Starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Jon Hamm (Mad Men), A Young Doctor's Notebook is a new series on Sky Arts 1 based on short stories by the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. Set mostly in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, it follows the misadventures of a doctor whose first practice is in the remotest possible countryside. It's principally a comedy, although, as Russian comedy is near-indistinguishable from Russian tragedy (all pain, poverty, disaster and death), the label is perhaps superfluous. Let's just call it Russian.
Hamm was the doctor's older self, who keeps turning up from the future to give his younger self advice. As the other actors were British, and spoke in their normal voices, Hamm had to fit in, leaving him in the unusual position of being an American playing a Russian speaking like an Englishman. Or at least, an American actor's idea of the way an Englishman speaks, i.e., somewhere between Jeremy Irons and a supercilious ghost.
Radcliffe, beady eyes cutely twinkling, was the doctor's younger self. Even at 23 he looks 13, making him well suited to the role, as his character is routinely derided for his youthfulness. Anyway, he was good, which was a relief. I'd hate to have to say he was bad. It would make me feel horribly guilty, as if I'd trodden on a hamster's paw.
The action was a peculiar mix of silliness and gore, but there were some good lines.
Radcliffe (to Hamm, who's waving a scary surgical tool): "Careful, you could have an eye out."