Rafe Spall on the return of adoption comedy 'Trying'

Esther Smith and Rafe Spall as Nikki and Jason in Trying. (Image credit: Apple)

Trying Season 1 ended with young couple Nikki and Jason (Cuckoo’s Esther Smith and War of the Worlds star Rafe Spall) clearing a major hurdle in their bid to become parents, as they were approved by the adoption panel. 

However there are still plenty of mis-steps for them to negotiate as the path to parenthood continues to be extremely — well, trying — in a second series of the charming adoption comedy, that also stars Phil Davis, Paula Wilcox and Imelda Staunton as eccentric social worker Penny. 

We caught up with Rafe for a virtual chat,  to find out what’s in store…

Rafe Spall on how Nikki and Jason's adoption plans are progressing

“There's a lot of one step forward, two steps back. They’re growing, but they are still the flawed people they’ve always been!”

Rafe on the fabulous supporting cast

Imelda Staunton in 'Trying'

Imelda Staunton as Nikki and Jason's eccentric social worker, Penny. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

“One of the great merits of doing a second series is that you're able to pay greater attention to some of the more peripheral characters. Jason’s dad, played by Phil Davis, is this working-class man of few words who realises he needs to pay more attention to his wife. Jason’s best friend, Freddie [Oliver Chris], has been kicked out by his wife Erica [Ophelia Lovibond]. And Nikki's sister, Karen [Sian Brooke], is getting married to a gentleman Scott [Darren Boyd], who has got some serious flaws to say the least!”

Rafe Spall on looking after other people's kids

Rafe Spall and Esther Smith in Trying

Nikki and Jason have their hands full when they try out a spot of childcare. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

“I've been to public places with seven children, four of which don't belong to me, and you are definitely more worried. What's worse than losing your own kids? Losing someone else’s!”

Rafe on how Trying tackles infertility and adoption

“All these storylines are treated with the same lightness of touch. Andy Wolton, who wrote the show, was adopted himself, and is very keen that all the details are correct. When you're dealing with something sensitive, you don't want to offend people who might be going through it.”

Rafe on Nikki and Jason's everyday lives

“It’s the beauty and poetry of everyday life — doing the washing up, having an Indian takeaway, things that we can all identify with that might seem boring, but it’s the stuff that life’s made of! One of my favourite scenes is when Nikki says to my character: ‘If this doesn't work out, that's okay. Because you're enough, we're enough.’ And that's lovely.”

The eight episodes will be shown weekly on Apple TV+ from Friday 21 May. 

We are previewing Trying on TV streaming podcast Bingewatch, which is available on iTunes, Spotify and Acast.

Ian MacEwan
Senior Writer

Ian writes about TV and film for TV Times, What’s on TV and TV & Satellite Week magazines. He co-hosts the weekly TV streaming podcast, Bingewatch.