Casualty's Matthew Afolami has been struggling with his feelings ever since he failed to save former lover, Fenisha, after she was involved in a train crash on her wedding day.
This week, when a bloodied teenage girl runs into his car, Matthew has flashbacks to an intense event from his past, as actor Osi Okerafor reveals…
Running late for work, Matthew gets a shock when a bloodied teenage girl, Farrah, runs out into the path of his car…
"Matthew's PTSD is triggered by this incident. These flashbacks are connected with his time as a field doctor. He’s lost patients in environments with insufficient equipment and he doesn’t want to lose anyone else. These memories are sparked the minute Farrah runs into his car."
And what causes Matthew’s flashbacks when, later, he freezes while trying to save a patient?
"Because Matthew was one of the people operating on Fenisha and he lost her, anyone who’s important to someone else, Matthew really doesn’t want them to die. He’ll go to the ends of the earth to make sure they survive."
Matthew doesn’t want to let on to colleague Stevie (Elinor Lawless) that he’s struggling, though, does he?
"No. Matthew’s very professional, and always wants to give his best at work, so any past trauma or damage, he tries this absolute best to keep that covered. In this episode, some holes are exposed and he doesn’t quite know how to address that."
Also, in this episode, Matthew is welcomed as a permanent member of the ED by Dylan, and enjoys winding him up. What’s it like acting out those scenes with William Beck, who plays him?
"Before I joined Casualty, whenever I watched it on TV, I thought William was great. So, I wouldn’t say I was starstruck but I really admired what he was doing, so when I then had some scenes with him, I’d be like: ‘Oh, that’s Will, that’s HIM!’ He’s hilarious but deadpan and in rehearsals, he’ll make stuff up and will have everyone laughing. He’s a consummate professional and it’s great to work with him."
What do you think brings Stevie and Matthew together in this episode?
"Stevie and Matthew really see something in each other; like a secret suffering, which brings them together and offers some solace. There’s a mutual understanding and they come together as way to cope with their own problems and issues, with someone who really knows where you’re coming from. They’re baring each other’s wounds and allowing someone else to see that."
Is Matthew ready to move on from Fenisha?
"This is Matthew’s first step away from Fenisha. He really loved her but she was there one minute and gone the next. He hasn’t really grieved for her, so there are a lot of unresolved feelings there."
Casualty continues Saturdays at 9.30pm on BBC1.
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