Third-episode verdict: Trauma

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 2

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, NBC

Time for a third-episode verdict on “Jerry Bruckheimer’s Casualty” aka Trauma. After an opening episode that made it hard to spot the wheat (most of the writing and characters) from the chaff (the colossal, ridiculous explosions and accidents), Trauma settled into a second episode that did more or less the same thing again – but with fewer explosions.

Episode three, however, was a far better beast. There’s still the Casualty/House gambit of setting up an obvious accident then substituting a less obvious accident later on – in the world of Trauma, the obvious accident is the mysterious arrival of a car from nowhere which then ploughs through pedestrians/the wall of a house/whatever.

But the whole episode was considerably less over the top and gave us a kind of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead view of a typical police drama: while the exciting hostage negotiation is going on, we found out what the paramedics have been up to the whole time and they’re pretty impressive, as it happens.

The third episode also saw the characters begin to work dramatically for me. Until now, they’ve just really been types and case studies, but they’re starting to becoming more real now. Cliff Curtis’s chopper pilot is still the most interesting character (although not necessarily for the right reasons), although Anastasia Griffith’s promiscuous but authoritative lead paramedic comes a close second. The others need work, but are getting there.

I’m very tempted to keep watching, now the writers are getting on with telling stories rather than establishing the characters, but it’s not engrossing enough that I’m guaranteed to. In all likelihood, I’ll give up. But it’s good enough that I’m split on the decision.

Carusometer rating: 2
Rob’s prediction: Very expensive (c$3m per episode) so liable to get cancelled very soon. But better than Mercy and a lot of the other new dramas, so deserves more of a chance at life than them.




  • Jonathan Reed

    I coincidentally watched the first episode last night. But only for two reasons:
    1. It was free on iTunes(and in HD!)
    2. It’s ‘from Peter Berg’ who I’m a big fan of after Friday Night Lights
    On a side note, why does everyone say Jerry Bruckheimer’s to do with this? I can’t find his name anywhere in the credits or on the NBC site. I’m not questioning you Rob because I’ve seen it lots of other places too…
    Anyway…
    I thought the first episode was particularly boring. Filled with characters that were either dull or annoying. I thought it might have some thrilling action after hearing how much it costs but I was left cold. Plus it didn’t feel like Peter Berg’s work(ie: shakey cam, which I like)
    And as for that guy with the really hot wife who is for some reason cheating on her to get over the trauma of what he sees in the field? Are you kidding me? “I can’t bring that home!” yeah, ok maybe, but explain to me why that excuses you banging all these other women when you’ve got a family…
    Maybe it got better after the pilot but I can’t be bothered…
    dull. arse. deleted.
    Not long until Friday Night Lights returns I guess…

  • MediumRob

    “On a side note, why does everyone say Jerry Bruckheimer’s to do with this? I can’t find his name anywhere in the credits or on the NBC site. I’m not questioning you Rob because I’ve seen it lots of other places too…”
    I can’t speak for other sites, which might be getting confused with the forthcoming Miami Trauma with Jeremy Northam (and not Richard Coyle any more) that Bruckheimer is producing, I’m simply using it in the sense of Bruckheimer-esque – the explosions, etc, are very reminiscent of Bad Boys, Armagedoon and the rest of Bruckheimer’s movie oeuvre.
    “Anyway…I thought the first episode was particularly boring. Filled with characters that were either dull or annoying. I thought it might have some thrilling action after hearing how much it costs but I was left cold.… Maybe it got better after the pilot but I can’t be bothered…dull. arse. deleted.”
    Third episode better, but the first two aren’t very promising.