Trust Me

Tuesday, 9pm, BBC One

It starts with a burst of gunfire in a far-flung, sun-bleached street. Amid the chaos, a fallen British soldier. A crash, darkness, a time-jump … and from there, a disorientating switch to the soldier’s woozy viewpoint. Through his eyes, you experience the queasy feeling of being wheeled out of an ambulance toward an imposing red building with twin green copper spires (actually the old Jordanhill campus in Glasgow). Viewed from flat on your back, it takes on an ever more towering, gothic feel. Ferried helplessly through some bland corridors, you finally glimpse a sign: the James Stewart Spinal Unit. Even if Harvey is one of your favourite films, it is a discomforting sight. This is not a wonderful lie-in.

That’s how Corporal Jamie McCain is introduced to his new circumstances. (Jamie is played by Alfred Enoch, no stranger to mysterious institutions harbouring shadowy secrets after all those years as likeable Hogwarts regular Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films.) His injuries have left him paraplegic – albeit with limited ability in his arms – and he faces a gruelling period of rehabilitation in a specialist unit far from friends or family. Even worse, the mortality rate on this particular ward is worryingly high. Might Jamie’s geeky fellow patient Danny (Elliott Cooper, veteran of Scotland’s disabled-let touring theatre company Birds of Paradise) be on to something with his theories about one of the hospital staff secretly being a killer?

A tough man of action being confined to a hospital bed is a huge change to absorb, but Trust Me has gone through a similar hard reboot. When it debuted in 2017, it starred Jodie Whittaker as a frustrated nurse who stole her friend’s identity and got hired as an Edinburgh A&E doctor (rather confusingly, Whittaker got hired as the actual Doctor a month before the first series was broadcast). With its original star now joyriding through space and time in the Tardis, the second series of Trust Me has been required to improvise, rustling up an all-new story while relocating along the M8 to Glasgow. This second mutation is an atmospheric thriller with both a dark sense of humour and a stacked cast of Scottish talent.

John Hannah is the brusque, self-important clinical lead with an arms-length approach except when it comes to certain co-workers. Ashley Jensen is the cheery but world-weary physiotherapist who sometimes struggles to mask her growing cynicism. Katie Clarkson-Hill (actually a Doncaster girl, but managing a creditable Scottish accent) is a newly qualified doctor who takes a shine to Jamie; Richard Rankin is her neurologist fiancé who seems just a little bit too intense. Most of these medics are given a slightly weird moment to help sow some seeds of distrust in the audience’s mind, and Trust Me gets a lot of mileage out of its outwardly stoic but clearly traumatised lead riding waves of paranoia. Jamie also has problems over and above his spinal shock, with military police red caps sniffing around his fateful last mission, which clearly went seriously wrong.

After working so hard to create a sense of foreboding where dark motives lurk just below the everyday surface, it is perhaps surprising how hard Trust Me steers into comedy. The references to Doctor Who, in particular, seem so in-jokey as to potentially derail all the tension it has worked so hard to build. But its twin mysteries are juicy enough to encourage a return visit, if only to see if it can maintain its unsettling, eccentric mood for a four-episode run, especially with a bed-ridden star.


Game of Thrones

2am, Sky Atlantic

Hush, now. Can you hear it? That ominous whisper carried on the wind? Is it the distant tramp of a White Walker army marching implacably across Westeros? Or just the sound of thousands of Now TV subscriptions being reactivated as fans scramble to get back on the Thrones bandwagon? After a wobbly start, the feudal epic based on GRR Martin’s doorstep-sized fantasy novels has evolved into a global phenomenon. Episode one of the eighth and final season will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic tonight in the wee small hours simultaneously with its HBO debut (and available on Now TV soon after). But even with feature-length running times, six instalments barely seems enough to wrap up such a sweeping, bloody saga. Like Daenerys taking to the air on one of her knobbly dragon steeds, you have to wonder: will they be able to stick the landing?



9.30pm, BBC One

In this cracking new farce from the exuberant team behind CBBC hit Horrible Histories, frustrated young couple Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder. So when a long-lost relative bequeaths Alison a grand but rather rundown country manor, it feels like a cosmic intervention. There’s just one problem: the property is already inhabited by the restless spirits of those who have already died on the grounds throughout the years, including a curious caveman, a pompous Edwardian matriarch and a former MP with his trousers permanently around his ankles. Playing this gaggle of historical spectres gives the core cast – including Mathew Baynton and Jim Howick – another excuse to rummage through the dressing-up box as they try and scare the unwanted new arrivals away.



9pm, Channel 4

It sounds like a mythical creature that might have wandered in from Westeros but Chimerica is the evocative portmanteau used to describe the dual dominance of China and America in modern economics. Playwright Lucy Kirkwood borrowed the term for her award-winning 2013 play about the long shadow cast by the Tiananmen Square massacre, and has now updated and expanded the original for this textured new four-part TV adaptation. Zipping between New York and Beijing, it centres around photojournalist Lee Berger – who, as a young snapper in 1989, took an iconic picture of “Tank Man”, the unidentified protester who single-handedly halted an armoured column – and his friend Zhang, a former agitator who lost the love of his life during the protests, touching on the rising spectre of fake news and the enduring power of Wham! along the way.


Climate Change: The Facts

9pm, BBC One

Sir David Attenborough recently made his Netflix debut with the dazzling Our Planet but he has not fully abandoned the BBC. His familiar narrating cadences are a comforting element in this unflinching one-off film that could be described as timely if not for the fact that almost every single climate change scientist and researcher interviewed has the pinched, haunted look of someone who knows that it is probably already too late to save the Earth from cataclysm. The result is a glum potted history of how our reliance on fossil fuels thoroughly upended the natural order of our home planet, creating the abnormal circumstances that have heralded unprecedented storms, catastrophic wildfires and an accelerating melting of the polar ice caps. If it is a feel-bad watch, that seems to be the point, and it is refreshing to hear Sir David bang the drum for direct action.


Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome

9pm, BBC Two

While it may feel like a missed opportunity that this spiritual celebrity travelogue was not called “Star Trek: The Voyage Rome”, hiking from Switzerland to Italy has clearly been a bonding exercise for the talent involved. In the third and final instalment, the footsore pilgrims – comics Les Dennis, Katie Brand and Stephen K Amos, Olympian Greg Rutherford, actor Lesley Joseph, presenter Mehreen Baig, dancer Brendan Cole and dark-haired Khaleesi of Eurovision Dana – stop off at the historical town of Sutri, around 30 miles from their final destination, to check out a Roman amphitheatre. In these glorious ruins, the weight of history feels almost tangible. (“It’s like doing Strictly at the O2!” gasps Lesley.) After one last push, they finally arrive at St Peter’s Square just in time for an extraordinary twist to rival anything on Line of Duty.


Ninja Warrior UK

6.30pm, STV

We are now in season five of Ninja Warrior UK and almost a thousand hopefuls have squared up to the well-padded assault course housed in a Manchester convention centre. Some competitors have whizzed along the tricky Ring Jumps with catlike grace. Others have simply fallen flat on their face. But despite the best cheerleading efforts of hosts Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes and Chris Kamara, no-one has yet defeated the final obstacle. Admittedly, conquering the towering scaffold of Mount Midoriyama involves climbing a 22-metre-high rope unaided. But until some brave shinobi manages to arm-over-arm it up the height of two double-decker buses we are forever going to be stuck in this initial phase of training rather than seeing contestants graduate to the more advanced ninja warrior skills such as silent infiltration, deadly shuriken throwing and silent neck-snapping. Hurry up!