“Doctor.” “Doctor.” Reviews on TV Medicine: A Young Doctor’s Notebook, And Other Stories

[This is a reworked repost on TV medicine from my old site, Everywhere and Here, whose URL my boyfriend told me in no uncertain terms that no one would ever remember. And it’s true: Call Me Watson is much snappier.

In any case, I love TV, and watch rather too much of it. Here, I’ll review shows depicting medicine on TV as to its relationship to reality, and proximity to entertainment. Enjoy!]



Those four words alone should pique your interest, if not promise a certain level of quality. Also, the letters BBC. And the names Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm. And in fact, it delivers.


What you wouldn’t be able to tell from the above is that this is set in snowy Russia, and is based on the notebooks of Mikhail Bulgakov, a doctor in the 1900s during the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil wars. He went on to abandon his trade for that of a writer’s (a man after my own heart indeed), most famously writing the masterpiece, “The Master and Margarita.”


This BBC miniseries follows a new medical school graduate (played by Radcliffe), who aces all his medical examinations and therefore – this being Russia – is rewarded by being promptly carted off to the middle-of-nowhere (more specifically, Muryevo) to run a rural hospital by himself. Jon Hamm plays his future self, recently released from a mental institution for an unknown reason, both recollecting his story through his notebooks and interacting with his younger self. It’s surprisingly hilarious while being surprisingly dark, which makes sense, since it is produced by the British.

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