The American Civil War has long been a focus of Hollywood. From The Birth of a Nation to 12 Years a Slave, it’s been reenacted on screen for 100 years. Now, PBS will turn its focus to the era with the new miniseries, Mercy Street, which will go inside the homes affected by the war.
Based on real events, the drama will tell the stories of those living in Alexandria, Virginia, a border town between the North and South. By the spring of 1862, the city became a melting pot of religion, ideologies, and strife filled with soldiers, civilians, medical volunteers, and runaway slaves all trying to survive.
ETonline has your exclusive first look at the series, which centers on two volunteer nurses with very different perspectives -- North abolitionist Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and naïve Southern belle Emma Green (Hannah James) -- who come together at the Mansion House, a luxury hotel turned hospital owned by the Green family.
Filling out the rest of the ensemble cast are Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) as surgeon Dr. Jedediah Foster, Gary Cole (Veep) as patriarch James Green, Sr., How to Get Away With Murder’s breakout star Jack Falahee as a Confederate spy, AnnaSophia Robb (The Carrie Diaries) as little sister Alice Green, and Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters) as the mysterious Chaplain Hopkins.
The show will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 17 after Downton Abbey at 10 p.m. on PBS.