Secrets from the past
Flashback scenes reveal how the friendship between Holby’s Gaskell, Hanssen and Roxanna began…
As Holby neurosurgeon Roxanna MacMillan lies in a critical condition following last week’s dramatic incident and Professor John Gaskell and Henrik Hanssen worry about her, we find out how the trio became firm friends.
In America in 1987, a young Hanssen (Harley Viveash), Gaskell (Michael Winder) and Roxanna (Isabella Marshall) meet at university and make a pact to push the boundaries of medicine, no matter what the cost. And it seems Roxanna has deeply personal reasons for wanting to make a difference…
‘Viewers learn Roxanna’s mother had a condition called locked-in syndrome,’ reveals Hermione Gulliford, who plays modern-day Roxanna. ‘It’s what made her study neurosurgery in the first place. It’s significant in the story.’
Back in the present, Gaskell (Paul McGann) rushes Roxanna into theatre but Hanssen (Guy Henry) has reservations about him operating on their friend. As Gaskell reassures him that he can be trusted, another flashback proves he hasn’t always been entirely honourable...
‘Gaskell stole some of Roxanna’s work when they were studying together, and that is what propelled his advancement into neurosurgery,’ says Hermione. ‘But Roxanna never found out.’ As Roxanna’s life hangs in the balance, Gaskell seems more concerned with how his stem-cell trial is going. How far will he go to preserve what he values most?
‘For these scenes I had to play an unconscious Roxanna,’ says Hermione. ‘Well, at least I didn’t have to worry about learning any lines!’
Old friends… Roxanna and Hanssen as students Crisis point... Can Gaskell (left) and Hanssen save Roxanna? Fighting for her life...Roxanna