Could “Mercy Street” be the next “Downton Abbey”?

I have a great affinity for televised period dramas.  Whether it’s British aristocracy dramas like Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey, war dramas like Tour of Duty or Homefront, speculative fiction like Murdoch Mysteries or The Wild Wild West, or 60’s retro reviews like American Dreams or Love Child, I enjoy using my television as a time-travel device to view entertainment and concepts from a far-away time.

So on January 17, I’m going to give a brand new period drama a try.  I’m not sure how it will fare, but there’s some hope that it could be the next big period drama.

And considering the subject matter… it will air on what might be the most appropriate channel for its target audience.

Say hello to Mercy Street, a drama set at a military hospital during the height of the Civil War.

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365597513

Well now.  This looks intriguing.

Here’s another clip.

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365612706

Now the thing with me and historic dramas is – if I’m going to go back in time and watch a window upon a historical moment on TV, I need the TV series to be as historically accurate as possible.  I used to rail against period dramas like Pan Am and The Playboy Club for having events occur either out of sequence for the real historic timeline, or to have the characters speak of prescient moments (“Wow, wouldn’t it be great if President Kennedy visited Dallas this weekend?”)

So how historically accurate is Mercy Street? Are we going to see medical procedures that might not have been invented in the 1860’s, or that someone in that time period might try to “invent” a new medical procedure as part of a life-saving storyline?

Here’s one more clip from PBS.

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365627130

Okay, so far, so good. As I said, I’m more than willing to give this show a try.  The first season of Mercy Street is spread over six weeks on PBS, beginning January 17.

I just wonder, though… and maybe this is too obvious a snarky comment…

I wonder if Ken Burns might a cameo appearance in this series…

Maybe?

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3 thoughts on “Could “Mercy Street” be the next “Downton Abbey”?”

  1. I’ve never watched one hour of Downton Abbey. On the other hand, I’ve purchased the first five seasons on DVD, ostensibly for my wife. So I COULD watch it…

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  2. I love this stuff Chuck, thank you for bringing it to my attention. PBS – Masterpiece Theater is on a great run in the last few years. Did you happen to check out the new version of Poldark that started last season?

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