Attention PBS fans—and American history buffs: Come January 17, you're in for a treat. , a six-part series based on letters and memoirs from Civil War-era medical personnel, is the broadcaster's first American drama in a decade. We can't wait—and neither can executive producer Lisa Q. Wolfinger. When I asked what initially drew her to the production, she explained, "There is nothing more exciting than stumbling upon a true story that is richer than anything we could concoct from our imaginations." She says she loved the scenario: a dysfunctional general hospital in a border town caught between North and South. And she loved the characters: feisty female volunteers, doctors struggling to make a difference at a time when medical science was in its infancy, escaped slaves experiencing freedom for the first time, and a southern family torn between loyalty to the cause and survival.
"The whole thing was complex, messy and very human. It didn't feel like distant history. I hope viewers will fall in love with our characters and our world," says Wolfinger. "Yes, Mercy Street is a period drama set during the Civil War, but the show is anything but dusty, grim and gloomy—between the writing and our exceptional cast, I believe we have a drama series that is entertaining, witty, smart and absolutely relevant to our lives today. I hope viewers gain new insight into a war that defined us as a nation, for better or for worse, and a new appreciation of the people, ordinary people like us, who lived through it and tried to make sense of it all."
Can't wait until Sunday? And check your local listings for more information.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Antony Platt/PBS