Combat Hospital

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Combat Hospital
Intertitle from the pilot
Also known asThe Hot Zone
GenreMedical drama
Created by
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producers
  • Daniel Petrie Jr.
  • Jennifer Kawaja
  • Julia Sereny
  • Gub Neal
  • Justin Thomson-Glover
  • Patrick Irwin
  • Simon Vaughan[1]
Running time42 minutes
Production companies
  • Artists Studio
  • Lookout Point
  • Sienna Films
  • Shaw Media
Original release
ReleaseJune 21 (2011-06-21) –
September 6, 2011 (2011-09-06)

Combat Hospital is a medical drama television series, filmed in Toronto, that debuted on Global in Canada and ABC in the United States on June 21, 2011.[2] Its final episode was broadcast on September 6, 2011. The series was known for a time by the working title The Hot Zone before reverting to its original title, Combat Hospital.

ABC announced on October 24, 2011, that it would not be renewing Combat Hospital for a second season.[3] On December 16, 2011, Shaw Media confirmed that Combat Hospital would not be renewed for another season due to their inability to find a new broadcast partner after ABC had opted not to continue with the series earlier that fall.[4]


Set in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2006, the series revolves around the life and work of doctors and nurses from the International Security Assistance Force, specifically from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and other allied countries at a military hospital.


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]


Jinder Oujla-Chalmers came up with the concept for Combat Hospital in 2008 and, together with Douglas Steinberg, pitched the show to Canwest (now Shaw Media). After the show was picked up for development, Oujla-Chalmers travelled to Afghanistan to conduct first-hand research at a small, forward-deployed military hospital. Oujla-Chalmers was able to use real images taken during the visit and stories heard from medical personnel to add realism to the show.[6] Oujla-Chalmers and Steinberg brought the show to Sienna Films, who agreed to produce it and set up funding as a Canadian-British co-production with Artists Studio and Lookout Point in the UK.[7][8]

Canwest announced on July 9, 2010, that Combat Hospital was slated for production in the 2011–12 season.[8] The budget for the first season was reported to be $2 million per episode.[9] During pre-production, Morocco was considered as a location for filming the series.[9] Production on the series began in March 2011. The series was filmed at the former Consumers Glass factory in Etobicoke, Ontario.[10] The property had been converted into a 17,187 square metre indoor/outdoor set that recreated portions of the NATO Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Airfield, as well as its surroundings.[11] Filming was scheduled to continue until July 27, 2011.[12] Post-production work was done in London.[7] The first season has 13 episodes.[9]


Combat Hospital was broadcast in Canada on Global. Throughout its initial broadcast the series was consistently performing better than CTV's Flashpoint and Global's Rookie Blue, it was often the most watched scripted programme of the week in Canada.[4] While only the twelfth episode was shown in the U.S. on August 30 both the eleventh and twelfth episodes were shown in Canada.[13] In September 2011, Shaw Media began repeating the series on both Showcase and Showcase Diva.[14][15]

On December 16, while filming the New Year's Day special of Royal Canadian Air Farce, cast member Arnold Pinnock confirmed that Shaw Media had cancelled Combat Hospital as they were faced with the inability to find another broadcast partner to offset the expenses of the show.[16]

International distribution[edit]

In early January 2011 ABC was in talks to purchase broadcast rights to the then-untitled project.[9] Later, on January 20, 2011, it was reported that ABC had indeed purchased broadcast rights to the project.[17] On March 25, 2011, Shaw Media announced that the series would be simulcast in the United States by ABC.[11] On August 24, 2011, ABC announced that they were skipping the eleventh episode of season 1 and moving the season finale date by one week, from September 13, 2011, to September 6, 2011.[18] ABC announced on October 24, 2011, that they would not be commissioning a second season of Combat Hospital.[3]

Outside of North America the series was distributed by Sony Pictures Television.[19]

Combat Hospital was shown in Hungary on PRO4 starting on April 1, 2012.[20] In July 2013,[21] it was shown in Catalonia on TV3 as Hospital de campanya.


