Watch Quacks trailer as this new BBC historical sitcom may become a British comedy classic

Watch Quacks trailer as this new BBC historical sitcom may become a British comedy classic

Quacks is a new BBC Two TV series the likes of which you have probably not seen since the brilliant Blackadder.


Because Quacks is an historical sitcom that follows four doctors in the England of the 1840s, and shows us all the gruesome and nasty stuff so-called ‘doctors’ in that day and age used to get up to. After all, medicine was more about experimentation than it was about curing patients, and about trying any method you liked if you thought it might work.

Methods that did more to increase the death toll of the era than to bring much healing, and methods that were so meticulously researched by the writer of Quacks before being written into the storyline, they are historically accurate to the umpteenth degree.

Quacks was written by BAFTA winner James Wood (Rev), and stars Rory Kinnear as Robert Lessing, a surgeon who loves to show off to the women in his operating theater audience while he is amputating a patient’s leg. Because, yes, being a specialist in this era is like performing on stage at a theater and Robert’s surgery itself is the play.

Tom Basden plays John Sutton, half-dentist, half-anaesthetist, who invents his own brews to knock people out. The problem is, many of them don’t ever wake up again.

Mathew Baynton is William Agar, a psychiatrist who is in love with Roberts’ wife Caroline (Lydia Leonard). She wants to be a doctor, something that was just about unheard of then, but Lydia she is clever, aggressive, quick to anger and…determined.

Finally, there is Rupert Everett as Dr. Hendrick — the anti-Semitic head of St. Frederick’s Hospital London who doesn’t believe it is ever necessary to examine a patient to find out what is wrong with them. Hendrick is also rich, arrogant and hates everyone — patients and women most of all.

Watch the Quacks trailer below. Because this BBC TV series looks like it could just become another British comedy classic.

Michelle Topham

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