Mercy me! PBS Distribution is leading fans of great TV to Mercy Street: Season 2, available on Blu-ray and DVD (and as a valentine) on February 14. The program will also be available for digital download.
What a small-screen saga! The critically-acclaimed Civil War-era drama takes place in the occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, where allegiances blur, loyalties shift and the drama intensifies as the scope of the war pushes beyond Mansion House, the former hotel commandeered by northern troops to serve as a Union hospital.
The series follows the doctors, nurses and soldiers, as well as free, enslaved and contraband African Americans and other residents of the war-torn city, as they navigate the new world emerging from the most cataclysmic event in our country’s history.
Just how hot is the series? The first season of Mercy Street, that premiered in January 2016, reached a total audience of 14 million people. It is the second highest rated drama for the year to date on PBS, after Downton Abbey.
The second season picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the first season finale, continuing to explore life in the chaotic city of Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing world of the burgeoning black population. The second season will introduce a number of new elements, taking the viewer closer to the war and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.
The new season also delves deeper into the lives of newly freed African Americans, exploring–among other areas–life in a contraband camp, where formerly enslaved African Americans are forced to confront horrific living conditions and disease, but also get a glimpse of freedom.
New actors and guest stars introduced in Mercy Street: Season 2 include:
· Patina Miller as Charlotte Jenkins, an educated contraband abolitionist activist who arrives in the first episode. A former slave who escaped to freedom years before through the Underground Railroad, Charlotte (a composite of numerous historical figures, most prominently Harriet Jacobs) offers education to other former slaves and helps with the sick who have contracted smallpox, which was epidemic during the Civil War.
· Brian F. O’Byrne as Allan Pinkerton, head of the Union Intelligence Service. The character is based on the real Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish emigrant and abolitionist who founded America’s first detective agency and successfully brought down some of the country’s most ruthless criminals.
·Bryce Pinkham as Major Clayton McBurney III, the new hospital chief.
· Lyne Renee as Lisette Beaufort, a stylish and bold Parisian who has a past with Dr. Foster and creates a stir in the hospital when she accepts a commission with the Union Army in medical visual documentation.
·Chris Wood as Captain Lance Van Der Berg, a handsome young Union captain lodging at the Green home when he strikes up a budding romance with Alice Green, who has ulterior motives for the courtship.
· William Mark McCullough as Larkin, a Confederate sympathizer in league with Jimmy Green, who helps formulate a plan to provide rebel fighters with munitions.
· Nyambi Nyambi as Caleb, a contraband who arrives at Mansion House Hospital searching for a particular woman.