Thursdays, 8.30pm (starting 20 July)
Inspired by a true story, Pulse is the latest dramatic offering from the ABC. Swapping the courtroom (Janet King) for the hospital, Pulse’s main character Frankie Bell (Claire van der Boom) was a high-flying executive whose life crashed down around her ears when she learned her kidneys had failed.
Without medical intervention she would have died – the transplant that saved her life changed it in so many ways. Eight years later she has gone from patient to doctor and is on her renal rotation in her second year as a practising doctor. Driven to use her “second chance” to save people’s lives, she becomes a doctor.
Her former doctor, Game of Thrones’ Owen Teale is now her mentor and he has doubts that her body will stand up to the rigours of being a doctor. As with all medical dramas we start at the beginning – first day on the job for both her and her best friend. And stuff-ups abound and of course she comes face to face with transplant patients and even someone from her past.
It’s real, well-handled and with an experienced cast that includes Teale, Susie Porter, Andrea Demetriades and Penny Cook. It’s a high stakes drama set around the transplant unit of a busy Western Suburbs teaching hospital, all done without falling into melodrama. Susie Porter was born to play a tough as nails surgeon.
Does Frankie want to be there because it’s the best unit, or is it just patient attachment 101 – the man who saved her life asked.
With a gentle soundtrack and human situations, this is a well-crafted medical drama full of humanity.
– Tania Phillips