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Heads Up: A Young Doctor's Notebook

Medicine men: pulses race for Hamm and Radcliffe

Holly Williams
Sunday 18 November 2012 01:00 GMT
Jon Hamm (left) and Daniel Radcliffe (right), in A Young Doctor's Notebook
Jon Hamm (left) and Daniel Radcliffe (right), in A Young Doctor's Notebook

What are we talking about? A four-part British TV adaptation of a short story by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov. A bleak comedy set during the Russian revolution, it will be showing on Sky Arts as part of their Playhouse Presents strand.

Elevator pitch Medicine men: take a look at the (note)book of Daniel and Jon.

Prime Movers It's directed by Alex Hardcastle, who's previously helmed Suburgatory and Lead Balloon. Executive producing are Kenton Allen – the CEO of Big Talk productions who's had a hand in much top British comedy, including Rev, The Visit and The Royle Family – and a certain Jon Hamm .…

The stars Fear not! It also stars Jon Hamm (aka Mad Men's Don Draper). And, as if that wasn't eye-catching enough, his co-star is Daniel Radcliffe, continuing his post-Potter emergence as a serious actor. The pair play the younger and older version of the same doctor, Vladimir Bomgard.

The early buzz Empire Online wrote "We can only imagine the excitement that the first promotional still [showing Hamm and Radcliffe in a bath together] caused in some corners of the Internet… But do calm down! Since Hamm and Radcliffe are playing the same character at different ages interacting through the narrative, this shouldn't provide fodder for any overly creative slash fiction." Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton would not be calmed, however: "It's hard to believe that they actually play the same guy considering one is significantly taller than the other, but nobody's complainin' here! Just make sure we get a nice long bath scene between the two of them and don't forget to pass the soap!"

Insider knowledge It seems that both actors are genuine nerds for Bulgakov; it was a passion project for Hamm, who came up with the idea in the first place, while Radcliffe has described himself as "an obsessive Bulgakov fan."

It's great that… two such high-profile actors are taking on such a small, artsy project.

It's a shame that… the flip side of taking on a small project on Sky Arts is that it's also likely to get a pretty small number of viewers…

Hit potential Hamm and Radcliffe will obviously be draws, and it has already piqued interest online, meaning it may eventually prove popular across the pond too.

The details A Young Doctor's Notebook begins on Sky Arts, 6 December.

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