Oliver Chris bows out of Bluestone 42
Tonight's episode of the Afghanistan-set BBC3 comedy saw the introduction of Laura Aikman's ATO Ellen Best after Nick Medhurst lost his leg in an explosion
It's a sad day for fans of Oliver Chris's Nick Medhurst. The character – best known for his biting one-liners and exhaustive attempts to hit on Kelly Adams' Padre – has been written out of BBC3 comedy-drama Bluestone 42.
As the bomb disposal unit's ATO, Nick has been caught in many a nail biting moment over the show's two series, however his luck finally ran out in tonight's episode when he was blown up during his attempts to rescue another soldier.
For much of the 30-minute instalment his situation offscreen remained critical, but in the closing moments his team – and viewers – learned he had survived surgery but lost his leg.
"The fact is, quite simply, that out in Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever our troops are sent to go, these things happen," Matthew Lewis – who plays Tower Block – tells RadioTimes.com. "If we want to be true to the story, true to the drama and true to the danger, we have to be honest. These things happen, they happen all the time, and we didn't want to shy away from that.
"I think it was a real opportunity for us to broach a very tricky subject, a very tricky topic, but try and do it as best we could and show some truth to it."
Although, fans did get one final glimpse of Nick, sitting in his hospital bed and – as predicted – trying to chat up his attractive nurse, while consoling himself with a box of Jelly Babies missing their right legs (courtesy of his team).
With Nick's days in the field now over, fans were introduced to Bluestone 42's new ATO, Ellen Best (played by Laura Aikman, below) who joins Matthew Lewis, Stephen Wight and the rest of the cast for the remainder of the series.
"She's an ATO – and she is very different from Nick," Aikman – who's starred in The Job Lot and Waterloo Road – tells us. "In fact, she's very different from everyone. She's very professional, she's very by-the-book.
"There's going to be resistance, and the whole team have got their reservations before they even meet."
It's all change for the BBC3 comedy, whose fans also learned of the departure of Kelly Adams (below, now starring in Mr Selfridge) during last week's episode as her Padre, Mary, requested an "urgent transfer" after finally giving into Nick's advances at the end of the previous series.
"Kelly going was a real shame," says Lewis. "I came in series two so they'd all been together for some time and Kelly really took me under her wing and made me feel a part of the team."
Bluestone 42 continues next Monday at 10pm on BBC3