Why did they choose Chad Everett to replace Richard Bradford in "Medical Center"?
Richard Bradford played Dr. Joe Gannon in this pilot for "Medical Center". Richard Bradford had previously starred as loner private detective McGill in the cult private eye series "Man in a Suitcase". Bradford put on a bit of weight after making this pilot and went on to a distinguished career as character actor. Chad Everett was an enormous success in the series that followed this pilot, but I wonder if producer Frank Glicksman could have done even better. My choice would have been Roy Thinnes (who worked for Glicksman in "The Long, Hot Summer"). To me, Roy projected more depth, intelligence, and compassion than Chad. James Daly, who played Gannon's boss Dr. Lochner, was a fine actor, but they didn't give him much to work with in terms of character or screen time. (It was in Everett's contract that he had to be in virtually every scene.) I would have made Dr. Lochner a stronger, more volatile character-an equal to Dr. Gannon rather than a mild father figure. My choice for Dr. Lochner would have been Robert Lansing (who worked for producer Glicksman in "12 O'Clock High"). Maybe Lansing's character could have been a burnout similar to George C. Scott in "The Hospital". Thinnes and Lansing going at each other could have given this show much more dramatic tension, if their characters were strongly written. As it was, "Medical Center" was a watchable, entertaining show. But I think Frank Glicksman was much more shrewd in casting Pernell Roberts as "Trapper John, M.D.". That's casting I won't second guess.
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