Emmy-Award winning actress, Jane Seymour stars as Dr. Michaela Quinn in this family-friendly drama that takes place on the American frontier just after the Civil War.
When the growing town of Colorado Springs awaited the arrival of a new doctor, Mike Quinn, coming all the way from Boston to set up a practice in their “Wild West” locale, the last thing they expected to see stepping off the stagecoach was a woman. While women studying medicine was not unheard of in the 1860s, it also wasn’t common, and becoming a doctor, though a major accomplishment, being accepted and respected in an all-male community was another. So Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn leaves her wealthy northeast, urban family and heads to the unknown to hang up her shingle. Can a refined, educated single woman, on her own, survive on the rough and dangerous frontier?
With her education, sophistication and more liberal values, Dr. Quinn seems to step into the past as she sometimes clashes with the comparatively crude and staid outlook of Colorado Springs. Over the course of the series, storylines explore many issues still being discussed in present day, from discrimination to fighting disease to preserving the environment.
Dr. Michaela Quinn
Strong-willed, independent and intelligent, Dr. Quinn gets her smarts and love of medicine from her father, a renowned physician, who named her Michaela because he was hoping for a boy. The nickname, “Mike,” stuck and Michaela grew up to be as self-confident, self-reliant and determined as any man of her era. Though she has an uphill battle getting the town to accept a woman doctor, she approaches her task with heart as well as skill. She befriends and later falls in love with Byron Sully, a rugged mountain man, who is a friend to the Cheyenne and who often practices their ways. When her midwife assistant, Charlotte, dies, Dr. Mike adopts her children.
Sully had a rough young life. Born in transit, on a ship, between England and America, he later lost both parents, his farmer father to a heart attack, and his mother to drowning. He was an orphan at just ten years old. Eventually, he made his way west and settled in Colorado Springs, where he married Abigail. But tragedy was not through with Sully. His wife died during childbirth, and the baby, as well. In a deep depression, he took to the mountains, living the life of a loner. He became friends with the Cheyenne, gaining their trust, learning their skills and traditions. When Dr. Mike comes to town, something reawakens in Sully, and slowly he begins to emerge from his solitude. He has a purpose again. Their friendship grows and over time, it blossoms into love.
Matthew, Colleen and Brian Cooper
Dr. Mike adopts the Cooper children and raises them with compassion and love. At first, Matthew resisted Michaela’s role as his adoptive parent, but eventually comes around. Later, in life, he becomes the town sheriff, then an attorney. Though devastated by her mother’s death, Colleen accepts Dr. Mike almost immediately, becoming her shadow at the clinic. As an adult, she follows in Michaela’s footsteps, attending medical school. Brian is the youngest of the Cooper children. He is the first call Dr. Mike “Ma.” More the creative and intuitive type, he studies the Cheyenne culture and takes a job as a reporter.
Cloud Dancing is Sully’s best friend. He is a Cheyenne medicine man who learned his healing skills from his father, who died after contracting whooping cough. Cloud Dancing has had his share of sorrow. Snow Bird, his wife, was killed at the Washita River during an attack on the Cheyenne led by Custer. His son, Walks On Clouds, suffered a similar fate, murdered by Renegade Dog Soldiers. When Dr. Mike arrives on the scene, Cloud Dancing has a vision. His father appears in a dream instructing him to teach Michaela the ways of a medicine man. Being a scientist, aware of and practiced in the latest medical advances, Dr. Mike is unwilling to entertain what could be considered hocus pocus. Eventually, Sully and Cloud Dancing show her the value of Cloud Dancing’s medicine.
Grace moved west from New Orleans and opened Grace’s Café with her former employer, Olive. When Olive passed away, Grace inherited ownership. She is married to Robert E.
Robert E. is the town’s blacksmith. A former slave, he has made a life for himself, but still meets with overt discrimination at times, and has had encounters with the KKK. He and Grace are unable to have children, so they choose to adopt an orphan who is not in good health. They are good friends with Michaela and Sully.
Loren Bray owns the town’s mercantile, a general store where townspeople can purchase the staples they need, plus some goodies. He was the father of Abigail, Sully’s first wife, and he never approved of their marriage. When Abigail died, he held a grudge against Sully for years.
Loren’s sister-in-law, Dorothy Jennings is a feisty, middle-aged entrepreneur. She is the founder and editor of The Gazette, the town’s newspaper. Her honesty sometimes causes a stir around town.
Easy-going and kind, Horace Bing is the town telegraph clerk.
Hank Lawson co-owns the Gold Nugget Saloon and Hotel. His personality usually rubs people the wrong way, and consequently, his reputation is far from virtuous.
What does hair styling have to do with practicing medicine? Ask Jake Slicker, the town barber. Before Dr. Mike arrived, he also served as the doctor.
Rev. Timothy Johnson
A former gambler heading down the wrong path in life, Reverend Johnson found God and turned his life around. He is the beloved town pastor, and though he may be well-versed in spirituality, he’s not the most decisive man in other areas of life, so he sometimes finds himself in difficult situations.
At its heart, a show about family, friendship, loyalty, justice and the pursuit of one’s dreams, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, fosters traditional values and the indefatigable spirit that built the American west.