Trust Me is the first opportunity for Doctor Who fans to see Jodie Whittaker in action since it was announced that the actress would be stepping into the Tardis next year as Doctor Who, when the intergalactic franchise says a sad 'farewell' to Peter Capaldi.
All eyes on Whittaker, then, who stars in this outlandish story of a nurse who commits identity fraud on BBC One. Cath (Whittaker) is suspended from her job for whistleblowing on the low standards in the London hospital in which she works, and where patients 'sit in their own filth'.
We already knew that Jodie Whittaker was competent as an actress from her stint as an embittered-but-kindly bereaved mother in Broadchurch. Nonetheless, Doctor Who fans can rest easy as Whittaker is warm and engaging in Trust Me. She doesn't sweep down streets with the swagger required of her in her new role as The Doctor, but she models plenty of misplaced empathy, insane decision making and the ability to invent wildly to get out of a tight situation. Whovians, take a deep breath: your beloved franchise is in safe hands.
For those not obsessing over Whittaker's performance, Trust Me is painful watching. To begin with, Cath gets away with her identity crime. Nights bent over medical text books and a reliance on those around her means she scrapes by as a doctor. Her 'bleeding heart' and curious predilection for doing her own dressings wins her favours with colleagues, and especially the attractive Dr Andy Bremner (Emun Elliott). Cath is dubbed the only doctor who is 'not a bitch'. But then, she beings to encounters more than broken ankles and everything starts to go wrong. It is an A&E department, after all.
Comparisons between Trust Me and BBC's recent identity fraud crime drama The Replacement are unavoidable. Trust Me wins it for its complexity of character, and for steering well clear of those pesky psychopathic women stereotypes. It also wins extra points for being topical, as it wades in on our discussions on the NHS and nurses incomes. Congratulations to the BBC for giving us so many complex female-lead dramas this year.
The biggest problem with Trust Me is that the premise just seems unrealistic – what happened to Cath's National Insurance number when applying for the job? Isn't it weird that 'Alison' gets her income sent to a woman called 'Cath'? Didn't any of her colleagues try to find her on Facebook?
Trust Me is going to get good reviews. And, most importantly of all, it looks like Jodie Whittaker will make for a very competent Doctor Who. Just don't ask her to perform any surgeries.
|What||Trust Me on BBC One review|
|Where||BBC One, BBC One | MAP|
08 Aug 17 – 31 Aug 17, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM