By now the news is out that Harry Potter and Don Draper star in a TV show together. A Young Doctor's Notebook Season 2 will premiere on Aug.19, and Daniel Radcliffe stars as the young doctor, while Jon Hamm plays ... well, the old doctor. But what's this doctor's name? Unlike another show about a Doctor, this doctor has a name we can actually know. So who is (until recently) the doctor-who-shall-not-be-named? In Season 2, his name is revealed to be Nika.
A Young Doctor's Notebook is based off of short stories by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov. A playwright, novelist, and short-story writer, Bulgakov began his career working as a doctor until he became a writer. Although the premise of a young, morphine-addicted doctor interacting with his older self during the Russian Revolution sounds grave, Hamm called the series, "a dark, funny, beautiful little thing."
The doctor didn't have a name in Season 1 (and if you missed Season 1, each season consists of only four 30-minute episodes, so it's not hard to catch up on), so the name is a new addition to the show. Although Season 2 premieres Tuesday in the US, it already aired on the British TV channel Sky Arts. A quirky, black comedy-drama hybrid, the short stories are based on some of Bulgakov's own experiences, so it's interesting that the show named the doctor Nika instead of Mikhail.
But Season 2 doesn't come directly from the collection of short stories, A Country Doctor's Notebook, like Season 1 did. And actually, because of this, the show's name is A Young Doctor's Notebook and Other Stories this time around. In the Season 2 promo video below, Radcliffe said, "I'm going to be very interested to see how this series is received among Bulgakov purists," since the writers had to pull from more sources. (And that's saying something since Radcliffe was a fan of Bulgakov before he was on the show.)
The name Nika comes from Nike and means "bringer of victory." Not sure if that really sums up the doctor's character, especially as Season 2 begins with the older doctor getting out of a mental hospital and in the second episode, his younger self becomes unhealthily infatuated with a young woman named Natasha. But perhaps he's a bringer of victory in the sense of his medical knowledge? Sure, we can go with that.
So what's it like for Dan and Jon to both play Nika? Well, a major oddity of the pair playing the same man is their height difference — Radcliffe is 5'5" and Hamm is 6' tall. But Radcliffe takes it in stride, as he told People, "Jon is actually really small, he just wears heels."
Radcliffe has been known to make quite a few comments about his dreamy costar. He sorted Hamm into a Hogwarts house and about the sorting, Radcliffe said, "Jon, because I know you and I know you won't take offense to this, I'm putting you in Hufflepuff." And when asked to describe celebrities in one word?
The dynamic between these two lovable actors is reason enough to watch the ridiculous and gory adventures of the finally-named Nika in Season 2 of A Young Doctor's Notebook.