We can’t get enough of Jodie Whittaker! Recently cast as the first female Doctor Who, Jodie stars as an altogether different type of doctor in BBC One’s new psychological thriller, Trust Me.
Cath Hardacre is a highly skilled nurse with an admirable work ethic and a caring heart, working in the cardiology ward of a busy Sheffield hospital. As a single parent, her life is busy and with a very young daughter, Molly, to look after, it isn’t easy. But she’s content.
Her world comes crashing down, however, when she raises concerns about slipping standards in the hospital. Sacked for whistle-blowing, she flounders and in desperation steals her best friend’s identity. Ally is an A&E doctor who has chosen to give up her career in medicine and relocate to New Zealand with her new husband.
“She’s an honest woman who does one dishonest thing,” says writer and series creator Dan Sefton, himself a practising A&E doctor in a Taunton hospital. Sefton is no stranger to TV drama; he created ITV’s hit Sunday night drama, The Good Karma Hospital.
“Having worked in the NHS for most of my adult life, I know only too well that it provides the perfect setting for a contemporary drama – the characters, the (often literal) pain – as well as the affection and dedication of staff.,” says Sefton. “Trust Me shows all of that but its central story is Cathy, a decent, honourable woman who, when everything is falling apart, takes a huge risk in search of a better life. A life that she will fiercely protect.”
Cath – now calling herself Ally – accepts a job in a rundown emergency ward in an Edinburgh hospital and she and her daughter move to Scotland.
“I love the fact that her choices are quite morally dubious,’ says Jodie Whittaker, about her character Cath Hardacre. ‘They certainly aren’t black and white. She makes decisions that are quite challenging to justify, even though we know her reasons”
Cath’s recovering alcoholic ex-partner Karl follows, on the pretext of wanting to spend time with Molly. He’s also hoping for a reconciliation with Cath.
“I’d always been fascinated by imposters and what motivates them,” says Sefton. “Most are men, doing it for status and ego. Women tend to have different reasons. I was also interested in what would happen to someone who did a bad thing for the ‘right’ reasons. Would it slowly change them as lie followed lie?”
Things become even more complicated (as if stealing someone’s identity wasn’t bad enough) when a new love interest looms in the shape of a brooding Scottish doctor. With a journalist obsessed with her whistleblowing case relentlessly pursuing her, how will Cath/Ally cope with her double life?
“What’s hard is trying to gauge how good a liar she is, or how in a panic she is,” says Whittaker. “You’ve got to be careful, because you can’t make the other actors seem stupid. These are intelligent, fully formed characters that you’re working with, so it was a fine line of being able to deceive and it not being something that comes easily to her.”
Jodie Whittaker’s co-stars include Emun Elliot as Cath’s new love interest Dr Andy Brenner; Sharon Small as consultant Dr Brigitte Rayne, and Blake Harrison (Inbetweeners) as Karl, Cath’s ex-boyfriend.
By Farhana Gani