Quacks (2017–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Quacks - full transcript

When Robert suffers from nightmares Caroline arranges for herself, William and John to meet famous hypnotist Mr Kapoor though William is more concerned about his gall-stones. Mr Kapoor ...

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No. No, Captain, no.



No, Captain!

No, First Mate. No!


I heard you call out, my love.


bad dreams.

Don't trouble yourself.

On the Medusa again?

In the hammock?

I will be well now. Thank you.

Go back to your room.

He's never talked to me about it.

Or anyone, I believe.

But it gives him nightmares,
and sometimes...

His shakes stem from that?

Oh, I've probably divulged too much.

I will try to talk to him.

See if I can find out what happened
in that hammock.

Thank you.

Ah! William, are you quite all right?

I have an abdominal pain.

I fear it's the stones.


Your husband is going to examine me,
in fact.

Are you aware of a famous mesmerist,
Mr Lantha Kapoor?

No. Who is he?
I've been reading about him.

He cured an epileptic girl of her fits.

He visited her every day for a month,

and did hour-long sessions
with her in her bedroom.

Why is it mesmerised patients
are always young ladies

who have to be taken to a
darkened room for an hour or so,

and the man then proceeds to stand
over them doing this?

You surprise me.

I'd have thought someone like you
would have been more open-minded

about the powers these men have.

Now, I'd like to see one of
these sessions. Wouldn't you?

I'd be interested to witness
this Mr Kapoor in action.

Perhaps you and I could
go and visit him one afternoon.

Oh, I'd like that.

Perhaps you'd like to join us, John.

Yes, why don't you come too?

Mr Kapoor's uncle has a restaurant
in the docks.


I love it.

I like the hot sloppy ones,
and that strange bread they do.

Oh, William,
it does seem terribly painful. Oh!

Oh, I wouldn't want to complain.

Only hurts when I breathe in.

Right, where's the patient? Sorry to
keep you waiting. Come down, please.

I know you're interested in medicine,

but this will not be educational...

or pleasant.

Don't worry, I'm leaving.

Can I leave as well?

Well, you keep on about requiring
patients to try ether on -

here's one.
I haven't agreed to any of this yet.

The surgery or the ether.

Are you sure you're fit to operate?

Of course!

John, could you pass me my book
on genitals, please?

Loosen your trousers for me.

Ah! Yes, that hurts there.

And I have headaches and vomiting.

Well, it is clearly a bladder stone,
I'm afraid.

It's a brief, but...painful operation.


Ah, now these are drawings
I've done for some of my students.

Oh, there's one on the removal of
the foreskin in cases of phimosis.

What a fine hand you have.

No, that's his cock.

Ah, here we are lithotrity.


option one...

we go up your urethra
with one of these.

John, if you wouldn't mind.

And then I insert this, and spin
the device until the stones crush,

and then later you piss the bits out.

Or, rather more excitingly, option two,

the new Lessing Lithotrity Contrivance.

I go up your urethra with this,
until I feel the bladder stone...

I grip the stone with the unique
adjustable head...

and then I bang it with my hammer.

And then later you piss the bits out.

Is there an option three?

Option three is leave it,

and remain in agony until you become
incontinent and die.

In a packed field, I'd try option two.

A wise choice.

How many people have you tried that on?

People, as in living people?

And you can have the operation
under chloroform,

so you don't feel any pain.

You're advising chloroform
over ether this week, are you?

I am.

A pleasant apple-blossom smell,
with less of a hangover,

and no blistering of the nasal passage.

Didn't that Scottish dentist
kill several people this week

trying chloroform?

Hamish never knows what he's doing.

He got the dosage entirely wrong
cos it was a cold day.

I will try very hard not to kill you.


The Lancet last week warned that
chloroform should be used

in cases of emergency only.

You're seriously considering
excruciating genital pain

over a dose of chloroform?

Excruciating but brief genital pain.

Well, it's not YOUR tackle on the table,
is it?

I don't know about any of this yet.

I've got a patient this afternoon -
an open-minded woman

who is going to have seven teeth
removed under chloroform.

Why don't you come and witness that?
Ye of little faith.

There. She's asleep.