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Canadian viewers
1"Welcome to Kandahar"Iain B. MacDonaldStory by : Jinder Oujla-Chalmers & Douglas Steinberg and Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Teleplay by : Daniel Petrie, Jr.
21 June 2011 (2011-06-21)1.963[22]
Canadian trauma surgeon Major Rebecca Gordon and American trauma team leader Captain Robert 'Bobby' Trang arrive at the NATO Role 3 Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield.
2"Enemy Within"Iain B. MacDonaldGub Neal28 June 2011 (2011-06-28)1.550[23]
Dr Gordon and Captain Trang treat an Afghan National Army soldier for a serious infection that neither of them has encountered before. When another patient presents with the same symptoms a quarantine is declared.
3"It's My Party"Christopher MenaulSara B. Cooper5 July 2011 (2011-07-05)1.525[24]
With the blood supply depleted Colonel Marks calls for direct donors as Dr Gordon operates on a soldier with severe gunshot wounds. Major Pedersen inquires about the circumstances of the shooting and the wounded soldier's friends' stories are inconsistent. Photojournalist Jessica Draycott (Tia Carrere) rekindles her romance with Simon.
4"Wrong Place at the Right Time"Christopher MenaulAngus Fraser12 July 2011 (2011-07-12)1.481[25]
Simon hitches a ride on a Medevac on a routine supply run when he finds out that it passes over the farm he has bought. However, they must stop and rescue a wounded person. Meanwhile, Rebecca must conduct a brain surgery following Simon's directions via satellite phone. Bobby and Major Pedersen evaluate the mental condition of an Air Force officer.
5"Hells Bells"Stephen ReynoldsAdam Pettle19 July 2011 (2011-07-19)1.513[26]
A civilian wedding party is caught in Taliban crossfire and treated at Role 3; Marks gets a troubling call from home and discusses it with Pedersen; and Rebecca and Bobby sit in on Pedersen's group-therapy session, and Rebecca wonders if she shared too much.
6"Inner Truth"Stephen ReynoldsSara B. Cooper26 July 2011 (2011-07-26)1.576[27]
Seven injured soldiers anxiously anticipate the arrival of their lucky charm, 19-year-old Pvt. Henry Flax; Rebecca makes a confession to Simon. A female soldier (Christina Cox) and patient of Dr. Pedersen approaches her romantically.
7"Reckless"Christopher MenaulAnnmarie Morais2 August 2011 (2011-08-02)1.409[28]
Under intense investigation, Rebecca doubts her decision to withhold treatment from a soldier, which may have resulted in his death.
8"On the Brink"Christopher MenaulSimon Block9 August 2011 (2011-08-09)1.304[29]
Bobby makes a decision that creates controversy between the doctors and nurses.
9"Shifting Sands"Helen ShaverAngus Fraser16 August 2011 (2011-08-16)1.375[30]
One of Vans' friends comes under suspicion when he is injured by a bomb.
10"Reason to Believe"Helen ShaverStory by : Jinder Oujla-Chalmers
Teleplay by : Lara Azzopardi & Will Pascoe
23 August 2011 (2011-08-23)1.240[31]
An Army chaplain (Camille Sullivan) is forced to deal with her lapse of faith when she is ordered to hold vigil with Simon during a surgery.
11"Brothers in Arms"Paul UnwinSara B. Cooper30 August 2011 (2011-08-30)1.210[32]
A prank gone wrong reveals Simon's painful past; Pedersen must question children about a suicide bomber.
12"Triage"Paul UnwinGub Neal30 August 2011 (2011-08-30)1.548[32]
When Colonel Marks is injured in an explosion away from the base, Rebecca takes control of triage and struggles to make a life-threatening decision that could affect the status of a critically injured soldier.
13"Do No Harm"Ken GirottiDaniel Petrie, Jr.6 September 2011 (2011-09-06)1.325[33]
While working at a women's clinic, Captain Pam Everwood, Grace, Rebecca, Suzy, and Major Hasti Samizay are attacked by an unknown gunman. Suzy is killed and Grace injured, forcing her to go back home. Simon decides to go back to take care of his brother. Rebecca reveals to Trang that she kissed Simon. He says that things should not be left unsaid, which forces Rebecca to go to the airport to meet Simon. They kiss and she tells him to come back soon.


