Masterpiece "Mercy Street"

Sundays, January 17 at 10pm

Based on real events, MERCY STREET takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front as they face the unprecedented challenges of one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history.

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, MERCY STREET follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; Mary Phinney, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and Emma Green, (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled with civilians, female volunteers, doctors, soldiers including wounded soldiers from both sides, free blacks, enslaved and contraband (escaped slaves living behind Union lines) African Americans, prostitutes, speculators and spies.

The intersection of North and South within the confines of a small occupied town creates a rich world that is chaotic, conflicted, corrupt, dynamic and even hopeful — a cauldron within which these characters strive, fight, love, laugh, betray, sacrifice and, at times, act like villains. This 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.

Based on both historical and composite characters, MERCY STREET combines real and dramatized places and events as backdrops for an absorbing array of colliding storylines. A pair of nurses from opposite backgrounds and political persuasions opens a window into a world where the unprecedented medical demands create a chaotic atmosphere and challenge doctors, nurses and patients in unimaginable ways, while the pressures of Union occupation threaten to tear apart a proud Confederate family