Don't worry, the writers haven't completely lost the plot and Diane isn't actually making an illogical and completely implausible return from the dead.
So why is she back? Who was she? And what is her connection to Ric? If you need a quick reminder, then look no further.
Who is Diane?
Diane, played by Patricia Potter, was a general surgeon on Holby's Keller ward from 2002 until her death in 2007.
Diane was initially introduced as a general surgical registrar, replacing Tash Bandara, who had left to travel the world. During her time on the show, Diane had relationships with Owen Davies, Ric Griffin and a fair few others (more on that to come).
She took centre stage in a special episode 'Tuesday's Child' which was filmed in Ghana in 2005 and also appeared in the spin-off show Casualty@Holby City, where she was seen fighting to save the life of Casualty paramedic Comfort Jones.
What is her history with Ric?
Diane shared a colourful and fairly complex history with Ric, which lasted throughout the majority of her seven-year stint. In fact, Diane was actually introduced as an ex-lover of established character Ric when she joined in 2002, meaning their connection goes far beyond the years they shared in the show.
Despite entering into a relationship with Owen, and later marrying him, Diane's attraction to Ric was never completely buried and she ended up kissing him in the lead-up to her wedding.
Although Diane insisted her feelings for Ric were purely platonic, their relationship took centre stage in Holby's special Ghana episode – which ultimately saw them reconcile. The scenes saw Diane head out to Africa to see Ric, who was generating funds for his brother's new clinic, and eventually persuaded him to return to Holby with her.
At the time of her death in 2007, Diane had parted ways with Ric, but it became increasingly clear in the aftermath that he was secretly harbouring very strong feelings for her.
What other stories was Diane involved in?
Diane is infamously remembered for her utterly disastrous love life, having dated a number of her hospital colleagues, and later marrying consultant obstetrician Owen Davies. Along with her on-off romance with Ric, one of Diane's biggest stories involved her tempestuous relationship with Owen and the subsequent love triangle with his ex-wife Chrissie Williams.
Owen began cheating on Diane with Chrissie prior to their wedding and continued the affair throughout their marriage, with the story eventually leading to his departure from the show.
Diane's other stories included flings with nurses Danny Shaughnessy and Steve Waring, an abortion, a miscarriage, the tragic death of her sister – and her subsequent decision to take over the care of her baby nephew, Jack.
Holby also explored a historic sexual-assault story with Diane when it became apparent she had been raped by medical teacher Dominic Fryer during her training. When Dominic was brought in as a teaching consultant, who was now training new colleagues, Diane's harrowing backstory started to come to light.
Another of Diane's big stories saw her go head-to-head with surgeon Nick Jordan (of Casualty and Holby fame) in a bitter feud that led to her taking a break from the show. Nick bean a campaign of manipulation against Diane, later attempting to seduce the doctor to get her on side.
How did she die?
Diane died in tragic and slightly ambiguous circumstances in 2007 when her car collided with a train.
Viewers never saw Diane's death on screen, but Ric and her colleagues were forced to face up to the devastating possibility that Diane had taken her own life, following multiple problems and setbacks in the lead-up.
Tonight's outlandish scenes will explore the guilt Ric has carried, and is still carrying, ever since her demise as he faces his own mortality and a life-or-death decision.
Why is she back?
Patricia has reprised her role as Diane, for a one-off appearance in tonight's special episode, which will the character reappear in ghost-like form.
As we've previously teased, Diane's comeback "goes beyond the realms of the hospital" and into very different territory for the show (and trust us, it does) as Ric is faced with some major ghosts from his past during life-saving surgery.
Holby City airs on Tuesday evenings at 8pm on BBC One.
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