New Amsterdam: Pandemic episode of US TV series shelved as it’s ‘too horrifying’ to screen amid coronavirus

Adam White
Freema Agyeman and Ryan Eggold in the US medical drama 'New Amsterdam': NBC

An episode of the US medical drama New Amsterdam has been shelved, as its premise was deemed “too horrifying” to screen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The episode, which was originally titled Pandemic before being renamed Our Doors Are Always Open, saw doctors battling a deadly flu pandemic in New York City.

US broadcaster NBC has now declared they will no longer screen the episode out of respect for the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“We shot a fictional pandemic episode right before a real pandemic hit,” series creator David Schulner wrote in an essay for Deadline. “People are dying in real life. Do we really want to watch fake people die too? … The world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts.”

Schulner went on to describe the episode, which depicts a hospital being overrun by sick patients and tents being erected in its parking lot when beds run out.

“Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at,” Schulner added.

In a strange coincidence, the episode also introduced a new character portrayed by Daniel Dae Kim, who revealed last week (20 March) that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Kim began experiencing coronavirus symptoms while filming the pandemic episode of New Amsterdam.

The medical drama, which stars Ryan Eggold and Freema Agyeman, had shot one additional episode before production on the series was shut down amid the pandemic.

It will now serve as the show’s season finale, while the pandemic episode will be broadcast at a later date.