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So you have a hospital. Nice place, folks get healed there, their illnesses and sicknesses happily resolved, and they're sent on their way. It's, in fact, the best hospital in the state of Maine. All sorts of odd illnesses get fixed there, up to and including clinical death.
Good news: it's one of the leading research and medical centers in the state. Bad news? It's haunted.
Kingdom Hospital is a medical drama with a twist: the hospital is haunted, and its cast finds itself dealing with increasingly odd and creepy phenomena on a daily basis, punctuated by the occasional earthquake. The series opens with Peter Rickman, a helpless artist thrust into sudden dreams and paralysis by a drunk driver, being escorted to this hospital -- followed by a host of oddities following in his wake, up to and including a ghostly child, an odd anteater-marsupial hybrid which seems to be something more than he appears, and an odd adversary who conspires to mark Peter for death.
And all the while, there's a hospital staff wandering around, unwilling or unable to see the drama unfolding beyond their sight, with the exception of the occasional creepy incident... such as a monitor's head turning towards a doctor and speaking, or a given artist healing unnaturally fast...
While billed as a medical drama with twists, Kingdom Hospital also happens to be a Ghost Story, written, directed, and produced by -- of all people -- Stephen King, whose influence shows up without doubt as soon as the first episode.
Not to be confused with Kingdom Hearts
- Aborted Arc - Stephen King already had the next season story-boarded and ready to roll. To be perfectly honest, there are so many loose plot threads left over that it's amazing this show is usually classified as a "mini-series" instead of "season one of a cancelled show."
- Almost Kiss
- American Adaptation: Of the earlier Riget, as directed by Lars von Trier. The Swedish neurosurgeon Stig Helmer becomes Dr. Stegman from Boston; Sigrid Drusse becomes Sally Druse, etc.
- Backstory - Dealt with in the main story, inevitably.
- Badass - Hook. Who is his own CMOA.
- Blind Without'Em - Otto, who occasionally loses them for comedic effect.
- Bloody Hilarious - Hellooooo, operating room!
- Butt Monkey - Stegman. Hilariously.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience - Averted, fully - the folks who laugh Stegman down are the sort who you'd pass without a glance on the street.
- Comedic Sociopathy - Stegman. Stegman, Stegman, Stegman.
- Dark World - The Old Kingdom.
- Dean Bitterman - Stegman again. He's the head neurosurgeon at the hospital, after getting removed from a hospital in Boston... which he frequently reminds people he prefers.
- Flat Earth Atheist / Hollywood Atheist - Stegman fits both of these tropes nicely. At one point, when asked his opinion of a local religious group who believed their pastor would rise from the dead in three days, he said they should all be sterilized and sent to the gulags of Siberia as slave labor.
- Likes Older Women and Dogged Nice Guy - Elmer in regards to Lona. Unlike most Dogged Nice Guys, he makes it clear he wants a sexual relationship with her; however, it's clear he doesn't just want sex.
- Literal Genie - A lawyer asks for a new heart. Sure enough...he gets one.
- Loads and Loads of Characters - The series loses focus as it goes on primarily due to its tendency to bring in at least one new character per episode without resolving anything with the previously established characters.
- Meaningful Name: The so-called Old Kingdom is the hospital built in the 1930s--it was called "Gottreich Hospital" after its founder, Dr. Gottreich.
- Mood Whiplash - There's a lot of humor. Most of it fairly macabre, some of it just bizarre.
- Mythology Gag - In the original miniseries, Stig Helmer's Catch Phrase is "Danish scum!" When Dr. Stegman's car is vandalized in the remake, he yells "Maine hick scum!"
- Rule of Drama - Eventually, it all boils down to being a ghost story. Written by Stephen King.
- Rule of Funny - in the second or third episode of the show, at the very end... the staff breaks out into a musical number, complete with dancing in the OR, corpses sliding out in the morgue and singing along, and general freakiness. Anyone who doesn't think this is a dark comedy doesn't have his head screwed on tight.
- Screwed by the Network - Feeling there wasn't enough promotion, Stephen King used several hundred thousand dollars of his own money to buy print ads; the network then changed the show's timeslot to compete with CSI, so the ads gave the wrong time and this show was obscured.
- Shout-Out: Nurse Carrie von Trier is named after Danish director Lars von Trier, who directed/created the original, Danish Kingdom series.
- Talking Animal - A crow and two dogs had brief speaking parts just to make it even weirder than it already was.
- Tsundere - Elmer sees Lona as this; in the beginning, she's just annoyed and confused with how exactly to make it clear to the significantly younger man, whose father she works for, that a romantic relationship is out of the question. She tried the direct way, that didn't work, and well, Lona's a fairly direct person. Later, when the supernatural screws with them, she tells him to kiss her, treats him the same as before once they get out of the morgue (long story), and then, uses his affection for her to get him to help her with some important tests she wants to do. At the end, she seems unsure what her relationship with him is, while he still wants a romantic relationship with her.
- Dr. Abelson (Stegman's erstwhile girlfriend) is a more literal version of this. After their breakup, she takes a large gun and pegs all of Stegman's lab rats, gleefully counting them one by one. Not a bunny-boiler, but close enough, surely.