1 9 9 3 – 1 9 9 8 (USA)
145 x 47 minute episodes
In the late 1860s in Colorado Springs, female physician Dr Michaela Quinn (“Dr Mike”) set up her medical practice, and also became the guardian for three children – Matthew, Colleen and Brian Cooper – after their mother, Charlotte Cooper died from a rattlesnake bite.
Quinn (Jane Seymour) first rented a log cabin – for $1 a month – from handsome widowed woodsman Byron Sully (Joe Lando) who was afraid of horses and had a wolf (who he called ‘Boy’) as a best friend. ‘Dr Mike’ eventually married Sully, and they had their own child.
The Indians think Michaela is “a crazy white woman” because “only white men make medicine”. When she helps the Cheyenne chief (who has a bullet wound), he gives her the Indian name ‘Medicine Woman’. Sully later makes a shingle for Michaela to hang on her cabin which reads ‘Dr Michaela Quinn MD – Medicine Woman’.
Other characters who appeared regularly in the series when it first aired were storekeeper Loren Bray (Orson Bean), barber Jake Slicker (Jim Knobeloch), Reverend Johnson (Geoffrey Lower), Hank the bartender (William Shockley), and saloon girl Myra (Helene Udy).
Originally aired as a made-for-TV film in 1993, the family drama found a solid audience in the US despite its difficult Saturday evening time slot.
When CBS announced it was going to cancel the show in 1998, thousands of protest letters were sent to the network. Jane Seymour was disappointed with the cancellation and appeared on several TV talk shows to generate popular support for her show.
Unhappy with the ratings, however, CBS held firm and Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman became part of television history in June 1998.
Dr Michaela Quinn
Erika Flores (1)
Jessica Bowman (2)
Reverend Timothy Johnson
Hank the bartender