Do you fancy a true crime story and don’t mind losing faith in the healthcare system? Peacock has what it takes.
The streamer released all eight episodes of his miniseries on Thursday. Dr. Mort, featuring The case‘s Joshua Jackson as Christopher Duntsch, a real-life neurosurgeon who is currently serving a life sentence after mutilating and killing several patients. (The ordeal was previously recounted in a 2018 Wondery podcast, also titled Dr. Mort.)
The premiere of Peacock’s adaptation lets us know right away that the story ends badly for Duntsch, as we catch a glimpse of Jackson’s version of the doc getting his blood pressure taken while wearing scrubs that read ” Detained “. His face looks swollen, his eyes have heavy lids, and he generally looks… terrible.
Five years earlier, however, Duntsch had just been hired at Dallas Medical Center in Texas, after a stint at Plano which Duntsch later says he left because staff were underperforming and he felt “locked” in. this establishment. “It’s hard to be the future in a place without a vision,” Duntsch told one patient at one point, which accurately sums up the ego we see from him throughout the premiere.
One of Duntsch’s surgical patients during her first few weeks in Dallas is Madeline Beyer, who goes to Duntsch for spinal fusion surgery. But Duntsch’s procedure leaves Madeline with even more severe back pain and limited mobility, and a neurosurgeon named Robert Henderson (30 Rocher‘s Alec Baldwin) should now perform a review operation to correct Duntsch’s errors. Fortunately, Madeline’s pain improves after the revision, but she can’t seem to move her left foot, and she tells Dr. Henderson that she never wants Duntsch to approach her again.
Later, Henderson speaks with the ambulant nurse who was in the operating room during Duntsch’s initial surgery. The nurse, Josh, explains that Duntsch seemed to know what he should do during the operation, but then did the exact opposite. “Everyone in this room could have done better than him,” Josh reveals.
Henderson is then visited by vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Mr. Robot‘s Christian Slater), who is not thrilled to learn that Duntsch has recently been hired at their hospital. Kirby and Duntsch worked together months ago on surgery at Plano – the same type of spinal fusion surgery Duntsch just missed on Madeline Beyer – and Kirby noticed that Duntsch was making confusing requests for surgical instruments he should not have needed for this simple procedure. , while the operation itself was not carried out with great grace. And Kirby would be willing to consider this all to be human error … if Duntsch hadn’t later performed a number of other poorly performed surgeries, including one that left the patient with quadriplegia, and one in which the patient died. on his table.
An increasingly worried Henderson notes that Duntsch performed two more surgeries at Dallas Medical that week, aside from Madeline Beyer, one of which left the patient on life support after Duntsch cut her artery vertebral. And worse, he has more surgeries scheduled for the following week. “Are we going to sit here and have a chat or are we going to do something?” Kirby asks Henderson.
Much of the rest of the premiere focuses on Duntsch, who we find quite charming with his patients, but arrogant, laconic, and mean with his colleagues in the operating room. When the CEO of Dallas Medical kindly asks for details about one of his procedures, he gets on the defensive and begins to list his accomplishments and accolades. He strangely continues to wear the same scrubs that have a tear in his left leg. And when we get to see what exactly happened in this week’s three surgeries at Dallas Medical, we find that the first operation took four hours when it should have been much shorter, and the second – which we know ultimately left the patient on life support was chaotic and bloody, but Duntsch refused to listen to the advice of his fellow OR doctors as his patient’s condition worsened.
Duntsch also appears to be somewhat obsessed with a former colleague named Kim Morgan (Mr. Robot‘s Grace Gummer), who sees Duntsch parked outside her house one night. She tells him to get lost – she has a court order against him, after all – but she is even more stunned to learn that Duntsch is still operating on patients somewhere. “After what you did?” she says. “To your patients, to Jerry…” We don’t learn who Jerry is yet, but Duntsch stops him there, telling him she is the one who abandoned her patients and her responsibilities when she quit her job. “Come back here and you’ll go to jail,” Kim warns.
Later that week, Kirby and Henderson call a doctor who previously worked with Duntsch in Memphis. The doc says Duntsch’s performance was satisfactory and he had an unprecedented work ethic; when Kirby and Henderson fax him a picture of Duntsch to confirm they are talking about the same man, he says that is the Duntsch he remembers.
” Did you know? Henderson asks the man. “Did you know what he was capable of? And as Duntsch undergoes another surgery, we hear his former colleague respond, “No.
All right, it’s up to you! What did you think about Dr. Mortthe first episode? Vote in our polls below, then hit the comments with your full reviews!