Holby City fans hail last night’s groundbreaking episode 'the best ever' - here’s why

TV tonight Holby City
(Image credit: BBC)

Holby City gave viewers an insight into hospital life during the peak of a pandemic...

Holby City returned to our screens last night with an episode viewers will never forget.

The episode focused entirely on what it was like woking in a hospital during the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and fans have praised the cast and crew, calling it the best episode of the medical drama ever.

Holby City BBC

Ric woke from his coma to find the world in the grip of a pandemic (Picture: BBC)

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Holby returns with a bang 

Back after three months off, the episode opened with Ric Griffin waking from a coma, having had brain surgery in the last episode aired back in the summer.

But when Ric wakes, he is shocked to find the hospital he knows so well looking almost unrecognisable as it is gripped by the pandemic.

As well as telling Ric's story as he fought to recover from his operation, last night's Holby City also highlighted what it was like for NHS staff working at the start of the pandemic.

Holby City BBC

Last night's Holby highlighted the struggles for the NHS at the peak of the first wave (Picture: BBC)

From the lack of PPE and new doctors sighing up to help at the hospital, families being kept apart and Thursday evening clapping for our NHS heroes, the episode paid tribute to everyone working on the frontline.

Emotional storylines

As well as the pandemic taking centre stage in the special episode, we also saw Sacha struggling with his grief after losing Essie, and it was also sadly Ric's exit after 19 years on our screens.

Holby City BBC

Ric's life hung in the balance after contracting covid (Picture: BBC)

Being male, over 60 and with underlying heath conditions, Ric was already on the vulnerable list.

However, he put his patients first and continued to work despite his health deteriorating.

Eventually he also fell victim to covid, however unlike many people he had been treating, he thankfully recovered.

Holby City BBC

Ric's emotional exit from Holby left fans in tears (Picture: BBC)

Fans have hailed the episode the best they have ever watched and have heaped prise on everyone involved with making such a milestone episode...

At the end of the episode, Ric had decided to make his emotional exit - leaving the hospital to make a very special journey to fulfil a promise he made to a dying patient.

Holby City just won't be the same without him.

Holby City airs on Tuesdays at 7.50pm on BBC One.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.