Jane Seymour Says "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" Should Be Rebooted
Actor Jane Seymour told BuzzFeed News that Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman — the show that put her feminist character on primetime on a major broadcast network — should be rebooted.
"We wish!" Seymour said on Profile, when asked by host Audie Cornish if the show should make a return.
Seymour played Dr. Michaela Quinn in the Western-themed series, which aired on CBS from 1993 to 1998.
"They brought back absolutely everything. I have no idea why they wouldn't bring this back," Seymour said. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is "still playing almost every day in 98 countries," she said.
"It's an intelligent show," she said. "It's a great way of teaching history and morality and choices and different cultures and different thoughts and different ways of choosing to do things in life."
Seymour, who is also known for her roles in movies like Live and Let Die, Somewhere in Time , and Wedding Crashers, said a reboot would especially resonate today, as the country grapples with immigration issues and as President Donald Trump implements aggressively anti-immigrant policies.
"It's so relevant to today, could not be more relevant, because it was all about people, the immigration into America. It was early America, 1870s, so we dealt with the Chinese, we dealt with the Jews that were coming in there. We dealt with the people from Scandinavia. We dealt with slavery and everything," she said.
"And just in general women being underestimated," Cornish added.
Seymour agreed, "And women definitely being underestimated — a female doctor, 'Oh no, we can't have a female doctor.'"
The actor said that there was demand for the show to return. "The fans literally pleaded with Les Moonves and did everything they could to get him to put Dr. Quinn back on and he resolutely said no," she said, referring to the CBS CEO.
"So, my hope is that somebody somewhere at CBS will just say, 'Hey, let someone else do it.'"
Cornish noted that the show was canceled without the network telling Seymour, and asked if she felt respected while at CBS.
"I don't think I worked for CBS again after that. I have to look it up, but I don't think I did, not for a very, very, very long time," Seymour said. "Until my last show, which is Let's Get Physical."
When asked about recent sexual harassment and assault allegations regarding Moonves, she declined to comment, saying she didn't know all the facts.
She did provide more detail about sexual harassment she faced early in her career, which she first revealed in 2017. Seymour described going to the home of "the most powerful man in Hollywood," at the suggestion of her agents, to watch a screen test. She said that no one was there.
"This gentleman said to me, 'Well, I've convinced everyone that you should play the lead in our movie, and I think you're fantastic, and I've told everyone. I've done my job, I've told everybody, and I'm the boss and they're going to have to do what I say.'
She said he added, "'But now it's your turn.'"
"And I looked at him and I said, 'To do a great screen test, right?' And he said, 'No, you know what I mean.' And I went, 'No, I don't know what you mean.'"
She said they were sitting on a "long couch" and that she moved away from him. He continued to put his hand on her upper thigh, she said.
After getting off the couch, she asked him to call her a cab. Seymour said that he was "so threatening" to her and said he'd make sure she would "never work in this industry again" if she spoke about what happened and told her agents that she went to his home.
The same powerful producer later hired her to star in a film, she said. Seymour also said that she got a new agent "eventually."
"They sent me into the lion's den, presumably assuming that I would do whatever this man asked me to do, which was horrendous," she said of her agents.
The experience led her to briefly quit acting and return home to England.
Seymour also told Profile why she hasn't named the powerful man, now dead, who sexually harassed her.
"Why aren't you saying the name of this producer?" Cornish asked.
"Because if people really want to look it up, they'll figure it out," Seymour responded.
"And he's passed... He's died," the actor said. "And my agent, that agent, is no longer with us, and the other producer is no longer with us, so it just didn't seem any point in mentioning his name, because he's no threat to anyone else."
Cornish asked Seymour if the star was protecting those people in some way by not naming them. "He had such a bad reputation, everyone knew what he did," she said. "I didn't think it was necessary."
"I just thought what was necessary was to say that a man in that position threatened me so much that I quit acting for a year, that I obviously didn't get to do that movie, and I learned my lesson."
Dr.Quinn Medicine Woman
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Welcome to the Wiki
Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman is about a female doctor that moves from Boston to Colorado Springs, after her father dies to find a place to practice. The show aired on CBS Saturday nights at 8/7 central.
I'll be working on making a resource for everybody & would appreciate any help on building that I can get adding to the episode pages. Please don't change my layout or add categories please (summary category I'm OK with). Also, anyone that's good with medicine from the time period or is willing to research it can feel free to add information to the pages in the diseases category. Especially when it comes to symptoms & treatment. I'll be going through the whole season before tackling them at all.
The series begins in the year 1867 and centers on a proper and wealthy female physician from Boston, Massachusetts, Michaela Quinn (Jane Seymour), familiarly known as "Dr. Mike". After the death of her father, Dr. Mike sets out to the small, wild west town of Colorado Springs, to set up her own practice. She makes the difficult adjustment to life to Colorado with the aid of rugged mountain man and friend to the Cheyenne, Byron Sully (Joe Lando) and a midwife named Charlotte Cooper (Diane Ladd). After Charlotte is bitten by a rattlesnake, she asks Michaela on her deathbed to look after her three children, Matthew (Chad Allen), Colleen (Erika Flores, later Jessica Bowman) and Brian (Shawn Toovey). Dr. Mike settles in Colorado Springs and adapts to her new life as a mother, while finding true love with Sully. Furthermore, she acts as a one-woman mission to convince the towns people that a female doctor can successfully practice medicine.
