Celebrated comedy actor Richard Briers guest stars in a special episode of BBC One’s Holby City this Christmas inspired by, and based on, the festive classic film ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.
With just minutes to go before Izzy’s (Elinor Colman) heart transplant operation, Elliot (Paul Bradley) walks out of theatre in a daze at the day’s preceding events � his son, James, has been sentenced to prison; his daughter, Martha, has been badly injured from the shootings; and Zoe has been shot dead by Tim, who has also taken his own life.
Feeling unable to go on, Elliot walks towards a bridge and prepares to jump into the icy water below. A man called George (Briers) interrupts him, however, and asks him to help a woman who is just about to give birth. Elliot wishes he was never born, and, in true It’s A Wonderful Life fashion, his wish is granted.
Viewers then witness the world without Elliot. Joseph is a patient in a psychiatric ward, Darwin has been shut down following the shootings, Connie doesn’t recognise him, Mark (Robert Powell) is in a wheelchair and many more of the staff have died as a result of the shootings.
Finally, Elliot visits his late wife, Gina (Gillian Bevan), and discovers she wants to die, but is unable to trust her family to cope without her. Realising all the good he has done, Elliot decides he wants his life back, despite his problems, and returns to successfully operate on Izzy and enjoy an emotional family reunion with Martha and James.
A second festive episode sees Connie (Amanda Mealing) return to Holby City in the wake of the recent attack where she finds Darwin understaffed and in chaos. In her eagerness to restore order to the ward, Connie is insensitive to the staff and ends up offending Chrissie (Tina Hobley) and clashing with Stuart (Conor Mullen).