Equal parts “ER” and “C.S.I.,” the
creatively named “Medical Investigation” is NBC’s
latest series where doctors attempt to solve medical epidemics.
Dr. Stephen Connor (Neal McDonough, “Boomtown”)
leads a mobile division from the National Institutes of Health. His
quick thinking saves millions, but the demands of the job have made
a shambles of his personal life, as Connor is separated from his
wife and can barely find time for his son. With all the effort put
into this character, it is odd that the rest of the group is
developed to a much lesser extent.
The balance of the team exhibits several of the usual primetime
dramatic character traits. Dr. Natalie Durant (Kelli Williams,
“The Practice”) is a pathologist who respects Connor,
but often comes into professional conflicts with him. Specialist
Frank Powell (Troy Winbush, “John Q.”) is an inspector
who exists only for plot advancement, while Dr. Miles McCabe
(Christopher Gorham, “Jake 2.0”) is the fresh-faced
rookie full of potential. The only one missing is the curmudgeonly
veteran who dispenses invaluable life lessons.
Dr. Connor’s crew shows up anytime there is an outbreak,
which seems to happen once per week. They have absolute authority,
much to the chagrin of local medical professionals. In the pilot,
when 12 people begin to turn blue and are hospitalized in New York,
the conclusion is that the cause is contaminated food from a
restaurant. When four others in Delaware suffer the same fate, it
is back to the drawing board.
Neil McDonough’s Dr. Connor is the focal point of the
show, which lives and dies through his charisma. McDonough
admirably demonstrates his acting chops and takes advantage of his
opportunity to be the lead.
“Medical Investigation” is presented in widescreen
format, giving an important feel to the show, complimented by the
subject’s inherent urgency. Not only is the subject matter
dark, but so is the visual palette, using filters to keep the tones
saturated, without a red or orange to be seen. Camera effects are
also put to use, such as when Connor visualizes scenes of the
outbreak’s beginning with ghostly, imagined people moving in
While “Medical Investigation” looks promising, it
has not been given much chance to develop an audience. After a
plush Thursday premiere, the show’s Friday time slot will
most likely cause the series to die a quick death, one which Dr.
Connor’s team cannot prevent.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.