Quacks (TV Series 2017–2018) - Quacks (TV Series 2017–2018) - User Reviews - IMDb
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Rub a potato on the affected area...
thespookybuz3 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Well, this new BBC comedy may polarise viewers. Some will be disappointed that it isn't 'cutting edge' enough, some will wonder what is actually happening, some will not like it at all. Here's my view...

Our four main characters are all medical pioneers of sorts in a Victorian-esque England. There's the surgeon, who seems to be more interested in the glory and applause after successfully completing a live surgery than he is in medical advancement. There's our dentist, who is more interested in discovering new ways to 'anesthetise' both his patients and himself. Our psychiatrist is genuinely interested in further exploring the link between mental illness and old wives' tales. Last we have the surgeon's wife, the most sensible, intelligent, balanced one among them.

I found the humour here to be just my bag. Deadpan delivery one minute, laugh out loud the next, the writing and acting on show was refreshing and original. The four lead characters really gel, and the supporting cast are without weakness.

The medical procedures on show offer both an additional source of humour, but also their barbaric, unsophisticated nature makes you think of life under the knife in this period of not-too-distant history.

I really enjoyed all six episodes. If you're not having fun after episode 2 or 3, maybe it isn't for you. I thought the performances were superb and the set designs really captured the atmosphere.

If you want to literally have a laugh, stick with this and enjoy a real dose of original comedy. However, if you're unfortunate enough to have a hernia or aneurysm, I'd advise to look elsewhere for treatment!
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"Let's go round to yours and do some drugs"Charles Dickens.
ianlouisiana23 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
When you hear dialogue like this from the lips of arguably England's greatest novelist it's plain you're in the company of writers whose effrontery is at near genius level. Dickens is shown as a man whose huge ego feeds voraciously on praise and totally ignores indifference towards his work,or worse,ignorance of it. There is no discernible plot to "Quacks,it merely being a series of anarchic and somewhat surreal incidents.For instance,Florence Nightingale has a stolen bracelet planted in her medical bag by a jealous surgeon and is forced to agree to an illicit tryst in order to "make it all go away". Doctors refuse to clean their instruments,there is competition to see who can saw off a lower limb the quickest,they self - medicate with all manner of narcotics and one of them,an alienist, seems indistinguishable from his patients. We are a long way in every sense from "Holby City" here. The cast seems to be having nearly as much fun as I did and camp is kept at a respectable level. It's late - night comedy with all of its virtues and none of its vices. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Got through this in one-sitting. Super addictive sitcom
paulmcuomo1 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Quacks is a fantastic new sitcom from writer/director James Woods, and follows four doctors in Victorian times: Robert played by Rory Kinnear, a Surgeon, John played by Tom Basden, a dentist, William played by Matthew Baynton, a behaviourist/"alienist" as called by Robert, and Caroline played by Lydia Leonard, Robert's wife who has medical knowledge far beyond her time. Whilst there is a through-line of plot, the series more operates like sitcoms of the 80's and 90's where they were heavily episodic.

The best thing about the show is the way in which it creates a very realistic setting in which these characters can operate in. What I mean by this is that it embraces the fact that the show is set about doctors in Victorian times, and that the morality rate was very high especially in hospitals. It makes it clear that these doctor's don't save everyone - just more than most. This is quite a good high-jinx, and each episode does create a premise in which all characters are pulled together in a very farcical way, which some tremendous lines read with laser accuracy by some of the best comedy ensembles in recent memory.

Seriously, this cast is the backbone of the whole show. All of them are standouts. Rory Kinnear is a great comedic lead, who's Robert is so openly showboating, arrogant, conniving and misogynistic, but is also so brilliantly droll at the same time you can't help but find him someone to root for against even the likes of Florence Nightingale. His wife, Caroline, is great because of what she represents - an annoyed, impatient housewife who is unlucky to be born a woman at the time she was; but what's even better about her is asides from her curiosity and intelligence, is that she does still love her husband, and over the course of the series, he comes to depend on her more and more for intellectual and moral support, and Leonard is cracking at it. William, as played by Baynton, is mostly the straight man of the group - ironic given that he is the only one NOT dealing in medical fields, and he gives some great reactions to some of the insane bs that happens, particularly in Episode 4 where he is the subject of a Medical dilemma. Lastly, as John, Tom Basden is very much the unlucky character of the show - everyone around him dies, and the romance he kindles in Episode 5 is finish under sad circumstances - I hope they bring her back in the near future - and he gets humour from a lot of his exacerbations with his situations. All in all, this is such a connected cast, it really helps.

It also helps that you have established actors such Andrew Scott who appears once off as Charles Dickens, Fenella Woolgar as Elizabeth Campbell and Rupert Everett as the head of the hospital Robert and John work at, combined with performances from new actors such as Millie Thomas and Miranda Hennessey who in each Episode they're in nail it completely, especially with the solid writing that transcends the sitcom format it has, makes me really, really, REALLY hope for a second show.

