It’s wonderful to see medic Oliver Valentine back on the wards of Holby City and he’s already proving he’s a force to be reckoned with as he diagnoses patients on AAU.
Still battling a brain injury after being shot in the head, he hasn’t performed any operations — but that’s all set to change next week.
The drama begins for Ollie when he and Hanssen’s old friend Russ’s 16-year-old daughter Billie is brought into the hospital; she’s got the branch of a tree stuck in her neck. Ollie shows he can more than handle the complicated case and, when Billie’s condition deteriorates and she needs urgent surgery, Hanssen (Guy Henry) encourages Ollie to observe surgeon Ange Godard (Dawn Steele) in theatre.
Initially, everything looks like it’s going well, until new mum Ange has a “personal emergency” that she needs to attend to, and it falls to Ollie to finish the job.
It seems Ollie’s not quite firing on all cylinders, though, as every banging door and rattling of hospital equipment brings back memories of that near-fatal shooting. Unable to cope, Ollie flees the operating theatre, forcing Hanssen to step in and complete the surgery.
James Anderson, who recently reprised his role as the much-loved medic after over three years away, enjoys exploring Oliver’s more vulnerable side…
“There’s a certain amount of arrogance in Ollie definitely,” he says. “But I really enjoy the mistakes he makes because it makes him human.”
Outside, Hanssen apologises for throwing Ollie in at the deep end when he clearly wasn’t ready, but there’s clearly more to Ollie’s trauma.
Later, Ollie desperately wants to tell Hanssen the truth about why he was hesitant in theatre but Russ stops him. Ollie reminds Russ “next time someone could get hurt… again”. What are they hiding?
Tune into Tuesday’s Holby City at 7.50pm on BBC1 to find out.