Percival "Abra" Durant was a locum consultant general surgeon working in Holby City Hospital. He first arrived on 5 July 2005 in the special episode "Tuesday's Child" filmed entirely in Africa. He last appeared on 9 December 2008 as a special guest.
Time at Holby City Hospital (2005-08)
Abra first appeared in episode "Tuesday's Child" as an ex-pat colleague of longstanding character Ric Griffin, now living in Ghana. The storyline saw Ric eventually decide to return to Holby, leaving both Abra and Ghana behind. Abra returned to the show later in the series, in episode "Great Expectations", when he accompanied an African patient to the UK for an operation. He displayed his maverick tendencies by transplanting a third-hand heart, despite having been expressly forbidden to do so by the hospital chairman, Michael Beauchamp (Anthony Calf). He also proved instrumental in convincing recently demoted Matron Lisa Fox (Luisa Bradshaw-White) to leave Holby to practice medicine in Ghana. Bradshaw-White said of the storyline: "I'm pleased it's a positive ending for her as she's been so miserable!"
Abra returned again in episode "Prometheus Unbound", when his 'nephew' Kyle was brought into Holby for a live liver transplant. It was revealed that Abra was actually Kyle's father, and that he and Kyle's mother, Jenny, had brought the child up believing Abra to be his uncle, and his father to be Abra's fictitious brother Harry—supposedly a war hero living abroad with a family of his own. Discussing the storyline, Edmondson commented of his character: "Typically he has been drinking and hasn't warned Ric of his arrival. Abra tells Ric that the surgeon lined up to carry out the op has pulled out. He wants Ric to do it." Abra proved able to convince Ric to go ahead with the operation, even talking him into allowing him to perform part of the surgery himself, despite being under the influence of alcohol. As Kyle recovered, Abra came close to admitting his paternity, however lost his nerve at the last minute and departed from the show once more, despite Jenny's confession that she still loved him.
The character returned on a more permanent basis from June 2006. Abra confessed to old friend Diane he had been run out of Ghana by the father of a woman he had a fling with. He was offered a permanent position at Holby by Christopher Sutherland, however this was almost immediately retracted when Abra defied new protocol by utilising the designated emergency theatre for a minor gall stone operation. Edmondson explained of the storyline: "Abra promises a patient he'll operate on her immediately, but the hospital rules say he can't book the operating theatre for the same day. So Abra decides to do it anyway. He has a knee-jerk reaction to any kind of authority."Initially this plot strand was set to crossover with Holby's sister show, Casualty, with Sutherland's role instead filled by Casualty manager Nathan Spence, however this was abandoned prior to broadcast. After clashing with colleague Nick Jordan in the following episode, "Invasion", Abra made a favourable impression on Lord Byrne, an old family friend. He then left Holby again briefly for a research project recommended by Lord Byrne.
It was revealed at this point that Edmondson would be returning as Abra for six months from the autumn. Series producer Emma Turner stated: "We are delighted that Adrian has agreed to come back. He made a huge impact in the few episodes that he was involved in and there are some explosive and controversial storylines in store for his character when he returns to film with us."