Pilot Perception: Do No Harm

Pilot Perception: Do No Harm

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Do No Harm, NBC in the U.S. and CTV in Canada, Thursdays at 10/9c

The Pedigree: The show was created by David Shulner (The Event), who wrote the pilot and executive produces along with Rachel Kaplan (Ringer) and Peter Traugott (Samantha Who?). The pilot was directed by Michael Mayer (Smash).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Do No Harm stars Steven Pasquale of Rescue Me. Other regulars include Alana De La Garza (Law & Order), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), Michael Esper (All Good Things), Ruta Gedmintas (The Borgias), Lin-Manuel Miranda (House), John Carroll Lynch (Body of Proof), and Samm Levine (Inglourious Basterds).

The Premise: Dr. Jason Cole is a brilliant neurosurgeon – except from 8:25pm to 8:25am, he becomes destructive, sociopathic Ian Price. Jason has been sedating Ian with experimental drugs for years, but his body has built up a resistance, so now he must figure out how to stop Ian before he destroys everything and everyone Jason cares about.

A Taste:

What Works: The medical cases are pretty standard but perfectly serviceable and about as magically coincidental in theme as you’d expect. The cast is solid, and Steven Pasquale plays both characters in a way that was compelling enough to draw me in and make me care about a premise that’s a little crazy-sounding. Once I accepted that the show is what it is and decided not to think about the mechanics of it too much, it was a fun ride.

What Doesn’t: Well, as I said, the premise is a bit ridiculous on the face of it. I know a lot of people won’t be able to get past that, and that’s fine. I’d like to know more about what exactly is going on with Jason/Ian – the 8:25 thing, specifically, seems awfully convenient, allowing Jason to schedule things. (The producers say there’s a reason for it. We’ll see.) As you’d expect from the premise, the tone can be pretty melodramatic, which, again, will turn some people off. Overall, though, I enjoyed it more than I expected and definitely want to see more.

Our Favorite Line: “You’ve never performed this procedure before, right?” “No” “So you have an unblemished record.” “What kind of logic is that?”

You Might Like This if you like hospital dramas with a twist of horror added in. This is basically a Jekyll and Hyde story, and obviously has some things in common with dual identity dramas like Awake.

If You’re Interested: Do No Harm premieres tonight on NBC and CTV at 10/9c.

(Photo courtesy of NBC.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) In addition to her weekly column, "Caffeine", she recaps Castle and Bunheads for The Televixen. She's on staff at Vampire-Diaries.net and writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea