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I am really taken aback that the only comment I see so far for this
excellent show is entirely negative and dismissive. I feel compelled to set
the record straight. The commentator dismisses the show for, among other
things, anachronistic historical inaccuracy, as well as politically correct
That is ridiculous. This was a wonderful show. The episodes were certainly not all the same. It dealt with many issues that are politically and socially relevant. It presented emotionally gripping drama, with different points of view, especially including compassionate consideration of the plight of native American people. It reminded me very much of the show Kung Fu, which is set during the same period in American history, the 1870s, and also had similar themes of pacifism, labor militancy, feminism, the plight of native Americans as well as the Chinese immigrants. (In actuality, David Carradine himself, a good friend of the Director and Seymour's husband, James Keatch (brother to Stacy Keatch, who appeared in one episode as President Ulysses Grant), appears in one of the episodes. The Keatches and the Carradines go back at least to the time when both families did the movie on the Younger-James gang.)
This show won an AWARD from the Smithosonian institution, hardly a left-wing bastion of political correctness, for its portrayal of the massacre of the Cheyenne at Washita. Its portrayal of the history of the persecution and genocide of the native Americans, by such notorious b******s as Chivington and Custer, was meticulously researched. Its show on Walt Whitman is a case in point as a study of actual attitudes, scientific as well as popular, toward homosexuality, during this period.
The show presented well the CENTRAL cultural conflict in American history, as portrayed by such authors as Leslie Fiedling (LOVE AND DEATH IN THE AMERICAN NOVEL) and Richard Slotkin (RESURRECTION THROUGH VIOLENCE): between the murderous drive to conquer nature and exterminate the "Reds," vs. those, like Dr. Quinn, Sully, and their family, who seek, then as now, to make peace with their fellow human beings and the natural environment.
The show emphasized the value of an emotionally, politically, and socially complex community, with its racial and ethnic hierarchies which Doctor Quinn continually challenged, and its emotional intimacies among men and women. Absolutely historically accurate!
Last but certainly not least, the romantic aspects of the show: the growing romance between Dr. Quinn and Byron Sully, her adopted son Matthew and first Ingrid, and then the prostitute (what was her name?), and between her daughter. Caroline, and the Doctor, Andrew, were great: as was the portrayal of Matthew's coming of age as first the non-violent sheriff of the town, and then as a budding attorney.
Please, if you have never seen this show before, do not be dissuaded by the previous commentator. Check it out-you'll be doing yourself a big favor. This is one of the best shows ever made for television!
how could anybody possibly say anything bad about Dr. Quinn at all?! its so addictive its ridiculous! i didn't even start watching it until a year and a half ago because my girlfriend used to be obsessed when she was little and she made me start watching the DVDs with her, but now I'm so obsessed with it! it was an amazing show and its a shame that people are badmouthing it. i wish it was still on. for the people who said that they were running out of diseases for her to cure that is ridiculous.. there are millions of diseases in this world, and of course they did not know about lots of them in the late 1800s but there are many episodes where the end of the episode she still does not know what is wrong with the person and cannot cure them because the disease wasn't really discovered yet. then they make a little announcement at the end of the episode stating what disease it is and if it has a cure now and what year they found it and all that. so really that claim that they ran out of ideas is ridiculous.. and really i mean one doctor for a whole town of course shes gonna have to deal with lots of different problems over and over again. and i have heard people saying it was not realistic for these people to get almost deathly ill so often, but really think about it. medicine was advanced, but no where near as advanced as it is now with vaccines and everything, we are much more sterile and all that now, so people did get sick more often then. this was over a hundred years ago! and i don't see how people can say that the native Americans were too "in touch with nature" thats what native Americans DO! they are all about nature and peace with nature, yes there were some native Americans who were violent and angry and all that and i think they did show that, they did not make them look like they were not violent at times. and also, there's no way you can say that the army coming in and stealing land and forcing native Americans into ethnic cleansing camps basically is a right thing to do and was the "founding" of our country, because the "founding" of our country was about freedom from England and religious persecution. oh and the original colleen (Erika Flores) didn't quit, she was forced out of the show by her father. thank you. the end. p.s. Dr Quinn rocks!
While I was not a faithful devotee of the series, I tuned in whenever
the opportunity presented itself and invariably enjoyed the stories
revolving around a frontier town's lady doctor. I view the program
strictly as entertainment, and missed too many episodes to comment
accurately on any social issues depicted or historical liberties taken.
However, I will note that the show does justifiably denounce racism and
tends to cast native people in a sympathetic light.
Set just after the Civil War, the series portrays the ongoing story of a lovely young Boston doctor, Michaela Quinn, who following the death of her own physician father, moves to the frontier town of Colorado Springs. There Dr. Mike sets up her medical practice, to the consternation of those upset at the novel prospect of a female physician. Byron Sully, a rugged mountain man (and friend to the Cheyanne) helps her adjust to frontier life, and naturally the pair develop a mutual attraction. She is aided by a midwife, Charlotte Cooper, who on her deathbed following a snake bike, places her three children (Colleen, Brian, and the older Matthew) in Dr. Mike's care. Thus the doctor takes upon herself the responsibility of three adopted children. Later Dr. Mike marries Sully and they have a baby of their own, little Katie, to add to their previously existing foster family.
