Professor John Gaskell (Paul McGann) has gone to desperate lengths to keep his guilty secret under wraps in tonight’s Holby City by murdering fellow neurosurgeon Roxanna MacMillan (Hermione Gulliford) in scenes just shown on the BBC1 medical drama.
Gaskell had already sabotaged Roxanna’s potentially life-saving operation, an act that left her with locked-in syndrome, unable to communicate or move. But the evil medic went one step further this evening after Roxanna tried to spell out the danger that Gaskell posed using a board of letters.
Fearful that his duplicity would be exposed, Gaskell caused Roxanna to flatline by injecting a neurotoxin into her IV, thus ensuring that his colleagues wouldn’t discover the truth about the fact that his entire career is a fraud. For those unaware, Gaskell’s experimental trial is built on a fallacy, seeing as the original patient he supposedly ‘cured’ didn’t actually have motor neurone disease in the first place.
In an attempt to justify his actions to a helpless Roxanna, Gaskell was seen covertly whispering: “I know you understand. The only way of making history is to keep going.”
Leaning over Roxanna in her final moments, he added chillingly, “All those times I wavered, you gave me strength. I love you. I always have – you know that, don’t you?”
As Roxanna’s life slipped away, a distraught Hanssen looked on, while Gaskell ensured that he was well away from the scene of his crime. Viewers last saw him standing outside the hospital, staring into the distance, fully aware that he has now brought about his co-worker’s untimely demise.
Speaking about her exit from the series, Hermione Gulliford said to RadioTimes.com: “I really loved being welcomed into the Holby family, which is made up of such a friendly, talented and committed bunch of people. So it was hard to say goodbye to Roxanna, who I’ve really enjoyed playing.”
Executive producer Simon Harper added that it had always been the intention for Roxanna to come to a tragic end: “Hermione has been in that unique position of knowing her character was going to be killed off from the top, which she handled with great grace and aplomb – as well as giving the most wonderful, nuanced performance as Roxanna.
“We’ve been so lucky to have this wonderful actor on board in this huge story.”
Holby City returns next Tuesday at 8.00pm