Quacks. Image shows from L to R: Dr. Hendrick (Rupert Everett), Robert (Rory Kinnear), Caroline (Lydia Leonard), William (Mathew Baynton), John (Tom Basden). Copyright: Lucky Giant.


BBC Two sitcom about three medical pioneers. 6 episodes (1 series) in 2017. Stars Rory Kinnear, Mathew Baynton, Tom Basden, Lydia Leonard and others.

Quacks. Image shows from L to R: Robert (Rory Kinnear), Unknown, Duke of Bedford (Nicholas Blane), Unknown, John (Tom Basden). Copyright: Lucky Giant.

Series 1, Episode 1 - First. The Duke's Tracheotomy

Robert prepares for a cutting-edge operation on a member of the nobility.

Further details

Robert is a domineering, showman surgeon - a rockstar of his age - who's almost as brilliant as he thinks he is, who can pack out an operating theatre and take off a leg in 92 seconds.

But after botching an amputation, Robert comes under scrutiny from the Royal Physician, Dr Hendrick. So John - a drug-addled dentist who's trying to create the world's first anaesthetic - convinces Robert to use potentially lethal ether in a prestigious and pioneering operation.

Meanwhile, Caroline (Robert's headstrong wife), finds herself frustrated with her lot as a housewife and seeks help from Robert's friend William - a kind but anxious alienist (an early psychiatrist) who understands her better than her own husband does.

He wants to help her with phrenology treatment, but that involves touching her on an intimate area - her head. The lines are blurred when it becomes clear Caroline wants more than just psychiatry from William, and he finds himself torn between being a friend to Robert and a doctor to Caroline.

Broadcast details

Tuesday 15th August 2017
30 minutes


    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    Rory Kinnear Robert
    Mathew Baynton William
    Tom Basden John
    Lydia Leonard Caroline
    Rupert Everett Dr. Hendrick
    Geoffrey McGivern Landlord
    Ed Gaughan Peters
    Guest cast
    Maggie Service Sally
    Amy Marston Laura
    Tom Godwin Mr Smiles
    Victoria Alcock Annie
    Osi Okerafor Butterworth
    Andy Linden Fitz
    Adam Ewan Tom
    Georgia Brown Maggie
    Bekka Bowling Becky
    Georgie Glen Mrs Pope
    Selina Griffiths Matron
    Nicholas Blane Duke of Bedford
    Writing team
    James Wood Writer
    Production team
    Andy de Emmony Director
    Mark Taylor 1st Assistant Director
    Imogen Cooper Producer
    Justin Davies Executive Producer
    James Wood Executive Producer
    Rachel Hillman Executive Producer
    Ben Worsfield Co-producer
    Billy Sneddon Editor
    Lucy Spink Production Designer
    Rachel Freck Casting Director
    Richard Cooke Costume Designer
    Niamh Morrison Make-up Designer
    Ian Arber Composer
    John Pardue Director of Photography


    A record breaking amputation

    Robert is a surgeon in Victorian London - an era when surgeons were the rockstars of their day.

    Featuring: Rory Kinnear (Robert), Ed Gaughan (Peters), Maggie Service (Sally), Tom Godwin (Mr Smiles).


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