Maternal – The DVDfever Review – ITV drama – Parminder Nagra

Maternal Maternal is a new ITV drama which sees three women returning to various hospital positions at the same time, following each having given birth, and all with differing home lives.

The first we see is Dr. Maryam Afridi (Parminder NagraDI Ray), a paediatric nurse, running down the hospital ward because it’s obviously an anxiety dream about returning to work. She, hubby and kids all live in an open plan house because it makes it easier for filming purposes.

She has more of a happy home life. Meanwhile, Dr. Helen Cavendish (Lisa McGrillisSomewhere Boy) is at odds with her husband because they haven’t had sex in over two years, leading them to go to couples therapy, but then there are secrets that will come up, which may not be completely secret. Then again, why waste money on ‘therapy’ anyway, when a going for a walk will clear your head and bring the answer to mind. It’s a bit daft that they’re shown going to therapy in separate cars, even though they both work at the same hospital.

They’re all also anxious about their newborns, but surgeon Catherine MacDiarmid (Lara PulverThe City And The City) seems to be more with-it than the other two.

Along the way the opener, it’s fairly standard fare – a grumpy on-call surgeon, another surgeon who’s completely full of himself, a particular colleague’s husband who’s sleeping with the nanny, and Maryam is called back to work on the ward even on day 1 – even though she’s meant to be in training for the first week, but then they’re short-staffed because the Tories destroyed the NHS, and when Catherine says in another scene that she always wanted to be a surgeon, she’s told, “Then why did you become a mother(?)”

So, a few cliches in there, along with a patient, Ms Osei, who has hypertension and takes Bendroflumethiazide. SNAP!

Overall, Maternal is pretty good, and I’ll certainly watch a second episode. It’s very easy to get into, with a lot of patients to bring into the show and help carry it along, so it’ll probably run for multiple series. Don’t expect anything original or Earth-shattering of course – which feels like if Channel 4’s No Angels cast had grown up and had babies. But, do expect an entertaining hour, such as when one patient is asked, “So when did this pain in the abdomen start?”, to which comes the reply, “1998”. PMSL!

Then again, the patient talks about how it all started because it was bin day, and she had a ton of recycling issues… even though councils weren’t doing all that recycling palaver at the time. But I digress. I remember the easier days when multiple black bins sorted it all out.

Final thoughts on the series, after seeing the entire thing:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Maternal continues on ITV next Monday at 9pm, but is available to stream in full on ITVX now. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

Maternal – Official Trailer – ITV

Series Directors: Amanda Blue, Rebecca Gatward, James Griffiths
Producer: Betsan Morris Evans
Writer: Jacqui Honess-Martin
Music: Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch

Dr. Maryam Afridi: Parminder Nagra
Ms Catherine MacDiarmid: Lara Pulver
Dr. Helen Cavendish: Lisa McGrillis
Jack Oliviera: Raza Jaffrey
Guy Cavendish: Oliver Chris
Raz Farooqi: Abhin Galeya
Susan Fisher: Julie Graham
Lars Nordstrom: Alexander Karim
Maggie Cavendish: Aurora Jones
Steve: Mat Fraser
Anne MacDiarmid: Haydn Gwynne
Becky Hillford: Matilda Ziegler
Sania Masoom: Shaheen Khan
Kim Allerton: Sabina Arthur
Dr. Simon Segman: Dean Ridge
Edward: D’Vante Hart
Mrs Williams: Cheryl Mackie
Mr William: Darren Hart
Mrs Osei: Cleo Sylvestre
Tessa Joseph: Jennifer Macbeth
Louise Pennycook: Elizabeth Dulau
Mrs Smith: Stephanie Jacob
Matt Malyon: Joe Thomas
Prof. Thomas: Guy Williams
Will: Bill SKinner
Freddie: Elan Butler