The whole program is available now on BBC IPlayer - give it a go, the whole show will take 3 hours.
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Chuckle, Laugh - Hysterical
pete-mcginness9313 September 2017
Best seen back to back as there are threads that carry through. Don't mean to be unkind to those not cogent of the medical, surgical, pharmacy or dentistry references but there's clearly been some research and the result is a side-splitter at times. Eloquent side references to medical/surgical ethics but on the whole BEST satirical and comedic one liners since Blackadder.
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Fresh comedy or a Victorian immorality tale
Fudge-327 May 2018
A dentist, a surgeon and a physiatrist meet in a pub. It's the beginning of a joke. Victorian morals and a few patients are dissected for our amusement. My favourite was episode three, with the cross-dressing and mistaken identities but then I like daft humour.

Some of the attitudes and morals of early Victorian England have got turned around in the intervening century or so. What they were relaxed about (drugs, the value of life) and what they were up-tight about (sex, gender roles) now seem laughable or obscene today. This show throws all that into the air - blood and all - pokes fun at it and leaves us wondering if they're actually trying to make a serious point.

I enjoyed it so much I got the DVD but by the time episode one was over the rest of the family had puzzled faces or had left the room. I could only say, 'Well... I liked it.'

So why might you not like it? The elders in my tribe didn't like the casual drugs references. And then there is the gore that I think the producers put in just to make us all squirm. It's mostly off camera but still not for the feint hearted.
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Brilliant Comedy, Up there with Upstart Crow!
hammondjh-004795 April 2018
This is brilliant British comedy at its finest. Okay, the language gets a bit fruity but I haven't laughed at a post 2000 tv comedy for ages. I hope we will be seeing more of these four "quacks" along with their usual characters
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serves the history in hysterically funny way.
mohitdoc26 December 2017
If u wanna enjoy humour which is simultaneously intellectual too, go for it.
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Should have been a classic.
glennhyde30 August 2017
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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Witty, funny, well writen
info-1836915 August 2018
Well researched, performed, directed, and edited too. This is the sort of fun, intelligent program that the BBC was once known for.

We thoroughly enjoyed the series and sincerely hope there will be another season.
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Loved it
mighty-maddox3 September 2019
Enjoyed the humour and the acting very much! Such a shame it was cancelled.
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Underrated Gem!
WatchAndSmile8 October 2020
Can't believe there wasn't like 10 seasons of this. Hurts me when dumb tv shows that are copies of each other get renewed and this one died after 1 seasons. Brilliantly written and played. This is 10/10. Very funny and interesting!
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So funny
katiemccloskey-6181811 September 2020
Just watched on Britbox and honestly, this is so good. I was gutted to realise there was only one series 😭
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British humour at it's best!
suepalmer195724 August 2018
This is a beautifully observed work by talented writers with a pithy, warm and gritty slant at the life of four unique characters. I sincerely hope there is more to come. The first series is just the beginning - I hope!
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Wanted more!
beverleyhunniford17 January 2021
I stumbled across this one by accident, loved it. The biggest disappointment maws that there wasn't more.
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Very, very funny
taylorjan-6396217 August 2018
I love this and it's currently being repeated on BBC (for once I'm not complaining about repeats). Matthew Baynton is just brilliant. He just has to move his eyes to express a comical gesture. I loved him in Horrible Histories (check out his Charles Dickens/Morrisey). I love the actress playing Caroline too. Such a natural. The writing is great with loads of laugh out loud moments. It looks good, has a great script, great cast. Hope there's another series
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Lost in limbo
jamestkirk-2992820 July 2018
If you want history, you'd watch a documentary. If you want period drama, you'd watch Downton Abbey or something similar. If you want comedy, you'd watch....well something that makes you laugh. This show has a crisis of identity because it wants to please us on 'a number of levels' and ends up becoming a rather feeble mish-mash of different genres. Quacks centres around three medical pals, one a shwoman butcher surgeon performing his crude procedures to a baying audience, his sidekick dentist who discovers anaesthetics and an 'alienist' , the pre-Freudian psychologist. Within this format, there is room for satire, dramatic action, slapstick and historical observations and it moves with pace and verve. I found the production values rather impressive. the acting quite good and characters fairly vivid. But watch out for that 'rather', 'quite' and 'fairly' because it's telling you a lot about the strength of vision behind this show. Neither committed to an exposition of Victorian pioneer healthcare nor a script that delivers necessary drama or the expectant hilarity, Quacks stands as a promising premise that has lost its way in development. It represents a trend in TV production for series that have humour but aren't funny, tell us something but don't really inform and create characters are just about sympathetic enough to carry off the undemanding plot requirements. The result is interesting, it might hold your attention for while and deliver a genuine laugh in that time (mine arrived after about 20 minutes) but ultimately leaves you in a kind of puzzled limbo. That laugh? It was a good one though. After proclaiming the new therapeutic tool of talking to mentally disturbed patients instead of hitting them on the head as the more enlightened way forward, our alienist found himself screaming to the jailer to hit the patient that was throttling him after he tried to read him poetry. Pythonesque? Learn from the masters the rules of satire if that's what you want to do but for goodness sake make up your mind what it is you want to do - and stick to it.
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