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Dominic Joseph Copeland (born Darren Godard; 26 March 1987) is a consultant general surgeon who currently works on Holby City Hospital's Keller Ward as Clinical Lead.


Early life

During Dominic's childhood, he was taunted and bullied for his homosexuality, and his first name "Darren" was often abbreviated and incorporated into homophobic nicknames; (HC: "Cold Heart, Warm Hands") escaping the stigma of being "the gay boy that everyone [laughed] at" was one of his main reasons for attending medical school. (HC: "Green Ink") At some point, he changed his first name to Dominic. (HC: "Cold Heart, Warm Hands")

Malick and Amanda Layton's death

On 23 April 2013, Dominic attended his induction on Holby City Hospital's Keller Ward as an F1. That evening, at Albie's, he introduced himself to registrar and clinical skills tutor Antoine Malick and expressed his excitement about working with him the next day. (HC: "Second Life") The following day, consultant Serena Campbell tasked Malick with mentoring Dominic to help improve the former's chances of becoming a consultant when a position became available. After assisting Malick and Michael Spence with an ileocecal resection, Dominic was eager to learn more from Malick. (HC: "Time Has Told Me")

On 7 May, Amanda Layton — the girlfriend of serial killer Thomas Sandwell — was brought onto Keller with stab wounds inflicted by her fellow inmates. When Malick berated Amanda for attempting to remove her surgical wound's vacuum seal, Dominic tried to reel him in and assured him that he empathised, but Malick snapped at him. Later, Amanda went into cardiac arrest, but Malick and Dominic were unsure about resuscitating her due to the ambiguity of her advance directive; Malick ultimately decided to approach her case as an attempted suicide and resuscitated Amanda. (HC: "Only Human") The next day, Malick asked Dominic to help him by bringing Susannah Harris — the mother of Simone Harris, one of Thomas and Amanda's victims — to a secluded area of the hospital so she could speak to Amanda. After Amanda agreed to disclose the location of Simone's body in exchange for Malick respecting her advance directive, Malick ordered Dominic and nurse Chantelle Lane to withhold resuscitation when she went into ventricular fibrillation and allow her to die.

Later that night, Malick thanked Dominic for his support, and the two shared a kiss. (HC: "The More Deceived") However, Malick told Dominic that their night together was merely a one-night stand, and he had reconciled with his boyfriend Nathan. Bitter, Dominic began undermining Malick. When the police began questioning Keller's staff in the wake of Amanda's death, Malick offered Dominic advice on what to say to the police and invited him out for a drink. However, when Malick admitted that he cancelled a psychiatric consult for Amanda, Dominic felt that Malick was attempting to cover his own tracks and informed CEO Henrik Hanssen of Malick's actions, leading to his suspension. (HC: "Back from the Dead")

Dominic is admonished for lying to the jury. (HC: "Home")

On 4 June, Dominic attended Malick's hearing at the coroner's court. During an adjournment, Dominic apologised to Malick and admitted that he was hurt and confused by Malick's coldness after their encounter; when Malick pinned Dominic against a wall, Dominic protested that he would do anything for him. In the witness box, Dominic claimed that he called the psych team at Malick's request but also caught him altering the flow of Amanda's listronate drip, resulting in an overdose that resulted in her rapid deterioration. However, after Arthur Digby pointed out that Dominic's descriptions were asymptomatic of a listronate overdose, the coroner decided to report Dominic to the General Medical Council for misleading the jury. Malick accepted responsibility for Dominic's decision to lie and publicly admitted that they had been in an intimate relationship. (HC: "Home")

Return and rivalry with Arthur

Following the inquest, Dominic attended a professional hearing, and his case was later settled. Although he was allowed to return to Holby City Hospital, he was forced to repeat his first year. On 14 January 2014, Dominic returned to work on Keller again, much to Arthur's disdain. Arthur confronted Dominic about his vendetta against Malick, but Dominic argued that Malick abused his position by seducing him, and the situation had left him a "pariah". Fellow F1 Zosia March soon took issue with Arthur's passive-aggressive attitude towards Dominic when he scared a patient that she and Dominic had worked to gain the trust of. That evening, Arthur was aggrieved to learn that Zosia had invited Dominic to move into their flat. (HC: "Intuition")

The following week, after attending a meeting with clinical skills tutor Sacha Levy about his progress, Dominic was allowed to take the lead in treating Grace Staincliffe; when Arthur voiced his concerns, Sacha suggested that he and Dominic treat Grace together. However, after Arthur continued to antagonise Dominic, Dominic discarded the test results Arthur had ordered for Grace. A gastroscopy provided no clues as to what condition Grace was suffering from, so Dominic suggested that he and Arthur put their differences aside to properly diagnose her; Grace overheard Arthur brushing Dominic off and reported him to Sacha. Believing that Dominic had grassed on him, Arthur angrily confronted him on the ward, prompting Sacha to reprimand Arthur. After Dominic admitted his past mistakes, Arthur allowed him to help him brainstorm a diagnosis for Grace, and they eventually concluded that she was suffering from an aortoduodenal fistula. (HC: "Life after Life")

