Radnor plays Dr. Jedediah Foster, a surgeon in an army hospital. “He has a bit of sterotypical surgeon’s coldness, perhaps. No offense to any surgeons out there,” Radnor says in the preview. “I think the war humanizes him and softens him up a bit.”
Winstead plays Mary Phinney, a nurse from Boston who lost her husband. “She is recently widowed and she’s basically looking to be of use somewhere,” Winstead says. “She really wants to join a cause and be helpful. She arrives and it is something other than what she expected.”
Foster and Phinney initially rub each other the wrong way, but eventually come to respect one another and develop a chemistry.
“Mercy Street” focuses on two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War — New England abolitionist Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green, whose family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, has been converted into the Mansion House Union Army hospital.
Filmed on location in Virginia, the show will be the first American drama to air on PBS in more than a decade. The series will join the final season of “Downton Abbey” on “Masterpiece.”
“Mercy Street” debuts on Jan. 17, 2016.