If you’re not faint of heart at the sight of blood and if you don’t mind a few burly ambulance drivers fighting over your body, then I have a show for you to watch. The Knick is going to be a hit show for Cinemax because of the fine acting and script. The series is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Clive Owen as Dr. John Thackery. The action takes place in New York City and the year is 1900.
Dr. Thackery works at the Knickerbocker Hospital, but when he’s not saving patients with limited resources, he’s battling his drug addiction. Hospitals did not have a great reputation in those days and the belief was that when people entered a hospital; they died. It wasn’t for lack of care, but more the lack of sanitation and knowledge that bacteria could destroy the best surgery.
Surgery was done in amphitheaters where anyone could sit in the balcony and watch as the surgeons sliced through flesh while giving a blow by blow description on what they were doing …not very sterile. If that isn't enough to put the fear of God and germs into you, there is also a war between ambulance drivers. I kid you not! They are paid by the number of bodies they bring in to be cured. This leads to a lot of gang style fighting...imagine being the poor sucker on the stretcher.
When Thackery refuses to hire a Harvard graduate, Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland) because the man is African American, Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance) has her powerful father pull the lighting fixtures off the hospital walls. Cornelia is in charge of Social Services and she is against segregation. Thackery backs down and the fixtures are returned, but the show is packed with interesting characters including my favorite, Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) an Irish Catholic nun who smokes cigarettes and has a snappy answer for any and all idiots who cross her path. I love this nun.
The clothing, streets scenes, surgical tools, hospital setting is accurately portrayed making the viewer feel that we have just tumbles through a ripple in time and landed on the streets of ole New York…but do be careful of the horse drawn carriage coming your way…the mortality rate is high and you might not make it back home.
This is a great series and I’m giving it a four **** star rating. Watch it.