Se­crets from the past

Flash­back scenes re­veal how the friend­ship be­tween Holby’s Gaskell, Hanssen and Rox­anna be­gan…

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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

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