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In Victorian London four pioneers, friends, and rivals fighting to make a mark on the world and save lives.
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Series cast summary:
Rory Kinnear ...  Robert 6 episodes, 2017
Tom Basden ...  John 6 episodes, 2017
Mathew Baynton ...  William 6 episodes, 2017
Lydia Leonard ...  Caroline 6 episodes, 2017
Ed Gaughan Ed Gaughan ...  Peters 4 episodes, 2017
Geoffrey McGivern Geoffrey McGivern ...  Landlord 4 episodes, 2017
Rupert Everett ...  Dr. Hendrick 3 episodes, 2017
Lisa Jackson Lisa Jackson ...  Mina 3 episodes, 2017
Osi Okerafor ...  Butterworth 2 episodes, 2017
Andy Linden Andy Linden ...  Fitz The Guard 2 episodes, 2017
Fenella Woolgar ...  Lady Campbell 2 episodes, 2017
Selina Griffiths Selina Griffiths ...  Matron 2 episodes, 2017
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ...  Bishop of Lambeth 2 episodes, 2017
Rebecca Gethings ...  Estelle Rogers / ... 2 episodes, 2017
Miranda Hennessy ...  Nicola / ... 2 episodes, 2017
Sarah Hoare ...  Sarah / ... 2 episodes, 2017
Robin Hooper ...  Mr. Bradbury 2 episodes, 2017
Dominique Moore ...  Rosie 2 episodes, 2017
Milly Thomas ...  Florence Nightingale 2 episodes, 2017
Marcia Warren Marcia Warren ...  Mrs. Agar 2 episodes, 2017
Ben Willbond ...  Patrice Dupont 2 episodes, 2017


In Victorian London four pioneers, friends, and rivals fighting to make a mark on the world and save lives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

15 August 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Шарлатаны See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lucky Giant See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Throughout the series there are repeated references to Robert Lessing's experience aboard the Medusa which contributed to his 'affliction' and his corresponding refusal to discuss his trauma. It seems likely, although with some historical complication, that this might be a reference to the wreckage of the Medusa (Méduse), a vessel that struck the Bank of Arguin and inspired the painting 'Raft of the Medusa' by Théodore Géricault. The evacuating passengers of the vessel were lost in a panic; many drowned, some rebelling drunkards were shot by officers, and the rest were forced into cannibalism in order to survive. If Lessing survived his experience adrift of the Medusa, the implication is that he must have engaged in cannibalism. See more »

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User Reviews

Should have been a classic.
30 August 2017 | by glennhydeSee all my reviews

When I saw the first episode of Quacks I was electrified. At long last, we had Blackadder-standard TV again! The three main cast members were striving to advance medical science, took themselves extremely seriously and were totally incompetent – a good starting point for comedy. I can't include the one leading female character in this as she was obviously the only one with a brain. Set in the mid-1800s, a lot of the gags were to do with how bad things were in those days, in this case the severely unequal society and scientific knowledge & medicine in general. So cheap laughs and grotesque characters were gloriously abundant (to our shame, we all like to giggle at how ignorant and silly people used to be – oh well, laugh while you can, I suppose). There were several occasions when laughter just shot out of me quite involuntarily. One scene involved the revolutionary use of ether to render a patient unconscious during an operation. In his vanity, Rory Kinnear's Lessing, 'England's finest surgeon', briefly stops his unhygienic hacking to smoke a cigarette with a fine artistic flourish. Unfortunately, a careless match sets the ether alight causing panic and pandemonium. Sick humour? No, to me, grown-up and hilarious. The next two episodes were also gloriously farcical – I was hooked. Then something strange happened. It was as though the writer (plus producers? The BBC?) ran out of confidence, time, ideas, creativity or essential push to move it on. Despite the cast's best efforts, it actually became bland. It was as though the series arrived at a crossroads. A signpost pointing one way said 'Satirical, difficult and funny'. The sign pointing the other way said, 'Sort of soap opera and easy'. The remaining episodes took the latter route. A Very Great Shame.

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