As Alexandria prepares for the national spotlight, we are bringing you a sneak peek, including a first look at the full premiere, of PBS’ first American drama in nearly a decade—‘Mercy Street’. By now, you’ve probably heard local and national buzz about the medical drama, inspired by true stories of Civil War Alexandria, Virginia. Whether you already have your DVR set to record the PBS premiere this Sunday January 17th, 2016, after Downton Abbey, or are wondering “What is this all about?” this blog post will tell you everything you need to know to get excited for the show. Get an early glimpse of Mercy Street with this 30 second preview from PBS and a link to the FULL first episode available online NOW.
Recognize any famous faces in this preview clip? Mercy Street stars Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother”), Gary Cole (“Veep”, “Entourage”), Norbert Leo Butz (“Bloodline”), Tara Summers (“You’re the Worst”, “Boston Legal”), Anna Sophia Robb (“The Carrie Diaries”, Soul Surfer) and more. The series is produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Blade Runner), David W. Zucker (“The Good Wife”), Lisa Q. Wolfinger (“Desperate Crossing, The untold story of the Mayflower”), and David Zabel (“ER”).
What is Mercy Street About?
As PBS says, Mercy Street “takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front.” Set in Alexandria in 1862, the show centers around two volunteer nurses, each one on opposite sides of the turbulent conflict. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Spectacular Now) stars as Mary Phinney, a staunch New England abolitionist, while local Virginian Hannah James plays Emma Green, a naïve Confederate belle. The conflict collides at the Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel, which was transformed into a Union Army Hospital during the Civil War. Does the Green family name sound familiar to you? It should—they once called Alexandria’s Carlyle House home. For more, check out this behind-the-scenes look at Alexandria’s Green Family-inspired story line from PBS:
Alexandria in Mercy Street
Inspired by true stories, Mercy Street is a show that could only be set in Alexandria, Virginia. During the Civil War, Alexandria was a border town between North and South, and was the longest Union-occupied city of the war. Producers researched Civil War Alexandria for over two years and worked with local organizations, museums and beyond to create an authentic historical context for Mercy Street. According to PBS, the series “is not about battles and glory, it’s about the drama and unexpected humor of everyday life behind the front lines. It’s a fresh twist on an iconic story, one that resonates with larger themes we still struggle with today.”
Mercy Street Inspired Experiences in Alexandria
Today, visitors can explore the stories of Mercy Street at many of Alexandria’s historic sites. These visitor experiences uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African Americans claiming their freedom. More than two dozen new tours, exhibits and events will launch in 2016.
Credit: Courtesy of Antony Platt/PBS. MERCY STREET Premieres Sunday, January 17 on PBS
See for yourself why Mercy Street has the internet buzzing, with this clip from PBS:
Mercy Street premieres on January 17th, 2016 after Downton Abbey on PBS. Stay tuned for more exclusive Mercy Street inspired blog posts with Extra Alex. Learn more about Alexandria’s Mercy Street inspired experiences here. Watch more Mercy Street videos on PBS’ website.
Can’t wait to watch? CLICK HERE to watch the digital premiere of PBS’ Mercy Street available online NOW