Dr. Death
Genre
Created by
  • Patrick Macmanus (season 1)
  • Ashley Michel Hoban (season 2)
Based onDr. Death
by Wondery
Starring
Music by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producers
  • Patrick Macmanus
  • Todd Black
  • Jason Blumenthal
  • Taylor Latham
  • Steve Tisch
  • Aaron Hart
  • Marshall Lewy
  • Hernan Lopez
  • Christian Slater
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Matt Del Piano
  • Maggie Kiley
  • Evan Wright
  • Ashley Michel Hoban (season 2)
  • Jennifer Morrison
  • Linda Gase
Producers
  • Ashley Michel Hoban (season 1)
  • Russ Hammonds
Cinematography
  • Kat Westergaard
  • Zachary Galler
  • Vanja Černjul
  • DJ Stipsen
Editors
  • Ryan Denmark
  • David Leonard
  • David Carlos Valdez
  • Joe Giganti
  • Anthony Muzzatti
Running time44–63 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkPeacock
ReleaseJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15) –
present (present)

Dr. Death is an American true crime drama anthology television series created by Patrick Macmanus, based on the podcast of the same name. It premiered on Peacock on July 15, 2021.[1] In July 2022, the series was renewed for a second season that premiered on December 21, 2023.[2][3]

Premise

Season 1 dramatizes the story of Christopher Duntsch, an American neurosurgeon convicted after permanently mutilating his patients, killing two of them.

Season 2 dramatizes the story of Swiss-Italian surgeon and medical researcher Paolo Macchiarini convicted after experimenting on his patients.

Cast

Season 1

Main

Recurring

Guest stars

Season 2

Main

Recurring

Episodes

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
18July 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
28December 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)

Season 1 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Diplos"Maggie KileyPatrick MacmanusJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
22"Ain't No Bum"Maggie KileyAshley Michel HobanJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
33"Dock Ellis"Jennifer MorrisonEvan WrightJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
44"An Occurrence at Randall Kirby's Sink"Jennifer MorrisonAhmadu GarbaJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
55"The $?!& in the Bed"So Yong KimMatthew WhiteJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
66"Occam's Razor"So Yong KimSara Pearson & Maxwell Michael TowsonJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
77"Feet of Clay"So Yong KimAshley Michel Hoban & Ahmadu GarbaJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)
88"Hardwood Floors"So Yong KimPatrick MacmanusJuly 15, 2021 (2021-07-15)

Season 2 (2023)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"Like Magic"Jennifer MorrisonAshley Michel HobanDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
102"Worth the Risk"Jennifer MorrisonLinda GaseDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
113"The Horizon"Jennifer MorrisonNilanjana Bose & Jakub CiupinskiDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
124"Tarantela Telaraña"Jennifer MorrisonGregory LocklearDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
135"191"Laura BelseyBashir GavrielDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
146"The Fog"Laura BelseySara PearsonDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
157"Compassionate Uses"Laura BelseyMatthew WhiteDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)
168"Surgeons, Bachelors and Butchers"Laura BelseyAshley Michel Hoban & Luca RojasDecember 21, 2023 (2023-12-21)

Production

Development

On October 3, 2018, NBCUniversal announced that Patrick Macmanus would adapt the Dr. Death podcast into a limited series and produce with Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch executive produce via Escape Artists, as well as Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy.[7] On September 17, 2019, NBCUniversal announced that the series would be distributed on its streaming service Peacock.[8] In January 2020, it was announced Stephen Frears would direct the first two episodes.[9] In September 2020, Frears was replaced by Maggie Kiley.[10] On July 14, 2022, Peacock renewed the series for a second season with Ashley Michel Hoban promoted from a producer to an executive producer and new showrunner. The second season will focus on Paolo Macchiarini.[2] On October 18, 2022, it was announced that Jennifer Morrison is set to direct episodes 1–4 and Laura Belsey is set to direct episodes 5–8 of the second season.[11]

Casting

On August 9, 2019, Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, and Christian Slater were cast as Dr. Christopher Duntsch, Robert Henderson, and Randall Kirby, respectively.[12] In March 2020, Grace Gummer, Molly Griggs, AnnaSophia Robb and Chris Sullivan joined the cast of the series.[13][14] On October 12, 2020, Joshua Jackson and Dominic Burgess joined the cast of the series, replacing Dornan and Sullivan respectively.[15][16] Later in the same month, Hubert Point-Du Jour and Maryann Plunkett were cast in undisclosed capacities and character name roles.[17] On February 12, 2021, Carrie Preston joined the cast.[18] In November 2022, Édgar Ramírez was cast as Paolo Macchiarini and Mandy Moore was cast as Benita Alexander for the second season.[4][5] On January 23, 2023, Rita Volk, Judy Reyes, Jack Davenport, Annika Boras, and Sandra Andreis joined the cast in recurring capacities for the second season.[6]

