ITV has commissioned six-part medical drama, Maternal, about three female doctors returning to post-pandemic frontline medicine after maternity leave and having to heroically balance the intense demands of the NHS and motherhood.
The drama will bring together leading actresses Parminder Nagra (DI Ray, Blacklist), Lara Pulver (The Split, The Alienist) and Lisa McGrillis (King Gary, Mum).
Maternal explores working motherhood with wit, warmth and humour and offers a unique perspective on our beloved, overstretched NHS, and the people who hold it together. Sometimes. Commented Polly Hill: "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." The drama will be written in her first television work by Jacqui Honess-Martin, an experienced director and theatre writer.
Commented Jacqui Honess-Martin: “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.”
The drama will be directed by the prolific BAFTA nominated director James Griffiths, who has set up countless hit US series including Black-ish, Episodes and A Million Little Things.
Commented James Griffiths: “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.” The series will be executive produced by BAFTA winner Patrick Spence (A Spy Among Friends, Litvinenko, Adult Material) and Kat Pugsley (The A Word, Ralph & Katie) for ITV Studios, alongside Jacqui Honess-Martin and James Griffiths, and produced by Betsan Morris Evans (Ridley Road, War of the Worlds).
Commented Patrick Spence: “These six episodes are Jacqui’s first ever scripts. She is the real deal, from day one. The pressure is on us all to deliver a show that lives up to her phenomenal writing.”
Jacqui’s scripts introduce us to Paediatric Registrar, Dr Maryam Afridi, played by Parminder Nagra, who is full of doubt that she can cope with the emotional demands of treating children now that she has her own.
Ms Catherine MacDiarmid, played by Lara Pulver, a single mother and successful surgeon determined to be one of the boys in the macho world of surgery; and Dr Helen Cavendish, played by Lisa McGrillis, a Registrar in Acute Medicine, who is wrestling with a self-prescribed role that sees her mothering everyone in her life.
Maternal is currently filming and will air on ITV in 2023.