MDA: articles

Juicy medicos ready to sizzle

THE ABC recently held a lavish launch for its new medical drama series, MDA, and much to everyone's surprise presented a highlights reel that gave away most of the juicy stuff before the series debuts.

For instance, no one had to ask who series star Jason Donovan sets his sights on (Alice McConnell), or how many blokes Kerry Armstrong ends up juggling (Robert Taylor and Aaron Pedersen for starters)—it was all there on the reel.

Which led the series' other main star, Shane Bourne, to later lament his own lack of an on-screen dalliance.

The best the writers have been able to do for him is give him irritable bowel syndrome or some such thing, which requires him to scoff liquid medication and make lots of embarrassing premature departures from meetings and the like.

The function was held at the Deck, which is notable for its swimming pool, and there was lots of mumblings about who was going to push Donovan into the drink to ensure a page one photo.

The show's co-creator, former Seven Network executive Des Monaghan, heaped praise on the ABC's head of television, Sandra Levy, who "had kept her head down and bum up'' during a period of turmoil at the ABC, to greenlight their program.

Robyn Kershaw noted the launch of MDA co-incided with the first anniversary of her taking over as head of drama at the ABC.

And what to expect from the series?

Dealing with a group of lawyers/doctors who defend medicos against litigation, it shows promise, thanks to some excellent casting. Armstrong and Bourne are standouts as MDA's main defenders, as is Donovan as their key protagonist. Donovan will surprise many with how good he is, and the show may prove a watershed in his career.

And keep an eye out for Alexandra Schepisi, the daughter of director Fred, who plays Armstrong's supportive sister.

July 14, 2002
Sunday Herald Sun