With a matter of weeks left on the air, Holby City has delivered one of the most shocking twists in its 23 year history. Ice queen Jac Naylor’s (Rosie Marcel) condition is deteriorating and her brain tumour is now terminal.
Her reaction to the news was exactly what viewers have come to expect. For the formidable Jac, losing this battle is simply not an option. It’s entirely in character for her to challenge the prognosis, not just in the name of hope but in the name of science.
Jac found a surgical solution and stated her case to colleague Eli Ebrahimi (Davood Ghadami). But Eli was adamant that the operation would be far too dangerous.
Nicky McKendrick (Belinda Owusu), who looks upon Jac as a mentor, also refused to accept the situation. No doubt there will be an army of fans sharing her sentiments.
Now we are left wondering whether Holby is about to do the unthinkable - kill off one of the show’s most popular, iconic characters. Surely not? It would be a mistake to end her story like this, and there are a multitude of reasons why.
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Beyond the finale, the hope was that our favourite regulars could go on to make appearances on sister show Casualty when the moment calls for it.
It’s a theory that has yet to be referenced by bosses, but for surviving staff, the potential is there. To deny us of the possibility of Jac’s presence, even on a cameo basis, would be a great shame.
The idea of patients being transferred to the trusty Darwin ward without Jac at the helm, in person or not? Outrageous.
Death may be inevitable in this serial drama, but at this point we’ve seen enough beloved characters lose their lives.
From the kindly Essie Di Lucca (Kaye Wragg), to the animated Kian Madani (Ramin Karimloo) and Dom’s (David Ames) twinkly-eyed mother Carole Copeland (Julia Deakin), our tear ducts have been well and truly worn out. A reprieve is long overdue.
The show’s conclusion is set for March, and it would be wrong for powerhouse Jac not to be a part of that in a positive, uplifting way. After all, she returned to play an instrumental role in saving the hospital from closure.
As we now know, her illness also played its part as she chose Holby as the setting for her innovative treatment. Advancing medicine to save lives has been a key feature over the years, and Jac has been a vital player in this field too.
To ignore her impact in favour of delivering another heartbreaking loss would be a wasted opportunity - and an overdose of TV misery at a crucial time for the show.
While the drama has a duty to be responsible and realistic with its medical content, the fact we’re nearing the end means Holby can afford to be adventurous and push boundaries - just like Jac herself.
Surgery is the very fibre of Jac’s being, and now is the time for Holby to shine with a defining moment of glory.
So, what better way to build towards the finale than to put Jac’s strength to the ultimate test? Coming through this and winning would be the perfect legacy for both her and the show.
Why? Because this is the woman who, in her own words, “went back to work after being shot in half”. She has overcome struggles with her mental health, suffered tragedy in her personal life and been a victim of evil Professor Gaskell, yet she has always come out fighting. Now it’s only right that the hospital fights for her one last time.
The only purpose for her death would be to give the character a definitive ending; but Jac has never needed one. She plays by her own rules, and it would be a disservice to Holby City to kill off its most stubborn, resilient resident.
Jac is the top heart surgeon of choice, and despite her frosty facade she has aptly become the heart of the hospital. I want to see her barking out orders until the final curtain.
No one is indestructible, but if there is one fictional television personality who should be, it’s Jac Naylor.
Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC One. Previous episodes are available on catch-up on BBC iPlayer.