Mercy Street Premieres Jan. 17
PBS’ first American-produced drama in more than a decade will premiere on CET and ThinkTV16 at 9pm Sunday, Jan. 17. Mercy Street, based on real events, takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front as they face the unprecedented challenges of one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history.
Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; Mary Phinney, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and Emma Green, (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war.
“Mercy Street is a story about love, war and medicine. Thematically, it’s about how the experience of war brings out the very best and worst in our characters. It’s also about the consequences of social upheaval: the war creates unique opportunities unthinkable just a few years before. Doctors are pushing the boundaries of medical science, women are leaving the confines of the home and volunteering as nurses, and thousands of escaped slaves are getting their first taste of freedom. All of these elements come together in Alexandria’s Mansion House Hospital. It’s a dysfunctional and unpredictable world filled with conflict and passion,” Co-Producer Lisa Q Wolfinger said in a press release.
PBS Digital has created a comprehensive web experience to complement the Mercy Street broadcast. In addition to materials about the characters and the show episodes, the site focuses on the medical history presented in the series, costume design and more: http://www.pbs.org/mercy-street/home/.
PBS LearningMedia will offer a range of materials designed to bring Mercy Street into classrooms around our nation including a series of student-facing videos that will explore ties between current events topics with roots in Civil War era history, clips from Mercy Street and teacher-focused classroom support materials, such as background essays and lesson activities. Those materials are available here: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/teaching-the-civil-war/.