Don't worry -
that's perfectly common with chloroform.

Oh, I'm an angel!

A naughty, naughty angel!

Do people often say things
when they are drugged?

Can do. So...

it's possible that...that I may say
revealing things when I'm under.

I hope so.

One chap I had in last week did an
entire after-dinner speech to me

while he was asleep. It was hilarious.

Oh, Mr Wilson! You goat!

My husband's abroad.

Let's go through a dark, dank alley...

Shh... That's enough of that now.


What's this you're writing, John?
Oh, it's my drug diary.

In the evenings, I'm taking unusual,
unknown substances,

and dictating what I feel to Rosie.

Who's Rosie?
The thruppenny upright from Drury Lane.

She writes down what I say, what I feel.

It's terrible the things those girls
get asked to do.


What a delightful surprise!
I wasn't expecting you.

My darling boy, how lovely to see you.

And I have brought Mina with me
to visit you.

You remember Mina?

I'm sure William needs no reminder.

Of course not.

How have you been, miss?

Very well.

Miss Mina has now inherited
her dear father's estate.

When was it that you two
last saw each other?

Can you remember it as well as I do,

Yes...of course!

It was your uncle's 60th birthday

Birthday, yes, yes, of course.

It seems like yesterday to me

that you two used to visit the
fairground together as children,

hand in hand.

We rode the helter-skelter together,
and beat the dwarves with sticks.


Yes, happy days.

I was asking after you,
and was shocked to hear you're ailing.

A case of...

the stones?


She insisted that I come to visit you.

Do you find any relief
when you pass wind?


I have been to see Dr Flowers
on the high street for you.

He prescribed a parsnip and vinegar
drink that I have bought you.

It is well known to ease
the symptoms of the bladder stones.

Thank you.

Oh, let me get a glass for you.

Miss, may I have a glass,
please, for Mr Agar?

She's so fond of you!

Are you free for dinner tonight?


Here you are, dear William.

I hope it aids you.

Thank you so much.


That is...


Finish it up.


All better. Ahh! Ah!

I float like an elephant
above the streets,

above the uproar of life,
and down below,

all the little people seem to be in
gentle but everlasting agitation.

I am granted blessed respite

from the secret burdens of my
black heart,

a sabbath, a proposed holiday
from worry. Full stop.

That was one sentence, was it?

And who is this
who comes from the apothecary?

Ooh, let me guess.

It's Mr Crocodile.

I was wrong.

He's come to speak to me in
a profound but incomprehensible

symbolic language

that holds heavenly truths,
but is hard to fathom.

Can we have sex instead of doing this?

The curry's terrific here.

And the chilli in it
will help numb your bladder pain.

Oh, no, thank you.
I'll watch you both eat.

I'll have the mutton curry, thanks.

Yes, I'll try the chicken curry, please.

I think you'll like the food here.

Can seem a little hot
the first time you try it.

Oh, I'm looking forward to it.
Never had a curry.

That's delicious.


Well, that gave my tum a nudge.

You don't have to finish it, Caroline.
No, I want to.

It's delicious.

Will you just excuse me?
I just need to visit the...

other room.

What is occurring
between you and Caroline?

What do you mean?

Nothing's occurring, I can assure you.

You've gone red.

So have you.

I've eaten a curry!

Be careful, William.

Careful with what?

I don't know what you're suggesting,

Johnathon, if you have a concern,
give it a name.

If I'm wrong, good.

Oh, dear,
are your stones hurting you again?

I wouldn't...
I wouldn't want to complain.

You must be Mrs Lessing.

I am.

How do you do?

Four teas, please, Uncle.

This is my friend Mr Agar,
an alienist from St Frederick's,

and Mr Sutton.

Good afternoon.

You are interested in mesmerism?

We all are.

Sit, please.

I am interested
in what the phenomenon can tell us

about the human mind,

and how it may be harnessed
to help with sickness, surgery...

He's having his bladder stones out

Mesmerism is of great benefit
to medicine. Just last week,

I removed a tumour from a man
the size of an engorged cow's udder.

The man was in a mesmerism trance,
and felt not a twinge.