Overall, the series received mixed to negative reviews. John Doyle of The Globe and Mail said that the show is neither the new M*A*S*H for its lack of "snarky chat about the stupidity of war and governments that encourage war" nor is it Grey's Anatomy-on-the-front-lines as there are no "lurid romantic entanglements". Doyle goes on to say, "It's the horrors of war and the awfulness of a combat hospital seen emphatically through the prism of TV drama." In concluding his review Doyle said, "In the matter of Afghanistan and military life there, if you want a gruelling experience, watch the news. Combat Hospital is the entertaining version."[34]

Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe found the show "is completely divorced from anything resembling real life." He said the premise is "exciting and, to some extent, incendiary" but that with "amateurish acting and paint-by-numbers writing" Combat Hospital and Rookie Blue "are summer filler of the laziest kind."[35]

David Wiegard of the San Francisco Chronicle found Combat Hospital "makes a pretty compelling attempt" at portraying "the bloody reality of war" while also having all of the typical characters of a medical drama.[36]

DVD releases[edit]

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Combat Hospital on DVD in the United States on March 6, 2012, as part of their manufacture-on-demand service.[37] It is not available for purchase in Canada.

Mill Creek Entertainment announced the re-release of the series on DVD.[when?][citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ABC Announces 2011 Summer Schedule" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 25, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "Global Makes Its Mark This Summer With Two Signature Series..." (PDF) (Press release). Shaw Media. March 25, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Stelter, Brian (October 24, 2011). "TV Struggles to Bring War Zones to Americans". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Dowling, Amber (December 16, 2011). "'Combat' no more". TV Guide Canada. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "SayWhatNews Lisa Berry". 2012.
  6. ^ Canadian Forces Health Services Research Consortium (December 2011). "The Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield 2005 - 2010". Canadian Journal of Surgery. PMC 3322658.
  7. ^ a b "Channel Canada's First Look: Combat Hospital". June 19, 2011. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Canwest producing a record number of scripted original projects slated for Global and Showcase" (Press release). CNW Group. July 9, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d Vlessing, Ethan (January 6, 2011). "ABC in talks to acquire Canada-UK drama Combat Hospital". Playback. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  10. ^ Brioux, Bill (June 21, 2011). "M*A*S*H meets Etobicoke in Combat Hospital". TV Feeds My Family. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Global's Original Drama Series The Hot Zone Begins Production" (PDF) (Press release). Shaw Media. March 14, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  12. ^ "OMDC MEDIA LIST – June 17, 2011: Productions currently shooting in Ontario". Ontario Media Development Corporation. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  13. ^ TV Schedule, Shaw Media
  14. ^ "Shaw Media : Coming Attractions (Showcase)". Shaw Media. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  15. ^ "Shaw Media : Coming Attractions (Showcase Diva)". Shaw Media. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  16. ^ Brioux, Bill (December 16, 2012). "Confirmed: Combat Hospital kaput". TV Feeds My Family. Archived from the original on May 22, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 20, 2011). "It's Official: ABC Picks Up Canadian/UK Medical Drama Series For Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  19. ^ "Original Drama Series "The Hot Zone" Begins Production Today" (Press release). ABC Medianet. March 14, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  20. ^ "Combat Hospital – A frontkórház: április 1-jétől vasárnap esténként a PRO4-en!". MTM-SBS Ltd. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  21. ^ "Hospital de Campanya". Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  22. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) June 20–26, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. July 4, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  23. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) June 27 - July 3, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. July 8, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  24. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) July 4–10, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. July 15, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 12, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  25. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) July 11–17, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. July 22, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  26. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) July 18–24, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. July 29, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  27. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) July 25–31, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. August 5, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  28. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 1–7, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. August 12, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  29. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 8–14, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. August 19, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 11, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  30. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 15–21, 2011" (PDF) (Press release). BBM Canada. August 26, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 11, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  31. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 22–28, 2011" (PDF). BBM Canada. September 2, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 11, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  32. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 29 - September 4, 2011" (PDF). BBM Canada. September 9, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 25, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  33. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) September 5–11, 2011" (PDF). BBM Canada. September 16, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  34. ^ Doyle, John (June 21, 2011). "On 'Combat Hospital,' war is heck but it's not controversial". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  35. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (June 21, 2011). "'Combat Hospital' infected with boring cliches". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  36. ^ Wiegard, David (June 20, 2011). "'Combat Hospital' review: 'MASH' with more blood". San Francisco Chronicle. p. E-1. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  37. ^ Lambert, David (January 30, 2012). "Combat Hospital - MOD Release from Sony for a 'Season 1' DVD Set". Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.

External links[edit]