Dr. Death · I, Sniper · Kevin Spacey

And new podcast on those who watch the watchmen

The Dr. Death trailer dropped yesterday. The Peacock show based on the podcast about disgraced physician Dr. Christopher Duntsch has yet to announce a release date other than “this summer,” but its pandemic-related delays seem resolved enough to give us a look at how Joshua “Pacey” Jackson looks as an errant neurosurgeon.

We’ve also got fellow former heartthrob Christian Slater and perplexingly still uncanceled Alec Baldwin as the good guys, which, if you just gave me a list of the actors and told me what it was about, I’d be like “and Pacey’s the baddie?” But I guess he did dark okay on The Affair, or so I am told.

Somehow, I am still balking at purchasing a Peacock subscription even though I dug the pilot of Girls5eva, so I’ll be frank: I’ll have to feel that DD is way more “must watch” (as Peacock’s airwaves counterpart says) to pony up that $4.99 a month. How about you? — EB

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The first two episodes of Vice series I, Sniper are out. The series made its debut on May 10, via Vice’s YouTube channel. The eight-ep show is about 2002’s D.C. sniper attacks, which killed 10 people and left a region traumatized. It boasts “dozens” of interviews, from surviving victims, law enforcement, and even the surviving sniper himself.

Fox 5 reports that the showrunners spoke to convicted sniper Lee Malvo for 17 hours over the course of two years, with every conversation in a prison-mandated 15 minute chunk. Malvo “is looking back on it now as an adult, trying to understand what he was told as a teenager and try to unpick truth from fiction," producer Mary-Jane Mitchell said. "So I think a lot of it is still confusing to him, but he certainly is able to kind of explain as best as he understood it what the motivations were for [fellow sniper] John Muhammad." You can catch up on I, Sniper (god, I hate that name; is that because I have watched I, Robot a million times?) here. — EB

A new podcast details issues with California’s internal affairs system. The show, called On Our Watch, is from NPR and PBS affiliate KQED, and is hosted by criminal justice reporter Sukey Lewis. From a press release:

In 2019, a new California police transparency law unsealed the state’s secret investigations into police shootings, sexual assault and official dishonesty. Now, with unprecedented access to thousands of these files and recordings, On Our Watch details cases that show how the internal affairs system in California is built to protect officers and agencies over the public.

On Our Watch looks at previously confidential internal investigations across the state, from the small town police department of Rio Vista to the California Highway Patrol, finding investigators who take the word of an officer over the testimony of subjects, witnesses and video evidence; that don’t question officers’ assumptions about who is a threat and who is not; and that don’t treat officers’ sexual misconduct as criminal.
The podcast also details how police unions have lobbied to increase police protections, fought officer terminations and blocked transparency, even as calls from the public for police accountability have grown more urgent.

There’s a preview and subscription information for On Our Watch here, and the first episode drops on May 20. — EB

The Real Manhunter is coming. Not to be confused with the real Roxanne (kids ask your grandparents), The Real Manhunter is an Acorn docuseries about British cop Colin Sutton, the inspiration behind Acorn series Manhunt, which is not to be confused with Netflix docuseries Manhunt, fictional Thomas Harris drama Manhunter, or fact-based Netflix drama Mindhunter. [“Or the John Douglas written oeuvre that inspired the lattermost.” — SDB]

So, yeah, let’s put a stop to using “man”/“mind” and “hunt” in show titles for a while, okay? ANYWAY. TRM is a show about the real Sutton, who apparently solved 35 of the 37 murder cases he was tasked with over his 30-year career. Over the series’ eight episodes, Sutton “will take the viewer on a journey from the moment the police were called to the scene, visit key locations, and explain how he and his team managed to gather enough evidence to secure a conviction,” Acorn says in a press release. Sutton’s also credited as a co-writer, so we can safely make some assumptions about how the show will paint his activities.

The whole show will drop on Acorn (which, unlike Peacock, has a weeklong free trial) on June 14, a decision they describe as a “binge release” to my dismay. Man, I am cranky today, huh? — EB

Hang onto this link for the next time someone asks why a victim didn’t report a sexual assault. We saw a legal precedent set last week in a high-profile celebrity scandal, but its implications will hit the non-famous, too.

A man who says actor Kevin Spacey assaulted him when the victim — known in court filings only as C.D. — was 14 has been trying to sue Spacey for the attack (civil rape cases are more likely to see justice than criminal ones; see: beloved Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant’s rape suit), but didn’t want his name to go public, saying that the “sudden unwanted attention that revelation of his identity will cause is simply too much for him to bear” (see: the dreadful treatment of the woman with whom Kobe Bryant eventually admitted to having a nonconsensual sexual interaction).

But a judge denied that request, just the latest to do so in a high-profile sexual assault case. Per the NYT:

C.D. filed the lawsuit with another accuser, Anthony Rapp, who first made accusations against Mr. Spacey in 2017. Mr. Spacey has denied C.D.’s and Mr. Rapp’s sexual misconduct accusations.

In court papers, lawyers for C.D. argued that he would suffer psychological trauma if his name became public.

“The thought of my name being circulated in the media and on the internet and of people contacting me as a victim of Kevin Spacey terrifies me,” C.D. wrote in court papers.

An initial ruling said that “Spacey’s lawyers should privately be told C.D.’s real name,” but “they argued that their ability to conduct discovery and investigate C.D.’s claims would be hampered if he could maintain his anonymity toward the public.” Judge Lewis A. Kaplan agreed, saying that C.D. “now is an adult in his 50s who has chosen to level serious charges against a defendant in the public eye … Fairness requires that he be prepared to stand behind his charges publicly.” — EB

Wednesday on Best Evidence: Oooh, it’s a kidnapped baby (or is it?) all grown up.

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