Robin Cook’s Terminal

Though the story's pretty silly if any attention is paid to details, the film moves quickly, looks good and is somewhat more mysterious than a typical "Diagnosis Murder."

Though the story’s pretty silly if any attention is paid to details, the film moves quickly, looks good and is somewhat more mysterious than a typical “Diagnosis Murder.”

Cook’s latest TV adaptation follows last March’s “Virus,” which garnered a 24 share.

This one is more plausible, and features a strong set of villains. Doug Savant stars as O’Grady, sent to the Forbes Medical Center from Boston, ostensibly to study in another area of the clinic. “Jeez … they’ve got me crystallizing proteins for colonic cancer,” he whines upon hearing about the spectacular results in the brain ward. Soon, he’s nosing around there, aided by nurse Janet (Nia Peeples).

All sorts of suspicious — nay, sinister — characters appear, among them hospital bigwigs Dr. Randolph Maxwell (James Eckhouse) and Sterling Rombauer (Michael Ironside), researcher Dr. Deborah Levy (Khandi Alexander), nurse Margaret Desmond (Jenny O’Hara) and omnipresent security chief Robert Harris (Richard Riehle).

Gregg Henry appears as O’Grady’s attorney brother. Jamie Rose, as nurse Sheila Adamson, is disposed of quickly to (1) set the plot in motion and (2) vacate an apartment for new occupant O’Grady to find a vital clue in.

All of the villains overact under Larry Elikann’s direction — Ironside would be twirling his mustache, if he had one — though some turn out to be not quite as villainous as they first appear. And Cook’s explanation for what’s going on, though couched in what will seem to be gibberish to most viewers, is ultimately something that anybody can understand and fear.

Robin Cook’s Terminal

  • Production: Robin Cook's Terminal (Mon. (12), 9-11 p.m., NBC) Filmed in Phoenix by Von Zerneck/Sertner Films in association with Hallmark Entertainment. Executive producers, Robert M. Sertner, Frank von Zerneck; producers, Stacy Mandelberg, Michael G. Larkin, Randy Sutter; associate producers, Ted Babcock, Richard D. Arredondo; director, Larry Elikann; script, Nancy Isaak, based on the novel by Robin Cook.
  • Crew: Camera, Eric van Haren Noman; editor, Peter V. White; production design, Seven Nielsen; sound, Don Sanders; music, Garry Schyman.
  • With: Cast: Doug Savant, Nia Peeples, Michael Ironside, Roy Thinnes, Jenny O'Hara, Khandi Alexander, Gregg Henry, Richard Riehle, Jamie Rose, Joe E. Tata, James Eckhouse, Stacey Lynn Ramshower, Charles Kahlenberg, David Jean Thomas, Francesca Jarvis, Michael O'Guinne, Ginny Harman, Barbara Glover, Ric San Nicholas, Dana Reilly, Gene Ganssle, Dave West. Researchers at an Arizona clinic have seemingly found a cure for one particular type of brain cancer. Handsome young extern (a nonresident intern) Sean O'-Grady and his former g.f., Janet Reardon, suspect something's amiss. Add a lot of medical terminology and hardware, and the result is "Robin Cook's 'Terminal,' " sort of like an episode of fellow medic-author Michael Crichton's "ER," with a chase at the end.
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