The Teacher: Sheridan Smith stars in Channel 5's psychological thriller

School teacher Jenna's life begins to unravel after she's accused of a sexual encounter with a pupil - but she has no memory of what happened that night.

By Katie Archer Published: 14 February 2022 - 2.04pm
Chalkboard TV Sheridan Smith in The Teacher

Not content with starring in one of the winter's most eagerly anticipated dramas - ITV's No Return - queen of the small screen Sheridan Smith is heading the cast of another must-see project - Channel 5's The Teacher.

A psychological thriller about a schoolteacher accused of a shocking incident but with no memory of what happened, the four-part drama offers twists and turns galore.

What is The Teacher about?

Sheridan Smith and Kelvin Fletcher in The Teacher Chalkboard TV

Dark mystery The Teacher is a psychological thriller about state school teacher Jenna whose life begins to unravel after a shocking accusation.

She allegedly had a drunken sexual encounter with one of her pupils, but as she has no memory of anything that happened that night, Jenna is struggling to prove her innocence.

Her only hope is to uncover the truth about a dark event from her past that has returned to haunt her - leaving her with a traumatic road ahead as she tries to make sense of what has happened.

Is there a trailer?

Get a taste of the tension by watching the trailer below.

Who stars in The Teacher?

The cast of The Teacher Chalkboard TV

Taking on the lead role of Jenna Garvey is Sheridan Smith, above centre, who will be joined by Samuel Bottomley (Get Duked!, Ghost Stories, Ackley Bridge) as Kyle, the pupil at the centre of the allegations, below.

The impressive cast also includes Kelvin Fletcher (Moving On, Death In Paradise, Emmerdale) as Jack, Cecilia Noble (Small Axe, The Lady in the Van, Black Mirror) as Pauline and Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary, Finding Alice, Sherlock) as Nina, all teaching colleagues of Jenna.

Tillie Amartey and Aaronveer Dhillon play Kyle's school friends Izzy and Adnan, while comedian Anil Desai (The Imitation Game) plays head teacher Ken Mills.

David Fleeshman (It’s a Sin, All Creatures Great and Small, National Treasure) will play Jenna’s father, and Ian Puleston-Davies (Tin Star, Marcella, Coronation Street) also features.

Sam Bottomley as Kyle in The Teacher Chalkboard TV

Ratings and reviews

The Teacher received great reviews from the critics, with lots of praise for Sheridan Smith in particular, as she continues to shine on the small screen.

The Independent gave the show 4 stars and said of Smith, “There’s no one better than Sheridan Smith at performing with so much flair and vulnerability.” The Daily Mail concurred, adding, “Sheridan is never better than when playing complicated, flawed women with hearts of gold,” while also giving The Teacher 4 stars.

The Times and inews both gave 4-star reviews too. The Times said, “Sheridan Smith turns in a class act” with inews commenting, “Sheridan Smith compels in a powerful new drama.”

What else has Sheridan Smith starred in?

Smith is known for her compelling performances at the centre of a number of memorable TV dramas.

She has played a number of real-life people in TV dramas. She played singer Cilla Black in ITV's Cilla, Charmian Biggs, the wife of great train robber Ronnie Biggs in Mrs Biggs, cancer blogger Lisa Lynch in The C Word and Julie Bushby in The Moorside, the dramatisation of the disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews in 2003.

More recently, she starred in Cleaning Up as a cleaner at a city bank who makes a fortune through insider trading.

She has also starred in Benidorm and Jonathan Creek, and earlier in her career appeared in Holby City, The Royle Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and alongside Paul O'Grady in bingo sitcom Eyes Down.

Watch the best of Sheridan Smith on BritBox

When is The Teacher on TV?

The Teacher is available to stream on My5 now.