The year is 1900 and the setting New York City. Oscar winner Stephen Soderbergh is the man behind the lens in this HBO television series about the people working at the Knickerbocker hospital in the Big Apple. Yes, it is another hospital drama but the fact that it is also a period piece makes it very different from your typical one.
The Knickerbocker hospital is undergoing some hard financial times and that pressure is being felt by the people who work there. Those that work there are trying to keep the hospital afloat. After the suicide of its chief surgeon (played in flashbacks by Matt Frewer) the only really talented man is Dr. John Thackery (played by Clive Owen). He is brilliant and driven though his addiction to cocaine makes his behaviour erratic. He is not the only one feeling the pressure as most of the people working there like Dr. Algernon Edwards (played by André Holland), Mr. Barrow (played by Jeremy Bobb), Cornelia Robertson (played by Juliet Rylance), Nurse Elkins (played by Eve Hewson) and Sister Harriet (played by Cara Seymour) also feel the effects.
Not only do you get to see what conditions were like in hospitals at the beginning of the 20th century in the United States, you also get a window into the major issues of the time. Poverty, disease, racism, the influx of immigrants and class distinctions play a major role in the show. Clive Owen is the central figure but the cast around him also distinguishes themselves. The characters are all different and some you will hate, some you will love while others you won’t be too sure of.