despite Richard Briers being on the show for the Christmas episode, that particular episode was a departure from the usual thing we come to expect from Holby City despite a nice twist on It's A Wonderful Life. The scripts are good, and the story lines are quite intriguing, if perhaps predictable at times. Overall, quite arresting stuff. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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Series 4 shows that Holby isn't as bad as they say
As all the other comments have been made about only Series 1 and 2 and Holby is now near the end of its 4th series, I need to renew them. Of course I have grown up since the last comment I made ('mathewowen') and now realise that Holby City really isn't that realistic when you look at the hard graft and rush that goes on in real hospitals. It's true that a lot of the staff are more like counsellors than medical staff, and it's also true that a lot of the one episode characters (in every episode different patients are featured with their own storylines) come from soaps.

However, Holby City is still watchable stuff, and I think with the two new wards: Maternity and the Children's Ward, every episode is even more different, and there are so many new characters that are, for the most part, well played.

Holby is now viewed as a soap because of its all year round showing, and what with more staff storylines involving affairs and staff becoming patients, it's still good drama. Watch out for some eps where there are some scenes set in Casualty (Holby is a spin off of Casualty) with Casualty characters (likewise in a recent episode Mr Meyer was featured in Casualty being as arrogant as ever).

Okay, some could say that there are more staff storylines as the writers as exhausting the patient storylines. However, there are have been some pretty memorable staff storylines in the past 2 series, such as Mr Meyer being shot, Janice Taylor's (she's the consultant on the children's ward) husband having an affair with Sister Williams, Kath Shaugnessy playing victim to domestic violence, Liam Evans learning to cope with life in a wheelchair, Victoria Merrick being murdered (it was a classic 'whodunnit') and Danny Shaugnessy marrying an illegal immigrant who's first husband turned up though she thought he was dead, to name a few.

And the good thing about Holby City is that the whole set and atmosphere is like a real British hospital. You can almost smell the disinfectant!

Watch Holby City next time it's on and see for yourself. It's good drama.
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never better than its first couple of seasons
didi-512 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
'Holby City' bounced on to our screens in 1999 as a close cousin to the established hospital drama 'Casualty'. With a strong initial cast including the silent, sexy Mr Mayer (George Irving), nurses Jasmine (Angela Griffin) and Julie (Nicola Stephenson), and doctors Nick (Michael French), Victoria (Lisa Faulkner) and Kirstie (Dawn McDaniel), it had a lot of life and some good story lines. Then Jasmine was stabbed, Kirstie was involved in drugs, and Victoria was killed by a resentful parent of a patient who died in her care.

Hunky consultant Mike Barratt (Clive Mantle) who had been in 'Casualty', also joined Holby early on, and the sparring between him and Meyer was memorable (especially loved a Christmas episode where it snowed right on cue and we even got a 'ho ho ho' from Meyer). Later consultants have had their fair share of problems - Ric (Hugh Quarshie), still in the programme, has had drug and gambling addictions; Alistair (Dominic Jephcott) had a wife in IVF treatment (Janice, played by Siobhan Redmond, was a doctor in the children's ward), an affair with a nurse (Chrissie, played by Tina Hobley), and eventually came back after a year's gap to be killed in the recent Christmas episode; Tom (Denis Lawson) was a drunk; Tash (Thusita Jayasundera), was a mixed-up lesbian, and so on, and so on.

Tragedy struck the nurses, too. Lovely Liam (Adrian Lewis Morgan) was crippled after falling from a balcony - in a terrible twist of fate, Laura Sadler, who played Sandy, died in real life in similar circumstances when still in her early twenties. Steve (Peter de Jersey)and Ben (David Paisley) were killed off in a car crash, but not until Ben had a hard time coming out to his parents. Lisa (Luisa Bradshaw-White) suffered when her dad was killed in euthanasia by his new wife, and the prolific Chrissie miscarried a baby - handy since she wasn't sure who the dad was.

