Holby City spoilers follow.
Holby City treated us to another (yes, another!) big comeback tonight as Ollie Valentine returned to our screens.
Ollie's return was actually confirmed last week, but his appearance in tonight's episode (October 12) was held back until transmission.
Sure enough, Ollie has been unveiled as the ghost from Hanssen's past – who he had unknowingly agreed to mentor. Ollie's reappearance will spark a brand-new story that will take centre stage over autumn.
Holby City - Who is Ollie Valentine and where has he been?
Although most fans won't need reminding on who the popular medic is, Ollie, played by James Anderson, made his first appearance in Holby City back in 2009.
He was introduced alongside his older sister Penny as part of his F1 rotation at the hospital. One of his first major storylines saw him forced to admit to cheating in his exams at medical school after his medical competence was called into question. This plunged him into a downward spiral which only intensified when Penny was killed off.
A special flashback episode portrayed his battle to cope with her death. Poignantly, Hanssen allowed Ollie to continue with his training back then, despite the disingenuous methods he took to get there, but will he be prepared to take the same risks this time around?
Ollie's other major stories included his relationships with Chrissie Williams and Tara Lo, who tragically died, and his subsequent popular pairing with Zosia March.
James departed his role as Ollie in 2013, before returning for a one-off episode in 2014. He then returned full-time at the end of 2014. His biggest story to date saw him shot in the head by Hanssen's son Fredrik, in a dramatic two-parter that saw Raf lose his life. Although his colleagues managed to save Ollie, he was placed in a coma and suffered a life-changing brain injury. This eventually led to his exit in 2018, when he chose to go abroad.
In 2019, Zosia returned to the show and revealed to Jac that she was expecting Ollie's baby, after they'd reunited off-screen. Zosia's final scenes saw her call Ollie and make plans to meet him, hinting to their ardent fan base that a happy ending was on the horizon.
Holby City spoilers - Why is Ollie back?
Ollie has headed back to Holby in a bid to turn his life around in the wake of his brain injury. As we saw tonight, Hanssen's first day back was interrupted by a visit from old acquaintance Russ, who had an ulterior motive for dropping by.
Russ explained that he was keen for Hanssen to mentor someone who'd had a tough time, and that person in question was soon revealed to be Ollie.
Hanssen was palpably uncertain about the task at hand, and his concerns will only grow as he spends more time with Ollie next week.
Ollie is wanting to retrain as a general surgeon in Holby so that he can move to America to be closer to his young son Arthur and ex-girlfriend Zosia. However, upcoming scenes will see Hanssen address his concerns over whether he is the best person to mentor Ollie – and whether Holby is the best place for him at all.
Increasingly unsure if this is the right move for Ollie, Hanssen demands that his former colleague undergo numerous assessments in order to prove he's fit for work. While Ollie is able to prove that he is physically capable of returning to his old duties, a question mark will loom over whether he is emotionally ready, too.
And when a run-in with a vandal on AAU reopens Ollie's old wounds, it starts to become clear that Hanssen might be right. Can Ollie prove otherwise?
That remains to be seen, but Ollie's story will be the one to watch over the coming weeks. James has reprised his role for a short stint until the end of the year.
Holby City spoilers – What happens next?
Ollie isn't the only character to watch over the next few weeks, as Holby also kicked off another huge story tonight with its cliffhanger.
The final moments of tonight's episode saw Lucky ask her friend Max to end her life, after learning that she has been left permanently paralysed from Jeni's attack.
Lucky's worst fears were confirmed when Max told her that she had suffered an extensive spinal injury, which has left her paralysed from the neck down.
After some unsettling internal conversations with her younger self, Lucky acknowledged that she needed to reach out for help, but left Max reeling with her impossible request. Next week's scenes will explore this in more detail, but what will Max do? And what will happen next?
Holby City continues on Tuesday, October 19 at 7.50pm on BBC One.
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