The beautiful British actress, Jane Seymour, is radiant, appealing, and sympathetic as the frontier doctor. Dr. Quinn certainly displays an admirable strength of wit and character, tackling both a challenging career and an instant family in this rugged pioneer setting. Yet she also reveals a touching vulnerability. The chemistry is electric between her and Sully (charismatically played by actor Joe Lando) and that factor is probably responsible for much of the show's success. On the whole, it's an engaging series and when it first aired, proved from my perspective superior to much of that era's TV programming.
Despite being such a simple series, It is probably one of the best for
that reason. The 'EastEnders' of nowadays is becoming way too
stereotypical and predictable that this masterpiece of a series has a
somewhat timelessness to it. I mean, I'm a 16 year old, and I'M
ADDICTED TO IT! The acting is of a high standard and there is no part
of it I can deem as typical.
The best thing is, that if you miss a few episodes and pick it up from a random episode, it still makes sense and you still enjoy watching it. It's not like one of those series that if you miss one episode, you don't really understand what's going on in all the episodes following it. That is why this series is so viewer-friendly.
I don't know about you, but I'm considering buying the entire box-set!
People need to relax their standards a bit. No one in their right mind
expects fiction to be historically accurate at all times.
However, it must be said that, more often than not, the time line was appropriate for many of the events portrayed.
A reviewer mentioned that the pacifist ideals of Dr. Mike were highly unusual for the time. Indeed. That is why, perhaps, she (and Sully) are often the only ones who held those pacifist views, where as most of the townsfolk in the show wanted to have a hanging every chance they got. There were peace-loving people back then. Had there not been, every single Native American would be wiped out, slavery would have continued undeterred, and women would have been denied the right to vote... to name only a few examples.
As for women not going to college back then? Nonsense. It was not as common then as it is today, obviously, but it did occur. Please, do a google search on "Medical College of Pennsylvania, Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania", which opened in 1850 and was the first female medical college in the world. It does not require a huge stretch of the imagination to suppose that a graduate from such a school would have been progressive, and might have found herself practicing medicine on the American frontier.
As for the show, I love it. I found the Season 4 DVDs in my local book store, and now have seasons 1-3. I watched the show when it was brand new in the early 90's, but stopped at season 2 because my husband and I got stationed in Asia and it was unavailable there. It's been a pleasure becoming reacquainted with Dr. Mike, Sully, and all of the people of Colorado Springs.
We normally don't watch TV, as there is nothing on worth watching. It is so refreshing to be able to watch good television with my kids. I recommend this show whole-heartedly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Where do I begin with this incredible show. Bravo to to CBS and Beth
Sullivan for realizing America was more than ready for another hit
Western series, long after GUNSMOKE ended. What genius ability went
into this production. In fact, that's an understatement. From its
fascinating 3-hr premiere; not only were modern viewers captivated by a
new television western, but that it starred mini-series queen herself,
Jane Seymour, in the title role.
Though most of the pilot characters were recast; kicking off the first season; it was all in good standing. The best replacement was Henry Sanders (ROBERT E). He brought so much more fire and personality to that role. And the introduction of 'Grace', whom he would later marry, was most endearing. Then, Sullivan needed a much younger, attractive 'Jake'; understood. How quaint, her own spouse, actor Jim Knobeloch, deemed perfect!
'Sully' would become Joe Lando's signature role. No actor could have replaced him. He will always be regarded as Byron Sully. William Shockley was unforgettable as 'Hank'. How could you honestly hate the guy? Yes he could be seriously temperamental at times, but he was always honest, and those gorgeous baby blues; he sure gave Sully a run for the ladies!
This show brought the frontier life to a whole new perspective. It was kept real. Here you had a Bostonian raised, refined woman physician; trained under the masterful eye of her own physician father, endearing chance by taking a huge risk to move far away from home, to a wilderness she knew nothing about. Naturally upon her arrival, townsfolk would not take to her so keenly. A woman doctor was historically and realistically unheard of, in 1850. Obviously, a few colleges provided medical training to female physician's. However, like our 19th and 21st Amendments; they also were not taken seriously; still treated abhorrently as 'Assistant's, rather than certified doctors.
And the Native American's. Their story was vividly portrayed, not just in the Washita incident, but also during the many trials with the Federal and Union Armys. This wasn't a typical shoot-em-up-cowboys-and-indians drama. It was history - brought to life. That is also what captivated audiences.
Jessica Bowman taking over 'Colleen': Yes fans were disappointed. However, I felt Bowman brought a newer, fresh approach to the role, and adapted quite well. She eventually came through and made it her own. Besides, I seriously doubt any actual screen chemistry between (Ericka) Flores and the future 'Andrew'(Brandon) Douglass.
