To promote their new series The Knick from director Steven Soderbergh, HBO/Cinemax sent us this awesome, personalized, early 20th century medical kit complete with slides, medicine bottles, forceps and a USB syringe. As far as promotional items go, this is pretty badass.
The kit also came with a preview copy of the first episode, which is set to air on August 8th at 10pm. I watched it last night, and came away impressed. Of course, that’s to be expected with Steven Soderbergh directing and Clive Owen playing the lead.
If I’m honest, this is the kind of show that you would expect on HBO, not Cinemax—which is a clear indicator that the latter is trying to move away from its “Skinemax” reputation.
Think of The Knick as ER if it was set in a period where modern medicine was in its infancy. Every major procedure is a life or death experiment and the world around the hospital is brutal, corrupt, prejudiced and riddled with disease. The show really drives the setting home with melancholy creepiness and plenty of gore.
Needless to say, I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the episodes this season. I’ve also heard that a second season has already been confirmed, which is pretty unusual for a show that hasn’t even aired yet.
Head after the break for more pics, videos and a full synopsis of the show.
New York City, 1900: The Knickerbocker Hospital is home to groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the boundaries of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. The newly appointed leader of the surgery staff is the brilliant, arrogant renegade Dr. John Thackery, whose addiction to cocaine and opium is trumped only by his ambition for medical discovery and renown among his peers.
Into the all-white staff and patient hospital comes the equally gifted Harvard graduate Dr. Algernon Edwards, who must fight for respect while trying to navigate the racially charged city.
Trying to maintain its reputation for quality care while realizing a profit, the Knickerbocker makes an effort to attract wealthy clientele, while literally struggling to keep the lights on.
Starring Clive Owen (“Children of Men,” HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn”; Oscar® nominee for “Closer”) and directed by Steven Soderbergh (“Side Effects”; Oscar® winner for “Traffic”; Emmy® winner for HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”), THE KNICK kicks off its ten- episode season FRIDAY, AUG. 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on CINEMAX, followed by other episodes debuting subsequent Fridays at the same time.
Gregory Jacobs (“Behind the Candelabra”), Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar (“Rendition”) and Clive Owen executive produce. The writing team of Jack Amiel & Michael Begler (“Raising Helen,” “Big Miracle”) writes and executive produces. Michael Polaire (“Behind the Candelabra”) produces. Steven Katz is the writer of episodes five and nine and is supervising producer. The production designer is Emmy®-winner Howard Cummings (“Behind the Candelabra”); the costume designer is Emmy®-winner Ellen Mirojnick (“Behind the Candelabra”); and the casting director is Emmy®-winner Carmen Cuba (“Behind the Candelabra”).
In addition to Owen, the ensemble cast includes Andre? Holland (“42”), Jeremy Bobb (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Juliet Rylance (“Frances Ha”), Eve Hewson (“Enough Said”), Michael Angarano (“Empire State”), Chris Sullivan (HBO’s “The Normal Heart”), Cara Seymour (“An Education”), Eric Johnson (“Rookie Blues”), David Fierro (“Birdman”), Maya Kazan (“Frances Ha”), Grainger Hines (“Lincoln”), Leon Addison Brown (“Mo’ Better Blues”) and Matt Frewer (“Max Headroom”).
ABOUT THE CHARACTERS
Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) is an arrogant, self-absorbed, yet brilliant surgeon who
burns the candle at both ends, but manages to shine in the surgical theatre.
Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre? Holland) is a gifted, Harvard-trained surgeon – the only black member of his graduating class – whose determination to be recognized for his abilities ?in the face of racial prejudice is coupled with his desire to learn everything he can from the openly dismissive Dr. Thackery.
?Herman Barrow (Jeremy Bobb) is an obsequious and deceptively greedy hospital administrator who robs Peter to pay Paul in order to keep the Knickerbocker, and himself, afloat.
Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance) not only serves as head of the hospital’s social welfare office, but also chairs the hospital’s board of trustees as proxy for her father, shipping tycoon Captain August Robertson (Grainger Hines).
Lucy Elkins (Eve Hewson) is a nai?ve young nurse from West Virginia who has come to New York for adventure, and finds more than she ever imagined at the Knick.
Dr. Bertram “Bertie” Chickering, Jr. (Michael Angarano) is an eager surgeon-in-training who comes to the Knick for the romance and excitement of learning from a groundbreaking surgeon.
Tom Cleary (Chris Sullivan) is the crude, jovial Irish ambulance driver who gets kickbacks for funneling rich patients to the Knick and takes great delight in harassing those who stand in his path.
Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) is an Irish Catholic nun who runs the orphanage affiliated with the Knick. Her equanimity masks a secret life that will come to haunt her.
Dr. Everett Gallinger (Eric Johnson) is an aspiring surgeon on Thackery’s staff whose hopes of being named assistant chief surgeon are dashed when an outsider is appointed to the position.
Jacob Speight (David Fierro) is a health department inspector who exploits the perks of his position, demanding a finder’s fee for every patient he brings to the Knick.
Eleanor Gallinger (Maya Kazan), a new mother and Everett Gallinger’s devoted wife, is eager to see her husband succeed at the Knick.
Dr. J.M. Christiansen (Matt Frewer) is the Knick’s dedicated chief of surgery, for whom failure is not an option.
New York circa 1900 was recreated in and around Brooklyn and in downtown Manhattan by production designer Howard Cummings. Interiors for the Knickerbocker Hospital, along with additional sets, were filmed at the Cine Magic East River Studio soundstages. The period wardrobe for the cast and the extras was created by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.