Brand-new ITV drama Maternal follows three woman balancing their lives as new mothers alongside their demanding jobs in post-pandemic frontline medicine.


The drama stars Parminder Nagra, Lisa McGrillis and Lara Pulver, and is set to shine a spotlight on the current situation within the NHS, having been described as a "love letter to women on the NHS frontline who are holding it together".

Pulver recently spoke about the show's presentation of the NHS and her own perception of it, saying: "I think the NHS is in absolute crisis.

"Having lived in the States now for 12 years, I have such a respect for and appreciation for the NHS, because the US healthcare system is so divided between haves and have nots, and it's heartbreaking."

ITV Maternal Lara Pulver
Lara Pulver as Catherine Macdiarmid in ITV's Maternal. ITV

She continued: "And the fact that we have the NHS, even when it's failing, it’s still operating on some level – my mother-in-law was in hospital recently and there were 180 patients being admitted into that A&E that day. Maternal is absolutely shining a spotlight on the NHS in a celebratory way just as much as in an eye-opening way."

Maternal is written by Jacqui Honess-Martin, who said that the drama was borne out of her own experiences of returning to work following maternity leave.

She explained: "I went back to work full time and I found it really, really hard. And I was surprised by that. Then speaking to all my friends, I realised that everyone else was having the same experience. Once you realise that it's not just you, then there's a system that's broken somewhere.

"I had really good friends who were going back to frontline medicine in the NHS. I just thought, in my job in theatre, the world won't end if I'm not at 100 per cent: how are these medics coping when the decisions they're making are life and death? I wanted to investigate how returning to work as a young mother just throws your complete sense of self and your self confidence."

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The series is the latest drama to tackle the difficulties and crises within the modern NHS, after last year's BBC drama This is Going to Hurt dramatised Adam Kay's 2017 non-fiction book of the same name.

Maternal airs on ITV1 and ITVX on Monday 16th January at 9pm. Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our Drama hub for more news and features.


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