Is ‘Dr. Death’ Based on a True Story?

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Peacock‘s new medical drama series Dr. Death stars Joshua Jackson as the titular character and Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater as two doctors who try and stop the madness of a crazed and sadistic neurosurgeon. Jamie Dornan was originally cast in the lead role, however, had to leave the show due to production delays caused by COVID-19.

The series, helmed by director Maggie Kiley alongside executive producer and showrunner Patrick Macmanus, centers on the “young, charismatic and ostensibly brilliant” Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a successful doctor with a flourishing career in Dallas, Texas, but many are wondering if the events of the series are based on a true story.

While Dr. Duntsch projected a bright and capable image on the outside, patients inside his practice were leaving with horrifying injuries and even dying after seeing him for routine spinal surgeries. It wasn’t until two other physicians in the area, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Slater), took notice that Dr. Duntsch’s crimes came to light. The show’s official description reads, “Dr. Death explores the twisted mind of Dr. Duntsch and the failures of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us.”

Wondering if Peacock’s Dr. Death is based on a true story? Here’s everything we know:

Is Dr. Death based on a true story?

Believe it or not, Dr. Death is in fact a true story based on Christopher Duntsch, a real-life surgeon based in Texas who was sentenced to life in prison in 2017 after maiming and even killing almost all of the 37 patients he operated on between 2011 and 2013.

33 of the 37 patients were hurt or harmed in the process, according to TIME. Some of his victims woke up from surgery paralyzed and/or with permanent pain due to nerve damage. Duntsch killed two patients, one who lost a significant amount of blood after the operation and the other who had a stroke caused by a cut vertebral artery. Duntsch also operated on a childhood friend who came to him for a spinal operation and woke up a quadriplegic after the doctor damaged his vertebral artery.

Is Dr. Death based on a podcast?

Dr. Death is also loosely fictionalized based on a Wondery podcast of the same name — following Dr. Duntsch’s rise and fall as he built a neurosurgery practice that was hiding many dark secrets behind its walls.

Is Dr. Death streaming on Peacock? Where to watch Dr. Death:

Yes, Dr. Death is streaming on Peacock! You can watch the popular series wherever you can access the Peacock platform, from the web to Roku, iOS, Android, Apple TV and more.

Stream Dr. Death on Peacock

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