Since the second series of this popular drama is coming out soon, I thought I’d watch the first series so I can properly enjoy the new episodes. Basically, it’s a medical drama and a historical drama mixed together. These are two elements that usually put me off but the overall idea is intriguing: a doctor somehow falls backwards in time to a point in Japanese history, during the mid-1800s.
His medical knowledge is almost miraculous in that day and age, and his fame quickly spreads. Meanwhile, he has to work out what happened to him, and he watches how his actions effect the future by how a photograph of himself and his girlfriend changes.
There’s a lot of ideas flying around. Most interesting is that if you had a modern-day knowledge of medicine, how much of it would be useful in feudal Japan? Also the story covers the political aspects of his work – at a time when Japan was slowly coming out of seclusion, his non-Japanese methods make other doctors suspicious. Add to this the usual difficulties caused by going back in time and the life-saving surgery (often with friends or family crying in the corner of the room, which you don’t see much in modern operating theatres) and every episode is packed with exciting events.
I’m halfway through at the moment, and so far the stories are entertaining, while the questions about the time-slip remain tantalisingly unanswered. It has a strong cast, including Osawa Takao in the lead role, ably supported by Ayase Haruka (Hotaru no Hikari) and Nakatani Miki. Special mention has to go to Uchino Masaaki as the wandering samurai with an interesting future, Sakamoto Ryoma. I can totally see how this was a success and I’m now one of the millions impatiently waiting for series two.