In fact, during surgery, he whistled.

How extraordinary!

I believe the unassisted powers
of nature can heal far better

than any of the pills,
powders or potions

modern quacks try to push at us.

Many such drugs are...lethal.

If they're used wrongly.

The human mind can achieve
astonishing things

if it is allowed to become...
primitive again.


So, can anyone learn to be a mesmerist,
Mr Kapoor?

I mean, could William? Could I?


Anyone can create a mesmerism trance.

I myself was taught by the great
Zadu Ali Chandra Rohit.

Can you explain how it works?

Mesmerism works
through the physical transmission

exerted by one animal over another,

stemming from a transference
of nervous energy.


Would you like me to...demonstrate?

What, can you do it here?

In this room?

I can mesmerise anywhere.

You don't need me to be in your boudoir?

You can use me as a subject.

Or me.

My fear with you is that your mind
may be too easily sent to sleep.

So I will choose a harder subject,
if I may,

the better to demonstrate my, er...


Oh. But...

my fear with a woman like yourself,

is that you have too sophisticated,
too cultured, questioning a mind

to be entranced.

I don't.

A woman with your vital spirit will
think and remonstrate and question.

I don't. I won't.

You will be incapable
of passive submission.

You will struggle to submit
to the pleasure of it.

I won't.

Touch my fingertips...

and I will take you
into a mesmerised trance.

It may take a number of moments,
but if you're willing...

submit to me.

Through our fingertips, a vital
energy flows from my body to yours.

My vital principle penetrates you now.


Keep your eyes on mine...

and I will put you into an
annihilating and healing sleep.

Your skin is no longer
a border between us.

SHE MOANS Mmmmmm...

Now I stroke you into deepness.


Hey, hey, hey. No, no, no, no. No.

Stop this.

This is utterly unacceptable.
Her honour is at stake.

This isn't medicine, it's...

something else.
Why do you feel threatened?

I am not threatened.

But Mr Lessing will not want his
wife being stroked by an Indian.

Now, how does one wake a patient
from this trance?

Should I slap her face? Like this.

Now do you believe?

Mr Steadman, there will be some pain,

but I assure it's a relatively
easy tumour removal,

which I will do swiftly, and we will
give you brandy for the pain.

Mr Lessing,
I have a request from Dr Hendrick.

Certainly not, whatever it is.

Mr Gideon is due to do this
morning's student lecture,

but he has found himself injured
in a ditch outside a public house.

Pisshead Gideon? Quelle surprise.

The hospital are asking
if you would speak in his absence.

No, I don't want to do it.

Will you offer it to my friend
John Sutton?

He suffers stupid students
far better than I do.

And he's desperate to tell
anyone who will listen

about his tedious drugs.

Ah, my 11 o'clock.

You're early.

let's see what this plant from Brazil

brings forth in my consciousness,
shall we?

But also, let's hope it's not another

of your long narrative poems.

You have a return of your affliction.

It's easily remedied.

Brandy, please, Nurse.

What happened in the South China Sea,

On the Medusa?

You don't ever talk about that time.

I'm doing someone's tumour now.

Perhaps that time is the cause
of your affliction.

Do you ever think about that?

We're going to commence, Mr Steadman.

Perhaps if you talked to others
about your travails then,

it may help to ease the burden of them.

Blade, please, Nurse.

You were posted as a surgical
officer on the HMS Vengeance

during the Opium War.

Very well, I'll tell you.

It's a tale full of wonder...

and horror, what happened.

In the October of 1839,

our ship was attacked by a Chinese
sea hawk off the coast of Hainan.

Hook and scissors.

They blew five holes in our side.

I managed to get into a skiff
before the ship went down.

I sailed south alone,
fleeing my pursuers.

For two days,
I floated rudderless and adrift

in the straits of the Dutch Indies.

Eventually, I ran my boat aground

on a meagre strip of land
barely 100 yards long...

with one single palm tree.

I had no idea of my position.

The skiff was irreparable...

and that evening,
I made a terrible discovery.

A human skull buried in the sand
at one end of the island.

With no means of escape, I resigned
myself to living on this sand spit

until rescue arrived...

or I was eaten by the passing cannibals.