Larry Sellers.....was legendary as 'Cloud Dancing'. What more can one say? I know I totally fell in love with him! Ingenious idea; matching him with 'Dorothy', during S5. Their screen chemistry was undeniable. I grew even more captivated witnessing the love blossom between them.
And lest not forget, the addition of Daniel Simon; Legendary hunk - former 'Duke boy', John Schneider. Had producers decided Sully get killed off, Daniel would have been the only suitable mate choice for Mike.
Shame to CBS for prematurely canceling it. There were several areas of blame; none of which were true. And most sadly, there has never been another series quite like this, today. The writers were exceptional, the directors brought scenes to life, and Sullivan made us fall in love with ALL her characters.
Hats off to you, Ms. Sullivan, for the finest of the American frontier.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is quite possibly the best show to ever be aired on television! It has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. "Dr. Quinn" is a story about embarking on life's many adventures and finding family, friends and love along the way in people and places you never thought possible. And it's a tale about the great West and the little happenings of a small town called Colorado Springs. Dr. Mike is a strong-willed, compassionate and independent woman who dedicated her life to helping others. Jane Seymour's performance in every episode, from beginning to end, was phenomenal. Joe Lando was also excellent as the beloved Sully. I love the romance they both share with each other and how they build their family around it. They are the sexiest couple of all time and have outstanding chemistry together that's evident in every episode! Their love story is one of the greats. I most definitely have more than one favorite episode, among them would have to be when Sully proposes to Michaela, when Dr. Mike and Sully finally get married, and when little Katie is born. The show sends out such a wonderful message about always doing what's right and sticking together as a family. It's also about loss and learning how to put the pieces back together again and finding joy in the little things. Each and every character adds to the success of the show and it just wouldn't be the same without them all. You really get to know them with each passing season and they almost become like family. It is unlike any other show on television. Nothing else compares! "Dr. Quinn" will always be an all time favorite of mine, for it truly touches the heart.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of the best television shows of all time. Jane Seymour's
Michaela Quinn is quite possibly one of the most influential characters
in television history, inspiring women to stand up for what they
believe in, even when everyone else says you're wrong.
This show revolves around the lives of Dr. Michaela Quinn, one of the first female doctors in the western US during the 1860s, her husband, Byron Sully, who is an advocate for the Native Americans who are being persecuted so unjustly, and their four children. Colleen, a young woman who wants nothing more than to be a doctor like her mother, and Brian, a young boy who tries to fit in with his peers, are Michaela and Sully's adopted children. Along with their brother Matthew (legally an adult and unable to be adopted), who is searching for his purpose in life after the death of his fiancée, these children help Michaela adapt to life in the West after living in high-society Boston. Later in the series, baby Katie joins the family, and Michaela, Sully, Matthew, Colleen and Brian are drawn closer together.
Filled with an amazing cast (Orson Bean, William Shockley, Barbara Babcock, Jonelle Allen, et al), this show promotes family values while still exploring controversial issues at the time. Even scenes that would, nowadays, be explicit and graphic, are tastefully done with full respect for younger viewers.
Anyone interested in the west, the history of women, family values or just good, quality television programming would do well to check this show out. It reruns every weekday morning on the Hallmark channel at 9 am, and all seasons are available for purchase on DVD.
It's a real tragedy that this show was canceled when it was. It was almost ready to end, but not quite. If you want to see more Dr. Quinn past the episodes, there are two television movies, "Revolutions" (the better of the two) and "The Heart Within".
Well said. I absolutely love this show. It has heart without being sappy. Of course that's just my opinion but I think that people should realize that others might have different tastes and might like this show. Being negative about it doesn't really help anybody because they have to make up their own mind. As you said it's not a documentary, it's entertainment and it should be seen as only that. I agree Sully is cute but that's not the main reason I watch the show. I don't lay in bed after I watch an episode thinking: "I can't get Sully out of my head". I think about the values that came from the show, things that might make me a better person.
First off I would like to start out by saying that I just can't understand why people think this is a bad show. The most common thing I read was that this show was basically historically incorrect or fake. Do you people think the things that happened on Little House on the Prairie were real? Do you think that all TV shows and movies that are based around some historical time period have to be accurate? If that were the case TV/movies would be very boring. Besides a few episodes that gave a few actual historical facts, it never claimed to be historically correct. Why can't people just watch the show and enjoy the amazing sets, wonderful characters and interesting story lines. Do you watch every John Wayne movie and judge them by what's historically correct? I doubt it. Anyways, I personally think it was one of the best shows ever. Joe Lando is hot, Jane Seymour is beautiful and both are great actors. I loved all of the characters, even the ones I hated. Most of the story lines were sad and made you feel for each character involved, but I laughed a lot too. I watched the show religiously and then for years on reruns and now I can't wait until the DVDs get a little less expensive so I can buy them all!!
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