Mercy Street: Season 1 (2016)

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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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Episodes

1
Air date: Jan 17, 2016
2
Air date: Jan 24, 2016
3
Air date: Jan 31, 2016
4
Air date: Feb 7, 2016
5
Air date: Feb 14, 2016
6
Air date: Feb 21, 2016

Mercy Street: Season 1 Photos

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.

Cast

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
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
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News & Interviews for Mercy Street: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Mercy Street Season 1

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (12)

Hopefully timing and word of mouth will turn the series into a deserving contender in a Sunday television landscape packed with viable options.

Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Well-meaning but oh so somber, Mercy Street is a rare, born-in-the USA drama for a network that has relied on the British for almost everything in this genre.

Jun 12, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

Jan 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Excellent cast, lifeless drama.

Jan 14, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The blood and tragedy don't feel gratuitous, but rather honest portrayals of a turbulent time in American history based on true events in Alexandria, Va. starting in 1861.

Nov 15, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

Jul 29, 2016 | Full Review…

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

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

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

Feb 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.

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

Mercy Street milks ample drama from the terrifying prospect of facing even the most minor of procedures in an era in which anesthesia was considered unnecessary and the most scientific testing involved sniffing.

Jan 19, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mercy Street: Season 1

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