The charming yet very sinister “Miracle Man” is the focus of Dr. Death’s shocking second series

Podcast-turned-drama Dr. Death has been renewed for a second season and this time round, we’re following an even eerier story of surgery, deceit and true crime. 

If, like us, you are an avid listener of true crime podcasts, we have some glorious news for you. Dr. Death, the hit Wondery podcast that was turned into a Peacock series just last September, has been renewed for a second season.

In the first, we followed the true story of Texas-based surgeon Christopher Duntsch, who was played by Joshua Jackson. Duntsch was an outwardly charismatic doctor with flourishing neurosurgery practice. In fact, Duntsch was a quack and when innocent patients entered his operating room for complex (but routine) spinal surgeries they often left permanently maimed or wound up dead. 

The podcast is a rollercoaster true crime journey and the series followed two fellow doctors, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater) who were intent on stopping him from harming patients.

It was such a hit with fans that the second series has now been confirmed and will follow the third series of the podcast, all about the ominous “Miracle Man”. With that, here’s everything you need to know about Dr. Death series two. 

What will Dr. Death season two be about?

As previously mentioned, the new season will feature the “Miracle Man” storyline, based on the most recent third season of the podcast.

Season two’s “Miracle Man” is actually Paolo Macchiarini, a charming surgeon, who became renowned for his innovative operations that earned him his nickname. But when investigative journalist Benita Alexander approaches him for a story, the line between personal and professional begins to blur, changing her life forever. Soon, she is swept off her feet but then her world turns upside down.

As she learns how far Paolo will go to protect his secrets while a group of doctors halfway across the world make shocking discoveries of their own that call everything about the “Miracle Man” into question. And the most shocking medical question of all: is his scientific research actually just a work of science fiction? 

The “Miracle Man” himself: Paolo Macchiarini.

What has happened to the real-life “Miracle Man”?

Well, this is obviously a bit of a spoiler alert to the upcoming series but the podcast and Peacock series are based on this true story after all.

Macchiarini was routinely praised for his work in regenerative medicine and in 2008, he created a new airway for Claudia Castillo, a young woman from Barcelona. When she went back home, the risky procedure was ruled a complete success but even when serious complications post-surgery started to arise, they were kept under wraps and away from the public eye.

His career skyrocketed and in 2011, Macchiarini reinvented his surgery technique. Andemariam Beyene, a graduate student from Eritrea, received the first transplant of this kind and died two and a half years later after a series of infections. His synthetic trachea was found to have come loose and shortly after the operation, he told the BBC: “I was very scared, very scared about the operation. But it was live or die.”

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Macchiarini gave his “regenerating” windpipes to 17 or more patients worldwide but most, including Beyene, are now dead. As of June 2022, Macchiarini received a suspended sentence for causing bodily harm during an experimental stem-cell windpipe transplant.

He was cleared of two charges of assault and has consistently denied the charges brought against him. Prosecutors had recommended Macchiarini serve five years in jail but the district court ruled that he had not intended to cause the patients harm.

Macchiarini has argued that the transplants were aimed at saving the patients’ lives. However, whistleblower Dr Matthias Corbascio told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the verdict was a scandal and there had never been any chance of the operations succeeding.

The suspended sentence means Macchiarini will be on probation for the next two years. 

Who will star in Dr. Death season two?

As of now, there have been no casting announcements for the series. We do know, though, that Ashley Michel Hoban, writer-producer on the first season of Dr. Death, serves as showrunner, writer and executive producer for season two. 

She’s also recently served as supervising producer for The Girl From Plainville so we just know this second season is going to be chilling and captivating in equal measure. 

Joshua Jackson starred in the first series of Dr Death.

What has been said about Dr. Death season two?

Speaking about the new series, Hoban said: “I am so honored to have the opportunity to expand the Dr. Death universe with this fascinating story.

“This season, we go global to explore how institutional failure to protect patients is a universal issue, but there are always heroes standing up and fighting for change every day. I can’t wait to share this story of romance, intrigue, complicated characters, and, of course, the eeriness that is Dr. Death with our fans.”

Lisa Katz, president of scripted content for NBCUniversal television and streaming also said: “The first season of Dr. Death blew us away as we dove into the terrifying, twisted mind of Dr. Christopher Duntsch and the team who set out to stop him.

“The new installment of this highly-addictive anthology series explores a globe-trotting surgeon who seduces the medical world, and we know we’re in expert hands with our partners at Wondery, UCP, Patrick Macmanus and new season EP/showrunner Ashley Michel Hoban.” 

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When and where will Dr. Death season two be available to watch?

We don’t have a confirmed release date for the new season but like its predecessor, we can expect the series will be available to stream in the UK via StarzPlay.

And if you’re yet to go on a deep-dive into the “Miracle Man” case itself, the Wondery podcast is essential listening.

We’ll be sure to update you as soon as we know more. 

Images: Peacock; BBC

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