Recommended second chance
Following Nick Jordan’s departure, Dr Zoe Hanna becomes the Clinical Lead as Casualty returns for a new series. But her first day in the job is fraught with problems, as she deals with the aftermath of a disaster. Sunetra Sarker, who plays Zoe, tells TV Choice more…
How is Zoe coping with becoming the Clinical Lead?
To be given the job of looking after the team is a bit daunting. I don’t think it’s a job she wanted. So it’s a mixture of feelings – but you can't really help but be happy when you’re given a promotion. So I think she’s secretly pleased, but openly worried about telling the team she’s their new boss, and wondering what that really means.
In episode one, you see her feeling the pressure, and in episode two you see her trying to digest it more. And you see her say, ‘Right, okay, let’s stick on the heels and put a new dress on…’
Is it quite a big deal for Zoe to land such an important position?
Yes, she’s the first female Clinical Lead in the whole history of Casualty. It’s a bit of a big mantle, and she has large shoes to fill. I’m really proud that the BBC is giving me a chance to play a leading character who happens to be in a man’s world.
But on her first day, she’s dealing with the aftermath of a music festival disaster. What happens there?
There’s a fire and a massive crush, because too many tickets have been sold on the black market. As a result, people have got seriously injured. There’s only so much the first aiders there can do – and the A&E department has to deal with an onslaught of casualties.
Zoe has been notoriously unlucky in love. Is there any chance of her finding a partner in this series?
I think she’s steering well clear of it. She knows that she’s not good with love. She’s got a big barrier around her heart. I don’t believe she wants to fall in love. It's at the bottom of her list of things to do.
She’s still a good-time girl. She still goes out with the girls and has the odd dalliance. But I don’t think she feels comfortable or confident enough to fall in love. Have I mentioned the word ‘love’ enough there?
The last series ended with a storyline about a riot. So is Casualty at its best when tackling issues?
Personally, I think Casualty is at its best when it does personal stories. By that I mean when we follow one person’s journey – for example the Megan euthanasia story. Do you remember Brenda Fricker coming back for that? For me, as I viewer, I was drawn in, and it was great storytelling.
But I do think we do good stunts. We give good mass events. Huge moments like that are important for TV to have.