Trust Me is a tight thriller through and through, artistically directed and brilliantly scripted.
The irony of Jodie Whittaker’s new role certainly isn’t lost on critics, advertisers, and even BBC One continuity announcers. It is truly a remarkable coincidence that the Broadchurch actress’ first project since being thrust into the spotlight is playing a ‘doctor’ who conceals her name and travels far away to escape her problems. But Trust Me couldn’t be further from the legendary show Whittaker is about to join. It’s a slick claustrophobic thriller, a ticking time bomb that’s in equal measure uncomfortable to watch yet so engrossing you won’t be able to look away.
Whittaker plays Cath Hardacre, a mistreated nurse who’s unfairly dismissed from her job after a failed whistleblowing attempt. When her best friend emigrates to Australia, Cath secretly assumes her identity, becoming ‘Dr. Alison Sutton’ at an A&E department thousands of miles away in Edinburgh. Early on, Cath and her colleagues make a toast to “Fuck the NHS”, but thankfully this drama doesn’t stray into political commentary. Trust Me is a tight thriller through and through, artistically directed and brilliantly scripted. It’s an hour of television that goes surprisingly light on dialogue, instead choosing to linger on Whittaker’s expressions to communicate. Cath’s truly isolated, simultaneously freed and imprisoned by her dark secret; as a viewer, you’re trapped with her, suffocated in the knowledge that inevitably the truth will come crashing out.
Aesthetically, Trust Me ticks all the boxes. Everything works to increase the sense of claustrophobia, including impressive directing and camera work. Even the oddly serene atmosphere of Edinburgh seems to stir the anxiety and tension Cath is wrapped up in, a perfect bubble shimmering with potential but destined to pop at any second. Above all else, Whittaker proves her metal, distancing herself from her previous role as bereaved mother Beth in Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch. Though she’s consistently shone in her past roles, Trust Me is concrete evidence that Jodie Whittaker is a safe pair of hands for Doctor Who. Cath is as complex as they come, an endearing protagonist with dark capabilities and a storm brewing underneath her stewed exterior. Boy, we’re in for a treat when we meet her real Doctor.
Trust Me continues next Tuesday at 9pm. Check out a trailer below.