All this, and plenty of sexual shenanigans, before we even consider what the patients have gone through before they get to the hospital wards. The episodes have been consistently well-written and tightly directed, and with the current cast including talent such as Art Malik as Zubin (has just had an affair with Ric's nurse daughter Jess), and Sharon Maughan as Chrissie's mother Tricia, it seems that life in the fictional world of recuperation is going to move along just fine.
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Great writing, directing, acting, and cinematography
craigjoseph27 December 2017
I have watched Hollywood movies and television for decades and know all their standard cliches. If I watch the first and last five minutes of a movie, I can tell you nearly everything that happened in between. Not with Holby City. Holby City is hot, so good it seems to almost be alive. All the parts, writing, directing, acting, cinematography fit together so beautifully, that to me they approach art. Just know I would not miss a single episode, and if I could watch only one drama series on TV, Holby City would be my choice. Just wish BBC would sell the episode where the whole cast gives Arthur a spectacular send off. When things weren't going well I would put that episode on to chase away the gloom and remind me of happier and better times. Long live Holby City. Can think of no better introduction to Holby City than watching the still available episodes 62 and 63. Calling Holby City a soap opera is wrong. Soap Operas were created early in the last millennium to keep bored housewives distracted while their husbands went out to work. But the Soap Operas were nearly always written by men and were filled with fantasies of office romance, flirtatious secretaries, promiscuity, and adultery. As suspicious housewives greeted their husbands thinking I know what you did at the office today. I am sure the Soap Operas were responsible for the breakup of more than a few marriages. Holby City is televised drama and could have been written by any of our finest dramatists. Holby City sticks to business and stays away from the salaciousness of the typical Soap Opera. Cheers, to excellent drama and comedy.
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Hospital drama without the drama
someguyonthenet7 February 2001
'Holby City' has to be one of the most boring TV 'dramas' I have ever had the misfortune of watching. The plots are insipid, tedious, and cliched beyond belief. Does it possibly exist as some sort of retirement home for washed-up soap-opera actors ? Save yourself the pain and go and read a good book.
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Long may Connie Rule...
pheonix_91014 December 2004
I watched Holby City since it came out and I have always loved it, but I found myself particularly enraptured with the series since the arrival of Connie Beauchamp, played by the sublime Amanda Mealing.

The episode where she drove in at the beginning bedecked in full scarf and sunglasses, femme fatale garb, only to crash into Will was one of my favourites.

I've heard people say her stuffs repetitive but I think it's great fun seeing her boss the boys around and dish out her scathing comments.

The storyline with Will is a joy to behold - it may just be me being insanely sad but every week I can't wait to see what she'll throw at him.

I only hope she stays for a long time.
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Inspiring Medical drama, slightly more realistic than ER...
yeliab_cram8 May 2004
Ah, where would we be without the joys of Holby City?? If you enjoy gory operations, pain-in-the-arse patients and the entire staff going for a drink in the bar at the end of the day and waking up in bed with each other the next morning then this may very well be for you.

Im a medical student, and surprisingly Holby City is not that far from the real world, if only Ed would put a tie on! Things may be a little OTT but the series is enjoyable, inspiring and not afraid to take on real issues of consent, racism, addiction and honesty in medical practice. It is most definately light relief from real-life hospitals and universally enjoyed by medics! A spin off of Casualty it has outgrown its predecessor and taken hospital dramas to new hights. For those of you who regularly watch ER this is similarly absorbing but there is slightly less of the completely impossible week-in week-out (ie helicopters don't fall on the consultants every other week)

Like any long running drama they do have the continual problem of killing off all the best characters and dragging story lines out for several months, but this show is definately worth a look on a cold rainy tuesday eve.
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The Dreadful State of UK TV Drama
ian100011 June 2006
This show demonstrates the depths to which UK TV pre-watershed drama has sunk. With these dull scripts, mediocre acting, poor plots, awful dialog, one is forced to watch a DVD of any old ER episode to see excellent hospital drama.

None of the actors employed on this show seem to be able to actually act!

