Is it safe? Well, no, it’s not safe. When it comes to dentists on TV shows, it most definitely is not safe. Perhaps the dentists that have exhibited some questionable personality quirks on TV do not quite rise to the level of pure evil as personified on the big screen by Dr. Szell in “Marathon Man” but they still rise to their own level of malevolence. It must be one of those truisms of life in these United States that dentists are capable of inspiring great dread. Dread that is sinister enough to stimulate the kind of long-lasting trauma that gets sublimated into TV shows featuring evil dentists. Or, at the very, dentists of questionable character.
When it comes to evil dentists, the king of them all on TV has to be Dr. Pullum. Some might consider Dan to be the very model of a modern day conspiracy theorist and, yes, there is no point in denying that Dan sees a web of intrigue against him pretty much everywhere he looks. Unlike most conspiracy theorists, however–certainly unlike any of those who believe anyone but Lee Harvey Oswald pulled the trigger on JFK–Dan turns out to be right. As a child, Dan was convinced that his dentist, Dr. Pullum, was evil. Flash forward to Dan as an adult and his return visit to his childhood dentist puts everything in perspective. Dr. Pullum is not just your everyday sort of sadistic dentist or even brand name Nazi dentist. No, Dr. Pullum is actually a supervillain. Yeah, that’s right. He’s got a secret lair and a supervillain plan to use dentistry as a way to control the minds of the world’s leader. Now that’s an evil dentist!
The New Twilight Zone
The first resurrection of “The Twilight Zone” in the 1980s featured a segment titled “Tooth and Consequences.” Clever, eh? Actually, what is clever is the way that the ironic twist that makes a “Twilight Zone” story what it is plays around with the concept of the evil dentist. The dentist here is actually impossibly sympathetic. He’s sort of a sad sack who feels that he is a loser in life and in love because of his inability to connect. On the verge of committing suicide, he gets a visit from the Tooth Fairy who grants him his wishes for the love of Lydia and a never ending supply of patients who love him. Of course, in the Twilight Zone nothing ever goes quite as planned so the dentist ends up overworked and overly desired by Lydia. The only escape is running away so he hops a ride on the rails only to discover a car filled with other dentists running away from their wishes come true. Turns out that the Tooth Fairy has a little evil larceny in him. After all, what better way to ensure a boom business for himself than driving away an entire industry one dentist at a time?
She Woke up Pregnant
Yeah, it’s one of those TV-movies. With a title like “She Woke up Pregnant” this melodrama could be about any number of things. We’ve all heard horror stories about patients being under sedation in the dentist’s chair waking up violated, but waking up pregnant has got to take this violation to the limit. No laughing matter, here is one TV dentist who definitely qualifies as pure evil.