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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This "what-if" episode imagines what would happen in the event of a nuclear strike on Los Angeles. Dr. Styner and his colleagues are at a warehouse outside the city for a training session, but must ...
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
"Medic" is one of the finest shows ever produced for television. The grandfather of 'modern' medical shows, in many ways it is styled as a documentary; each segment deals with a specific medical issue and all bets seemed to be off - breast cancer, epilepsy, diabetes mental illness, tuberculosis, muscular dystrophy, leprosy, poor parenting, and hearing loss were all covered and more. During a time when one couldn't use the word pregnant on television, the series presented the story of a woman who dies while giving birth, and the birth is shown. It is often graphic and surprisingly candid, many times quite serious. Voice-over narration gives many facts and explanations about diagnoses and procedures.
This series is a time capsule of where medicine was in 1954-6, which makes it invaluable as a teaching tool for those studying medicine, especially since each episode is packed with information about the illness being dealt with (imagine seeing what a polio sufferer went through). This series was overseen by doctors, and many appear in the series.
The producer was Worthington Miner, who was responsible for Studio One, one of the greatest live dramatic anthology series in the history of television. The 'host' of the series is Richard Boone, an exceptional actor, director and teacher. He appears in every episode, but only acts in a few of them (one of them is one of the best in the series, about a possible atomic bomb attack). He is so convincing as a doctor that many viewers did not think he was an actor, and when it came time for him to audition for "Have Gun, Will Travel," the producers were initially not sure that he would be convincing. Overall, the acting is exceptional, with such actors as a very young Dennis Hopper, Vera Miles, Bobby Driscoll, Beverly Garland, Lee Marvin, Warren Stevens and more.
Music was written by Victor Young, and orchestrated by Sidney Fine. This is one of the last projects composed by Young (he died in 1956) and it beautifully supports the action. Many of the scores are just plain gorgeous, and it's a pity that Young did not record an album of some the themes he wrote for the series (thankfully, many of the scores he wrote exist, donated to UCLA).
Such a series was doomed from the start due to its subject matter and its seriousness; this would be a hard series to watch as a marathon. Immediately branded 'controversial,' it was scheduled at the same time as "I Love Lucy" and was frequently preempted for other programming. It managed to hang on for two years and 59 episodes, of which Timeless Media has made 44 available (reportedly, acceptable prints of the missing 15 could not be located).
Still not well known, Medic deserves to be celebrated as the important series it is. If you collect classic early television, the Timeless set is a must-buy.
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