Casualty returns to BBC in January with coronavirus special episode

There’s a new year treat in store for Casualty fans, as the long-awaited return of the show has just been announced. The show will return to our screens on Saturday January 2 at 7.35 PM, kicking off with a special episode that gives a dramatic and, at times, harrowing look at the realities of working on the ‘front line’ battling the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) takes centre stage as she leads her team through their toughest challenge yet as they respond to changing events as the realities of Covid 19 threaten to overwhelm the department. Connie tries to hold her staff team together – but when members of the team fall ill with the virus themselves, emotions are running high.

The challenges faced throughout the NHS are reflected in Charlie (Derek Thompson)’s concern over the impact of the virus on people in care homes. Fenisha (Olivia D’Lima) is anxious about the possible risk to her unborn baby. Will she have to admit she’s pregnant to Jan (Di Botcher)?

And will it mean that Ethan (George Rainsford) will finally find out he’s going to be a dad? Meanwhile Lev (Uriel Emil) moves out of the family home to protect his son, who is extremely vulnerable because of his cancer treatment – leaving Faith (Kirsty Mitchell) to deal with Dylan (William Beck)’s revelation that Lev had an affair.

A first-glimpse photo has been released, showing Connie, David (Jason Durr), Jacob (Charles Venn), Ethan, Charlie, Dylan and Robyn in full PPE, anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first Covid patients. Amusingly, while everyone else has their first name written above their visor, Dylan – never one for informality – has written ‘Dr Keogh’ on his.

It’s a powerful episode that doesn’t shy away from the difficult realities of the pandemic. The incredible pressure that everyone in the NHS was under is brought to dramatic life as the virus ends up taking a massive toll on the department, in a way that’s set to change life in Holby’s ED forever.

Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.

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