The Surgeon: articles

Sam Worthington and Justine Clarke

Sam Worthington and Justine Clarke

Reviews: The Surgeon

A new surgical series strives for excellence—and actually gets there.

It is interesting that only a couple of weeks after Channel Nine brought back RPA, the half-hour reality surgical series set in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Ten has chosen the same timeslot for a new surgical series of its own; a half-hour drama but a show that achieves a matching standard of excellence.

The Surgeon is produced by John Edwards and Judi McCrossin (The Secret Life of Us). The first three episodes are directed by Matthew Saville (We Can Be Heroes) and written by McCrossin.

Oddly, for this viewer who tends to look elsewhere whenever a TV surgeon calls for the knife, what was meant to be the first episode proved quite watchable. It involved a seriously overweight young man who, after a roller-coaster ride of weight-reduction programs, kept piling on the kilos until he could no longer fit behind the wheel of his car. He decided to have surgery to reduce the size of his stomach.

So much for that, however. Viewers must wait a week to see it because Ten has decided, perhaps wisely, to kick off with the second episode.

This involves Lauren Harvey (Stacey Morgan), a state-level water polo player, who becomes concerned when her calf becomes inflamed and painful.

The surgeon of the series title is Eve Agius (Justine Clarke), a pleasantly calm, competent young woman. She has a squiz at the athlete's leg and is immediately concerned that she is looking at a case of necrotising fascitis—nec-fas to the surgical crew—a rare disease caused by voracious flesh-eating bacteria. It's serious and looks certain to cost Lauren her swimming career and very likely her leg. Her father, Warwick (Rhett Walton), is adamant. No way. He wants Lauren back in the pool.

"Do you like being a doctor?" a nervous Lauren asks Eve. "It must be good, all these men around."

"It has its downside," Eve replies. She'll do nicely.

By Robin Oliver
October 12, 2005
The Age