Two years ago, Jodie Whittaker starred in Trust Me as a nurse so desperate to rebuild her life that she stole her best friend’s identity and moved to an Edinburgh hospital to work as a doctor. As intense and superbly stressful as the first instalment of the BBC’s medical conspiracy drama was, the second series takes us to a new hospital with terrifying new troubles lurking in the wings. The good news is that you don’t need to have watched Trust Me series one to get into series two. The unsettling news is that things are only about to become more sinister.
We’re still in Scotland except this time around our attention is brought to a leading medical centre in Glasgow. Corporal Jamie McCain (played by Harry Potter star Alfred Enoch) has sustained a spinal injury after being shot in a war zone. We’re given a few violent flashbacks to the mission he was on before arriving at the James Stewart Spinal Unit but no dots are connected just yet. It’s clear that there’s more to the story around the events that landed Jamie there, but for now all we know is that four soldiers lost their lives and he has been left paralysed.
Jamie isn’t much of a talker. He’s angry, resentful and doesn’t want to talk to anyone about his injury. He doesn’t utter a single word for the first 10 minutes or so of the episode, until he spots an asshole guy try to hurt fellow patient Danny Adams (Elliot Cooper) and tells him to back off. Danny quickly decides that he and Jamie are friends (much to Jamie’s initial frustration) and relays everything he knows about the hospital they’re being treated at. He’s collected data about their ward and shares his conspiracy theories with his new, reluctant pal: people are dying and there’s a killer on the ward. "I’ll be your eyes," Danny tells Jamie. "You help me, I help you. We all have to be careful in here."
You’ll find it hard to dismiss Danny’s theories as quickly as Jamie does. It doesn’t take long to work out that something sinister is lingering among the ward staff. Four Weddings and a Funeral’s John Hannah stars as Dr Watson (yes, he’s heard the jokes before), the clinical lead. He assures his new patient Jamie that he’s "in safe hands now" but we’re not too sure. Besides an apparent lack of real concern about the number of people dying in his care, he also delivers a gross mini monologue about women being "a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. The old emotional Rubik’s cube – you solve one side and then the others… totally screwed." There’s a questionable backstory here, waiting to be unearthed.
Elsewhere we’ve got wonderful Ashley Jensen (After Life, Catastrophe, Ugly Betty) playing head physio nurse Debbie. Do we trust her? Not yet. She’s smart, cutting and observant – all attributes that could bode better for her than her patients and colleagues. Dr Zoe Wade (Katie Clarkson-Hill) is engaged to Dr Alex Kiernan (Outlander’s Richard Rankin) and burying some secret demons with the sleeping pills she’s been slipping from the drug cupboard. Dr Watson alludes to something in the recent past that jeopardised her career and it seems that Zoe’s cheery façade is only going to last so long under the pressure of suspicious deaths and mistrust on the ward.
If you’re not great with hospitals, this series will make you feel incredibly uneasy. That said, the suspense might just be enough to tempt you in. Jamie’s suspected PTSD simmers beneath his stern and sarcastic exterior. More people start to leave the ward in body bags and, by the sounds of it, no one is to be trusted. If there’s a four-part suspense-fuelled conspiracy thriller missing from your schedule, this one deserves to fill it.
Trust Me starts on BBC One on Tuesday 16th April at 9pm