Doctors, Lawyers & Other TV Heroes
TELEVISION DRAMA lately has developed a new kind of hero, the professional man. He appears several times a week in a variety of forms: as a member of the medical profession (Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, and The Nurses), as a lawyer (The Defenders), even as a plainclothes police detective (Naked City). This last occupation, plainclothes detective, may seem out of place. Usually, it is not considered a profession, and it certainly does not have the social esteem of medicine or law. On television, however, the behavior of the police detective is rooted in a skill and an ethic no less studiously acquired or punctiliously honored than those of a doctor or lawyer. Doctor Kildare himself once remarked that both policemen and doctors work long hours and drink lots of black coffee. (To this select list of professionals, educators may be pleased to note, television will add a high-school teacher in the fall.)
These characters have much more in common than a particular type of work; they have the same unswerving attitude toward public service. Whatever their individual skills, all of them turn out to have only one goal: to help their fellows.
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