- release date, cast, plot, trailer, first look, andeverything we know about medical drama

Maternal on ITV1 and ITVX is a new six-part medical drama about three female doctors returning to the post-pandemic frontline of medicine after maternity leave. It sees Parminder Nagra, Lisa McGrillis and Lara Pulver taking the lead roles.

Created by director and playwright Jacqui Honess-Martin in her TV screenwriting debut, this tense medical drama is one to look out for according to ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill.  

“The scripts perfectly capture how difficult it can be for women juggling family life, whilst under pressure at work, making critical life or death decisions,” she says. “It’s hard to believe this is Jacqui’s first television drama.”

Meanwhile, BAFTA-winner director James Griffiths, who’s created hit US series including Black-ish, Episodes and A Million Little Things, has overseen the drama.

Here’s everything we know about  Maternal on ITV1 and ITVX… 

Maternal release date

Maternal begins on Monday 16 January at 9pm on ITV1. After the first episode has aired on ITV1, the six-part drama will be available as a complete boxset on ITV’s free streaming service ITVX. We will update with any US or international air dates in due course.

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Maternal plot

Maternal sees three female doctors returning to post-pandemic frontline medicine after maternity leave and having to heroically balance the intense demands of the NHS and being a parent.

The six-part series follows paediatrician Maryam (Parminder Nagra,) who has two children under two is feeling anxious, while ambitious surgeon Catherine (Lara Pulver) a single mum, is itching to get back and has already got her eye on a promotion. Acute Medicine doctor Helen (Lisa McGrillis) meanwhile is struggling as her marriage implodes and she’s forced to work with her cheating husband who’s a fellow doctor at City General Hospital.

An ITV statement about Maternal reveals more… 

“The six-part drama 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.

“Jacqui’s scripts introduce us to Paediatric Registrar, Dr Maryam Afridi (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, (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 (Lisa McGrillis) a Registrar in Acute Medicine, who is wrestling with a self-prescribed role that sees her mothering everyone in her life.”

Parminder Nagra plays hospital paediatrician Dr Maryam Afridi in Maternal. (Image credit: Getty)

Maternal cast

In Maternal, Parminder Nagra, Lara Pulver and Lisa McGrillis will star as the three overworked doctors who struggle to juggle their personal and professional lives. 

US audiences will know Parminder Nagra from ER, while she also played the lead in recent ITV crime drama DI Ray, which followed a detective investigating an honour killing. Laura Pulver had a famous cameo in BBC drama Sherlock and more recently she’s appeared in legal series The Split and period piece The Alienist

After starring in acclaimed comedies Mum and King Gary, this new series will also see Lisa McGrillis return to a drama role as the third medic

Jacqui Honess-Martin on Maternal

“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.”

Meanwhile ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill says… 

“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.”

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