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<em>Transplant</em> isn’t a typical ER drama

(Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

Television

Transplant isn’t a typical ER drama

The main character’s strong moral center and a positive portrayal of a Christian doctor make the new series stand out—for now

Deftly skewering a shish kebab and cleaving a chicken are the first hints that one man is more than a short-order cook. When a truck slams through a restaurant’s plate-glass windows, the cook, despite his own wounds, starts performing triage on the injured. 

It’s an intense opening to Transplant, a new Canadian medical series on NBC. This series’ likable characters elevate it above other medical dramas, as does morality that—so far—grounds the central figure. That cook is actually a Syrian doctor, Bashir Hamed (Hamza Haq), who fled Syria with his 12-year-old sister.

The show quickly morphs to “Bash,” as he’s called, getting his dream job as a resident in a hospital emergency room. He’s brilliant, passionate, and unabashedly compassionate. 

Some of Canada’s social agendas emerge. Physicians welcome an addict for a needle exchange program. It’s hard to watch these scenes without yearning for the show’s sole Christian doctor to share the gospel.

That there even is a Christian doctor portrayed as competent, humorous, and a committed family man is startling. Also pleasantly surprising is hearing him happily share with a teen patient he’s advising that he’s had sex only with his wife. He reminds the boy, “Decisions have consequences.”

Most medical dramas wind up pushing hyper-liberal social and political agendas. Here’s hoping this one doesn’t get sick, too.