Mercy Street: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

Mercy Street: Season 1 (2016)




Critic Consensus: Mercy Street's intriguing setting and talented cast can't compensate for the overall lack of excitement in a period drama that's traditional to a fault.


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Tv Season Info

Season 1 of the Civil War medical drama opens with Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a widowed nurse from New England, arriving at a hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Va., that's been set up in a luxury hotel owned by the Green family. Although a Union operation, it cares for soldiers on both sides of the conflict—though doctors Jed Foster (Josh Radnor) and Byron Hale (Norbert Leo Butz) disagree on just how much care the Southerners should receive. Among the first things Mary does: cover up an emergency surgery performed by Samuel (McKinley Belcher III), a free black laborer who's skilled at medicine. At the same time, the Green's daughter Emma (Hannah James) braves the patient wards in a furtive search for news about her fiancé Frank (Jack Falahee), a Confederate soldier, and, by the second episode, is volunteering to serve as a nurse. Frank does turn up, eventually, but not as a patient: First, he poses as a dental assistant in order to steal plans from Union soldiers; and, later, he aims to help a wounded prisoner (and Emma's sister's beau) escape and rejoin his outfit. Other storylines find Mary helping Jed wean himself off of morphine; Samuel falling for a contraband slave; the medical inspector visiting; the Green family patriarch James (Gary Cole) facing imprisonment for refusing to sign an oath of allegiance to the Union; and Frank plotting to assassinate President Lincoln during a visit to the hospital by the commander-in-chief.


Josh Radnor
as Jedediah Foster
Gary Cole
as James Green
Brad Koed
as James Green Jr.
Hannah James
as Emma Green
Norbert Leo Butz
as Dr. Byron Hale
Peter Gerety
as Dr. Alfred Summers
Tara Summers
as Anne Hastings
Shalita Grant
as Aurelia Johnson
Jack Falahee
as Frank Stringfellow
AnnaSophia Robb
as Alice Green
Cameron Monaghan
as Tom Fairfax
Donna Murphy
as Jane Green
Suzanne Bertish
as Hospital Matron Brannan
Wade Williams
as Silas Bullen
Luke MacFarlane
as Chaplain Hopkins
Cherry Jones
as Dorthea Dix
Anna Sophia Robb
as Alice Green
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Mercy Street: Season 1

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (9)

Despite the lovely title, used by both musician Peter Gabriel and poet Anne Sexton, the show is obvious and inauthentic as it tells the story.

January 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Excellent cast, lifeless drama.

January 14, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The first original scripted drama produced by PBS in over a decade, Mercy Street is a medical show by way of a historical drama, an American story that takes its cues from British period pieces and fills its cast with strong American actors.

July 29, 2016 | Full Review…

A drama that exults the quality of mercy in an improvised Virginia hospital during the Civil War.

February 26, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Soapy Civil War hospital drama has lots of blood, history.

February 2, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Although some aspects of the ploy may be predictable, the drama emerging from the many conflicts of the Civil War period, both ideological and physical, promise to demand attention.

January 21, 2016 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

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