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‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’ Has The Prescription To Cure Your Ills
Maybe it’s my penchant for watching shows like Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons (the latter of which I recently finished re-watching from beginning to end), or maybe it’s just the streaming algorithm gods shining down on me, but when I realized a few weeks ago that Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman‘s entire six season run was available to stream on Amazon Prime, I knew exactly what I’d be watching for the foreseeable future.
Premiering on CBS in 1993 and running until it was unceremoniously cancelled in 1998 (“There were a lot of hurt feelings with the way the series ended – you just don’t go flippantly cancelling a show like this without a goodbye season,” creator and executive producer Beth Sullivan told MediaWeek in 1999), Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman follows in the tradition of those previously mentioned period series, but breaks away from the pack in one incredibly important, and timely, way. Despite an ensemble cast and an impressive setting that’s quite a character in itself, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman is undoubtedly a show led by a strong female character playing against type at a time when it was far less common than it is today.
In fact, re-watching the series now on Amazon Prime, it quickly becomes clear that the series fits perfectly in recent times, sidling up easily with the #MeToo movement, the Time’s Up campaign, and the push to close the gender pay gap. Hell, it would even be conceivable to see a show like Dr. Quinn…playing on screens along the Women’s March routes a few weekends ago.
Portrayed by Jane Seymour, in a role that earned her a 1996 Golden Globe Award, Dr. Michaela Quinn, having been born into a wealthy Boston family, breaks from tradition and follows in her father’s footsteps by becoming a medical doctor (earning her degree at Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania – the only medical school that would admit her).
After receiving her license, she tries to find work on her own, but the lack of respect for female doctors means that Quinn ends up working for her father, in his clinic, until his death. It’s at this point that Dr. Quinn looks elsewhere for work, answering an ad for a doctor in the Colorado territory and landing the job in Colorado Springs simply because the men in charge thought her telegram read “Michael A. Quinn” rather than “Michaela.” You can imagine how things go when she actually shows up.
Background aside, however, it’s from the show’s very first moments when we meet the titular character that Dr. Michaela Quinn establishes herself as a fierce, independent woman unwilling to sacrifice her dream of working as a doctor even in the face of her mother’s unwavering want of a yet another daughter that’s more than happy to play the traditional domestic role and settle down with a wealthy husband.
And if you, even for a moment, doubt just how fierce and how independent Dr. Quinn actually is, here are a few of the numerous ungodly things Michaela has to do in the pilot episode alone before most of the men in town will pay her any respect at all:
- Early after her arrival in town, she dares to question Army Colonel Shivington about their possible treaty with the local Cheyenne in the area, standing up for the often-oppressed tribe. She’s pushed aside when a local man catches a ricocheted bullet while out hunting, and has to resort to helping the shopkeeper’s wife with her heart erythema instead. Dr. Quinn saves a local woman and her unborn child by performing an emergency C-section (with only the tools in her tiny doctor’s bag).
- Then, in order to gain his trust, she tricks the town’s barber (and makeshift untrained, unlicensed doctor) into pulling one of her perfectly healthy teeth without any numbing agent (all just to prove how truly badass she is). Before long, he even comes calling for help with his infected hand.
- Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, she tries valiantly to save Widow Cooper’s life after she’s been bitten by a rattlesnake, but when she’s unable to (I mean, she has zero supplies), she agrees to take in the woman’s three children (despite having no child-rearing experience). But wait, there’s more…
- She helps the postmaster with his hearing problem, examines the saloon’s prostitute, who everyone else ignores (and actually convinces the bar owner to give her a month off from her duties), and helps to soften many townsfolks’ horrible viewpoints on race, gender, and equality.
- Dr. Quinn then insists on joining the one friend she has so far (a white man named Byron Sully, who spends all of his time with the Cheyenne) in a mission to find her newly-adopted runaway son Brian. And, just when you thought that would be enough, she also stands up to the Army when they come charging toward her new Cheyenne friends, and even manages to save a Cheyenne chief’s life by performing a tracheotomy with a feather, earning her the name of “Medicine Woman.”
By the way, all of these events take place in the span of the ninety-minute pilot episode.
After all that, Dr. Michaela Quinn finallystarted to earn the respect of some of Colorado Springs’ male inhabitants, but don’t worry, there’s still a lot more misogyny and disrespect left for her to overcome during the next six seasons. It’s almost like she’s living in 2018 rather than the late 1800s or something, right?
I know, there’s a lot of new TV out there, and a lot of it includes strong messages for females of all ages, but every once in a while, there’s a classic series that just fits so perfectly into the current day and age that it’s worth revisiting in its entirety.
Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It sometimes falls into the same pitfalls as many similar shows of its time, but don’t let the marketing materials fool you. Just because they all show Jane Seymour flanked by her hunky co-star Joe Lando (and it’s clear from the very first episode that these two will end up together), this is Dr. Michaela Quinn’s show. Even her eventual romance with Sully always takes a backseat to the important work she’s determined to do week in and week out.
Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman is a girl power show if ever there was one and in a time when gender equality, the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, and prominent female role models are more important than ever, Dr. Quinn has the prescription for what’s currently ailing our country. Just stream a few episodes and call me in the morning.
Scott Neumyer is a journalist who has been published by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, GQ, Esquire, Wired, Men’s Fitness, and many more publications. He lives in central New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and two cats. You can reach him at www.scottwrites.com.
Watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman on Amazon Prime
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