Surgeon John Thackeray (Clive Owen) strives to push the boundaries of surgery while also trying to battle his personal demons.
While my sister recommended this drama to me, it took me a bit of time to get through all ten episodes of series 1. That’s not to say that it was unwatchable as a series, I just felt that if I accidentally watched all of the episodes concurrently then I would find my life swallowed up into a massive black hole.
The casting is brilliant, and all of the characters themselves have realistic motivations. The show is brilliantly photographed and the cinematography perfectly enunciates the stifling nature of 1900’s New York. No character is 100% good or 100% bad, which is refreshing from a character perspective. It is also unafraid to deal with the murky depths of society, and those within it.
The doctors are by no means represented as heroic within the narrative structure. They (including Thackeray) are all fighting their own personal demons and surgery itself is seen as a fine line between winning and losing, where the ultimate sacrifice is the patient who needs to be treated. I thought it was interesting to see that Thackaray is presented as more than just a helpless man addicted to morphine. Rather, he has internal struggles which blight his existence and he is presented as a victim of his inner turmoil.
I can’t wait to watch series 2, because I want to find out what happens to the characters. My only criticism of the series is that it doesn’t handle side arcs particularly well. However, it is at its strongest when it deals with Thackaray and the others at the hospital.
MY RATING: **** / *****