New chal­lenges arise for docs in a lather

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

THE good news about this episode, Sins of the Past , is that it is a great deal bet­ter than last week’s, in which not even the very tal­ented John Wa­ters could look con­vinced about as phony a cliff-side res­cue as view­ers could have wit­nessed. Yes, we un­der­stand that All Saints now has a med­i­cal re­sponse unit, and with it ap­par­ently un­lim­ited use of a he­li­copter as well as a wise­crack­ing, heart-ofgold para­medic, Jo ( Mir­rah Foulkes). But let’s keep it real. At least they didn’t lower Wa­ters’s Dr Mike Vlasek over the side, which would have been the dizzy limit for every­one.

This week Vlasek, re­cently dumped by his girl­friend, is very grumpy. But his Billy Goat Gruff rou­tine is en­tirely eclipsed by the show re­turn­ing to what it does so well — dish­ing up grip­ping drama. Called to a farm, the team finds a young man with his arm caught in ma­chin­ery. Noth­ing un­be­liev­able in that ac­ci­dent; you should avert your gaze.

Com­pli­ca­tions arise when it tran­spires the lad is chief nurse Gabrielle Jaeger’s young brother Ben, tended by his shocked fa­ther, Rus­sell ( John Sheerin). Rus­sell lit­er­ally goes for the throat when he spies chop­per team mem­ber Dr Steve Tay­lor ( Jack Camp­bell), the cad who broke his daugh­ter’s heart. With Ben on the way to hospi­tal, Steve elects to stay with the fu­ri­ous fa­ther, who has de­vel­oped angina.

At the hospi­tal, the oth­ers grap­ple with un­ex­plained kid­ney dam­age and back pain in a woman whose hus­band seems very edgy. Ab­sur­dity is pro­vided by Bart ( An­drew Su­panz) who, al­though a ge­nius in mat­ters med­i­cal, is baf­flingly un­aware that he fan­cies nurse Amy Field­ing ( Alix Bid­strup) some­thing rot­ten.

For­tu­nately she

is

some­what

A dose of heartache: John Wa­ters plays Dr Mike Vlasek in sharper, al­though clearly it is not go­ing to be plain sail­ing, es­pe­cially be­cause she is Dr Frank Cam­pion’s niece. John Howard’s Cam­pion is as watch­able as ever, even when he is only lum­ber­ing through the back­ground. Tonight he crops up in each of the sto­ry­lines as a bind­ing el­e­ment.

If All Saints is one of those good things that must come to an end, we must hope that there is more for him to do some­time soon, be­cause he is without doubt its most ac­com­plished ac­tor, which is say­ing some­thing, given the cal­i­bre of the cast.

Ju­dith McGrath as Yvonne Ryan is al­ways good and Vir­ginia Gay as Gabrielle is gain­ing depth and in­ter­est. Fi­nal plau­dits go to her on-screen fa­ther in this episode, who, be­tween grit­ted teeth and wors­en­ing chest pain, spells out for Steve what par­ents go through when ro­mance fails. ‘‘ You took away my bright, shin­ing girl and sent her back dif­fer­ent.’’

Jill Row­botham

All Saints

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