Maternal cast: who stars in the ITV medical drama with Parminder Nagra, Lara Pulver, and Lisa McGrillis?
Everything you need to know about the cast of Maternal, from who they play in the ITV medical drama to what to watch them in next
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Maternal, a new medical drama, is set to begin on ITV1 on Monday 16 January.
The series follows three doctors – each of whom are relatively new mothers – returning to frontline medicine after an extended period of maternity leave. They’re each readjusting to the demands of their jobs in a post-pandemic NHS, and at the same time trying to balance those demands with their own increasingly complicated personal lives.
Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of Maternal, from who they play in the ITV medical drama to where you recognise them from already – and, of course, a recommendation for what to watch them in next.
Parminder Nagra as Dr Maryam Afridi
Who do they play in Maternal? Parminder Nagra plays Maryam Afridi, a paediatric doctor returning to medicine after two years away. She’s a skilled medic, but her first day back is immediately intense, leaving her questioning her priorities and abilities.
Where do I know them from? You’ll recognise Nagra from roles in US series like The Blacklist or ER, and of course also from her early-career lead role in the film Bend it Like Beckham.
What should I watch them in next? Last year, Parminder Nagra starred in DI Ray, a crime drama produced by Jed Mercurio that offered a strong blend of character study and high stakes tension. A second series is currently in production.
Lara Pulver as Ms Catherine MacDiarmid
Who do they play in Maternal? Lara Pulver plays Catherine MacDiarmid, a trauma surgeon pursuing a competitive consultant position while juggling the demands of a new and unexpected child.
Where do I know them from? Lara Pulver is perhaps best known for roles in series like Spooks and Sherlock, as well as other dramas that don’t begin with the letter S, like The Split. (By technicality, at least.)
What should I watch them in next? She really was very good in Sherlock, playing Irene Adler in one of the show’s best episodes. Worth a rewatch!
Lisa McGrillis as Dr Helen Cavendish
Who do they play in Maternal? Lisa McGrillis plays Helen Cavendish, a registrar in acute medicine. She’s a mother of three, under strain in her personal life after her husband (a consultant on the same ward) had an affair with a colleague.
Where do I know them from? McGrillis is best known for roles in the crime dramas Inspector George Gently and No Offence, as well as comedies like Mum, King Gary, and Avoidance.
What should I watch them in next? Late last year, McGrillis starred in Somewhere Boy, playing Danny’s aunt – it was a fantastic performance in a great show, well worth checking out if you’ve not seen it.
Raza Jaffrey as Dr Jack Oliviera
Who do they play in Maternal? Raza Jaffrey plays Dr Jack Oliviera, a surgeon pursuing the same consultant job as Catherine – and also, of course, her ex. (Jaffrey is actually married to Lara Pulver in real life, which is fun.)
Where do I know them from? You might recognise Jaffrey from the Netflix sci-fi drama Lost in Space, the historical drama The Serpent Queen, and the animated series Pantheon. He’s also appeared in the spy dramas Homeland, Spooks, and The Enemy Within.
What should I watch them in next? If you enjoy Maternal and you’re looking for another medical drama to watch, you might want to try Code Black, a US medical drama Jaffrey starred in during its first series.
Oliver Chris as Dr Guy Cavendish
Who do they play in Maternal? Oliver Chris plays Dr Guy Cavendish, a consultant in acute medicine. He’s married to Helen Cavendish, though their relationship is strained after he had an affair.
Where do I know them from? You’ll recognise Chris from all sorts of things – he’s very much an “oh, that guy, from that thing” kind of actor – but some recent notable roles include The Crown Series 5, Motherland, and A Very British Scandal.
What should I watch them in next? Chris is very funny in a supporting role in the Apple TV+ comedy Trying, which is always worth giving a shoutout to.
Alexander Karim as Dr Lars Nordström
Who do they play in Maternal? Alexander Karim plays Dr Lars Nordström, a Swedish doctor who had a brief affair with Catherine a year prior – and is now father of her child.
Where do I know them from? Karim is a Swedish actor/writer (and, according to his Wikipedia page, lord of the morning and the dragon reborn). Most of his work has been in Sweden – when he starred in Advokaten, he was the first Black actor to play a lead in a primetime Swedish drama – but UK audiences might know him from Zero Dark Thirty or The Wheel of Time.
What should I watch them in next? The legal drama Advokaten is available on All4, and seems like it’d be an interesting one to check out if you like international drama.
Who else stars in Maternal?
They’re joined by Abhin Galeya (The Bill) as Maryam’s partner Raz Farooqu, Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners, We Are Not Alone) as anaesthetist Mat Malyon, Julie Graham (Ridley) as Dr Susan Fisher, and Jennifer Macbeth as F1 medic Tessa in her first major screen role.
Who writes and directs Maternal?
Maternal was created by playwright Jacqui Honess-Martin, who wrote all six episodes. The series marks Honess-Martin’s first television credit, but she’s an experienced writer and director of theatre – some of her notable prior work includes Pine, We Have Fallen, and Tell Out My Soul.
BAFTA nominated director James Griffiths helms all six episodes of Maternal. Griffiths has previously directed the pilot episodes of Black-ish, Episodes, and A Million Little Things, as well as directing episodes of Stumptown and The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.
Maternal begins on ITV1 at 9pm on Monday 16 January, with new episodes airing weekly.