The cynical view of humanity depicted in these episodes is quite different from what is usually done
Jun 23, 2010
These two episodes of the medical show "Medic" are different from most other shows in the frequently used genre. The standard plot device is that a person is severely injured or extremely sick and the medical people manage to make them better after they are on the brink of death. That is not the case in these two episodes. In "Flash of Darkness" the United States has a nuclear exchange with "the enemy", a foe never mentioned by name. Richard Boone stars as a doctor that survives the exchange and must work to repair and treat the living. He is focused on the task and stays there, even though he fears for his wife, medical supplies are in short supply and there is rioting in the streets. The doctor faces a continuous stream of patients and he must make immediate decisions regarding which ones to treat. It is a dark episode, yet realistic for the time that it appeared (1954). In "My Brother Joe" a boy suffers a head injury in a car accident and is unconscious. Charles Bronson stars as a doctor that is doing everything he can to save the boy and after many of his subsequent roles, it was unusual to see Bronson as such a mild character trying to save lives. The boy's older brother, father and mother are also at the hospital and this is where the episode differs from others. His mother is very self-centered, blaming the father and continuing their arguments in the waiting room of the hospital. The father responds in kind until the older brother puts his foot down and demands that they stop. Despite all the efforts of the doctors, the boy dies and the parents are together in their grief. Until I spotted this used video, I had never heard of the show "Medic." Given the lack of drama and the cynical view of humanity in both these episodes, I can see why it was nominated for an Emmy yet did not last very long.