LORNE MacFadyen admits he’s “totally guilty” of a binge watch. Even if he adds that he prefers the week-to-week suspense of a good thriller he, like so many of us, has fallen into the trap of finding himself on episode ten when you only started the series that very same day. 

Luckily, the Scottish actor’s new series, Malpractice, lends itself to either audience. It’s first episode airs tonight on ITV at 9pm following which the rest of the episodes will drop on ITVX and continue to be shown weekly for those who prefer to keep the suspense going. 

It focuses on Dr Lucinda Edwards (Niamh Algar), an experienced A&E doctor in the midst of a nightmare shift in which she has to deal with a gunshot victim and an opioid overdose patient. When one of them dies, investigators from the Medical Investigation Unit arrive, tasked with assessing whether Edwards is still fit to be a doctor. 

It’s produced by the team behind Line Of Duty and, unsurprisingly, that’s resulted in “non-stop nail-biting” action as MacFadyen puts it. The actor, 32 and originally from Skye, was in part drawn to his role as Tom, Edwards’ husband, because of a family connection. 

The National: New ITV thriller Malpractice starts tonight at 9pmNew ITV thriller Malpractice starts tonight at 9pm (Image: ITV)

“My mum and my sister are both A&E nurses so doing something within that setting is personally very important to me and to play someone that is a support for someone that works that job I felt like I could slot into that pretty easily”, he told The National. 

Initially, he explains he was drawn to the project after he discovered that Philip Barantini, who directed tense, one-shot kitchen drama Boiling Point, was attached to the project. 

“I’ve seen that film before and I thought he handles tension so well. Boiling Point really blew me away for a debut feature. So that was one pull but then when I read Grace Ofori-Attah’s script, it was just a non-stop, nail-biting, page-turner.”

He explains that, as he has grown older and more experienced, he prefers a character he can identify with rather than distance himself from. 

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Although there’s certain elements of Tom that MacFadyen can’t yet say he experiences, that family connection was of great use. 

He explained: “It was easier to understand and to empathise with him. There were certain aspects to imagine though as I’m not a father which is a different responsibility. 

“But often when you’re playing something quite close to you it’s easy to muddle things up and not know where you begin and the character begins which can be more of a challenge but it’s something I quite like. 

“I used to want to distance myself but now I try bring myself closer.”

MacFadyen’s character is at a difficult moment in his life, feeling “emasculated” as a stay-at-home dad and struggling to get his business off the ground after its opening was delayed by Covid. 

The friction between him and his wife as she approaches breaking point at her job is part of what drives the series. 

The show has come at a perfect time, with scrutiny on the health service and the treatment of nurses and doctors at an all-time high. 

MacFadyen said: “This show is set post-pandemic so you don’t have that focus on Covid. But the mental health ramifications, the stress on resources and the lack of support for doctors and nurses which is obviously very timely at the moment. 

“It doesn’t shy away from that at all, it’s showing the stress and hell that they’re going through. I’m proud to be in a show that highlights they’re being undervalued.”

The National: MacFadyen plays the main character's husbandMacFadyen plays the main character's husband (Image: ITV)

Being in a high-octane thriller is nothing new for MacFadyen, who has already starred in Vigil alongside other major blockbusters such as Outlaw King. 

He’s based in London now for work although admits that he misses Scotland, particularly his home in Skye. 

“I try get back as much as I can”, he says. “All my mates are back there and it’s nice coming back to Scotland and not feeling like the ‘Scottish guy’ whereas in London it sometimes can feel a little bit like that. 

“I think I miss the humour, the sensibility. Particularly Skye has a really unique outlook and a unique humour, I think that comes from the Gaelic culture. I sometimes relate quite heavy to Ireland as well; I think there’s a connection with their rural communities.”