The 1840s: a time when doctors were just as likely to kill their patients as cure them, when the medicine that we take for granted today was in its infancy, and when doctors experimented on themselves and each other.

It’s an era when dentists numbed the pain with brandy, the insane were chained up, and the operating theatre was full of spectacle and showmanship where people would come to watch a surgeon beat his amputation speed record.

John, played by the superb Tom Basden, is a dentist from a tough, working class background. He can clear out all 34 teeth from a patient in 2 minutes. But it’s a grim, painful business and John is determined to pioneer anaesthetic for the benefit of all…

Don’t miss Tom in this raucous medical comedy set in Victorian London about four pioneers, friends and rivals – fighting to make a mark on the world and save lives….

‘Quacks’ begins on August 15 at 10pm on BBC2