Drama Mercy Street

Josh rad­nor on star­ring as a sur­geon fight­ing to save lives in a thrilling amer­i­can civil War drama

TV Times - - My TV Times Week - richard Mcclure

Mercy Street sun­day / drama / 8.00pm

Down­ton Abbey meets Ca­su­alty in lav­ish new US pe­riod drama Mercy Street.

In­spired by real peo­ple and events, the six-part se­ries, screen­ing on Drama, is set in Alexan­dria, Virginia, in 1862 at the height of the Amer­i­can Civil War, with the South­ern town oc­cu­pied by Union forces from the North.

It stars Josh Rad­nor as top army sur­geon Jed Foster. He works with new medic Mary Phin­ney (Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead) and English nurse Anne Hast­ings (Tara Sum­mers) – who served with pioneer Florence Nightin­gale in the Crimean War – at a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal for in­jured troops from both sides of the con­flict.

Here Josh, 42, tells TV Times what to ex­pect…

why does Jed clash with Mary when she ar­rives as a vol­un­teer at the hos­pi­tal? Mary thinks the hos­pi­tal should treat rebel sol­diers only af­ter it has tended to all the Union men. Jed feels that the hos­pi­tal should treat ev­ery­one equally. As he says, ‘Blood is not grey or blue’. He be­lieves there is only one kind of pa­tient – a sick pa­tient.

what drives Jed? He feels that he’s on the brink of break­throughs, as though he can smell a med­i­cal revo­lu­tion com­ing and he wants to be at the fore­front of it. He has a sur­geon’s cold­ness, but there is this warmth that starts to come through. I think the war hu­man­ises him.

what did you find out from your re­search for the role? That it was laugh­ably easy to be­come a doc­tor in those times – you just needed to lis­ten to a few lec­tures. A big thing back then was medics not wash­ing their hands. Some­thing like three­quar­ters of Civil War deaths were caused by dis­ease and in­fec­tion.

what were the am­pu­ta­tion scenes like to film? We had a great girl in make-up who’s an ex­pert at mak­ing dis­gust­ing things like gan­grene. I’m usu­ally in­cred­i­bly squea­mish, but for some rea­son I wasn’t dur­ing film­ing. I kept telling my­self that the blood wasn’t real, and that the pa­tient’s ac­tual leg was hid­den un­der the ta­ble.

MERCY Street is pre­viewed on pages 40-41

What’s up, doc?

Josh rad­nor and mary el­iz­a­beth Win­stead as Jed and mary

Good lis­tener: doc­tor Foster treats a pa­tient

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.