NBC’s medical drama The Night Shift has started its third season. Episode 2 airs Wednesday at 10pm ET/9pm CT. We spoke to executive producers Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah back in 2014 about the show’s decision to feature ER doctors who are also military veterans. Both the battlefield medicine skills the doctors bring to the hospital and the fallout from their time in combat. been a constant theme through the first two seasons.
In the new season, medic Drew Alister (Brendan Fehr) is stationed in Afghanistan. He meets Dr. Syd Jennings (Jennifer Beals), an accomplished Army major who has worked with the Cultural Support Team in conjunction with Ranger and Special Forces units. They’re both featured in this scene from the new season:
We asked Brendan Fehr about the reaction he’s gotten from active and veteran military to the show and this is what he had to say:
The response I’ve gotten regarding Drew, and The Night Shift in general, has been overwhelming positive. I’ve heard everything from “you got the hair cut for it” to “your show of support in many ways helps ease our home bound life battle.” The greatest honor I’ve personally received, which will always stick with me, was a vet presenting me with his CIB, telling me how much the stories, both the show and my character were telling, meant so much to him and the men and women of our military.
While we can’t possibly tell every soldier’s story, the fact that the show presents both the challenges and the triumphs, the frustrations and the victories, the costs and the worth of these veterans and their sacrifice, both overseas and back home, seems to strike a chord with them. That honesty and realism is something they recognize and appreciate and they’ve let it be known.
These interactions with our men and women in the military is the most rewarding part of my job and one I’ll always love. To tell stories that affect and move people is the point and to be able to reach those who serve and sacrifice for us, who make it possible to have the freedom to tell these stories, is a privilege.
The funny part is in expressing their thanks and appreciation, I can’t help but think I should be the one thanking them, as inadequate as that feels, and when I do, the humbleness with which it’s received is never a surprise but still always amazing.
All of the show’s major characters return: Dr. TC Callahan (Eoin Macken), Dr. Topher Zia’s (Ken Leung), Dr. Scott Clemmen (Scott Wolf) and Dr. Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint) still have complicated personal and professional lives. The 13-episode series will air through the summer into September.