Thursday, 23 October 2014
Friday 23 October 1964
Leon Dorsey seems to have recovered from whatever was afflicting him at the end of the last episode, and when the opening title of tonight's instalment zooms into view he's engaged in the seemingly innocuous activity of licking closed an envelope. But things take a worrying turn when Grant and Arnott, concerned about his despondent mood of late, pop in to see him: he's nowhere to be found. Margaret Bull plays the never-before-seen Sister Jellicoe, and from her rabbit-in-the-headlights appearance and over-deliberate delivery of her handful of lines (including such gems as "I don't know" and "Nurse! Nurse Reilly!" I'd hazard a guess that she's an extra promoted at short notice.
With the window open and a note for Dorsey's wife on the side, Grant and Arnott suspect the worst. But before they can panic too hard Leon comes trotting in, pleased as punch that he's made it to the loo and back all by himself (he actually uses the phrase "the loo", which I really didn't think people did in 1960s tellyland).
Meanwhile, Jane Beattie, nervously awaiting her exam results, gets another dressing-down from Nurse Ransome about sneaking off to see Rex Lane-Russell.
Leon's adamant that he'll be fully recovered within a week and back in the operating theatre within two, but has no wish to resume his role as chair of the medical committee, especially not with the issue of Barbara Dodge's money obstinately hanging about. And he's less than keen on Grant's offer to act as his proxy on the committee (I like this image, it looks like a screenshot from Emergency! The Musical).
The tension's broken by Dr Chalmers happening by with a bottle of Champagne (of course), in the belief that it's the best treatment for Leon's condition. In the face of endless squabbling among the committee members she wants Leon's advice on what to propose the money be spent on. He tells her to make up her own mind.
Matron sounds out her staunchest ally, Sister Ransome, about the controversial new shift system she intends to implement. Even Sister Ransome thinks it's a bit iffy, but Matron decides to press on by trialling the system in three wards, including Ransome's.
Back in Leon's ward, Mr Barrett appears just in time to remind Dr Chalmers she's an appointments board to head (and what a delightful blouse she's sporting). She's already downed all the Champers though.
Charlie Booth, seen here with a nurse and patient who are equally mute, is up for a registrar job, but Les Large is too absorbed in his own worries to cheer his colleague on. He's had the claim for repairs to Lena Hyde's car: it comes to £196 8s 6d, an astronomical amount he's no idea how he can hope to pay. He consoles himself with the fact that Lena can't sue him for personal damages, having discharged herself, but Charlie informs him that she's been readmitted that very day.
Lena's continual headache has become unbearably agonising, and she's entrusted to the tender loving care of Rex Lane-Russell.
Gerald Frobisher tries to get Sister MacNab to ban Les from the ward, but she's having none of it.
And she's got her own concerns with the new shift system, to which she's vehemently opposed.
Barrett also has reservations about Matron's plans, and what's more he's continuing to annoy her by comparing her to Emmeline Pankhurst...
...eventually earning a slap round the face that Matron's instantly ashamed of. Barrett's rather pleased though, considering it proves she's human. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is the start of a brand new hospital romance.
Rex and Guy Marshall are playing with their unappetising-looking desserts in the canteen, Guy still pondering over what to do about the job offer from Texas. Rex thinks he should snap it up, but Guy's still concerned that it's prompted more by Barbara's powers of persuasion than his own talents. His train of thought's broken by Charlie Booth, even more cheerful than usual since he got the job (I wonder how much the bottle of Champagne Dr Chalmers imbibed had to do with it).
Les briefly joins the party, rushing off again when Rex tells him he suspects Lena's got a subdural haematoma. Dr Grant's just examined the patient, and he informs Les that Rex's diagnosis may well be right, and he holds Les entirely responsible for it...