I grew up with a magical family friend by the name of Norry Niven, who is actually a pretty famous guy. You probably saw the series of commercials he directed for the Super Bowl ~
Yeah. He’s kind of a big deal. And when I first became interested in writing screenplays, he let me read one of his. It will hopefully be made soon, so I can’t tell you too much about it, but it’s called the Dogs of Positano. It’s the story of a little girl who is very sick. Her dog is the only one who can see the truth – that her nefarious doctor is keeping her sick! I think of that mean doctor a lot now that I’m chronically sick too.
The idea of “evil doctors” is not new – in fact it’s almost an archetype – but for some reason, Norry’s version always stood out to me. I don’t know if it’s because the doctor targets an adorable little girl or because there’s adorable doggies in the story or if it’s just because I idolize Norry. Whenever I see the “evil doctor” character arise, I always compare it to Norry’s story. Like I said, though, Norry’s story isn’t out yet, so I can’t really share that character with you as much as I’d really love to.
So instead, I thought I’d do a top five list of the evilest doctors and caretakers in books, movies, or on TV. I’m not talking Jekyll and Hyde evil, by the way. I mean doctors who are in it for the money, not the patients, and who keep patients sick or injured to further their own means.
I should also note that I don’t believe any of my real life doctors or caretakers to be evil or keeping me sick. I’m not wearing a tin foil hat. This is not a conspiracy theory, I swear. Just…sometimes it’s fun to hate on doctors. Just a little. I mean they do jab us with needles and all. Doctors are great! Just…not these ones.
Duchess Rowena, from Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses
I have already proclaimed to the world how much I LOVE all of the animated Barbie movies. They’re my go to DVDs when I’m having a particularly bad sick day. In the 12 Dancing Princesses, Duchess Rowena is brought in to teach the 12 young daughters of the king to be real ladies. The girls feel very repressed in her care, but not only is she infringing on Barbie and her sisters’ freedoms, she’s also secretly poisoning the king’s tea and keeping him ill!
She’s actually a pretty malevolent villain. She keeps doctors away by informing them that the king’s wife recently died, and as chronic pain patients know all to well, once a doctor thinks it’s “depression,” you won’t be getting any treatment. Since Rowena is related to the king and his girls are still too young (although it’s hard to tell. How old is Barbie supposed to be? She looks pretty….ahem, “grown up” to me!) to rule, Rowena would take the throne…for some reason…. okay so the plot is no Shakespeare but it’s an entertaining movie with a very evil villainess.
Bob Kelso from Scrubs
He’s not outright evil, and he’s not the outright villain of the cast, but Dr. Kelso is still one of the biggest, most classic baddies around. He doesn’t ever harm anyone or do anything really wrong, but he’s cold. He doesn’t care about anything but the hospital’s bottom line. When other characters are touched or moved by a patient, you can bet Kelso will be in shortly to throw some cold ice water on your melting heart.
Nathan Wallace from REPO! The Genetic Rock Opera
I’ve already done a whole video on how crazy awesome this movie is, so I’ll be brief here. Nathan is a doctor in the future, where organs can be bought on credit and repossessed if you don’t pay up. I could call this a spoiler, but it was obvious (at least to me) in the first ten minutes that Nathan is the Repo Man. They kind of try to hide it but come on. So obviously he’s not really using his skills for good, since he mostly cuts people open to take their guts and leave them for dead. Why do you need a medical degree for surgeries that require no anesthesia and end in murder? I don’t know. But for some reason, they only employ pros to do the “night surgery.” Maybe it was cheaper than hiring hit-men.
But now for some REAL SPOILER ALERTS!!! If you want to see Repo and be surprised at the end, skip to #2! Not only is Nathan Wallace the Repo Man, but we find out that he accidentally poisoned his wife and killed her. Really, some one else was behind that. But where Nathan is really guilty is in his role as a father. He took the medicine which he knew to be poisonous and gave it to his daughter, making her ill and ensuring she would stay with him forever. Being a real doctor, he knew how not to kill her. He just made her sick enough to need him. Sick, right?
Mrs. Medlock/Archibald Craven from The Secret Garden
If you have somehow gotten through life without reading this book, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Mrs. Medlock and Archibald Craven are both arguably the “bad guy doctor” here, although Archie’s brother could also be construed as such. In any case, a young boy named Colin is kept in bed his whole life believing he is sick. When his cousin Mary comes to live with him, she discovers the situation and starts sneaking him outside. Being out in the fresh air he found he could walk and play like any other boy. The Cravens and Mrs. Medlock were not acting out of malice, however. Colin’s mother died giving birth to him, and they had all been warned the boy would be sickly. They were overprotective to the point of making him ill by withholding so much of life from him.
And the #1 Evil Caretaker is…
Kyra’s Mother from The Sixth Sense
Not for love, not for riches, not for anything but herself does this caregiver go bad. This is a very small part of the movie, but it left a huge impact on me. In this subplot, a mother poisons her daughter with floor cleaner to keep her ill. She eventually kills her, and it is implied that she has started to poison her younger daughter as well. Why? For attention! That’s pretty evil, folks.
It was actually pretty hard to come up with five characters like this. Are there any “bad doctor” characters that I missed? Who would you add to the list? Tell me in the comments below!