Thursday, 4 September 2014
Friday 4 September 1964
Now, you may be wondering what became of the curiously plastic-looking baby whose intestines Guy Marshall heroically rushed off to unblock in the last episode (admittedly it's not very likely, but you might). Well, we don't actually find out, so let's assume it pulled through. Instead, we hurtle headlong on to the next emergency, as Rex Lane-Russell prepares to tackle an army private admitted with a suspected case of meningococcal meningitis (try saying that after a few of the whiskies the Oxbridge consultants are prone to knocking back between surgeries).
Meanwhile, in the bar of the Royal Hotel, pompous consultant Harold de la Roux is, intriguingly, trying to hide from American visitor Lydia Stock. But his main reason for being there is another attempt to persuade poor old Leon Dorsey not to endorse Dr Grant's bid to be chair of the medical board. By now Dorsey is utterly fed up with de la Roux and Grant trying to curry his favour.
Lydia and her employer are now barely speaking to each other over the issue of Guy Marshall. You could cut the air with a scalpel (oh yes, I've got all the medical terminology).
Back at the hospital, young Mr Seaton is expecting a visit from his fiancée, but instead gets one from his baleful mother, who strongly disapproves of the relationship, considering her son's intended an impediment to his career prospects. Not half as much, however, as Mr Seaton's bronchial condition, which, Rex informs a distraught Mrs Seaton, means the position he's been offered in the Far East is a no go.
The private with meningitis has descended into delirium...
...and Les, having won a fiver on the horses, offers to take Giles and Louise on a double date with he and Michaela. Giles declines, as he and Louise have to have another of their anguished discussions about their prospective marriage, and also tells Les he won't be able to go on holiday with him after all. Miffed, Les tells Giles that he'd be making a big mistake marrying Louise. Not because of race, or even class, but because she'd expect him to subordinate his career to hers.
Guy's come to the Royal Hotel for a date with Barbara, but she's taking her sweet time appearing. Rex happens by, and, over a quick one, insists he's a changed man as far as women are concerned. But the signs aren't all that good.
Lydia pops by to see Guy, and warns him that Barbara will never understand that his career means she won't always come first.
It looks like what's wrong with Private Barnes might be a bit more complicated than meningitis. Giles is at a loss, but Rex thinks he might know what the problem is...
Rex (who's very busy today) then rushes off to break the news to a devastated Mr Seaton that his career prospects are in tatters thanks to his pus-filled tubes.
Barbara, still feeling slighted by Guy prioritising a sick baby above her, is taking revenge by deliberately keeping him waiting. By a curious coincidence, this is very similar to the outfit I wear when writing TV Minus 50.
In their latest heart to heart, Louise makes it plain to Giles that if he wants to marry her they will have to live in Africa, where it'll be many years before he gets the kind of research opportunities he's after. Giles says he's willing to give up anything for Louise, but is he being too hasty?
The Royal Hotel is clearly the place to be in Oxbridge, as now Les and Michaela pop in for drink, and join the waiting Guy. As Les heads to the bar, Barbara finally makes her appearance, and is consumed with jealousy on seeing Guy and Michaela laughing together.
Barbara heads back to her suite, pours herself a drink (note the cunning use of black marker pen to obscure the brand name)...
...and a handful of pills to go with it. Is this the end for Barbara Dodge? Come back next week and find out.