By Tellysgonewrong @Tellyswrong
Well, that was fun wasn’t it?
In the end Cath decided that, whilst being a Doctor was far harder than she imagined, it paid the bills and enabled her to live in one of those homes that, in the 60’s, used to house about 17 different families but are now occupied by the kind of yoga practising couple who drink coffee by the thimble-full and make their own pasta.
It had a few other drawbacks too, like having to change your identity from a disgraced Nurse Hardacre into a rather revered Doctor Sutton, but that’s not a problem these days. It used to be far harder before the internet of course. In those days, in order to prove your qualifications, you used to have to go all the trouble of pointing to a framed diploma on the wall of your surgery, these days you simply replace every online image of the person you are pretending to be with a picture of yourself.
Just a few years ago, for example, I played left back for a Scottish first division football team by convincing the players and management that I was Nigel Winterburn, the ex-Arsenal and England defender turned part-time TV pundit. “Seems to check out ok” said the physio as I passed my medical and handing me back my expertly forged Nectar card. I drew a reasonable weekly wage – not Premiership money, obvs – until I ruptured my spleen taking a throw on, at which point I withdrew from football altogether, carefully remembering to restore Google back to where it was before I started.
Cath often reflected upon the predicament that got her into the pickle in which she now found herself as she stared into the gaping wound of another trauma victim that had been presented to her by the expectant ambulance crew. Had she not bemoaned the falling standards of NHS doctors who, she felt, cared less about patients welfare and more about the model of Nespresso machine that they were now able to afford, she would still be nursing away in Sheffield with the sort of bossy-boots attitude for which those nurses who wear the darker blue uniform are rightly known. She had been good at the “Hattie Jacques” frown and could change a dressing with her left hand whilst inserting a particularly stubborn catheter with the right. Unfortunately, she had been abrupt with the wrong junior Doctor and had been made to hand in her badge and gun by a senior administrator who looked as if she was trying to swallow a wasp-infested lemon.
It took circumstances and a fair degree of ‘bottle’ to place herself in Edinburgh with a stolen CV, a forged passport and an application for the vacant Doctor’s post in the busy A & E department of the West Lothian Trust. In the overworked Dr Brigitte Raynes (Sharon Small) she had found a willing employer who was so impressed with her CV that she completely forgot to check out her LinkedIn profile. “You’re too good for us” she stated, handing her a contract and wheeling in a casualty, “when was the last time you replaced a kidney?”
So Cath, now Ali, bumbled through the first three episodes, applying bandages, re-starting hearts and amputating the odd limb, while her colleagues, apart from raising the occasional eyebrow when they caught her referring to ‘Resuscitation For Dummies’, complemented her on her skill, bedside manner and willingness to empty bedpans. Not one, however, asked to connect with her on Facebook.
The tangled web of deception was bound to unravel. When estranged father of her daughter, Karl (Blake Harrison, sounding nothing like Neil from the Inbetweeners), turned up unexpectedly there was the distinct sound of a bag being vacated by a cat. Of all the missed opportunities in the world, the one that I find the most frustrating is why, when Karl realised that Cath (Jodie Whittaker) was masquerading under a false identity, did they not give him the line “Doctor WHO?”
Perhaps the writers felt that this would take a little of the realism away from the piece. Too late I’m afraid, for, while Trust Me made for a fine, edge of the seat drama, filled as it was with plenty of moral dilemmas and moments of genuine tension, it did not pay much heed to realism. After Karl is struck down by a car following a fist fight with her new boyfriend, he is briefly left alone and comatose with the very Doctor that his ex-missus was now shacked up with. Whilst everyone was looking the other way, poor old Karl croaked. “I don’t know what happened” says Dr Brenner, still standing on the oxygen line, ‘he’s just gone all blue and dead’.
‘Oh, well,’ says Cath, ‘much as I’ll never trust you again, I’ll change my name back to Doctor Sutton and carry on working here. Put him in the incinerator for me would you?’
Promotional interviews and general ‘blurb’ before the start of this series suggested that this sort of thing goes on more than we would like to imagine and I don’t doubt that some dodgy diplomas and suspicious certificates have enabled some unscrupulous gits to practise medicine when they shouldn’t even be allowed near Elastoplast but, come on. It’s hard enough to get paid by the NHS for supplying something they actually asked for, let alone carving out a career as a medic in A & E on production of someone else’s CV and a stethoscope.
This review also appears on https://tellysgonewrong.blogspot.co.uk/