On 4 February, Dominic and Arthur treated a firefighter named Danny who was involved in an incident at a plastics factory. Dominic managed to impress Sacha by suggesting Danny had cyanide poisoning, but Arthur soon discovered that Zosia was responsible for the diagnosis. When Danny began to develop new symptoms and deteriorate further, Dominic suggested consulting Sacha, but Arthur was confident in his clinical decisions and even disregarded Sacha's input. Ultimately, Danny required immediate surgical intervention, and they discovered that Danny was suffering from Crohn's disease and now required a stoma. When questioned by Sacha, Dominic told him about Arthur's reluctance to consult him. (HC: "Things We Lost in the Fire")

On 4 March, after Dominic arrived at work late, Sacha warned him that he was "on very thin ice" with CEO Guy Self and decided to assess Dominic by having him treat a man named Christopher who had smuggled his pet kitten onto the ward. Sacha was unimpressed by Dominic's substandard cannulation skills, and he ended up tripping over Christopher's cannula that had become detached. When Christopher accused Dominic of stabbing him with a needle and made an official complaint, Dominic was suspended. Initially dumbfounded by Christopher's psychological problems, Dominic later realised that Christopher had contracted toxoplasmosis from his kitten and impressed Guy with his diagnostic skills.

After Dominic recounted a sinister story to Arthur about his pet hamster cannibalising his brother's, (HC: "Instinct") Arthur began to believe Dominic was a sociopath. While treating a diabetic patient named Tessa, Arthur stopped Dominic from cannulating her and continued to brand him as incompetent. When Dominic told Tessa's partner Des — against her wishes — that she had undergone a kidney transplant, Arthur accused Dominic of purposefully breaching patient confidentiality to spite him and ordered him to stay away from his patients. Later, Arthur called Dominic a "liability" after Les decided to leave Tessa following a conversation with him and suggested that he stabbed Christopher Bing on purpose. After a dressing-down from Zosia, Arthur followed Dominic to the basement and tried to apologise to him, but Dominic claimed that he did not think he could forget Arthur's words and began alluding to committing suicide. Arthur tried to talk him out of it, but Dominic explained that he needed to be seen as "something special" and told Arthur that he would forgive him once he stopped taking his frustration out on him at work. Arthur cautiously agreed to stop antagonising Dominic, and Dominic thanked him for admitting that he was in the wrong. (HC: "Green Ink")

On 8 April, after another feud with Arthur, Dominic confided in Sacha and explained that he had been second-guessing himself since Arthur asserted that he would never make it as a doctor; Sacha assured him that he was exactly where he was supposed to be and urged him not to compare himself to others. When a patient named Carl was brought onto the ward with an abscess, Dominic volunteered to take his case, pleasing Sacha. When Carl began to develop pneumonia and refused to give Dominic many details about his condition, Sacha encouraged Dominic to use a less clinical approach. Despite Carl's initial reluctance, Dominic got Carl to give his father's name, and Carl explained that his mother Ginny drowned while rescuing him from a pond. After Carl went into shock, Dominic realised that his abscess was caused by scabies and managed to contain it, but he was forced to break his promise to Carl and gave Sacha the name of his father. However, despite Carl's insistence that his father hated him, he was relieved and decided to bring Carl home. Despite Dominic's good clinical work, he later offended Zosia when he suggested that she could be "off her game because she [could] play the dead mum card". At Albie's, he apologised to Zosia and explained the reasons for his remark, but he merely appropriated Carl's account of his mother's death. (HC: "The Win")

The following week, one of Dominic's old classmates Kevin Cart was admitted to Keller with an inguinal hernia. Dominic threatened to tell Sacha about their history if Kevin told anyone that they knew each other. After telling Zosia that Kevin bullied him, she warned Dominic that she would tell Sacha if they did not discharge Kevin together, but Zosia soon found lumps and blood oozing out of one of his nipples. Despite Dominic's insistence on having Kevin discharged, Zosia voiced her concerns to Sacha, but Sacha berated both of them for continuing to bicker. While treating Kevin, Arthur was confused to learn that Kevin still regularly saw Dominic's mother Carole working at his local supermarket and claimed that Dominic's family never owned a dog. Arthur told Zosia about Dominic's spurious claims, and they quickly discovered that Carole was still alive. They confronted Dominic about his lies, and he explained that he wanted to make himself seem more interesting. Dominic later apologised to Arthur and Zosia and promise to never lie to them again; Zosia claimed to find Dominic "fascinating" and agreed to join him at Albie's. (HC: "Cold Heart, Warm Hands")

