Why Casualty is revisiting a story from 2006

·4 min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Casualty spoilers follow.

Casualty fans may need to be concentrating more carefully when watching tonight's episode (December 4), as the ED drama won't be airing in real time.

As we've already revealed, Casualty is airing a two-part Christmas special, with the first instalment broadcasting this Saturday (December 4).

The two episodes have both been written by Barbara Machin – one of the show's most acclaimed writers – and will time jump from December 2020 to December 2006. But if you're a little confused by some of the flashbacks, and what they mean, fear not as we've got you covered in our quick guide:

Why does tonight's episode go back in time?

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Tonight's scenes will park all the drama that has aired in 2021, and go back 12 months to a time where Lev and Fenisha were alive, Jade hadn't left and Charlie hadn't been catfished. Sadly, the departing characters won't be featured, but we do at least get an insight into Iain's life at Hems, prior to his return to the ED earlier this year.

To make things even more confusing (you have been warned), we actually begin the episode with a flashback to an episode that aired 14 years prior to this, which shows Charlie and former paramedic Josh (Ian Bleasdale) make a distressing discovery about an unstable Laura, who returns to the ED later in the episode

We then fast-forward twelve months to Christmas Day 2020, where the Covid crisis is taking its toll on the ED clan – especially Charlie. A still grieving Charlie is preparing for his first Christmas on his own without Duffy and is thrown when Tess unexpectedly shows up, having picked up ED shifts over the Christmas period.

Suzanne Packer reprised her role as the popular character for two episodes, after initially bowing out in 2015. Despite their once-solid friendship, there is palpable tension between the pair and Tess continues to pick up on Charlie's awful mood throughout their shift together.

In the ED, we meet an anxious, and heavily pregnant, Rosie – who is a health care assistant at Holby hospital. And this is where it gets really interesting...

What happened back in 2006?

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Rosie is the daughter of Laura Merriman, who brought Rosie into the ED in an episode called 'Killing Me Softly' that aired on December 30, 2006. Laura was eventually revealed to be suffering from Factitious Disorder by Proxy (previously known as Munchausen's), having made Rosie ill on purpose.

Unfortunately, Josh got caught in the crossfire when he saw Laura walking away from the ED with an unconscious Rosie in a wheelchair. When Laura sought shelter in an ambulance, she became increasingly erratic when Josh tried to reason with her. Believing that he was trying to take Rosie away from her, Laura stabbed Josh – before trapping him in the ambulance and leaving him to die.

A badly injured bleeding Josh was found in the ambulance in the following episode, with Charlie and the rest of the team rushing to save him. Laura was eventually arrested and hadn't seen Rosie again until tonight's episode. As for Josh? It took him a long time to recover from his traumatic ordeal, which eventually sparked his exit in 2007.

What happens next?

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Tonight's scenes will mainly focus around Rosie's desperation to ensure Laura can't reach her now she's out of prison. She tries to reach out to Charlie, but he is too distracted by his own personal problems to recognise her or realise what's going on.

Laura then manages to admit herself as a patient under a false name, allowing her to find and speak to Rosie.

Confronted with her childhood trauma once again, Rosie is devastated to realise that her mum hasn't changed at all, and still believes she did the right thing fourteen years ago.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

The situation intensifies when Laura tracks Rosie down in the stairwell. They have a tense standoff and Rosie ends up falling over the bannisters. But will she be okay?

This Saturday's episode will also explore Iain's time in the HEMs team last year, offering viewers an insight into the distressing ordeal he had to deal with four months before returning to the ED. Romance was on the cards for him back then too, with Michael Stevenson's real-life wife Lauren Crace playing Iain's love interest, Chrissie.

Casualty airs tonight at 9.15pm. The second part of the Christmas special will air on Saturday, December 11 on BBC One.

Read more Casualty spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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