Saving Hope is interesting, and engaging, but ultimately doesn’t live up to the hype. For weeks before the show premiered Saving Hope was plastered across the plethora of channels that UKTV owns. The trailers promised medical drama, emotional turmoil and supernatural eeriness. It almost fulfils these promises, but yet there is something missing.
Saving Hope tells the story of Chief of Surgery, Dr. Charlie Harris, who falls into a coma after a car accident. Charlie finds himself incorporeally wandering the halls of Hope Zion meeting the spirits of the recently deceased or dying, helping them with their unfinished business, while his own fate hangs in the balance. Charlie’s fiancé Dr Alex Reid struggles to find the balance between treating her patients and worrying about Charlie’s failure to improve.
Charlie is played creditably by Michael Shanks, probably best known for his time in Stargate, but looking remarkably different. His story is interesting, and because only a few episodes have been shown in the UK, the reasons for his supernatural state are as yet unrevealed. Similarly, Erica Durance, who played a very dynamic Lois Lane, is emotionally convincing as Alex.
The show mixes two genres, with Charlie’s ghostly presence, and the over arching medical themes. Charlie helps the ghostly presences of the people who are being treated in the hospital, normally by Alex and her team. Sometimes they are saved, bringing Alex messages from Charlie, whilst he helps others move on. Meanwhile he is stuck watching his fiancé struggle with his continued unconscious state.
The show just seems to fall short. The acting from the majority of the cast is a little mediocre at times, as most seem a little forgettable. Their minor storylines are hardly memorable, and don’t leave me wanting any more time spent on any of them. The only exception to this is the psychiatry resident Dr. Zachary Miller whose warm humour is endearing. Something about the drama just doesn’t connect. The show also feels like it has a limited shelf life. There is only so long that Charlie can stay in his coma, before it becomes old, and I find it difficult to believe the show will have any impact with him awake. The emotional connection between Alex and Charlie, however, is believable, and I find myself drawn to their story, hoping for some kind of reconciliation.
Maybe it needs a little more time to grow into itself and establish all of the minor characters. I daresay I’ll continue watching, because I’m interested to see what is to come, but there isn’t the wow factor in this medical drama. Unlike shows like House or Greys Anatomy, I don’t find myself eager for the next episode.
Saving Hope is broadcast on Watch at 9pm on Wednesdays.