This review may contain spoilers
A new genre medical drama with Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks, “Stargate: SG1”) and Lois Lane (Erica Durance, “Smallville”) premiered, and of course I tuned in.
The show starts off with a fairly small bang as the taxi Alex Reid (Durance) and Charles Harris (Shanks) gets side swiped. Alex was not even wearing a seat belt, having been straddling Charles moments before and is completely unhurt. Charles appears to have a cut on his head. They get out, call it in (name checking Adelaide Street, is it officially set in Toronto? It’s filmed there) and check on the other driver. She has a collapsed lung and Charles fixes it with a pocket knife and a tampon tube (none of which was sterilized first, eww!). He then collapses and the drama starts.
He is her boss (chief of surgery) and fiance; she is chief surgical resident. They were on their way to their small evening wedding at the time of the accident. He was married at least once before, and she was once seriously dating Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) newly returned orthopedic surgeon.
Complications ensue for Charles, who lapses into a coma, freeing his spirit form to wander the hospital. He sees the ghosts of the recently dead and can chat with them; although, he is not needed to help them find their doors à la “Being Human.” They just disappear after a time.
POINTS OF INTEREST
1. Needy new doctor Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor Ross) and consulting psychiatrist Gavin Murphy (Kristopher Turner) are cute comic relief in the pilot.
2. Neurosurgeon Shahir Hamza (Huse Madhavji) will, no doubt, competently and compassionately treat Charles.
3. Fellow doctor Melanda Tolliver (Glenda Braganza) is a sympathetic shoulder for Alex, and it’s great to see one of the MVPs from “Men with Brooms.”
4. Guest star Erik Knudsen (surprise father, slacker Mitchell) is of note as he is currently starring in the new genre series “Continuum” with Shanks’ wife Lexa Doig. It’s filmed and set in Vancouver, British Columbia.
5. Much like the “Star Trek” movie reboot, there is a lot of lens flare going on. Going for an ethereal feel?
6. Based on the big amphitheater scene, Hope Zion is a teaching hospital.
The acting is fine, the cast is attractive …
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Having been a fan of “House” and “ER,” the medical drama presented here was relatively poorly explained and paced. Fair enough, the focus is on the drama … except that the two leads can never talk to each other again but in flashbacks. Their chemistry never to be foregrounded again if they’re going to maintain the coma/spirit form conceit. Here’s hoping that Charles gets better with an “I can see dead people” ability so that Shanks gets to stand up more.
It looks like Alex is going to be a monumentally crappy surgeon losing two patients in the first episode and more to come so that Charles will have people to talk to; although, it seems that he can talk to near death experience people as well. Plus, one assumes other coma patients.
I didn’t like Joel at all, and he really should have been sued by patient Shawn (Dwain Murphy) for totally ignoring his stated wishes and previously agreed on course of treatment. The mention of VA hospital in this context was confusing — are they not explicitly setting the show in Canada or what? No doubt Joel is supposed to grow on us.
GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
“Saving Hope” stars Erica Durance, Michael Shanks, Daniel Gillies, Dwain Murphy, Julia Taylor Ross, Kristopher Turner, Huse Madhavji, Glenda Braganza, Erik Knudsen, Cassie Owoc, Paul Braunstein. “Pilot” was written by Morwyn Brebner and Malcolm MacRury and was directed by David Wellington.
“Saving Hope” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.