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Friday, June 2, 2017

Thoughts about "The Doctors" - November 1973

Another month's worth of episodes of "The Doctors" has aired on RetroTV. Below are my thoughts on what has aired for the month of November 1973.

This month we were introduced to Alan and Margo Stewart, who are a married couple. Alan is Mike's first cousin as their mothers were sisters. Gil Gerard plays Alan while Mary Denham plays Margo. Humorously Alan's name is a combination of two of the producers "The Doctors" had though spelled slightly differently former producer Allen Potter and current in 1973 producer Joseph Stuart. Alan was a POW, who worked in cardiology before he went to Vietnam and was away for three years. Margo was pregnant, when he left, and miscarried. They had been in California, but moved to Hawaii. He was miserable at the country club hospital and felt like he wasn't catching up for the time he was away. Margo didn't want to go, and this caused conflict. They were staying with Alan's mother and stepfather. Matt decided to send Alan a telegram inviting him to take a job at Hope Memorial. Margo hid it, and Alan was upset, once he found out what she did. Alan called Matt, and agreed to take the position. Maggie realized that Matt was doing this partially because he missed Mike, but also due to genuinely wanting to help Alan.

John was back in town, and wanted to reunite with Althea, who was not interested. Dave mistakenly thought that John and Althea were happy, and was upset hearing the truth from Penny. He wanted to take his daughter back to California. Nick stepped in and told Dave how Penny needs to be nearby for treatment, even if she is going to be released from the hospital. Nick is happy with Ann, even if she can't cook except with Martha's help. They have yet to set a wedding date. Nick gave Matt the idea that Penny and Althea should go to Greenville and spend sometime bonding as a family with Grandma Hamilton. After Penny got a new blonde wig to cover up her head from surgery, Althea drove to her mother's home. Unfortunately Penny's wig is blonde meaning it isn't the "Karen" wig, which would have been hilarious, nor it isn't the same wig that Jami Fields used when playing Penny years earlier. Penny got it into her head that she wants Nick and Althea to reconcile, so they can be a family again. She called Nick and said she had a headache, to get him to visit.

There has been no development in Toni's story except she supporting Lauri and Hank's plot. Hank continued to not believe in his skills as a doctor, due to his inability to do Penny's surgery. Lauri proposed to him, which was odd considering before she didn't want him to propose to her. Toni got Gil, another member of the junior staff in the neurology department to try and reason with Hank to no avail. Martha thought that Toni should go out to dinner with Gil, but Toni said she was still married. (There also was the ridiculousness of Toni suggesting to Dr. Powers, not Matt, her father-in-law, that they should get in touch with Mike's family in Hawaii.)

The Boston news had a story about a boy around Billy's age being hit by a car. Steve realized that this probably happened when Mona was driving them back to Madison. Mona wanted to throw money at the problem, and Steve balked. He went to Sergeant Cadman and told him that he hit the teenager on the bicycle. Cadman didn't believe Steve, because he knows what Steve is like, and there was a bit of humor with the last time we saw each other your baby was kidnapped. Matt also didn't buy it, and Cadman shocked Carolee in regards to Steve's confession as he had no idea. Carolee went to Mona and realized what was going on, and told Steve, she knew. The one thing that wasn't working was the idea that no one mentioned how Steve would be potentially throwing away his career and be stuck behind bars away from the kids. Mona had a nightmare after being confronted, and called Matt to confess. She had another attack, and was rushed to the hospital. She had gallstones not a heart problem. We also found out that Steve wasn't sure he could deal with Mona and Carolee hating one another, and that perhaps he didn't want to leave Hope Memorial. The guy that is scheduled to replace him finally passed the boards many months later than planned. Winston came to see Mona, and they got back together. He proposed again, and said he wanted to stay as a doctor in Boston instead of traveling, which she agreed to gladly. Then she called Carolee, and they had a decent conversation for a change, though Mona was apprehensive beforehand because of Carolee hating her. Unfortunately the next time we see Steve and Carolee the first genuine interaction between Mona and Carolee isn't even mentioned. Instead we find out that Billy considers Steve and Carolee, his parents which hasn't happened in the past as Carolee penciled Steve in to play in the father/son ice hockey game.

Those were the highlights of November 1973. There were two preemptions (November 7 & 22). The show seems very off right now, and due to how many years ago this took place I doubt there will ever be a definitive answer. I don't believe it is the writing or the directing and wonder if having a new producer in the booth has created changes in the creative process on set. Some of the characters don't seem themselves, which is puzzling and frustrating for many reasons. I hope the December holiday season on the program is enjoyable though, even if Thanksgiving was passed by without even a mention.

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