Highlights the personal and professional lives of a group of doctors and surgeons headed by Dr. Konrad Styner. One of the first medical shows on TV that paid strict attention to detail, and...
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Highlights the personal and professional lives of a group of doctors and surgeons headed by Dr. Konrad Styner. One of the first medical shows on TV that paid strict attention to detail, and heralded at the time for its sometimes unflinching look at the operations and medical procedures performed by doctors. Written by
No need to repeat consensus points or details emphasized by other reviewers.
Actually, I'm surprised the series lasted as long as it did, two seasons (1954-56). The trouble is the format aimed at realism at a time when TV was new, and escapism was the prime-time norm. And not only did episodes of Medic deal as realistically as possible with all manner of medical problems, but the narratives were often highly literate. Thus, demands were made on the audience, especially when real footage of an operation was included. In short, it wasn't the kind of series you relaxed with behind a TV-tray dinner. I suspect creator James Moser was influenced by his early work on Dragnet (1951-59) and its effort at police work realism.
To my knowledge, Medic has never been revived or re-run during the intervening years. Now, happily, episodes are available on DVD, so there's an opportunity for the series to reach cult status, which it richly deserves. For example, high level drama is implicit in story lines when serious medical problems are the topic. So there's little need for contrivance in that regard. (Nonetheless, one entry deals with teenage acne, hardly life-threatening, but a real adolescent problem at the time. "When Mama Says Jump" 1956) Then too, I like the fact that real doctors are often used, without need for a central hero, like a Ben Casey or a Dr. Kildare. Rather, it's the medical profession as a whole and not a personality that's elevated. Note too that actor Boone's rather strong but homely appearance also promotes a sense of reality and not Hollywood. Understandably, entries generally ended on an upbeat note. Occasionally, however, a note of uncertainty would creep into the ending, a further gesture to reality and a TV novelty at the time.
Of course, what was cutting edge medicine in 1955 likely is no longer so. In that sense, the show is somewhat dated. Still, the built-in human drama remains as current now as it was then. Thanks be to creator Moser for the bold gamble he took. It's one that certainly merits DVD revival.
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