Warning for approaching singletons: this may put you off marriage. Warning for coupled up readers: this may make you paranoid about your what your partner’s up to whilst you’re off at work.
Although, it’s highly unlikely your other half has gone quite as far as the couple in this cracking but bonkers thriller from writer Mike Bartlett. But mad as it might be, Doctor Foster had tongues wagging with its first season in 2015, with fans elated the show got another season in 2017, taking us on a whirlwind journey through deceit, community chaos, greed and revenge. And we absolutely loved it.
Season one introduced us to Gemma (Suranne Jones), a GP who is happily – at the moment – married to her husband Simon (Bertie Carvel), who works as a property developer. They live together in their cute, close-knit town with their son Tom, living the middle class dream in their nice house, quaffing wine after a work day. However, all that Chablis infused bliss is soon interrupted, when Gemma finds a blonde hair on her husband’s scarf. So what does she do, pop it in the bin? Assume its from one of his colleagues? Ask him about it when he gets home? No, of course not – she launches a paranoia fuelled plot to find out what he’s up to.
From here on out, things get more and more wild, with twists involving pregnancies, neighbours, senile relatives and blackmail. And that’s just the first season – after a really big ending, season two continues on the same, utterly mad vein. But it seems no matter how barmy things get, we can’t help but love it. The thing is, though this might not be the most intelligent thriller you’ll ever watch, it might well be the most fun. Suranne Jones is brilliant as the lead, and Carvel as the utterly deplorable Simon is so enraging that you just want to see his wife win, no matter what she might need to do to get there.
It’s a brilliant and highly entertaining thriller about married life, with a feeling of growing dread running throughout the series. It’s well shot too, looking expensive without taking away from the grittiness off the story. So if you’re after a high thrills, dramatic story with great actors, this is the show for you.
Doctor Foster got a lot of press over its two seasons, with everyone sharing their thoughts and theories on what would happen next. The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan says “It’s a brilliant and gripping portrait of a marriage slowly being poisoned,” with her colleague Sam Wollaston saying “the second series grew, in size and pace and almost physical tension, and utter preposterousness.” The Telegraph’s reviewers have similar praise too, with Ed Power noting “how completely comfortable it is in its deranged skin,” saying “at no point did anyone behave like a rational human being – which detracted not one ounce from the fun.” And The Times’s James Jackson calls it “addictive,” adding that “Mike Bartlett’s mad, careening melodrama offered several more novel parental lessons in how to traumatise a 15-year-old.”
First shown September 2017. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.