Why “Dr Death” Showrunner used double schedules to unfold Duntsch’s “Occam’s Razor” email

(Warning: This post, originally published on July 16, contains spoilers through the finale of “Dr. Death.”)

In the limited series of Peacock “Dr. Death, “the existence and significance of the email that Dr. Christopher Duntsch (pictured by Joshua Jackson) sent to the nurse and his lover, Kim Morgan (Grace Gummer) the night before he performed a miserable spine surgery on his friend by Jerry Summers (Dominic Burgess) is revealed much earlier than the actual content of the letter.

Due to the twisted nature of the show’s dual timelines based on fact-finding details of Duntsch’s terrifying mistakes as a neurosurgeon and his subsequent trial of crimes against his patients, viewers get even more teasing about how vital it is. email, which has the theme The Occam Razor line, is going to put Duntsch behind bars before we have enough information to understand why.

The reason for all this accumulation of illusions of the greatness of email is because “Dr. Death showrunner Patrick Macmanus wanted to worry about what exactly he said until Jackson read it himself while Duntsch was in the courtroom.

“I like to throw something and have the audience say, ‘Oh, what, what, what?’ Wait, come again? Why do not I know that? “So, in my opinion, and it’s subjective – it gets a lot more important when you get to reality, because the public was waiting and waiting,” Macmanus told TheWrap of the Occam’s Razor email, which Duntsch real-life “And when you finally drop it, I hope it ‘s a moment of revelation and relief that the public feels they finally have.”

Macmanus said he did not want the e-mail to be mere words on the screen or something read by Morgan or prosecutor Michelle Shughart (AnnaSophia Robb) – it had to be recited by Duntsch himself. Of course, this required the addition of an element of a narrated Duntsch to a scene where the neurosurgeon was dead silent as the former employee and his lover testified against him and detailed his disturbing medical behavior in court.

“Well at that moment he comes in like a ghost over Grace [Gummer’s, who portrays Kim Morgan] The shoulder was so purposeful that we could hear the words coming out of Josh’s mouth as opposed to Grace reading it or AnnaSophia. I wanted to say it. “

As for the whole idea behind the show’s two timelines – which allow us to start the story before we even meet Duntsch and finish long after he said his finish line – that was a very calculated choice.

See below for the full explanation of Macmanus for its chronological device:

“It was a very conscious choice. It was a choice from the beginning that we were going to tell this story in two timelines of this kind of piece to each other until they met in episode 7. And the reason for that was, a) mechanical, which is that if we did not do it with him by the way, we would not have met Alec [Baldwin, who portrays Dr. Robert Henderson], Christian [Slater, who plays Dr. Randall Kirby] or AnnaSophia characters up to episodes 5 or 6 at eight, something you just can’t do. But the other part was that I personally am a fan of double schedules. I’m a fan of something that is stated here and then I watch here or I dramatize here. And you are, “Oh, I remember when they talked about it there!” I think this is the kind of narrative where you have to go back and watch it again because you get new clues every time. There are a lot of clues throughout the show that people can miss – and that’s okay.

“Since we start with Henderson and Kirby and then we meet Duntsch, very conscious. And that’s because I liked the idea that we, the public, were in the dark as much as our heroes about who this guy was. They say, “How is this education?” How does he work in these hospitals? It can’t be that bad. “Then we met him and we are, ‘This guy is charming and so handsome! And I will handle him!’ – just to see him roll. That was very expedient. It was actually the first thing I found in the pilot, honestly.

“As it relates to the final, he did not speak in the test, so we could not do that. So we used all the other scenes that are running, especially his time with Carrie Preston, Robbie McClung, his attorney and his dad to let him talk and talk about the experience he went through in this trial.

“Everyone we interviewed in court that day, or during those two weeks, said they saw a turn in Duntsch during the doctors’ testimony, where it finally appeared that he was the one in charge. . And that was something we really dealt with Josh, it was that moment of revelation for Christopher Danz as a character, where he finally says, “It’s not the hospital’s mistake or the patient’s mistake, it’s my fault,” which in he then feeds the scene with his dad at the end when he says, “I just want to go back to my research. I just want to go back to my research “, which is performed so sadly by these two actors.«

All eight episodes of “Dr. “Death” is now running in Peacock.

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