If you want low quality but easy to absorb soap opera style TV, this is the show for you. Personally I like something with more meat on the bone. Sadly as with all other UK licence payers, I'm funding this dross.
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"Holby City" A Drama With too Much Drama
carmenjulianna24 November 2018
I first watched Holby at the beginning of the 1st series as it was a well advertised spin-off to "Casualty". I found as the series evolved, it became more & more like 'A Soap Opera' than A Medical Series. Too many cast-off characters from other soap operas, it was as though you were watching 'Coronation Street'- 'East Enders' & Every Northern Drama that's ever been aired on tv all in one.! It cannot be taken seriously. It seems like a show developed for British out of work actors & actors over-acting jumping from one soap to another as if to prove they can act outside of a soap.!! It becomes monotonous seeing the same Ol' faces appear. Popular of course with it's avid followers. Anyone who likes watching on & off turbulent love lives & drama span-out on a Medical Soap, then this is the Drama for you! Not much dialogue regarding an emergency room, but more of a dramatic Soap taken in a hospital. Not A patch on "ER"
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At the beginning
filmtechnz18 April 2018
I have just come across the first four seasons of Holby City and am re-watching them. This was a brilliant series in the beginning, thanks to particularly the characters of consultant Anton Meyer, Victoria Merrick, Nick Jordan and Sister Karen Newburn. Compared to more recent episodes that I have watched one can see how the series has gone downhill since most of the original characters have left.
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Utterly Enthralling
laurenhigginsonx13 February 2018
This show is a credit to the BBC. From the incredible storylines (particularly in more recent years) to the outstanding acting from the likes of Holby's ice-queen Rosie Marcel to the wonderful Bob Barrett and Alex Walkinshaw, what's not to love about the show? More on its cast. With actors of different sexualities, nationalities, colours of skin and difficulties, such as autism, its incredibly diverse. All cast are put through medical training to ensure a realistic portrayal of medicine and surgery, and as anybody would expect, there is a medical team hired that ensure medical accuracy. The prosthetics used in Holby City also look rather realistic and gruesome to the viewer. Many member of the cast have also said this during interviews. The show is also known to deal with hard hitting themes, that never fail to move me. Personally, I have not found a medical drama more gripping or heart-breaking, and cannot find anything to fault in it (apart from perhaps the lack of Camilla Arfwedson nowadays.) I cannot recommend the show enough to anybody who is interested in watching it.
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England's answer to Grey's Anatomy
Syl9 August 2006
This show came before Grey's Anatomy and will likely be on after that show ends. I only saw one episode last night but it's typical British soap fare. There is a Jamaican doctor who is taking care of orphaned baby Leeann until they locate her father. She suspects that he is a drug addict because of the physical symptoms and questions the authority. There are other members in the cast but the show doesn't exhibit anything but average writing, above average acting, and above average sets. I never saw Casualty so I can't tell the difference or the similarities. It was on after EastEnders so I watched it and it was watchable in my opinion but I wouldn't say excellent because I think the show needs to do more work in getting strong characters who will be memorable and writing that creates a sensation. Until then, Holby City will be the sister show of Casualty and while it follows EastEnders, it might get an audience leftover to keep it going. I think the show is good and worth watching.
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Was good, but has gone severely downhill
whiggles15 July 2003
For the first two and a half seasons this was an extremely good show, with a small but strong cast and good (if clichéd) writing. During the third season, though, the show made the transition from drama to soap, eschewing medical storylines in favour of trotting out every detail of the characters' private lives.

The show, which now airs every week all the year round, is now a shadow of its former self. None of the cast from the first season remains, and despite occasionally coming up with a reasonably good episode, more often than not it is just a case of mediocrity week after week, with some downright stinkers mixed in for good measure. By attempting to run storylines on four different wards, the writers have dilluted the formula, often introducing storylines for characters only to quickly forget them or end them abruptly with absolutely no consequences. A good example of this would be the character of Ric Griffin, who entered the show as a closet cannabis user. After a few months, this aspect of the character vanished and was never mentioned again.

It is something of a bitter irony that one of the few characters who was at all interesting to watch was the clumsy nurse Sandy Harper, played excellently by Laura Sadler, who sadly died a few weeks ago.
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thejboy12 March 2004
This paragraph will be short because I really do not have a lot to say about this mess that is Holby City. Holby City and the show it spun off are dreadful and it shows that if you compare it to ER we are pretty third rate at producing medical dramas of a high quality. The hospitals air is that of an extreme deppression and most of the patients that come in to the hospital, be it for a car accident or a cut finger seem to come out in a box. This programme cannot tread the fine line between fiction and reality. The acting is so over the top and melodramatic and it makes the story lines even more less believable. Tip of advice to the Holby City writers. Pull the plug on this mess of start up the defibrilator and shock some life into it.
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Holby City...lets think...
NEFARIOUS-1517 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Holby has such a multitude of characters that you can't help but be absorbed into its mostly believable world.

It has inspirational comments that really add some depth to the program which could end up being so incredibly boring no one would watch it.

However many new characters they bring in Connie is still my absolute favourite...she has such a sexy sassy attitude they you can't help but love her character.

You are always surprised by the plot lines and the ventures outside of the hospital (Africa Lives On The BBC journey to Ghana)are still continuing to breathe life into the program.

Casualty crossovers are the best and I am always watching and keeping up to date with Casualty as well and having the characters mingle in drastic situations is continually used to great applause from all.

