Surgeon faces his flaws in new 'dramedy' Doctor Doctor
RODGER Corser's status as an Aussie heartthrob takes on a more literal meaning in his latest TV role.
The star of Rush, Party Tricks and Glitch plays a Sydney heart surgeon in the new rural "dramedy" Doctor Doctor.
The series follows Corser's brilliant but hard-living Dr Hugh Knight whose partying lifestyle brings him before the Medical Tribunal, which forces him to pay penance by working a year as a GP in his home town of Whyhope.
"He's forced to go backwards and he doesn't like to go backwards; he's like a shark," Corser tells APN.
"He has to go back and see the damage he's caused and he's not used to doing that. He's not the kind of guy who likes saying 'I'm sorry' at all but he's forced to.
"The last thing he wanted to do was come back to this backwater, but he's always going to get back up again.
"If he has to go back to the small pond then he's going to be the biggest fish in that pond."
Hugh reunites with his estranged family including his younger brother Matt (Ryan Johnson), who is now married to his ex-girlfriend Charlie (Corser's Rush co-star Nicole Da Silva), and his mother Meryl (Tina Bursill), a local civil leader who shamelessly promotes her own political ambitions whenever possible, and his salt-of-the-earth father Jim (Steve Bisley), who has struggled to adapt to the winds of change.
"Hugh's similar to his dad in a way that they're both head-strong but the scheming part, the smiling assassin, he gets from mum," Corser says.
"They call each other on a lot of things. They're the truth tellers to each other.
"Tina's her own force and she gets some great chunks of dialogue.
"Meryl is always campaigning, even to her own family, so Tina gets these amazing speeches. She's such a talent."
Under the watchful eye of his new supervisor Penny, who reports back to the tribunal, Hugh struggles with the transition from his specialised field to general practice.
But his passion for medicine is Hugh's one major redeeming quality, says Corser.
"He's good fun but he really does believe in what he's doing," he says.
"He does love being a doctor and he loves saving lives and having a positive influence.
"He'd just rather be at the top of his field, or at least what he thinks is the top of his field.
"I've seen a few things on social media with doctors saying being a GP is not a step down, and that's one of the things he'll learn.
"He's used to standing in the (operating) theatre with everyone handing him everything he needs."
Corser, who admits he'd "turn to water" if he had to deal with anything more serious than a cut.
"I'm a lot better than my wife. If the kids nick themselves she can't look at it," he says.
"The people who do the real job, our emergency services people, I don't know how they deal with things like car crashes, day in day out."
Corser hopes viewers embrace his new character's mix of bravado, charm and pig-headedness.
"I've played a lot of characters who are a lot drier," he said.
"Mixing the comedy, procedural and drama is the heart of the show.
"But getting that tone right, how big or dry you get the comedy, is more difficult than doing a cop show.
"It's risky. I think Australians are tough but fair critics, especially when it comes to comedic work.
"They can either really get behind something or not."
Corser just hopes he's not outshone by stand-up comedian Dave Eastgate, who plays Hugh's knockabout childhood friend Joey.
"The relationship between those two guys was a real highlight for me," he says.
"He's the quintessential rough-around-the-edges mate.
"Everyone knows Dave as a stand-up comedian and his sketch comedies, but his dramatic work is really incredible.
"He's going to steal the show."
Doctor Doctor premieres on Wednesday at 8.40pm on Channel 9.