Coma is a two-part miniseries that starts tonight on A&E and we've had a chance to check it out ahead of its premiere this evening. Continue reading for impressions, a photo gallery, and a trailer:
Directed by Mikael Salomon, and produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, Coma is based on the Robin Cook novel and 1978 Michael Crichton movie. The story centers on Susan Wheeler (Lauren Ambrose), a medical student who discovers that patients are being put into a coma and killed for medical experiments.
As I've mentioned before, TV miniseries are starting to become obsolete. In the past, they were big events because they had a larger budget and better actors than you'd traditionally see on TV. Things have changed over the past 10-15 years and the quality of TV is higher than ever. When that is the case, it really takes something special to stand out as a TV minseries.
The first night starts off strong, with a cast that includes Lauren Ambrose, Steven Pasquale, Geena Davis, James Woods, Ellen Burstyn, and Richard Dreyfuss. While some may find the first night to be a bit slow, it excels in setting the mood and introducing us to these characters. Unfortunately, the biggest problems with this miniseries are due to the format and are present in the second evening. Because this was a two-night event, the second part feels bloated with unnecessary storylines and wraps everything up a bit too conveniently. With such a strong cast of characters, you may wonder why they focus any time on other medical students, and a mental patient sub-plot really strays the story and action away from the main story.
With that being said, the main cast keeps your interest and this miniseries delivers on multiple levels. It's unlikely to be remembered long past its premiere, but that doesn't mean that you won't be entertained, and a little creeped out by these medical experiments. However, it's unfortunate that this format was chosen, when a focused two hour movie or expanded TV series would have served the material better.
Learn more about Coma below, with the official press notes, trailer, and photo gallery:
Overview: An epic four-hour, two-night event from Ridley Scott and Tony Scott featuring a multiple Academy Award® and Emmy® Award-winning cast with Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”), Steven Pasquale (“Rescue Me”), Geena Davis, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss and Ellen Burstyn. “COMA,” a modern day retelling of the bestselling novel by Robin Cook and based on the film by Michael Crichton, premieres on Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd and concludes on Tuesday, September 4th, airing at 9PM ET/PT on both nights.
“COMA” also stars James Rebhorn (“Law & Order,” “White Collar”), Joe Morton (“The Good Wife”), Michael Weston (“House”) and Joseph Mazello (“The Pacific,” The Social Network). Emmy Award winner Mikael Salomon (“Band of Brothers”) directs the John J. McLaughlin (Black Swan) penned script.
From the team behind A&E’s Emmy-nominated miniseries “The Andromeda Strain,” and the hit drama series “The Good Wife,” “COMA” is a thriller about a medical student (Lauren Ambrose) who discovers that something sinister is going on in her hospital after routine procedures send more than a few seemingly healthy patients into comas on the operating table.
“COMA” is produced by Sony Pictures Television for A&E Network. Executive producers are Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, David W. Zucker, Martin Erlichman and Mikael Salomon.