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Programming Review: Temple

Spectrum Originals, the video-on-demand service for Charter Communications subscribers, continues its scripted drama rollout with the medical-themed limited series Temple. Originally developed by U.K. programmer Sky, Temple stars Mark Strong as Daniel Milton, a respected surgeon who is tormented by the sudden decline in health of his wife, Beth (Catherine McCormack). When all options to save her life fail, a distraught Daniel goes off the grid and establishes an illegal medical clinic underneath the Temple tube station in London.

Daniel Mays in 'Temple'

Daniel Mays in 'Temple'

Aided by his trusted but quirky assistant Lee Simmons (Daniel Mays), Daniel provides medical help to those unable — or, in the case of criminals, unwilling — to go to the hospital. The series kicks off with an action-packed sequence in which Jamie Harris, a young bank robber played by Tobi King Bakare, is shot in the stomach by a police officer he eventually runs over with his getaway car. Jamie contacts his friend Lee, who brings him to the underground clinic where Daniel reluctantly (and graphically) saves Jamie’s life by removing his bullet-ridden spleen.

In order to effectively operate on Jamie, Daniel lures his close friend and fellow doctor Anna Willems (Carice van Houten) to the underground clinic. The series then evolves into a characterdriven narrative in which the main characters are thrust into a world of crime and medicine. As the patient count increases, Daniel, Lee and Anna struggle to keep their illegal practice shrouded in secrecy while wrestling with the moral implications of their actions.

Temple, based on the Norwegian drama Valkyrien, is at times an edge-ofyour- seat thriller that takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster over the course of eight episodes. Temple is the latest entry in Spectrum’s portfolio of original series, which also includes Bad Boys spinoff L.A.’s Finest and a Mad About You reboot.