10 March, 2007


3lbs is a drama which follows the medical careers of prominent brain surgeon Doctor Douglas Hanson and his protégé Jonathan Seger. The title refers to the fact that the average human brain weighs approximately three pounds.

With some pilots it’s pretty obvious it’s going to be cancelled pretty soon. It’s clear when the format and characters are stale and underdeveloped and unlikely to generate enough good stories for half a season, never mind a full season. Obvious and clear to me and several reviewers anyway. But not to the BBC who paid £300k an ep for this rubbish. CBS cancelled after only three episodes were shown.

It was modelled after House but House gets to deal with the whole body, dealing with just the brain is just too restrictive, making the stories seem too samey. Perhaps that restriction could have led them to creative highs, as restrictions often do, but the first three eps gave no indication of that.

CBS were being a little cynical in that the left-field Smith, with thieves as protags, was replaced with a more familiar doctors as protags which was a barely disguised clone of Fox’s hit show. But even the conservative CBS audience knows when they are being patronised and shunned the show.

Incidentally Shark (bought by Five) is also a barely disguised clone of House but it’s about lawyers. Which gave it just enough distance to be fresh and familiar – one of my mantras.

The other problem with 3lbs was the relationships. They have a fairly small cast, which didn’t help, and the relationships weren’t interesting enough. There’s a potential romance which rang false like the biggest bell in the world.

See what you think.

3lbs, BBC
Sundays, 10:50pm

(Also on UK Gold later in the year)--

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