The Surgeon: articles

Excellence bar royalty

THE dictum that less is more is one infrequently embraced by those who make and appear in locally produced television programs.

Too often the players succumb to the temptation to overact, while writers use 10 words when five will do, and so it is encouraging to see that in The Surgeon, these tendencies have been resisted.

It becomes evident within the first few minutes that it is a cut, forgive the expression, above its peers.

There is an economy of style which leads us directly to the plot, a lack of padding disguised as entwined subplots and some subdued performances, which augur well for the future of the series.

Dr Eve Agius is the surgeon to whom the title refers, a woman who is described as "alone in a man's world".

Her superior, surgical consultant Dr Julian Sierson, is the semi-despot who rules her life but stops mercifully short of being the stereotypical tyrant who so frequently populates such shows.

Anaesthetist Dr Sam Dash, as the serious young doctor traumatised by two years spent working in Rwanda in Africa, is too intense and if he continues to smoulder as he does in the first two episodes, may spontaneously combust.

So The Surgeon is not without its flaws but it moves at an athletic pace, is well written and apart from the reservations already noted, delivers some decent acting performances, while the 30-minute length of its episodes gives it more punch than the traditional one-hour running time.

In tonight's episode, Dr Agius helps a 247kg man by performing a gastric bypass operation, which is not without complications.

It's entertaining television and on the basis of the two episodes I have seen, deserves to succeed.

By Mike O'Connor
October 20, 2005
The Courier Mail