Release

On May 17, 2021, alongside the release of an official trailer, it was announced that the series was scheduled to premiere in the summer of 2021.[19] The first season premiered on July 15, 2021, with an eight-episode release.[1] The second season premiered on December 21, 2023, with an eight-episode release.[3]

In Canada, the show debuted on Showcase on September 12, 2021.[20]

The series had its linear premiere on the USA Network on October 5, 2022.[21]

Reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating for the series' first season with an average score of 7.5/10 based on 29 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Though it keeps viewers in the waiting room a little too long, Dr. Death remains a horrifying tale of medical malpractice centered around Joshua Jackson's sufficiently unsettling performance."[22] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the first season a score of 75 out of 100 based on 12 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[23]

Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly gave the series' first season an A− and wrote a review saying, "The what and the how are harrowing enough. Dr. Death succeeds by focusing on the people who fought for years to make sure Christopher Duntsch could do no more harm."[24]

The second season has an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 10 critic reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The website's critics consensus states, "Entangling Édgar Ramírez and Mandy Moore in a bad romance with skin-crawling results, Dr. Death's second season cuts with a mean scalpel."[25] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the second season a score of 65 out of 100 based on 5 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[26]

References

  1. ^ a b Huff, Lauren (June 15, 2021). "Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater team up to take down a dangerous surgeon in 'Dr. Death' trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (July 14, 2022). "'Dr. Death' Renewed For Season 2 By Peacock With Ashley Michel Hoban As Showrunner; New Subject Revealed". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 14, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Nemetz, Dave (October 20, 2023). "Dr. Death First Look: Mandy Moore Falls in Love With a Con Man in Season 2 — Get Premiere Date and watch Teaser". TVLine. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (November 8, 2022). "'Dr. Death': Edgar Ramirez To Lead Season 2 Of Peacock Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 8, 2022. Retrieved November 8, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (November 22, 2022). "Mandy Moore To Star In Season 2 Of 'Dr. Death' Peacock Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 22, 2022. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e Petski, Denise (January 23, 2023). "'Dr. Death': Peacock Anthology Series Adds Five To Recurring Cast For Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 23, 2023.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (October 3, 2018). "'Dr. Death' TV Series Based On Podcast In Works At Universal Cable Productions". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 19, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  8. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 17, 2019). "NBCUniversal's Streaming Strategy, Name, Programming Lineup Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 17, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (January 17, 2020). "'Dr. Death': Stephen Frears To Direct Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin & Christian Slater In Peacock Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 29, 2020). "'Dr. Death': Maggie Kiley To Direct First 2 Episodes As Peacock Limited Series Sets All-Female Directing Team". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Cordero, Rosy (October 18, 2022). "'Dr. Death': Jennifer Morrison & Laura Belsey Set To Direct Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 18, 2022. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  12. ^ Pedersen, Erik; Andreeva, Nellie (August 9, 2019). "Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin & Christian Slater To Star In 'Dr. Death', UCP Limited Series Based On Podcast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  13. ^ Pederson, Erik (March 2, 2020). "'Dr. Death': Grace Gummer & Molly Griggs Cast In Peacock's Limited Series Based On Podcast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (March 11, 2020). "'Dr. Death': AnnaSophia Robb & Chris Sullivan Join Peacock's Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  15. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 12, 2020). "Joshua Jackson Replaces Jamie Dornan in Lead Role of Peacock True Crime Series 'Dr. Death'". Variety. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  16. ^ Ausiello, Michael (October 12, 2020). "Dr. Death Recast: Joshua Jackson Replaces Jamie Dornan as Titular M.D. From Hell in Peacock Limited Series". TVLine. Archived from the original on May 17, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (October 27, 2020). "'Dr. Death': Hubert Point-Du Jour & Maryann Plunkett Join Peacock Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  18. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (February 12, 2021). "'Claws' & 'The Good Wife' Actress Carrie Preston Joins Peacock Crime Series 'Dr. Death'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 28, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  19. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (May 17, 2021). "Dr. Death Trailer: Joshua Jackson Is a Killer Surgeon in Peacock Miniseries". TVLine. Archived from the original on May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  20. ^ "Showcase Unveils the Ultimate Fall Lineup for Drama, Comic Book, True Crime, Horror, and Sci-Fi Fans".
  21. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20221001024904/https://www.tvtv.us/ga/atlanta/luUSA-GA67017-X Archived listings, switch to Wednesday for October 5 listing
  22. ^ "Dr. Death: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  23. ^ "Dr. Death: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Baldwin, Kristen (July 8, 2021). "Dr. Death review: Joshua Jackson is chilling as a sinister spine surgeon". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  25. ^ "Dr. Death: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  26. ^ "Dr. Death: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved December 21, 2023.