A hospital drama is hard to come by on the BBC, and now we know why. Dan Sefton's Trust Me isn't a total train wreck, actually mildly entertaining, but it just isn't the quality of program one expects from BBC One. With a dubious plot and overly gory operating scenes, Trust Me only has a halfway decent main character and the future occupant of the Tardis to make it worth watching.
Cath, a hard working and caring nurse, finds herself out of a job after she reports recurring issues of patient abuse to her hospital's board. Desperate for work, Cath steals her friend Ally's, a well-established and highly qualified doctor, identity. Posing as Ally, Cath begins work as an A & E doctor in a Scottish hospital. She is soon intertwined in the hospital's affairs, with the constant fear of being uncovered.
Trust Me's plot line is a bit far fetching - a suspended nurse steals her mate's doctor's license and CV and moves to Scotland to work as a doctor. Cath's arc just seems completely implausible. Surely the hospital's HR staff would need some other sort of identification (a driver's license, passport, tax forms) to prove she is who she says she. People just don't hire someone based on merit. And even so, a quick Google search or, I don't know, references would probably show that Cath clearly isn't Ally. The way this plot was set up and delivered to the audience left entirely too many questions about this extreme situation unanswered. Had writer Dan Sefton put more care into elaborating how Cath got as far as she did without getting caught, it may have allowed the viewer to suspend their disbelief a bit more. But how the plot line stands now, it seems just entirely implausible, which completely disassociated the audience from enjoying the show.
Despite the shaky plot, Dan Sefton does create a rather interesting main character. What is most intriguing about Cath is you truly feel a strong sense of empathy for her. She's a woman who unjustly loses her job because she was trying to do the right thing by reporting abuse in the hospital. We meet a woman who is down on her luck; she's desperate for income to provide for her daughter and deadbeat ex-husband, but she's also desperate to make her life fulfilling and important and something her daughter can be proud of. We've all wanted to do something meaningful with our lives and sometimes act out of character to achieve it. That's why Cath, unlike the other characters in this series, is compelling because we can relate to her and understand why she did what she did. Despite her clearly unethical decision we still empathize with her. We never feel the need to condemn her, but rather we root for her and hopes she succeeds.
Jodie Whittaker shines as the desperate yet strong Cath. She projects a strong sense of humility, as she's never overly confident or egotistical, a stark contrast to the other doctors surrounding her. Instead, she's soft spoken and kind hearted, she cares about the people rather than her reputation. She believes in her ability to be a doctor but is never swayed by the power of the position. Whittaker's performance is endearing and warm; you can't help but feel sympathy towards her despite her unethical behavior.
Overall, Trust Me is an average hospital drama with nothing particularly special about it. It's timely and relevant and has an interesting performance from its star, but other than that Trust Me falls to the wayside.
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