For those who aren't familiar with Wondery’s Dr. Death podcast, it tells the story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a Dallas spinal surgeon. Duntsch became the subject of scrutiny after multiple patients woke from his surgeries permanently maimed. Some never woke up at all — hence the disturbing nickname. Dornan is set to play a fictionalized version of the surgeon in a TV series based on the podcast.
Also onboard for the TV series are Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater. They will play the members of the medical community that try to stop Dr. Death’s reign of medical terror, just as many of Duntch’s peers choose to sweep his errors under the rug. Baldwin will play Robert Henderson, whom Deadline describes as a “quiet, deliberative and methodical neurosurgeon.” Henderson teams up with Slater’s vascular surgeon Randall Kirby, who is “brash” and “impulsive” in his quest for justice.
The show is currently being shopped to networks and streamers after landing a high-profile cast. Wondery's Dr. Death followed the successful Dirty John podcast, which became a TV series on Bravo last year starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana. In the show, Bana portrayed John Meehan, a con artist who woos Britton’s wealthy Debra Newell, before turning her life into a living hell. Season 2 of the anthology series has not yet been announced.
For fans of a con artist story, Dr. Death could be the perfect series to watch next. Though Dr. Duntsch is legally a doctor, how much he knows about spinal surgery was heavily debated in the podcast. Whether he purposefully chose to maim people, or if he was less skilled than he purported to be is also up for debate.
Which network will snatch this just-cast series up, we'll have to see — but in the meantime, you can listen to this brutal medical story on your podcasts apps.