This episode did its job as Doctor Doctor‘s pilot–it established the show’s premise, its characters and a few future plots.
I felt that the premise of an arrogant city man who screws up and is forced to go home to his family to live out the consequences, was cliche. However Rodger Corser portrays Dr Hugh Knight perfectly, especially with his ability to perfectly balance the character’s arrogance and humanity.
I personally found Hugh’s interactions with the staff at the hospital more interesting than his interactions with his family. The idealising administrator (Ken), the sweet receptionist (Betty), the potential love interest (Aoife) and the hard arse supervisor (Penny) make for a humorous workplace family. The highlights of Hugh’s interactions at the hospital include: giving diagnosis’ via “Dr Google” (Penny’s apt words), having sex with the pharmaceutical rep that Ken has a crush on and the subsequent consequences that Ken dishes out, his opinion on the hospital itself, and his interactions with Penny and her comebacks. I’m interested in seeing the development of Hugh and Penny’s working relationship, especially since Penny seemingly lied about her sexuality and the fact she has a child, and also due to the fact that she won’t tolerate his arrogance.
In regards to the family, the trailers in the lead up to the premiere made it clear that they have their own secrets and issues. The mother, Meryl, seems to care about appearances, especially with her role on the council and her possible corruption. The father, Jim, his hard to read. Younger brother, Matt, has married Hugh’s ex-girlfriend, Charlie, and the unknown foster brother, Ajax, is clearly a little odd. At the end of the episode we see Meryl burying money and we aren’t told why, I’m looking forward to finding out the reason.
I can’t say that I know what rural medicine is truly like, that being said Doctor Doctor seems to portray the limitations and realities of rural medicine realistically. The medical scenes themselves are realistic but not overly graphic, the scenes of Hugh flying out to treat a child in an even more remote area were both entertaining and riveting, and Hugh using his city connections to help out a friend was amusing and touching.
I liked the choice by the writers to have the incident that lead Hugh to return to Whyhope interweaved throughout the episode, before finally being displayed in full. It would keep the viewers on their toes and would prevent them from growing bored.
Overall, the pilot did its job and I’m interested to see the rest of the season, however I felt that it was a little flat and could have been better.