With the double star power of Daniel Radcliffe and Mad Men's Jon Hamm, you'd think A Young Doctor's Notebook would have drawn a bigger audience. Unfortunately, it was just too disjointed. For starters, the series is based on a series of short stories by a 19th-century Russian playwright, which is fine, but most young Potterphiles aren't exactly salivating for Russian Revolution-era historical dramas.
On the other side of the lifeline, the series may have been too violent for the elderly demographic channel-surfing after a rousing episode of Pride & Prejudice. As a result, A Young Doctor's Notebook never quite found an audience, averaging 250,000 views across its eight episodes — high for the network (Sky Arts 1), but barely a ripple in the industry as a whole.
Finally, it's just kind of a bizarre show. The story is told across two timelines and follows an inexperienced doctor assigned to a remote hospital in Russia. Daniel Radcliffe plays the young version, with Jon Hamm as his older self — who pops into Radcliffe's timeline now and then as a hallucination to guide the young doctor through some doctory shenanigans, like amputating legs and getting addicted to painkillers. Also, it's a comedy. Wrap it all up, and there's really no defining characterization for A Young Doctor's Notebook. It's something you just have to try on for size. For the right type of person, it's a perfect fit.