SERIES 30, EPISODE 27 - HIGH TIDE
Lee's final episode in Casualty (for now!) brought to a conclusion the storyline that had been slowly building through weeks of Dylan's unofficial mentoring of Lofty, and came to a dramatic head over the past two weeks. As with these two episodes, it provided scope for Lee to show just what he can do with a good script - give a sensitive, convincing portrayal of a man struggling to deal with the fatal consequences of his actions, while continuing to do what he does best... to quote Charlie "helping people who can't see a way out".
It showed the qualities in Lofty that have made the character so popular with the viewers and the qualities in Lee that have made him so convincing in the role. His in-character goodbyes to and from his colleagues were, I suspect, also genuine and heart-felt farewells between off screen friends and were extraordinarily touching. Special mention must also go to William Beck, whose scenes with Lee have been such a delight - his reaction to Lofty's departure was exquisitely played. Their relationship is one of the things I will miss most.
Lee dropped into our Saturday evening TV schedules a little over 2 years ago, in Episode 27 of Series 28... and it is from Episode 27 of Series 30 that he leaves them again. He has referred frequently to 'taking a break' and leaving 'for now' and I hope we will indeed see him again, either in Holby (which his plans to retrain might better suit him for) or back in Casualty, at some point in the future. But a lot can happen in a year... and with the commitments he already has lined up - starring as Caractacus Potts in the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from May to September, touring his new album in October and panto (where is yet to be announced) over Christmas - he will be gone for more than that. So, I'll wait and see.
To mark his departure, the Beeb have put together a wonderful "goodbye Lofty" video compilation (right), which includes some great out-takes, and there are also lots of related articles in the March Press Round-up to mark the end of Lee's run in the show.
Synopsis: The repercussions of the defibrillator accident continue to reverberate for Lofty, who must face the consequences of his actions by explaining the chain of events at a hearing. However, when faced with the consequences of his actions, the opportunity to help Lana arises and he decides to skip his meeting and lend her a hand instead. He has a life-changing decision to make - but will he make the right choice?
Meanwhile, Cal hijacks an ambulance to take Ethan and his ailing mother to an old family holiday destination, and while there, the brothers decide to finally read the results from the genetics lab. Medical drama, starring Lee Mead.
Finally, with my sincere thanks to the anonymous editor who has fulfilled this task throughout Lee's run in the show, and my eternal apologies to those of the cast who have hit the cutting room floor, here's the last 'Meady bits' edit... for now!
Details of all Lee's episodes can be found at HOLBY & CASUALTY INDEX.
Last updated: 13 March 2016