‘Dr. Death‘ is an original series from NBC’s streaming service Peacock. It is based on a Wondery podcast that detailed the heinous crimes of Christopher Duntsch, a former doctor convicted of killing and maiming several of his patients.
Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson) is an arrogant, sinister doctor whose surgical operations lead to the maiming, paralyzation, and even death of his patients. After performing corrective surgery on his former patient Madeline Beyer (Maryann Plunkett), Dr. Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) along with eccentric Dr. Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), decides to bring him down. They consult with his former mentor Dr. Geoffrey Skadden (Kelsey Grammer) who deflects. They find this is a common pattern. Duntsch does a horrible operation, gets in trouble, but is never reprimanded only moved around. Duntsch continues to harm patients, putting him at odds with his ex-wife Wendy (Molly Griggs), best friend Jerry (Dominic Burgess), former mistress Kim (Grace Gummer), and father Don (Fred Lehne). As more patients suffer under Duntsch’s scalpel, Henderson and Kirby forge an alliance with Dallas, Texas ADA Michelle Shughart (AnnaSophia Robb) to bring him down.
The movie is very well-acted. Everyone does a good job with their roles. Baldwin and Slater manage their roles as the medical professionals fighting the bureaucracy to get one of their own held accountable. Robb does a good job as the young DA trying to get justice for the victims. Grammer has a small role, but he brings his A-game. Lastly, Jackson does a good job as Duntsch. He has a presence that sends a chill down your spine just as you witness a patient go under the knife.
If medical procedure makes you squeamish, this is not the show for you. The story of Duntsch is told and you hear, see, and witness everything as he continually harms his patients, putting them in mortal danger. You are enthralled by this story and stunned that he was allowed to work for as long as he did. It was compelling and you are hooked to the story.
Of course, the series is not perfect. For some reason, during a flashback sequence to Duntsch’s college days, we are treated to a full-on male nude season for no reason whatsoever. Thanks for that NBC.
The show also takes a cheap shot at the Blaze Media for some reason and waste no time attacking Republican politicians (rightly so), but ignore the Democrat lawmakers who also let this monster continue to work on patients. It did nothing for the show and was completely pointless. It is a shame because the story of this monster is not political, it is about an abuse of power and the medical lobby protecting itself instead of its patients. They are given way too much protection as even the miniseries notes how many patients die a year from medical malpractice, only for these doctors to get put right back into the system.
With this in mind, it is a cautionary tale of what happens when Big Government and Big Business get together. The lawmakers protect the doctors who charge patients ridiculous amounts for their services and then donate to those politicians. Exposing Duntsch caused a scandal that ripped open the scam, but to this day, laws still favor the medical community. This miniseries does its job in showing the cracks in the system that is suppose to protect the very people that it can harm, going against the Hippocratic Oath.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Disturbing images, Strong foul language, Some nudity, Medical violence
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