ITV drama Monroe is back on Monday 1st October! Yay!

by Lynn Connolly

Fans of James Nesbitt and hit drama Monroe, in which James plays the role of the taciturn medic, is returning to ITV on Monday 1st October at 9pm.

James and his co-stars are joined in series two by former EastEnders star Tracy-Ann Oberman, Drop the Dead Donkey’s Neil Pearson and Lisa Millet who starred in Love Life.

Created by BAFTA award-winning Peter Bowker, the second series sees the return of Sarah Parish – who starred in Mistresses and Cutting it – who plays the role of formidable heart surgeon Jenny Bremner.

Bouquet of Barbed Wire actor Tom Riley also stars as Monroe’s best friend, anaesthetist Lawrence Shepherd.

And to whet your appetite for the new series, here’s what ITV have to say of episode one…

In the opening episode Paul Herd (Jody Latham – The Street, Shameless) and his pregnant wife Julie (Julia Haworth – Coronation Street) ask Monroe for help. Paul has been refused surgery by other hospitals for a dangerous neurological condition and Monroe has to decide whether to operate, putting him in conflict with Gillespie.

Eighteen months on and there have been quite a few changes for the staff at St Matthew’s. Monroe (James Nesbitt) has moved into his new bachelor pad, while Shepherd (Tom Riley) and Bremner (Sarah Parish) are now parents to baby Louis.

Today is Bremner’s first day back after maternity leave, and already there is tension between her and Shepherd regarding childcare. Meanwhile, Alistair Gillespie (Neil Pearson), the hospital’s new Head of Clinical Services, is making life difficult for both Bremner and Monroe and neither is used to being overruled.

Gillespie also introduces Lizzie Clapham (Tracy-Ann Oberman), a Nurse Specialist, who will act as an emotional support for neuro and cardiac patients – another thing that gets Monroe’s back up. If anyone’s talking to his patients, it should be him.

Bremner finds it difficult to settle back in at work; Gillespie has taken her off the operating rota for a while to ‘ease her in’, and she finds herself out of the loop for important inter-departmental meetings.

Her trainee Witney (Christina Chong) has been promoted to registrar, and Bremner isn’t at all happy when it seems as though she may be becoming too big for her boots. She’s also lost a trainee, as Mullery (Andrew Gower) has stepped over to general surgery and now works for her nemesis, Gillespie.

When a road traffic accident is rushed in, both Monroe and Gillespie are forced to operate together. Monroe assumes that once he’s shown Gillespie his prowess in theatre he’ll get him on-side, but Gillespie proves to be less of a pushover than he’d hoped…

Meanwhile, at home, Monroe decides it would be a good idea to invite ex-wife Anna (Susan Lynch) to dinner with her new boyfriend, Dave the vet (Simon Chadwick). Nick (Perry Millward) also joins along with his girlfriend, Donna (Karla Crome), shocking his parents with the news that they’re getting married in just a few weeks’ time.

When Bremner is forced to perform an emergency sternotomy to save the life of an elderly heart patient, she finally feels back at home at St Matthew’s. But there are ominous signs that her relationship with Shepherd isn’t quite what it should be.

Monroe has his own relationship issues to deal with at work. He carries out an incredibly risky AVM operation against Gillespie’s advice, but manages to save the patient.

However, his bubble is burst when Gillespie tells them that the hospital can only afford to promote one of his trainees to registrar. He must lose either Wilson (Michelle Asante) or Springer (Luke Allen-Gale) and the final decision is his.

Here’s a promo for the new series…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.