I survived by tackling and eating
any pelicans that came to land.

Have you ever tackled a pelican,

It's an appalling business.

To keep myself sane,
I practised acrobatics,

and whittled a flute from the palm tree.

The topic can be of your choosing.

I could talk about the blessed
benefits of ether and chloroform.

I'd say that'd have the young 'uns
on the edge of their seat.

I'm sorry, Rosie. We're going to
have to meet up again later.

Besides, this plant's done nothing.

It's like the time I smoked begonias.

Come along, sir.

Lead on, Mr Peters!

In time, I learned how to ride turtles.

I discovered that
if you swam astride a turtle,

they could carry you,

and you could steer them
by poking them in the opposite eye

of the direction you wanted to go in.

If you wanted them to stop,
place your hands over both eyes.

Silk, please.

I'd been marooned alone for four months.

Just as I was giving up all hope...

a catamaran appeared...

with local huntsmen on it.

I knew that these people offered me
my only possible means of escape.

I waved to them.

Good morning to you all.

Good afternoon to you all.

My name is John Sutton.

I am an experienced dentist,

and I've spent the last few months

experimenting with a variety of drugs

that I think will greatly benefit
surgical patients.

I would like to describe to you today

both the various possible delivery
methods for ether and chloroform...

as well as...




Certainly more entertaining
than one of Mr Lessing's lectures.

Thank you for coming.

These natives had never seen
a white man before,

and they took me to be
a reincarnated form

of their dead king.

They sailed me to their island,

and crowned me during a 14-day ceremony,

which featured much drinking,
dancing, and feathered headdresses.

They daubed me with paint,
and offered me a choice of wives.

Although I was engaged to Caroline
at that point,

I feared that my survival depended
on assimilating with these people,

so, out of etiquette,

I chose six or seven
of their young women as wives,

and slept with them
on alternating nights.

I spent nine months with these people,
learning their customs.

Fishing, hunting,
and mastering their language

of slaps, clicks and whistles.

For instance, this...

means "I don't need
another mango juice".


All the while...

despite the many attractions

of their noble and primitive
way of life,

I was planning my escape
back to civilisation.

Thank you, Mr Steadman.

I saw another ship passing near.

A 170-foot clipper.

The Medusa.

I left my wives,
who were having a fruit picnic,

and swam out to the ship
as fast as I could.

The men pulled me on board.

Initially, due to my tan,
driftwood earring and tropical skirt,

they mistook me for a local.

They were about to shoot me.

But I proved to them I was English

by reciting the second verse
of God Save The Queen.

But the crew of the Medusa
were a rough bunch...

and I...

I, er...

I don't want to talk about it.

What happened?

You CAN tell me. No.

No, I mustn't.

You can.

I'm making it all up.

You can't ride turtles.

Told you I didn't want to talk about it.

Well, until you do learn to talk
freely about what happened,

I think you'll continue to suffer
from nightmares and shakes.

And drink is not the solution.

Do you still want me
to do your lithotrity?


But I'm very angry with you
about that story.

Just let me make it up to you
by crushing your bladder stone.

I thought John was going to be
joining us.

Here I am!

I brought my chloroform.
Have you brought your penis?

What on earth have you been taking,

You're sweating like a hippo!

It's an unnamed jungle plant.
It's very good.

I'll get you some.

I've been thinking...

rather than use drugs,
I would like to try mesmerism.

Very well. What do I do? I'll do it.

I thought you didn't believe
in this twaddle?

I was very interested
in what happened to Caroline

when that Indian started stroking her.
I beg your pardon?

What went on?


I'm open to anything that can bring
about a change in consciousness.

Let's try it.

OK, fingers.

Feel my energy course into you now.

You feel sleepy.

Your body is heavy.

The world is falling away.

This room dissolves around you.

You're floating up, up, up, up,
up, up and away.

You're a seraph...

flying high above the world,

floating on a cloud
of calm consciousness.

I stroke you into deepness.

And now...

you're in a full...deep trance.

A hot, heavy comfort.

You are aware of me and of Robert...

but you will feel no pain.

And now you stand.

Give me some shitting drugs now!