There are plenty of medical drama series on American television. Gray’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, New Amsterdam, Scrubs, House M.D., ER, and General Hospital are some of the popular shows in the United States in this genre. Skymed is a Canadian medical drama that aired on CBC Television in 2022 and has been renewed for its next season this year. This nine-episode series covers the lives of several nurses and pilots who work for a government air ambulance service in the northern part of Canada, which is covered by dense forest and whose population is scattered. These physicians and medical experts fly men and women who face several kinds of injuries, sicknesses, and ailments. There are several low-maintenance clinics in these wild areas, but most patients are taken to the nearest all-facility hospital in Winnipeg, Canada.
Besides the exceptional job that the crew and the staff do of rescuing people from the wilderness, the medical drama also discusses the lonely life all of them lead away from their families and the internet. The only form of communication that is widely utilized is the radio. Reliable mobile networks and the internet have hardly reached, and they schedule their day and work accordingly.
Wheezer is the oldest and most experienced medical pilot, who happens to have survived a crash and was subsequently asked to take a leave of absence to attain full recovery. Being the oldest in the group, he brings to the table a lot of professional and life experience, which would come in handy for many who are young and recruited into Skymed. Lexi is an aspiring pilot with Skymed who joined the service as a person aiding with the loading of medical supplies. She was soon promoted to the position of pilot, and she couldn’t have been prouder of herself. Lexi was also an employee with a lot of integrity and honesty. She was sadly at risk of losing her job as a pilot but thankfully that situation was brought under control. Lexi’s father had also worked with Skymed, which made it easy for her to do the right thing eventually. Her sister Nichelle admits to having been jealous of her overachiever older sister, which made Lexi perceive things differently.
Haley and Crystal are the female nurses on the crew who must carry out the main job, which is to make sure the patients are stable until they reach the designated spot for treatment. Haley moved away from her family after losing her mother to cancer, and she was aware she’d inherited the gene that would lead to the same ailment soon. Apart from being new at the job, Haley was not on good terms with Crystal in the beginning but they soon grew to understand each other as women who would have to make some tough choices for themselves.
Crystal ‘Chris’, who is a native of the area, has the most on-the-ground experience, and she is proud of her indigenous heritage. Apart from her job, she was attracted to the on-duty physician, Dr. Sung, who felt the same for her. Sadly, she had to choose between Sung and her childhood love, Jeremy, and it did come across as an easy decision. Crystal had plans to join medical school to become a doctor, but her attachment to the community had stopped her so far. Her admission comes through, but again, she will have to choose between what needs to be done for herself.
Haley was emotionally vulnerable, which led her to make several mistakes when joining Skymed. She ends up sleeping with Bodie, who is the good-looking pilot, and a member of the crew. Bodie in season one is all about good looks and wanting to join a commercial airline as a pilot. Internally, he was struggling with his identity as he was searching for his biological parents. Bodie was also in for shock when his ex-girlfriend Madison revealed her pregnancy, and this changed his perspective on life. He was keen on being a supportive partner to Madison since the pregnancy was announced, but time and again, his emotions were interrupted by his attraction to Haley.
Chopper is another pilot with Skymed who was initially attracted to Haley but moved on quickly to work on his plans to join the Canadian Space Program. Chopper was raised with a lot of expectations and was once married as well, but none of these relationships allowed him to be the professional he wanted to be. Chopper wanted to be an astronaut, a dream he shared with Dr. Emma over the radio. Dr. Emma and Chopper are attracted to one another, but the former cannot make up her mind because she is engaged to Devon. Chopper and Emma did have an affair post-breakup, but the former was looking for a serious relationship, unlike Emma. Their relationship did not last long because of their different ideas about how a relationship should be in the long run.
Nowak is a pilot with an air ambulance as well, working with a bartender at a local bar. He was gay and was attracted to a nurse, Tristan. Nowak took some time to come to terms with his feelings and convey the same to Tristan. Tristan, too, initially was not very keen on contemplating dating Nowak. As they fell in love, Nowak and Tristan were finally on the same page and began dating.
The entire first season of the show covered a lot of aspects and the hardships this air ambulance team faces daily. They must make quick decisions to make sure the patient survives the flight. Sometimes they will also have to make the hardest decision without consulting the seniors. Skymed also has an investigation team that gets into the topic of malfunctions or mistakes in cases of a crash or a disaster. People of indigenous culture and discrimination against them is a much-discussed topic in the show.
Crystal and Boddie, who happen to be a part of the native culture, are trying to find themselves and contribute to making their voices heard. Boddie comes of age by the end of season one. His quest for his biological mother helped him come to terms with being a father who would never abandon his child. The trauma of losing a parent, difficult relationships with them, mental health issues, and gay relationships are another set of highlights of season one.
Season one ends with Bodie meeting his cousins and coming to terms with his legacy. His culture and roots are suddenly important to him, and he was willing to co-parent his child with Madison. Bodie is coming to terms with his life and attains clarity on how to take it forward. Haley, on the other hand, finally went through an MRI, facing her fears. Haley came to terms with the trauma of losing the person she loved and decided to move on. Nowak’s car accident led to him facing several panic attacks while flying, which he refused to acknowledge. After severe contemplation, he decided to take a step back and request a short break to deal with his mental health issues before flying again, something his boyfriend Tristan supported. Chopper is finally considered for the selection camp, his first step towards becoming an astronaut.
Chopper will be quitting his job as a pilot with the air ambulance unit. Chopper’s imminent exit made Emma realize her love for him. She confessed her love in the hope of stopping Chopper from leaving his existing job. Chopper was quick to admit her fear of losing him was stronger than her fondness. He had to move on to work towards his future goals, which Emma eventually agreed to. Emma, a single woman, flies to Fiji for a much-awaited break from her work and life.
In the end, Haley did not receive good news from her test results, indicating that she indeed has cancer. The episode ended with Crystal accompanying Haley for the surgery and offering to be there for her. Season one ended on a bittersweet note, with everyone going through life-changing events. Hopefully, the second season will have them come out of their struggles and be mentally strong individuals.