The doctor is in. Based upon the true story, a new trailer for the Peacock original series Dr. Death has arrived, with Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live) and Christian Slater (Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story) playing two surgeons attempting to take down the murderous Dr. Christopher Duntsch, aka Dr. Death, via Entertainment Weekly.
Joshua Jackson (Little Fires Everywhere) steps into the shoes of the mad doctor, seen in the trailer released on Tuesday performing questionable surgeries, with some resulting in patients’ death. Baldwin co-stars as neurosurgeon Robert Henderson alongside Slater as vascular surgeon Randall Kirby as they witness the malpractice performed by Dr. Duntsch and make it their mission to shut him down. Also helping them is Dallas prosecutor Michelle Shughart, who can be seen in the trailer portrayed by AnnaSophia Robb (The Carrie Diaries). As Dr. Duntsch rises higher in the medical ranks and garners more and more patients, the more surgeries gone wrong occur, with paralysis and death becoming the outcome. The last words muttered in the trailer are an ominous foreshadowing, when a patient remarks, “I leave myself in God’s and Dr. Duntsch’s hands.”
Dr. Death is based upon the Wondery podcast under the same name reported and hosted by Laura Beill. Beil did extensive research on the Texas based doctor, and was able to interview a wide range of people who came into contact with him, including old friends, former patients who suffered permanent damage after laying on his table, and the two men who fought to bring him down, Henderson and Kirby. The podcast was an instant smash, with over fifty million people downloading the episodes as they listened in horror to what Dr. Duntsch was able to get away with. The second season of the podcast details another murderous doctor based in Michigan, so time will tell if Peacock wants to dive further down the rabbit hole.
Dr. Duntsch was eventually accused of injuring or maiming a staggering thirty three patients in the span of two years and was sentenced to life in prison. The Peacock series aims to figure out what led Dr. Duntsch to do the things he did, and how he was able to get away with it for so long. Entertainment Weekly picked up a comment Slater made about the series, and how it examines mental illness: “I think the great thing about getting to tell this story over eight episodes is we get to delve so deeply into the minds of these types of people…The more we can learn about mental illness and where it can stem from and what that background is, the more awareness we’ll have, and have more knowledge about what we can do. The more we study our humanness and the challenges of being human and what it takes to actually live in this world, I think the better off we’ll be.”
Hitting the streaming service July 15, all eight episodes of Dr. Death are directed by female directors, including Maggie Kiley (Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story), Jennifer Morrison (Euphoria), and So Young Kim (On Becoming a God in Central Florida). Patrick Macmanus (Homecoming) serves as the series showrunner.
Watch the trailer for Dr. Death below: