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Christmas Quacks: The making of BBC 2's 'Quacks'

When and where

15 December 2017
Royal College of Physicians of London

Past event

Christmas Quacks: The making of BBC 2's 'Quacks'

The hair-raising tale of Victorian medicine – meet the team behind the BBC's hit TV series 'Quacks' to discover how they brought the gruesome realities of Victorian medicine to the screen.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is thrilled to be hosting the makers of BBC2’s hilarious six-part series 'Quacks'. Set in 1850s London, the programme follows the lives of a group of Victorian medical pioneers, including a physician (Rupert Everett), a surgeon (Rory Kinnear), a dentist (Tom Basden), an ‘alienist’ (Mathew Baynton) and an aspiring woman doctor (Lydia Leonard).

Rest assured my lady there’s no need for examination, I can diagnose perfectly well simply through conversation.

Dr Hendrick (played by Rupert Everett) in 'Quacks'

We will be joined by creator and writer James Woods ('Rev'), producer Imogen Cooper ('Horrible Histories') and history consultant Richard Barnett (The Sick Rose) in a panel discussion chaired by RCP curator Kristin Hussey. Come and find out how the makers of the programme captured the revolutionary world of Victorian medicine while making it funny, and how the RCP’s collections inspired the show. Join us afterwards for festive mulled wine and mince pies.

How to book

Tickets cost £8 (plus Eventbrite booking fee) including mulled wine and mince pies.

The cast of BBC2's 'Quacks'

Meet the producers

James Wood is the Bafta-winning writer and creator of 'Rev', 'Ambassadors' and 'Quacks' (all for BBC2). He adapted Evelyn Waugh’s 'Decline and Fall' recently for BBC1 and also wrote 'The Gamechangers', a BBC single film about 'Grand Theft Auto' for the BBC.

Richard Barnett is a writer, teacher and broadcaster on the history of science and medicine. He studied medicine in London before becoming a historian, and has taught at Cambridge and University College London. In 2011 he received one of the first Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowships. He has made many appearances on British and American TV and radio, and is the author of six widely-praised books.

Imogen Cooper is a TV drama and comedy producer, whose credits include the BAFTA award-winning comedy 'Horrible Histories', Channel 4’s 'Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy', ITV’s 'The Job Lot', 'Yonderland' for Sky One and 'Quacks' written by James Wood for BBC2. She is currently producing the four-part drama 'Hatton Garden' for ITV, written by Jeff Pope.

'Quacks' writer and creator James Wood

The evening will be presented by Kristin Hussey, medical historian and curator of the Royal College of Physicians. She has previously worked in collections roles at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, the Francis Crick Institute and the Science Museum. She has recently completed her PhD on the history of medicine and empire in late-Victorian London.


Event Programme

6pm arrival

6.30pm panel discussion