Welcome to Pilot Perception, our new 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 Pedigree: The show was created by Morwyn Brebner (Rookie Blue) and Malcolm MacRury (Republic of Doyle). Writers include Aaron Martin (Degrassi: TNG, Being Erica), Greg Nelson (The Border, Rookie Blue, Republic of Doyle), Adam Pettle (Rookie Blue), and Sherry White (Rookie Blue). Directors include brothers David Wellington (Rookie Blue) and Peter Wellington (Slings and Arrows, Rookie Blue). In other words, I hope you like Rookie Blue.
The Cast & How You Know Them: Our stars are Erica Durance (Smallville), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1), Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries), Kristopher Turner (The L.A. Complex), Julia Taylor Ross (Republic of Doyle), and Huse Madhavji (Combat Hospital, Call Me Fitz).
The Premise: On the way to their wedding, surgeons Alex Reid and Charlie Harris are in a car accident, and Charlie winds up in a coma. While Alex and the other doctors, including her ex who has just started working at the hospital, try to deal with the prospect of losing him (on top of taking care of their other patients), Charlie roams the hospital in an out-of-body experience and comments on things. (And he can also talk to other unconscious patients. Some of them? All of them? It’s unclear.)
What Works: The cast is solid and does a good job with what they’re given. Vampire Diaries fans will find Gillies and his accent a delight. And the normal hospital soapy stuff and patient-of-the-week plots seem fine, though they had the implausibility issues that virtually all medical plots have.
What Doesn’t: I’m very skeptical about this whole out-of-body thing. I think I’d like the show better if it were just a straight hospital drama and left out this vaguely supernatural stuff. I’m not really attached to any of the characters yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there. And there were a heck of a lot of lens flares, to the point at which it became really distracting, so I’ll be curious to see whether that continues in future episodes.
Our Favorite Line: “It was a love potion.”
Other Items of Note: Like so many recent summer dramas, including Rookie Blue and The L.A. Complex, this is exported from Canada to a U.S. network. It’s airing simultaneously on CTV in Canada and NBC in the States.
You Might Like This if you like hospital dramas like Grey’s Anatomy. Or Rookie Blue, with which it shares a lot of DNA. Or lens flares.
(Photo courtesy of NBC.)