CHICAGO HOPE: AUSTIN SPACE (TV)

Summary

One in this series of medical dramas about the personal and professional lives of the staff of the state-of-the-art Chicago Hope Hospital and the ethical dilemmas they face.

In this episode, Cacaci panics about the approach of "Y2K" as Watters asks Austin to treat Gordon Mays, a famous former astronaut who plans to return to space, though Austin is unimpressed by the "over-the-hill macho flyboy." Right-to-die activist Lucille Corcoran, a.k.a. "Dr. Death," is brought in suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, and she banters with Grad about just who is "playing God" when it comes to terminal illness. Shutt is annoyed when new attending Dr. Rose Weber offers to keep him "on probation"; however, he is intrigued when she introduces him to Orthodox Jewish teenager Jacob Joffe, whose intense form of OCD causes him to obsess over old-timey "Borscht Belt" jokes and prompted a half-hearted suicide attempt. Gordon's medical tests suggest breathing trouble, but he reveals that he, too, is a cardiologist and tries to assure Austin that it is a false positive.

Shutt wonders if Jacob's anxiety is rooted in his mixed feelings about becoming a rabbi, like his father, though Rabbi Joffe assures Shutt that Jacob does not "hate himself" or his culture. Gordon meets Sara and admits to Austin that he is "desperate" to return to space, having been profoundly awed by the experience of viewing Earth from afar, and begs her to give him a "second opinion." Corcoran talks to McNeil, whom she claimed was her ex-husband, and explains that she has opted not to seek aggressive treatment for her illness and plans to throw a "good-bye" party with her friends. Jacob finally confesses to Shutt that he is in fact gay and is afraid to tell his father, believing that the rabbi will consider him "dead" because of his so-called sin. Corcoran checks out of the hospital against medical advice and invites Grad to the party; when Gordon collapses from a heart attack, Austin rushes him into surgery and discovers that he has been hiding his dire medical history from her.

At the party, Corcoran shocks her friends by revealing that she is "leaving" that very night; Grad frantically urges McNeil to talk her out of committing suicide, though he argues that she deserves a comfortable death on her own terms. Austin helps Gordon "bid farewell" to the stars, and Corcoran seems to reconsider her plan as she begins to suffer significant pain. Jacob comes out to his father, who reacts with outrage and begs Shutt to "treat" him for it; Sara wonders if her mother would see her deceased patients if she traveled into space, where heaven is presumably located. McNeil tries to soothe Corcoran as she desperately admits that she does not really want to die, and Shutt gently pushes Jacob's father to reconsider his views and remember his strong love for his son. Austin asks Gordon if he will consider nominating her as his replacement to perform cardiology research in space, and Hancock is shocked to find that Wilkes, shaken by the schoolyard shooting, has purchased an illegal firearm. Watters allows Cacaci to "prepare" the hospital computers for potential global disaster at the turn of the millennium, and McNeil is saddened to find that Corcoran has taken her own life after all. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: N/A
  • DATE: 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:44:42
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 121136
  • GENRE: Drama, medical
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Assisted suicide; Drama, medical; Judaism; LGBTQ+ Collection - Drama
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1994-2000
  • COMMERCIALS: N/A

CREDITS

  • Bill D'Elia … Executive Producer
  • John Tinker … Executive Producer
  • David E. Kelley … Executive Producer, Created by
  • Nicole Yorkin … Co-Executive Producer
  • Dawn Prestwich … Co-Executive Producer
  • James C. Hart … Co-Executive Producer
  • John Heath … Supervising Producer
  • Rob Corn … Producer
  • Ian Biederman … Co-Producer
  • Dean White … Co-Producer
  • Jan Oxenberg … Co-Producer, Writer
  • Claire Bloom … Associate Producer
  • Ellen Herman … Consulting Producer
  • Barbara Hall … Consulting Producer
  • Stephen Cragg … Director
  • Peter Bernstein … Music by
  • Mark Isham … Theme Music by
  • Adam Arkin … Cast, Dr. Aaron Shutt
  • Christine Lahti … Cast, Dr. Kathryn "Kate" Austin
  • Peter Berg … Cast, Dr. Billy Kronk
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall … Cast, Dr. Dennis Hancock
  • Jayne Brook … Cast, Dr. Diane Grad
  • Rocky Carroll … Cast, Dr. Keith Wilkes
  • Stacy Edwards … Cast, Dr. Lisa Catera
  • Mark Harmon … Cast, Dr. Jack McNeil
  • Hector Elizando … Cast, Dr. Phillip Watters
  • Eric Stoltz … Cast, Dr. Robert Yeats
  • Christine Tucci … Cast, Dr. Rose Weber
  • Bob Bancroft … Cast, Dr. Joseph Cacaci
  • Harley Jane Kozak … Cast, Dr. Lucille Corcoran
  • Mae Whitman … Cast, Sara Wilmette
  • Arthur Rosenberg … Cast, Rabbi Joffe
  • Michael Goorjian … Cast, Jacob Joffe
  • Chris Sarandon … Cast, Gordon Mays
  • Loyda Ramos … Cast, Nurse Loyda Santos
  • Mark Ankeny … Cast, Marty
  • Ariel Felix … Cast, Anesthesiologist
  • Ed Francis Martin … Cast, Photographer
  • Ken Narasaki … Cast, EMT
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