Four part comedic drama series about a doctor at different ages, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm, based on the work of Mikhail Bulgakov
- Playhouse Presents
- Playhouse Presents: A Young Doctor's Notebook
- Comedy Drama
- 2012 (Sky Arts 1)
- 4 (1 series)
- Daniel Radcliffe, Jon Hamm, Rosie Cavaliero, Adam Godley, Vicki Pepperdine
- Mikhail Bulgakov, Mark Chappell, Shaun Pye, Alan Connor
- Big Talk Productions
Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm star in the latest instalment of Sky Arts' acclaimed Playhouse Presents strand. Based on Mikhail Bulgakov's collection of short stories A Country Doctor's Notebook, the series follows a recently-graduated young medic (Radcliffe) who is forced to say farewell to life in bustling Moscow to take up a post as a doctor in a small, remote hospital a thousand miles from the capital, and half a day's journey from the nearest shop.
Hamm plays the young doctor 17 years on, who finds his old diary while answering to the authorities about self-prescribing morphine. He has a series of comic exchanges with his young and inexperienced self, mocking him for his youthful looks and guiding him through his early difficulties on the job.
Fresh from achieving exceptional grades at the Imperial Moscow University, the na´ve and freshfaced young doctor soon discovers he has a tough act to follow. Portraits and busts of his predecessor, the wizened Leopold Leopoldovich, fill the surgery's rooms and he is spoken of with great reverence by midwives Anna and Pelageya and the feldsher (Adam Godley). They show little faith in the new doctor who they barely believe is old enough to be qualified, whose surgery robes drag on the floor and who they remind to brush his teeth before bed.
The nervous doctor quickly finds himself out of his depth, sneaking off to examine text books during a tricky birthing and creating a gruesomely bloody scene when he is required to extract a rotten tooth.
A witty look at the young doctor's isolation and struggle to be taken seriously by his fellow staff and frustratingly backwards patients, this bleakly comic four-part drama proves humour can come from the unlikeliest of places. With brilliant performances from Radcliffe, Hamm and Godley, it also provides a unique and lively take on Bulgakov's short stories.