DI Ray and Sherlock stars Parminder Nagra and Lara Pulver are set to appear in a new ITV medical drama called Maternal, the broadcaster has announced. It also stars Lisa McGrillis.
Maternal is about three female doctors returning to post-pandemic frontline medicine after maternity leave as they heroically balance the intense demands of the NHS and motherhood.
According to ITV, the show will explore motherhood with “wit, warmth and humour and offers a unique perspective on our beloved, overstretched NHS, and the people who hold it together”.
The series explores the lives of Paediatric Registrar, Dr Maryam Afridi (Parminder Nagra), who is doubtful about whether she can cope with the emotional demands of treating children now that she has her own, and Ms Catherine MacDiarmid (Lara Pulver), a single mother and successful surgeon determined to be one of the boys in the macho world of surgery.
Finally, Dr Helen Cavendish (Lisa McGrillis), a Registrar in Acute Medicine, is wrestling with a self-prescribed role that sees her mothering everyone in her life.
Related: Sherlock bosses talk odds of revival with original stars
The drama will be written by Jacqui Honess-Martin, an experienced director and theatre writer. It will be directed by BAFTA-nominated director James Griffiths of Black-ish, Episodes and A Million Little Things fame. They will also executive produce this series.
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, expressed her excitement over the cast and the show in a statement, saying: “Jacqui’s scripts are brilliant, and they perfectly capture how difficult it can be for women juggling family life, whilst under pressure at work, making critical life or death decisions. It’s hard to believe this is her first television drama.”
“I’m thrilled Parminder, Lara and Lisa will lead our cast and to be working with Patrick Spence and James Griffiths on what promises to be a modern and engaging medical drama,” she added.
Related: How DI Ray defies British-Asian stereotype on screen
Honess-Martin also released a statement, talking about how excited she is to have this opportunity.
“I am thrilled to bring this funny, warm and quietly political story to ITV. It’s been humbling to have the opportunity to hear the stories of so many brave and brilliant female doctors working in the NHS over the past two years and I know the incredible team working on this show will do them proud,” she said.
Griffiths also echoed similar sentiments.
“The best material attracts the best talent so I feel so grateful that I get to collaborate with this incredible cast and crew to bring this authentic and relevant story to the screen,” he said.
Maternal is currently filming and will air on ITV in 2023.
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