On 6 May, Dominic was forced to assist Harry Tressler on AAU and quickly took issue with his playful attitude. While treating a woman going by the name "Stephanie" who had a prosthetic heart valve, Dominic questioned some of Harry's clinical decisions, including prescribing heparin, and decided to order an ECG. The results showed that the woman did not have a prosthetic valve, and the heparin would have exacerbated an existing bleed, but consultant Serena Campbell was unimpressed that he failed to deduce the situation through observation and suggested that he was attempting to score brownie points. Dominic soon found the woman attempting to leave the hospital, and she broke his nose. After managing to bring the woman back onto the ward, thus saving her life, Dominic managed to earn Serena's respect. (HC: "My Name Is Joe")

Zosia's mental health and relationship with Kyle

In July, Dominic became concerned about Zosia when she suddenly stopped eating and began smoking. When Arthur told him that she had been in a relationship with anaesthetist and long-standing family friend Jesse Law, Dominic admonished him for not telling him sooner and dismissing her behaviour as "moping". When Jesse told Zosia to never contact him again, Dominic deleted his phone number for her and urged her to speak to him if anything was troubling her. However, he felt unsettled when Zosia spontaneously dragged him along on a night out. (HC: "The Spirit...")

Dominic and Arthur fight to revive Zosia following a drug overdose. (HC: "One Small Step")

Later that month, after Arthur berated her for injecting herself into a patient's family affairs and suggested that her behaviour was the reason for Jesse leaving her, a mortified Zosia took Dominic out for a night of heavy drinking at Albie's. Dominic became concerned when Zosia remarked that the alcohol was not "quite scratching [her] itch", but they quickly became drunk enough to nonchalantly pay Arthur a visit on Keller. Dominic managed to escort Zosia off the ward before she could jeopardise her career even further, but he began to panic when she lost consciousness. Fearing that her career would be over if she was taken to the ED, Dominic and Arthur decided to treat her in an empty operating theatre and managed to revive her after finding naloxone. The morning after, the traumatised trio agreed to not let the past define them and entrusted themselves to their patients and work. (HC: "One Small Step")

Following Zosia's brush with death, Dominic continued to offer her his support and stayed with her when she continued to go out at night. A week after the incident, Zosia began craving drugs again, so Dominic gave her a placebo. Believing that she was a "liability", Arthur contemplated reporting Zosia's behaviour to Sacha, but Dominic trusted that he would not "betray" her. (HC: "Affair of the Mind") Arthur became increasingly concerned about Zosia's mental health after witnessing her dancing alone (HC: "Going, Going...") and noting her constant unpunctuality, but Dominic asserted that she was just trying to move on from Jesse, and she was not in the middle of a crisis. After Zosia suffered a mental breakdown at work, (HC: "Hoops") Guy decided to have her stay with him, much to Dominic and Arthur's relief. However, Zosia's state of mind continued to worsen, and she decided to move back into the flat after concluding that Guy was using Amy Teo to spy on her. (HC: "Forgive Me Father")

On 23 September, Kyle Greenham — an agency nurse at St James' Hospital and a former flame of Dominic's — appeared at the hospital to fundraise for his hospital's cardiology unit. When Dominic rejected him, Kyle collapsed and was admitted onto Keller; he was quickly diagnosed with a chest cold and prepped for discharge. However, while Dominic argued with Kyle about the former's standards for men, Kyle started coughing up blood. After ordering some blood tests, Dominic diagnosed Kyle with Farmer's lung — the first case of the disorder recorded on Keller. Despite Dominic's clinical skills, Kyle labelled Dominic "a worm of a human being". After Kyle was discharged, Sacha questioned Dominic's indifference and suggested that he could have potentially started a relationship with Kyle. Dominic decided to chase after him but ultimately chose to leave it. (HC: "Mummy Dearest")

The following week, Kyle's brother Sid was admitted to Keller after being attacked by a dog. After Arthur suggested that he seize the opportunity, Dominic approached Kyle before Sid was due to undergo a splenectomy and assured him that he would not let anything bad happen to him. However, when Dominic tried to kiss Kyle, Kyle pushed him away. After Sid's surgery, Kyle admitted to Dominic that he overreacted to the kiss and suggested that they should have a "fresh start", but Dominic was reluctant due to his experience with Malick. In the end, Dominic accepted Kyle's invitation of a "fun" night together. (HC: "Inside Out")

On 7 October, Dominic was left unsettled after finding a manic Zosia obsessing over her research in a wet lab. Following an incident on Keller, Dominic and Arthur found cocaine in Zosia's lab and were forced to disclose it and Zosia's overdose to Colette Sheward; she decided to keep the details of the overdose confidential. (HC: "True Colours")

On 21 October, Dominic saw Kyle getting out of another man's car and thought that they were seeing each other. In the Keller staff room, Kyle, who was working in geriatrics, prepared Dominic a grand breakfast, but Dominic was unreceptive. In the lift, Kyle explained that the man he was with was his cousin and suggested that Dominic was indignant because he really liked him. Later, Kyle gave Dominic a set of keys for his apartment and an empty drawer and told him that they should be "honest and straight" with each other; Dominic accepted them, and the two shared a hug. (HC: "Bounce Back")


Behind the scenes

David Ames has portrayed Dominic in Holby City since April 2013.