A different type of medical drama series from the people responsible for “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice”, “Off the Map” is a medical drama series which takes place in remote villages in South America. Enjoyable but also predictable, if you are looking for a different kind of medical drama series, one that incorporates action and adventure, then definitely give “Off the Map: The Complete Series” a chance!
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TITLE: Off the Map: The Complete Series
TV SHOW AIRDATE: 2010-2011
DURATION: 558 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles
RATED: TV 14 DLS
COMPANY: abc studios
RELEASE DATE: August 23, 2011
Directed by Randall Zisk
Written by Jenna Bans, Gretchen J. Berg, Christine Boylan, Mark Fish, Aaron Harberts, Jeannine Renshaw, Joe Sachs, Luke Schelhaas
Executive Producer: Jenna Bans, Betsy Beers, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Shonda Rhimes, Randall Zisk
Produced by Sara Fischer, Mark Fish
Co-Executive Producer: Jeannine Renshaw
Consulting Producer: Joe Sachs
Supervising Producer: Luke Schelhaas
Music by Ben Decter
Cinematography by Edward J. Pei, Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by Arge O’Neal, Matthew Ramsey, Gregory T. Evans
Casting by John Brace, Linda Lowy
Production Design by Alex Hajdu
Valerie Cruz as Dr. Zita Alvarez
Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Lily Brenner
Jason George as Dr. Otis Cole
Zach Gilford as Dr. Tommy Fuller
Mamie Gummer as Dr. Mina Minard
Martin Henderson as Dr. Ben Keeton
Rachel Lefevre as Dr. Ryan Clark
Jonathan Castellanos as Charlie
Nicholas Gonzalez as Mateo
Aimee Garcia as Alma
Elizabeth Pena as Inez
Cheech Marin as Papa Ucumari
The final season of the star-studded ABC drama continues the story of the Walkers, a contemporary picture of the American family. At the heart is matriarch Nora, who finds personal satisfaction in knowing her family is happy, however sometimes allows her intentions to be a little overbearing. Her five adult children, friends as much as they are relatives, come together to support each other through the joy and heartache as they try to manage their professional, romantic, and familial lives. Together they face genuine, relatable life issues in this warm and witty drama.
From the creators of “Grey’s Anatomy” comes a new medical series titled “Off the Map”.
The 13-episode series aired on ABC from Jan. through April 2011 and revolves around seven doctors who work in a remote South American village. Dr. Ben Keeton, Dr. Cole and Zee Alvarez welcome new young doctors from America. But each of these doctors have their own personal issues. Dr. Brenner is determined to become a doctor after the death of her fiance, Dr. Fuller is a young doctor who barely graduated from medical school and shunned his family and Dr. Minard, who lost confidence in herself after a misdiagnosis killed a patient.
For each of these seven doctors, life in the remote village is a second chance at life but also a chance to become a doctor and help the less fortunate
“Off the Map” is filmed in the same location of the series “LOST” (in O’ahu, Hawaii) and unfortunately, the series lasted for one season before being canceled by ABC.
The main characters of “Off the Map” are:
- Dr. Benjamin Keaton (Martin Henderson, “The Ring”, “Smokin’ Aces) – The head doctor of the clinic. His wife Abby and daughter were killed in an accident but it is learned that his wife is actually kept on life support at a local hospital because her trust fund is what is funding the clinic.
- Dr. Otis Cole (Jason Winston George, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Eastwick”) – Second person in charge of the clinic. Strict doctor who once was addicted to morphine and heroin and consumes candy in order to stay clean. Very close with Zee Alvarez.
- Zita Alareina “Zee” Toledo Alvarez (Valerie Cruz, “Cellular”, “The Devils Tomb”) – Very close to Cole. She is opinionated towards American doctors and is strict with the doctors.
- Dr. Lily Brenner (Caroline Dhavernas, “Breach”, “Passchendaele”) – One of the new doctors at the clinic. It is learned that she became a doctor after her fiance was killed while getting cereal for her. She happens to be a control freak.
- Dr. Tommy Fuller (Zach Gilford, “Friday Night Lights”, “Post Grad”) – One of the new doctors at the clinic. Barely made his way through medical school. Sometime he doesn’t get along with Cole and always wants to hook up with women.
- Dr. Mina Minard (Mami Gummer, “The Ward”) – One of the new doctors at the clinic who works solo. After a misdiagnosis earlier in her career, she has lost confidence in herself.
- Dr. Ryan Clark (Rachel Lefevre, “Twilight”, “New Moon”) – One of the doctor’s at the clinic, her parents were missionaries and she grew up all over the world. She was bitten by an “assassin bug” at the age of eight and now she has Chagas disease giving her irreversible heart damage. Has an off-and-on again relationship with Dr. Keeton.
Here is a spoiler-less summary of the 13 episodes of the series:
- EPISODE 1 – Saved By the Great White Hope - Doctors of a remote clinic in South America welcome three young doctors. Dr. Fuller must help a sick family at a nearby village, Dr. Brenner tries to rescue a man who’s arm is caught on a wire and Dr. Minard misdiagnose an older woman who has asthma.
- EPISODE 2 – Smile Don’t Kill Anyone - The three new doctors meet Dr. Ryan Clark for the first time. Meanwhile, wildlife photographers are in trouble when they are caught by a green anaconda. Meanwhile, Dr. Minard who is used to working solo, must work with Ryan. Dr. Fuller tries to help a girl with epilepsy but members of her village think she’s possessed by a demon.
- EPISODE 3 – A Doctor Time Out – Ben, Zee and Lily must rescue a woman in the forest who is about to give birth. Dr. Minard and Dr. Cole try to help a patient who was electrocuted.
- EPISODE 4 – On the Mean Streets of San Miguel - Lily, Ben and Charlie need to get medication in San Miguel, meanwhile the doctors must treat an older man who they find out is a former Nazi hiding out in the village.
- EPISODE 5- I’m Here - When a man and his daughter are caught in a rockslide, the doctors must go to on a rescue mission in the sea. Meanwhile, Dr. Ryan Clark is experiencing short breath for some reason.
- EPISODE 6 – It’s Good – Someone has robbed the clinic of their medication and now without any medication, the doctors are having problems treating their patients.
- EPISODE 7 – Es Un Milagro - A rescue helicopter has crashed deep into the jungle, but as they go to rescue any survivors of the crash, Dr. Lily Brenner are nowhere to be found.
- EPISODE 8 – It’s a Leaf – When Dr. Brenner and Dr. Cole try to help three brothers trapped in a mine, Dr. Cole is seriously injured. What happens when Tommy and Mina get drunk?
- EPISODE 9 – There’s Nothing To Fix – The doctors go to help survivors of a water taxi accident. Tommy and Mina have an awkward relationship after a one-night stand.
- EPISODE 10 – I’m Home – A breakout of Hepatitis at a local prison leads the doctors trying to help the prisoners. Dr. Brenner tries to treat Mateo’s mother.
- EPISODE 11 – Everything’s As It Should Be – A friend of Dr. Keeton brings two patients in for a transplant. But Dr. Brenner suspects something about the patients that may hurt the clinic. Dr. Fuller realizes that he likes Dr. Minard.
- EPISODE 12 – Hold On Tight – Dr. Ryan Clark’s health is getting worse during at time when the medical team are out helping injured parachutists. She appoints Mina to be her primary care physician which upsets Dr. Keeton. Lily has a problem with Mateo’s family because they are cocaine farmers.
- EPISODE 13 – There’s A Lot to Mess About the Jungle – Tommy is back and he has a big surprise for the family and in other good news, Sarah announces her wedding date.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Off the Map: The Complete Series” is featured in Widescreen (1:78:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. For a TV series, “Off the Map” has a similarity to a series like “LOST” because they are both filmed in Oahu, Hawaii.
Because so much of the series is shot outdoors, “Off the Map” definitely looks beautiful! The location shots look very good and you know that it would even look better if this series was released on Blu-ray, but on DVD, picture quality is very good.
As for audio, “Off the Map: The Complete Series” is featured in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the show is mostly dialogue-based but there are quite a bit of action sequences and you can hear the ambiance of the environment through the surround channels. Granted, it’s not very active soundtrack but its still better than most drama television series.
Subtitles are in English SDH.
“Off the Map: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:
- On Set at Off the Map – (8:18) The producers and cast talk about how unique “Off the Map” is from other medical drama series because of its use of action. Also, how the more difficult scenes of various episodes were shot.
- Jungle Medicine – (4:53) Jenna Bans talk about the medicine used in the remote jungle and the research that went into the medicine used for the series.
- Deleted Scenes – A total of eleven deleted scenes.
- Bloopers – (2:14) Outtakes from “Off the Map”.
“Off the Map: The Complete Series” comes with a slip over case.
When it comes to medical dramas, Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers definitely know what they are doing. Having two shows on ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice”, the duo have joined executive producer Jenna Bans to create another medical drama titled “Off the Map”, but in this case, making the series different by incorporating action/adventure together with medicine.
While the series manages to capture the elements of different medical emergencies and issues with each episode, especially from a remote area near the jungles and ocean in the middle of nowhere, I think that perhaps too many medical dramas on a network can be difficult.
We have seen it in the past when there are far too many police series, too many investigative series and too many law series and they don’t last.
With two medical series, I felt that people weren’t ready to watch a third and that is rather unfortunate because “Off the Map” is a pretty unique medical series because it doesn’t take place in a metropolitan series and I found some of the medical emergencies to be quite intriguing.
Granted, I don’t know how farfetched the storylines are, for example, in one episode, a green anaconda nearly crushes a photographer and the doctors try to rescue him. And of course, you have rockslide, mines trapping people looking for gold and it’s a different type of series that you just don’t see on television. But at the same time, I have heard from actual doctors working in remote villages that the series is extremely romanticized for entertainment and people who were disappointed by how unrealistic the portrayal was.
As for the characters, it’s a different dynamic once again compared to “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice”, where in those episode…it’s always emergency issues and main characters constantly sleeping with each other. While you see a little of that in this series, the sex doesn’t dominate the series and for me, that is a positive!
While the location of the series definitely has many beautiful scenes (once I saw the rock formation and blue ocean, I knew that it was shot in Hawaii where “Lost” was filmed), the show has episodes that were overly predictable but then again, many other top medical dramas have had their share of predictable storylines as well.
Overall, I actually enjoyed “Off the Map” because although a medical drama series, it had that action/adventure element incorporated to it which made it a bit more exciting. It’s sad that the series was canceled but at the same time, you could only have so many medical drama series on television and perhaps it was a bit much for viewers.
But I suppose if one is looking for a different kind of medical series that are only 13-episodes long, “Off the Map: The Complete Series” is a series worth checking out!