thu 14/11/2019

Trust Me, Series 2, BBC One review - hospital killer chiller | reviews, news & interviews

Trust Me, Series 2, BBC One review - hospital killer chiller

Trust Me, Series 2, BBC One review - hospital killer chiller

Beware the angel of death stalking the wards

Alfred Enoch as Corporal Jamie McCain, Katie Clarkson-Hill as Dr Zoe Wade

Great, a new drama not by the Williams brothers. Instead it’s Dan Sefton’s second iteration of his medical thriller Trust Me, last seen in 2017 starring Jody Whittaker. Since she’s off being Doctor Who, the new series has a new cast, with John Hannah as Dr Archie Watson and Ashley Jensen as physio Debbie Dorrell.

Front and centre, though, is Corporal Jamie McCain (Alfred Enoch), who’s been brought to the neurological unit of South Lothian hospital after suffering a spinal injury during a shoot-out in Syria. He’s currently in the “spinal shock” phase (in medic-speak), which has left him with paraplegia, though with good prospects of making a full recovery. Understandably, he’s taciturn and somewhat depressed. The neurotic chatter of fellow-patient Danny Adams (Elliot Cooper, pictured below) is doing little to brighten his mood.

Apart from his T6 spinal fracture, Danny also suffers from autism, which manifests as an intensely-focused compulsion to compile hospital mortality statistics on his iPad. Jamie is initially dismissive of Danny’s contention that their hospital is suffering an astronomically high number of patient deaths (a Mr McGould has been the latest departure). However, he begins to think again after the patient in the next bed suffers a seizure, caused by a pair of scissors having been plunged into his leg. Bizarrely, the medical staff blithely dismiss this as an accident.

No doubt the “angel of death” theme has been reworked many times, but Sefton has brought a fresh eye to the task. The hospital itself is depicted, via soaring drone shots accompanied by queasy music, as a looming gothic pile in which all kinds of sinister mischief might be going on. Hannah’s Dr Watson is a deft portrait of a pedantic career bureaucrat treading very carefully so as not to breach any health-and-safety guidelines, a man who likes to appear thorough while always avoiding anything resembling a decision. For instance, when Dr Zoe Wade (Katie Clarkson-Hill) asks him if there’s any new information about McGould’s death, Watson has a trite hand-me-down response from the Bumper Book of Euphemisms: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to ruminate on bad outcomes.”

It’s a shock, then, when it transpires that Watson and Debbie are having a clandestine affair, involving hanky-panky during office hours. If the dull and dessicated Watson is capable of such behaviour, what other unfeasible secrets might be hidden under the bed or behind the screens? Zoe herself, though seemingly efficient, friendly and dedicated, has suffered some unspecified “incident” which kept her sidelined for six months, and is now addicted to the sedatives which she sneaks out of the medicine cabinet (pictured below, Ashley Jensen and John Hannah).

As for Jamie McCain, as well as being stranded helplessly on a high-risk ward, he’s having to face the prospect of a court martial hearing. Most of his squad were wiped out in the Iraq battle, and the military police quite fancy the idea of pinning the blame on him. His flashbacks to the scene, shot in eerie sepia tones, are becoming increasingly gory and horrific. When there’s another death on the ward, he’s forced to face the fact that Danny wasn’t making this stuff up.

The hospital is depicted as a looming gothic pile in which all kinds of sinister mischief might be going on

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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