Review: ‘Robin Cook’s Harmful Intent’

Let's see: A doctor wrongfully accused of murder who flees, rather than go to jail, and tries to find the real killer. No, it's not "The Fugitive." It's not even the next best thing.

Let’s see: A doctor wrongfully accused of murder who flees, rather than go to jail, and tries to find the real killer. No, it’s not “The Fugitive.” It’s not even the next best thing.

Dr. Jeffrey Rhodes (Tim Matheson) loses a pregnant patient after he administers anesthesia. Convicted of murder, he jumps bail after realizing that a similar case happened to a med school buddy, whose despondency led him to suicide. His widow (Emma Samms) takes in this casual friend and helps him, no questions asked.

Rhodes gets a job at the hospital and concludes that a psychotic orderly, Trent Harding (John Walcutt), has tampered with the anethesia as part of a murder/malpractice conspiracy to ruin doctors.

John Patterson’s direction is dull; Martha Weingartner’s script is full of holes and leaps of logic. Conclusion seems abrupt and anticlimactic, and it’s also too hard to see how Rhodes figured it out.

Matheson’s performance is flat, and Samms sleepwalks through her part — but who can blame her, given lines like: “You could have been killed. He had a hammer!” Robert Pastorelli, as a blood-thirsty bounty hunter with a sense of humor, does the best.

All in all, this pic has violated one of the basic tenets of the Hippocratic oath: Do no harm.

Robin Cook's Harmful Intent

(Tues. (14), 9-11 p.m. CBS)


Filmed in Salt Lake City by Rosemont Prods. Exec producers, Norman Rosemont, David A. Rosemont, Benjamin Melniker, Michael Uslan; director, John Patterson; writer, Martha Weingartner.


Camera, Gideon Porath; editor, Scott Vickrey; production designer, Steven A. Lee; sound, Steve Laneri, music, Lee Holdridge.


With: Tim Matheson, Emma Samms, Robert Pastorelli, Kurt Fuller, John Walcutt, Heather Fairfield, Tom Isbell, Alex Rocco, Matthew Faison, Leo Geter, Janelle Dixon, Carolyn Hurlburt, Jonathon Gochberg, Joyce Cohen, Romy Rosemont, Jan Gardner, Marcia Dangerfield, Marjorie Hilton, Charles Metten, Richard Stay, David Kirk, Susan Dolan, Oscar Rowland, Steve Anderson, Anthony Leger, Melinda Clarkson, Michael Ruud, George Sullivan, Tom Proctor.
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