ITVX drama Maternal revolves around the emotional (and often hilarious) stories of Maryam (Parminder Nagra), Helen (Lisa McGrillis) and Catherine (Lara Pulver), three friends who have recently returned to working in post-pandemic frontline medicine.
Alongside lingering exes, marital troubles and the relentless demands of motherhood, they also have to contend with multiple stresses in the workplace, from confrontations with colleagues to emotionally charged interactions with their patients – and there's certainly scope for more if the show is to continue.
Will season 1 mark the end of the road for our trio of working mothers, or is this only the beginning? Read on for everything we know about season 2 of Maternal.
Will there be a Maternal season 2?
Sadly, Maternal will not be returning for season 2.
"It was a very difficult decision as we really wanted to commission another series of Maternal, but unfortunately the audience didn't come to the drama in the numbers that we'd hoped for," ITV told RadioTimes.com.
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"Everyone who watched the series really loved it, and for that reason we're really disappointed we can't make another series happen."
Who's in the cast of Maternal?
The main cast of Maternal is as follows:
- Parminder Nagra as Dr Maryam Afridi
- Lara Pulver as Catherine MacDiarmid
- Lisa McGrillis as Dr Helen Cavendish
- Chris Oliver as Guy Cavendish
- Raza Jaffrey as Jack Oliviera
- Abhin Galeya as Raz Farooqi
- Alexander Karim as Lards Nordstrom
The cast is rounded out by the following:
- Julie Graham as Susan Fisher
- Aurora Jones as Maggie Cavendish
- Mat Fraser as Steve
- Hayden Gwynne as Anne MacDiarmid
- Matilda Ziegler as Becky Hillford
- Shaheen Khan as Sania Masoom
- Sabina Arthur as Kim Allerton
- Dean Ridge as Simon Segman
- D’Vante Hart as Edward
- Cheryl Mackie as Mrs Williams
- Darren Hart as Mr Williams
- Cleo Sylvestre as Mrs Osei
- Jennifer Macbeth as Tessa Joseph
- Elizabeth Dulau as Louise Pennycook
- Stephanie Jacob as Mrs Smith
- Joe Thomas as Mat Malyon
- Guy Rufus Williams as Prof Thomas
- Bill Skinner as Will
- Elan Butler as Freddie
Maternal season 1 ending explained
If you're yet to watch the season 1 finale, be warned as there are spoilers ahead ...
The final episode of Maternal season 1 was one of the most dramatic of the season with each of our leading women having to battle increasingly stressful personal issues. And we can only assume that a potential season 2 will deal with the fallout from those decisions.
The finale opens with Helen having called an ambulance for Guy, her husband, after a suspected opioid overdose. Her team, including Guy's 24-year-old colleague with whom he had an affair, have to treat him when he's rushed to the hospital, still unconscious.
Guy had previously been suspended for drinking on call after finding out that Helen had slept with someone else. Helen herself had reported him and the episode was one where she was riddled with questions and guilt.
Similarly, Maryam also had to face up to her looming investigation meeting, where Catherine had put herself on the panel, to her own annoyance. With that, regular patient Jakub's condition deteriorating and her own husband pushing her for a decision about adopting another child, Maryam had to make some tough decisions about her future – both personally and professionally.
She finally admits to her husband that she doesn't want to have another child, stating that she could "end up like Guy". But as for her future as a doctor, that remains slightly open at the end of season 1.
Though she’s still reeling from the fact her old rival is now her boss, Catherine manages to put her own feelings to one side throughout this final episode. She books herself in with a specialist who treats women who suffer from birth trauma and gets a massage that’s more than she bargained for. But the feelings it unlocks prompts her to act on her relationship with Lars. Will the pair continue to have a 'will they/won't they' romance or will they successfully manage to co-parent despite their feelings towards one another?
Although it's under sad circumstances, Helen is also promoted from junior doctor to consultant and starts imminently. As the trio have one final teatime conversation in the hospital canteen together to round out season 1, Maryam admits that she doesn't know when she'll return to work. But she also suggests that Catherine goes into breast surgery because the hours are elective and better for her as a mother.