Combat Hospital: Season 1, Episode 1

Welcome to Kandahar (21 Jun. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | War
7.7
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It's 2006: Major Rebecca Gordon, a highly-trained trauma surgeon, and Captain Bobby Trang, a brand-new doctor, report for duty at the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar ... See full summary »

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Title: Welcome to Kandahar (21 Jun 2011)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Maj. Pederson, MD
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Cdn. Cdr. Will Royal, RN, CF
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Maj. Hasti Samizay
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Sgt. Hannah Corday
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PJ Terrel Ford
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Capt. Pam Everwood, RN
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Storyline

It's 2006: Major Rebecca Gordon, a highly-trained trauma surgeon, and Captain Bobby Trang, a brand-new doctor, report for duty at the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield. Perched at the edge of the airfield and built out of plywood and canvas held together with duct tape, the temporary building that houses the Role 3 shakes every time a plane takes off. The hospital's commander, Colonel Xavier Marks, tells the newcomers to expect an experience unlike any they've had before. Rebecca thinks she can handle anything, while Bobby is acutely conscious of his inexperience. They both get off to a rocky start, as Colonel Marks points out Rebecca's mistakes and tries to build Bobby's confidence. But over the next 48 hours, as they deal with rocket attacks, flying shrapnel and wave after wave of wounded U.S. Marines, Canadian soldiers, Afghan civilians and even a Taliban prisoner, they manage to rise to the challenge, even as they grow more and more exhausted. Welcome to ... Written by ABC Publicity

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Drama | War

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21 June 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Goofs

At the very start when the C-17 is supposedly landing at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, two F-16s of the Air Force Demonstration Team, The Thunderbirds, are sitting on the ramp. This is Nellis Airforce Base, Nevada, not Kandahar Airfield. See more »

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User Reviews

Familiar material, but good start
22 June 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

First episode out of the box for COMBAT HOSPITAL did a fine job of quickly establishing the series' own identity, to take it out of the (unfairly compared to by typically pre-judging IMDb boarders, sight unseen) M*A*S*H wannabe mode. Good casting had something to do with this.

I've long enjoyed the work of Elias Koteas, best remembered by the fans as Skinhead in SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. Not surprisingly his breakthroughs were in films by fellow Canadians Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg and recently he stole the show (and certainly the trailer) in Scorsese's SHUTTER ISLAND. ("Combat Hospital", like ABC's "Rookie Blue", is a Canadian production.)

He's wonderful as the tough but sympathetic head doctor running the makeshift hospital in Kandahar. Series makes the expected "death is just around the corner" use of its Afghan War setting, and packs in the so-trendy gore that TV fans have doted on for a decade or more (not me, however) in both medical and the current spate of procedural "Quincy" ripoffs.

Fortunately Koteas is foregrounded by solid protagonists, notably the lovely Michelle Borth as surgeon Rebecca Kincaid (easily dominating this first segment), another Canadian talent Terry Chen as Capt. Trang, finding his feet as the not-quite-ready key member of the team of doctors, and tantalizingly my long-time fave Deborah Unger, also from Canada (playing opposite Koteas in Cronenberg's CRASH) and distractingly beautiful, fitted with a European accent as Major Pedersen. Hopefully she will get featured in future segments.

The story's timeliness is a plus, and it will be interesting to see, assuming the show's a hit, how it adapts to our eventual departure (I hope, I hope) from Afghanistan.


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