Get to Know ‘Transplant’s MacGyver-Esque Doctor, Bashir ‘Bash’ Hamed

Hamza Haq as Bash in Transplant
Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC

Transplant: To transfer something or someone to another place with some effort. Whether it’s a human being or a new organ for a patient, both meanings apply in this hit Canadian medical show about Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a Syrian refugee in Toronto.

The drama opens with Bash working as a cook in a Middle Eastern restaurant. Suddenly, a truck crashes through the front window. What he does next — despite having shards of glass embedded in his chest and only a power drill and kitchen supplies at his disposal — reveals the skilled trauma surgeon he had been in his war-torn home country. Unable to be licensed as a doctor in Canada, says Haq, “he’s been trying to provide for his little sister, Amira [Sirena Gulamgaus], and working as hard as he can to survive.”

Luckily, one life Bash saves leads to a job at (the fictional) York Memorial Hospital. Under his new mentor, emergency department chief Jed Bishop (John Hannah, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Bash begins his life again as a MacGyver-esque first-year resident. “We see a lot of his methods that come from improvising when he may not have had the best resources,” notes the actor (above), who’s appeared in two episodes of Quantico, “20 seconds” of Designated Survivor, and had never seen a medical drama before taking this role. 

Jed Bishop Bashir Hamed Transplant NBC Season 1

(Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

As the torment Bash suffered in Syria comes out, he struggles in his adopted home as well. Says Haq: “People with preconceived notions about who he is don’t accept him.” He doesn’t help himself by breaking protocol. Laughing, Haq adds, “He can be his own worst enemy.”

Transplant, U.S. Premiere, Tuesday, September 1, 10/9c, NBC