Series 15 Episode 16:
Written by Jeff Povey

Charlie is using Dan's video recorder to watch a video of Louis sent from Canada. Dan asks him if he agrees with his plan to play Christmas music in the department, and Charlie, absorbed in the video, says yes. Dan goes down to receptions where Amy and Spencer are waiting, and tells them Charlie's agreed. He puts on a tape - of Christmas carols sung by a choir. Amy and Spencer soon get fed up with it. They tell Dan the tape's stuck; he takes it out, examines it, wipes off Spencer's fingerprint and puts it back in to play again. It works, to Amy and Spencer's dismay.
Bruce Allen and his daughter Catherine are getting ready for Christmas. Catherine asks if they can put up a picture of her mother, who is dead, so she can be with them, and Bruce agrees. They are expecting a visit from Bruce's girlfriend Avril. She arrives and is welcomed by both of them. Bruce and Avril break it to Catherine that Avril is pregnant and she will have a new half brother or sister. Catherine becomes very upset, asking, "But what about me?" She runs out of the room. Bruce later finds her in the attic, looking at photos of her mother. She asks why the pictures are hidden away up there. Bruce tells her that when she died it hurt too much to look at them, but it's been a long time and he should have brought them down by now. Catherine says he's got Avril now, and says she knows what will happen. Bruce doesn't understand but Catherine doesn't explain. Bruce tells her that Avril has gone home, and asks her to come down and talk about it. Catherine gets up unsteadily and Bruce, standing on the ladder, holds his hand out to her. As she touches it he takes a step down, and the ladder topples over. Bruce falls onto the landing and then down the stairs, banging his head. Avril calls an ambulance and Bruce is taken to Holby A&E. He asks her to phone Avril but Catherine doesn't want to. She goes to the phone but changes her mind and goes back to Bruce's cubicle. Duffy asks if his friend has arrived yet, saying she'll be worried. Catherine says that she's worried too, but her dad doesn't know that - he doesn't know anything. She runs away. Bruce, worried when Duffy can't find her, tells Duffy and Andrew that Catherine has a hole in her heart and is dying - this will be her last Christmas. He tells them she's upset about Avril being pregnant. Avril turns up at Holby A&E and sees Catherine sitting outside. She tells Catherine that she walked there as the traffic is stuck in snow. She set off after one of the Allens' neighbours told her they'd seen an ambulance outside the house - she was worried that something had happened to Catherine. Catherine is touched that she walked all the way there because of her. She tells Avril that she doesn't want her photos to be put in the attic with her mum's. She thinks she'll be forgotten when she dies, and that her photo will be replaced with one of the new baby. She says she doesn't want to be forgotten. Avril promises they won't forget her, and that they'll keep Catherine's photo on the mantelpiece so it will be as if she is still there. They go inside to see Bruce, and Catherine asks Avril to come on Christmas day, saying she won't be able to remember her last Christmas if she isn't there.
Chloe is going round with some mistletoe. She sees Josh and Colette together and tries to make them kiss under it. They awkwardly look from each other to the mistletoe, trying to make excuses and saying it's unprofessional, then go their separate ways.
Chris Hooper has just come out of prison and is staying with his brother James, who is a vicar. James asks Chris to leave, saying it's not working. He goes into the church and Chris follows him, asking where he can go. He says his girlfriend got tired of waiting. He says this time he wants to go straight, and he needs James's help. James says they hardly know each other anymore. He keeps coughing, but insists it's just flu. Chris says he wants a normal life, but can't do it on his own. James asks why he stole the silver chalice from the altar. Chris denies taking it, but James doesn't believe him. As they are arguing, James starts coughing again and collapses. Chris calls an ambulance despite his brother's objections. As they are waiting, Chris says he hasn't asked anything from James for years. James tells Chris to come out with it: to say how selfless he was, how he went to Borstal for something James did. He says it was Chris's choice. Chris says he thought he could get back on track, but thirty years later he still hasn't found his way. He says James didn't stop him making that sacrifice. Penny and Mel arrive. They begin to treat James. Mel goes out to turn the ambulance around but it gets stuck in the snow - they are stranded in the church. James says he doesn't want helping. He tells them about a gay man who'd fallen in love and wanted his blessing on their relationship. James couldn't condone it and the man ended the relationship because of his faith. His boyfriend committed suicide, and James blames himself for destroying the man's life. Penny gets through to A&E on the radio and speaks to Max. Max finds James's notes: he has cancer and keeps missing his appointments. Max is telling Penny this but can't hear or concentrate because of the music playing, so he asks Charlie to do something about it. Charlie goes to reception and turns it off, and everyone immediately cheers up. Max, finding out James' symptoms, tells Penny that he has an infusion which she'll have to aspirate. He talks her through it and she manages it successfully. Chris goes to find some more blankets. In the cupboard he finds the chalice James accused him of stealing. He asks James about it; James says he accused him so he'd go away, so that no-one would call an ambulance - he's lost so much faith he planned to die. He later apologises to Chris. Chris tells him that he and hundreds of others think James can help them. James says he's not much of a saint, but Chris says he'll say a prayer for him. He's about to go, but James asks him to stay, saying he's going to keep fighting. Chris returns and shakes his brother's hand.