Holby City has even made me think of possibly pursuing a career in surgery and some of the characters are great sources of inspiration to all ages.

Thanks everyone at Holby cast and crew...
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Everything is different without Laura Sadler now
rossrobinson20 September 2003
Holby City is based on the same drama series as Casualty. Laura Sadler was an actress that starred in Holby City. She will be sadly missed and people will remember her as she was. Everything will now be different without her. GOD BLESS YOU LAURA, WE WILL MISS YOU.
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long rule cruella
Storme10117 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Holby city is great it's really exciting and although it's not as old as Casualty i think it's just as good the characters are fantastic and i don't think I've watched a single episode and been bored.The characters make me laugh especially as you can't just have a simple relationship with someone, there's always a twist. As for the patients story lines, i would like to see the incidents happen but that doesn't matter because the patients backgrounds always have something suspicious about them. Holby City just wouldn't be fun if you didn't have Cruella, in this case it's Connie who always wants people to improve and if she really doesn't like them you can tell straight away by the way she speaks about them and the evil looks she gives them when she speaks to them.

Nick jordan has an ego the size of europe and i really hope he doesn't last very long.the way he treats people is awful, he wont even tell ric when he is performing an op on his patient.the suspense is killing me about Nick nad Jac, definitely some history there, i want to know what it is that happened between them
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Holby City
leebengough8 January 2005
My favourite Characters in Holby City is Anton Meyer and Tom Campbell-Gore. Both men always tell the other staff what they think and always do what they want no matter what anyone says. I think Anton or Tom should come back and take over the Department. I was very surprised to see Alistair Taylor in the 2004 Christmas special because he left around the same time as Anton in 2002. I have Sky and they started showing episodes from 1999. Its funny because the only character I knew was Anton Meyer. I knew Michael French from Eastenders and Born and Bred as Character Nick Jorden but no else. Holby City has changed a lot since 1999. Now it shows more Depts in The Hospital. It seems to have more characters as well. I think it has done well with story lines considering Casualty started in 1986 so Casualty was more popular.
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Dull characters and stories combine to create a dull series
jameswalter200021 December 2000
Holby City is a spin-off from another hospital series called Casualty. Casualty was a good series but Holby City is just plain boring. There is only one interesting character, Mr Meyer, most of the others are just very annoying young doctors and nurses.

I find that only a certain number of things can happen in a hospital and because of this I think that Holby City has run out of ideas for stories (I think writing a second series was going a bit too far). As a result dull characters and stories combine to create a dull series.
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Pretty good, but clichéd scripts
Rrrobert8 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Holby City certainly _looks_ good. Superficially things look like a real hospital, though I've never figured out why the outdoors scenes shot outside the hospital all seem to occur at night. The acting and characterisation is also very good.

However script wise this show trots out every ancient hospital drama cliché and familiar plotline ever known. Out of the small cast, four characters who work in the hospital have ended up patients in their own wards, the staff spend inordinate amounts of time dealing with patients' personal problems which all seem to come out only on their admission to hospital but which are all conveniently resolved within the hour; and each week there's an actor famously dropped from "Family Affairs", a host of "The Bill" guest stars, and former "Coronation Street" and "EastEnders" regulars in for good measure.

Actually I have enjoyed some of the episodes I've seen (I've only seen seasons 1 and 2) but even the best episodes contain ridiculous plot contrivances that even the most naive lay-person must find difficult to swallow.


The episode where Nick Jordan's hearing is held was particularly bad. He is clearly in the wrong but when its his time to testify he's off talking to the bereaved sister in her home! He arrives back at the hearing almost 40 minutes late and admits he was snogging his estranged wife/nurse co-worker in the theatre while they were both on duty and the gruff Dr Meyer smiles and says "I'm proud of what you did!" And means it!! I would have been disgusted; Dr Jordan's frank admission or not.

Oh yeah, in the same episode with all those dramas and staff being counselled, reprimanded and suspended left and right, the illegal immigrant in the show's main subplot is allowed by hospital staff to "do a bunk" before authorities arrive. Given the grave situation occurring at the hospital concerning the performance of three key staff members, you'd have thought that _everyone_ there would be on their toes and following every rule to the letter that day.

The last episode of season two was certainly dramatic, but how come no one had a mobile phone? And is Dr Meyer the only heart specialist in the UK? Couldn't they have called someone else?

In a show so clearly trying for realism, you'd think they'd come up with some better scripts when everything else is so good.
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