Charlotte Salt reveals Doctor Nicholl’s high-risk career gamble in this Saturday’s Casualty (BBC1)…

It’s the day of Sam’s General Medical Council (GMC) Fitness to Practice hearing. How is she coping?
“In this episode we follow Sam throughout her day. You see her from when she wakes up and goes for a run – trying to make sense of everything and bash it all out. This is when she comes up with her own plan. She fires her legal team and decides to represent herself!”

Drastic action! Why does she choose this path?
“This is Sam’s control issues coming into play. She has to be in control, and if she’s going down, she’s going down her way!”

How do her friends and colleagues react to her decision?
“They’re completely baffled! Dylan thinks she’s crazy and Jordan goes nuts and tries to rein her in. It looks like career suicide and no one can understand it, but Sam knows in her head it’s right.”

Does Sam believe her restraint of complainant Keith Parr (Marshall Lancaster) was excessive?
“Sam really doesn’t think she did anything wrong. She’s very black and white about this. Sam feels she was defending Dylan from being attacked and shouldn’t have to justify her actions. She doesn’t see any justice in the case and feels betrayed, especially by Zoe who is standing as witness for the GMC.”

A lot of things from Sam’s army past are exposed in court. What can we expect to see?
“Sam’s back-story is revealed in court. There’s a big moment were she reminisces on her past in Afghanistan, some of which reflect quite badly on her. There’s a very funny moment in court were Dylan discovers things about Sam that are all news to him! He really stands up for her and does what he can to help her. It’s quite sweet really.”

During the case Keith collapses and is rushed to hospital. How does this affect proceedings?
“Keith’s really scared and you can really sympathise with him. It turns out he’s ill and nothing is clear-cut. It’s a complicated and touching story. You really see a softer, more vulnerable side to Sam.”

It must be great for you that Sam has had such a big ongoing storyline…
“Yes, it’s wonderful. Casualty fans, and a lot of them women, really seem to love Sam. I think it’s that Girl Power element and because she’s a bit kick a**.”