February 24, 2002 - The New York Times (Arts section)

As Doctors on TV, Women Still Battle the Old Clichés


The only starring female doctor who was allowed to have it all and be happy about it was Jane Seymour's Dr. Michaela (Mike) Quinn in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," which ended its run in 1998. And to succeed in a male-dominated profession, she had to be put in the mountains of Colorado in a mythic mid-19th century.

Finally, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," starring Ms. Seymour as a Boston physician who moves to Colorado in the 1860's, developed a loyal following in a usually deadly Saturday night slot on CBS. It lasted for six seasons, from 1993 to 1998, and is in syndication in close to 100 countries. (In the United States, it can be seen nearly every night on the Hallmark Channel).

Dr. Mike's fierce challenge to the men's club of medicine, and conventional medical practice, appeared to touch a chord. "In every episode she struggled between what she knew from the books and what her female intuition told her to do," recalled Ms. Seymour, whose father was a doctor. Of course, Dr. Quinn's romance with the mountain man Byron Sully also added to the show's appeal.