Chloe is spending Christmas with Amy and Milo; when she hears that Spencer hasn't got any plans she invites him along too. Later she invites Charlie and Max, without mentioning it to Amy. When Amy finds out she doesn't look too happy.
Chloe is treating Robert Cox, who has injured his arm. He is very grumpy and complains about being kept waiting, saying he's meeting his son to cut down a Christmas tree together - a family tradition. Eventually his treatment is finished and he goes to reception to wait for his son to pick him up. Chloe finds him still there a while later. She asks him if his son's coming and he says the phone was engaged when he called. Chloe suggests he tries again and he gets up to go to the phone. He only pretends to call, though. Catherine Allen is nearby and asks him why he's pretending. He denies pretending and walks off. He tells Chloe that he and his son fell out years ago and his son hasn't wanted anything to do with him since. She asks if he's tried calling but Robert hasn't; Chloe walks off unsympathetically. Robert goes to the phone and calls his son.
Duffy tells Charlie that she's pregnant. He's stunned, and says he doesn't know what to say. Duffy tells him Andrew feels the same way, and asks why it had to happen now. Charlie says he's sure they'll work out. Duffy asks if that's it; Charlie says that's about all he can manage for now, adding that he should tell Dan. Duffy is outraged, saying she'd told him because she wanted his support as a friend, but all he's worried about is the hospital. She walks away, leaving calling after her. She tries to talk to Andrew, but he says this isn't the place. He won't talk to her at home either, because their sons are always around. Duffy says they've got to tell people sometime, but Andrew says not until they've decided what to do. Duffy asks, "What is there to decide?" At the end of the shift, Charlie calls everyone to the staff room. He tells them that they'll have to stay until the next shift, who can't get there through the snow, arrive. Dan is there, and adds his congratulations to Andrew and Duffy on her pregnancy. Everyone congratulates them, but Andrew's reaction makes Dan ask Charlie what he said. Charlie says, "Something you shouldn't have." Dan replies that he didn't know it wasn't public knowledge.
Holly and Patrick are at the Paediatric department's Christmas lunch. Holly is glad to see her old colleagues again but Patrick is being miserable. Holly says she doesn't know why she asked him along; he reminds her that she needed a lift. As they are driving to work, the snow is falling fast. Patrick's car breaks down and they can't get it started again. Patrick phones a breakdown service but they tell him he hasn't paid his fees and is no longer a member; as he is trying to bargain with them his phone runs out of batteries. After complaining that he hadn't charged his phone, Holly tells him her freshly-charged phone is in the boot. They go to get it but the boot is frozen shut. Patrick tries to open it with his fingers but ends up stabbing his thumbnail. Patrick tries to pull a branch off a fallen tree to prise the boot open, and falls over, saying he thinks he's sprained his ankle. Holly picks up a piece of scrap metal and manages to prise the boot open with it, although Patrick complains that she's scratched his bag. She picks up her phone and calls Amy in A&E, letting her know that they're stranded, but bad reception cuts them off before she can say any more. Patrick and Holly go to a barn for shelter. They're very cold and Patrick pulls a bottle of whisky out of his pocket, saying it will keep them warm. Holly says he should know that alcohol only helps to bring on hypothermia, but eventually agrees to them opening it. Patrick persuades Holly that the best way to keep warm is to snuggle up together. Holly cautiously agrees, on the condition that there's no funny business, and sits on his knee, his arms round her. She asks him why he hates Christmas so much. He tells her that his mum died on Christmas day, when he was ten. He went into her room - she was home from hospital for Christmas - but she sent him out, not wanting him to see her like that. She died, and Patrick saw her and didn't believe she was dead. He put her presents on the end of her bed and wished her Merry Christmas. He says that Christmas is thrust down their throats from October and all he can think about is his mum. Holly says it was nice that he told her. She asks him what he sees in her; he tells her loneliness. He says the job makes doctors lonely, even if they try to kid themselves otherwise. Patrick moves towards Holly, about to kiss her, but she turns away and walks out of the barn, saying she's going to check on the weather. Holly returns, after managing to phone for help, to find Patrick lying still. For a moment she thinks that he isn't breathing, but realises with a sigh of relief that he's just asleep. She kisses the side of his head without waking him, saying, "Merry Christmas Dr. Spiller."

Episode first broadcast Saturday 23rd December 2000

Additional Cast
Robert Cox Windsor Davies
Bruce Allen Alexander Hanson
Catherine Allen Mirren McLeod
Avril Misson          Susannah Hitching
James Hooper Jonty Stephens
Chris Hooper Philip Whitchurch

Pictures provided by Chris Leader