NBC is giving its new drama a powerful lead-in, as the Do No Harm premiere date is scheduled immediately following the hourlong series finale of 30 Rock on Thursday, Jan. 31. The dark Jekyll and Hyde-esque medical drama has Stephen Pasquale (Rescue Me) playing both Dr. Jason Cole, a highly respected neurosurgeon, and his alter ego Ian Price, a reckless playboy determined to ruin Jason’s life.
While we’ve seen alter egos play out in film and serialized TV before (of recent, Toni Collette in Showtime’s United States of Tara comes to mind), Do No Harm offers a refreshingly dark twist that leaves you cringing, “Oh gawd, look what Ian’s done now.” And it ain’t pretty.
Waking up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amid several near-naked women he’s never seen before is just one example. Ian can be seductive, devious and brutal. While Jason works to medicate himself and suppress Ian from resurfacing, Ian’s hell bent on making sure his personality becomes dominant, jeopardizing everything and everyone Jason cares about.
“It seems that every adventure that Ian goes on involves some sort of threesome or orgy – he lives a pretty lascivious life,” Pasquale tells me. “Ian is much more fun than Jason.”
Playing Jason, however, poses different challenges. “The dialogue is so hard. Every time they give me a hard brain-surgeon word I call [executive producer] David Schulner and say, ‘I’m so pissed at you. I got to spend all day saying a 14-syllable word.’ I would be the worst doctor ever in real life.”
The series also stars Alana De La Garza (Law & Order), Michael Esper (A Beautiful Mind), Ruta Gedmintas (The Borgias) and Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show).