'Transplant' is the perfect refuge for fans of medical dramas
“Transplant” is the latest medical drama to hit the small screen.
With this genre becoming as popular as procedural dramas, the TV landscape has seen a saturation of shows come and go over the years.
“Grey’s Anatomy”, which has surpassed ER’s record for being the longest running primetime medical drama, remains a firm favourite. Other hits include “The Good Doctor”, “The Resident”, “New Amsterdam” and “Chicago Med”.
Yes, there’ve been a few misses with the genre but, overall, such shows enjoy an engaged audience.
I was able to get a screener of the first episode of “Transplant”.
After watching it, I was pining for the next episode. Of course, this is a wonderful testament to the series. It’s compelling for myriad reasons, which I’m about to get into.
The biggest hook for me is the unconventional lead, Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, played by Hamza Haq. When viewers are introduced to him, appears to be your typical migrant worker at an Indian restaurant.
He’s drawn to a diner and approaches him to ask: “Do you remember me, sir?”
The response he gets, just before a truck rams into the establishment, is: “You made my dinner!”
As the episode plays out, with the aftermath of the accident and several injuries at the restaurant, it becomes clear that there’s so much more to Bash after he saves the lives of several individuals despite his injuries, too.
One of the individuals he saves is Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), who was the person he was chatting to just before the accident.
He tells him: “I’m not going to let you die here.”
It becomes clear that their paths have crossed.
As the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Toronto’s York Memorial Hospital, Jed turned Bash away for a job. A decision that comes back to haunt him in light of the recent turn of events.
Meanwhile, Bash gets to interact with several of the staff while awaiting treatment. Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc (Laurence Leboeuf) takes a keen interest in him.
There’s also a police officer milling about and he’s highly suspicious of Bash and his involvement in the accident. The scenes between the two feed into the stigma of racial and religious profiling.
During the confusion that breaks out, Bash’s 12-year-old sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), fears the worse and frantically looks for him, while he does the same.
The writers have done a marvellous job in establishing the characters, introducing their backstories, while also maintaining the tense emergency room atmosphere.
Transplant is an adroitly directed medical drama. The characters are layered and well-etched. The professional conflicts are perfectly juxtaposed with each individual's personalities, strengths and weaknesses.
As such, there’s the blossoming camaraderie that surfaces as Bash is embraced as a new member of staff, where he has to repeat his residency.
“Transplant” is a series with heart and that makes me hopeful about the future of the series.
“Transplant” launches with a double bill on Universal TV (DStv channel 117) at 8pm.