Jodi’s Doctor Role

Jodi Whittaker is the star turn in a new BBC 1 August drama pot-boiler for a Tuesday night called Trust Me, with I’m sure a number of people tuning in to check out the new Doctor Who, assuming  they hadn’t already see Whitaker in shows like Broadchurch. They would not have been disappointed in that regard. So dominating was Whitaker as she put on a wonderful display of all kinds of emotion (I reckon she was on for 95 percent of the hour), that it allowed a certain amount of papering over the cracks in a rather silly tale of a nurse who pretends to be a doctor.

Whittaker is a nurse called Cath who is given a rough ride by her Sheffield hospital bosses as she blows the whistle over the way patients are treated. She gets suspended, but by an interesting twist of fate,  a doctor friend of hers just happens to be emigrating to New Zealand, and so she pinches her CV out of waste bin and applies for a doctor’s position at an ED in Edinburgh.

Part of the fun of this daft, yet strangely enjoyed drama, is to pick all the holes in the plot like just one person giving her the job in Scotland and working out how she managed to open up a bank account without any proper identification, etc, etc. That’s in addition to her new colleagues not sussing out that she’s a fake. Add to that mix an estranged husband plus a kid that’s sure to blurt out her real name in addition to a journalist (with dodgy standards!) wanting to investigate Cath’s Sheffield hospital allegations, and we have a crackpot show that still is engaging, down to Jodi Whitaker’s acting ability.

We all know that it will end in tears (I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised if it isn’t), and of course there have been genuine cases of people pretending to be medics both in the UK and in America. Without Whittaker I don’t think I would have checked this out, and as a Broadchurch and Doctor Who fan, there’s further evidence on display right now that she will be great as the Time Lord. On a technical note, why did Trust Me get transmitted in an excessive widescreen movie format, where a third of the picture was missing? Bizarre.

20 years after her death, Princess Diana is still great box office. Just ask Channel Four, where on an August Sunday evening they got their biggest rating of the year for Diana:In Her Own Words. The hype over the “secret videos” I’m sure boosted the interest for this no-holds barred documentary, but the fact the tapes were screened years ago in the States, and just showed Diana to be a likeable person with a sense of fun, deflected from the real dynamite of this programme.

The tapes only accounted for around a dozen minutes of nearly two hours of screen-time, with the big grenades lobbed at Charles and Camilla by some of Diana’s staff and friends, far more so than she did herself in the tapes. That was the kicker of what was a great watch that in one foul swoop destroyed all the carefully choreographed public relations of recent years that has tried to get people used to the concept of Charles and Camilla as the next King and Queen. Contributors pulled no punches over the way Diana was treated and the dreadful behaviour she had to put up with, and the underlying sense that the establishment was worried and jealous over the connection she had made with the British public. Good on Channel Four for commissioning this from award-winning director Kevin Sim, who ten years ago saw an identical project for the BBC which was strangely “shelved”.

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