Set in 1920s Russia, Daniel Radcliffe plays a freshly graduated doctor whose new job is at a remote medical clinic in the middle of seemingly nowhere. With the help of three kooky aides, he struggles with putting his education into practical use. Jon Hamm plays his future self, who appears from time to time, conversing with the younger self.
Ardo (A.A. Omer) and I watched the first two episodes of this U.K. series, now in its second season, when it premiered at the Canadian International Television Festival in November at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. While we initially thought the two hours that our complimentary ticket was for the four half-hour episodes of season one, we were told when we took our seats that it was actually only going to be 45 minutes for the first two episodes.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook was introduced to us as a “pitch black comedy” and indeed it lived up to that description. The humour was quite dry-witted, as British comedy tends to be known for, and even going so far as to play up on the ridiculously grotesque to garner shocked laughter. As a new doctor who’s bumbling his way through C-sections, toothaches and amputations, you can only imagine the melee that would ensue. The goriness could be a bit intense at times, bordering between realistic and completely over-the-top and, truth be told, I had to look away at some points while laughing to Ardo in disbelief.
The campy, dry humour – along with the cast – sucked me in and while it is a bit gruesome, I’m curious and entertained enough to want to see the rest of the series. At only four episodes each, A Young Doctor’s Notebook is into its second season now on the Ovation channel.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4 /5 stars)