TV review: Trust Me, BBC One (3 stars)

TV review: Trust Me, BBC One

Jodie Whittaker fakes her credentials as a doctor in this medical thriller

Before she takes on the mantel of a certain time travelling adventurer, Jodie Whittaker plays a very different fictional doctor in Trust Me. A thriller that taps into deep rooted fears of inept surgeons and medical horror stories.

Whittaker plays nurse Cath Hardacre, who realises she knows more than half the so-called experts who boss her around. Angry and disillusioned when she is suspended over complaints about her conduct, when her best mate moves to New Zealand she takes a huge risk and assumes her identity as a qualified doctor. Tearing up her old life moving cross country, to Edinburgh, with her daughter, taking on a new job in the Accident and Emergency department.

Living in fear of discovery, Cath's entire life becomes a work of fiction. A job that becomes ever more complex when the personal and professional become intertwined when she becomes involved with another doctor (Emun Elliott).The first episode is all set up but an investigative journalist on her trail threatens to tear her new world apart.

Writer Dan Sefton has served his time on Casualty and Holby City so knows his way around a medical drama. There's a particularly gnarly snapped ankle and multiple bloody patients after a pile up on the M8 to keep the action pumping. Hardacre's panic is brilliant realised as colours blanch and images blur as she juggles trauma and serious injury. The focus on one character elevating the material beyond the aforementioned hospital soaps. Deftly tapping into our paranoia. We literally place our lives in the hands of strangers. As Stanley Milgram's ground-breaking psychological experiments proved we almost blindly trust anyone in a lab coat.

There's bound to be a few barbed comments about Whittaker as a 'fake doctor' from misguided Twitter warriors. Some viewers will see Trust Me as Whittaker's last minute audition for Doctor Who but the characters are so different it's almost irrelevant. DW calls for a larger than life dose of wit, razor sharp intelligence and otherworldly glamour, Trust Me, much like Broadchurch before, is about normal people under pressure. However what Trust Me does prove is that Whittaker is a versatile, charismatic lead who has all the acting chops necessary to go toe-to-toe with the Daleks and Cybermen.

Trust Me is on BBC One, Tue 8 Aug.

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