The Knick

The first episode of the ten-part premium TV series, The Knick, is aired nationally tonight, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen as Dr. Thackery. It is a medical drama set in Manhattan in 1900. Considering a second series is already in production before the first has been aired, it promises to be a blockbuster like Mad Men. Don’t be put off by the salacious start (which used to be associated with Cinemax) and be prepared for gore and violence, but this is a fascinating story of a surgeon’s life and work from not so long ago, but a very long time in the history of medicine.

A brilliant technician in the O.R., Dr. Thackery is not a sympathetic character-haughty, prejudiced, and a cocaine-opium addict. But he is fictional. For his real-life counterpart, read Robert Morris’s own words. He was a pioneer surgeon of those times in NYC, but also a compassionate and well-rounded person whom we celebrated in A Surgeon’s Story (see side-bar).

About Roger Gosden

British-born scientist specializing in human and animal reproduction & embryology. Academic career spanned from Cambridge and Edinburgh to McGill and Cornell's Weill Medical College in Manhattan where he was Professor & Research Director. Married to Lucinda Veeck Gosden, embryologist for the first successful IVF team in America, he retired early to Williamsburg, Virginia, to write and to recover from 'nature deficit disorder'
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