Every now and again, I’ll watch something that floors me. It could be a drama series, documentary or perhaps a film. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does; it really happens. This week, I discovered Doctor Foster; a British drama series on BBC1 starring Suranne Jones.
My mum had mentioned it to me a few weeks ago and I’ll be honest, I gave her short thrift, despite her telling me how amazing it was and how she thought it would be up my street, I simply told her I didn’t have the time at the moment to get into a drama series and had so much other TV to catch up on.
My mum loves Scott & Bailey on ITV1 starring Suranne Jones and I’ve never really been that interested in it, I only really know Suranne from Coronation Street, when she played Karen McDonald, wife of Steve.
This performance was a world away from Karen McDonald and showed just how incredibly versatile an actress Suranne Jones is.
Doctor Foster is compelling as it is addictive. Not to mention so incredibly intense. I’d briefly read an article on Mail Online on Thursday morning on my way into work. Without reading too much of the review to give the story away, I quickly realised just how good this series must have been. I knew I had to watch it myself, so I did, in an afternoon. Every single one of the 5 hour long episodes and within 5-10 minutes of Episode 1, I knew this was going to be incredible.
It tells the story of how a woman’s seemingly perfect life falls apart when she discovers her husband of 14 years is having an affair. An affair with a woman over a decade younger than herself. She takes the time to find out as much information as she can about the betrayal and quickly realises how many people – close friends even, know about this indiscretion of her husbands. She gives her husband, Simon, the chance to come clean, almost believing that if he confesses, she can forgive him. The lie that he could tell would be worse than the ‘mistake’ itself. He declines the opportunity to reveal all and lies. He bareface lies to her.
The series goes on to show how Suranne’s character Gemma Foster, begins to plan her divorce from Simon – with very interesting mini sub plots and intricate twists and turns.
It then looks as though the affair is over, Gemma will be giving Simon a second chance and the divorce is off. This soon changes again with another twist in the story and Gemma is full steam ahead with her plot to leave Simon with nothing.
Suranne is simply flawless in her performance. Don’t get me wrong, the other performances are fantastic, it has been perfectly cast, but Suranne makes me feel like I am watching everything unfold in the room. I don’t feel like I am watching it on the screen, I feel like I’m watching her life fall apart mere feet away from her myself. I couldn’t stop watching, I was absolutely captivated, with no idea how things were going to pan out.
Episode 5 was the final episode and the wheels were in motion for Simon’s downfall. Gemma had put into place everything she needed to secure a dramatic fall out and hopefully ensure she would come out on top. I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t watched it, although Episode 1 is no longer available online, Doctor Foster is being released on DVD on Monday 12th October. I implore every single one of you to buy it and to watch it. You won’t be disappointed. Gemma’s plan doesn’t quite go how she thought it would and that’s as much as I will say. The final episode itself is jaw droppingly good, spine tingling in fact. It is a piece of televisual perfection in my opinion.
I’ve read mixed opinions on Gemma herself, some call her some sort of mad heroine. Others think she is incredibly unlikeable. I never once thought she was unlikeable myself. My heart ached for her and I wanted more than anything for her to get her revenge and for Simon to be left with nothing. Some thought he was charming, I didn’t. I thought she could do so much better for herself than some middle aged wannabe property developer.
Doctor Foster is sexy and full of bad language (even the C word gets mentioned!) but its all used in the right way. It’s not overly sexual for sexual sake, it fits its purpose.
Times 2 the entertainment supplement in The Times gave the first episode 5 stars in its review. Many thought this was rather previous of the reviewer and criticised the review for being so over positive so early on. It paid off, however, because the reviewer was right. This series was worthy of 5 stars throughout, especially the last episode.
There’s talk of Suranne Jones receiving a BAFTA for her performance in Doctor Foster, she deserves this and more. Hand on heart, I have never watched anything that has had such an effect on me than Doctor Foster. When I reached the end of Episode 5 and that was it, Doctor Foster was over, my heart was racing, my mind was blown. I also felt like I did when Series 1 of Broadchurch on ITV1 came to an end a couple of years ago. I was totally captivated by that series too.
I’m just so glad that I managed to watch all of Doctor Foster in one go, without having to wait a week for the next episode. That would have been really tough for someone so impatient like myself. That was something I found really difficult with Broadchurch!
I’ve heard there may be a possibility of a second series, I’m not too sure how I feel about that. Although I enjoyed watching Series 2 of Broadchurch, it didn’t really work and I don’t think Doctor Foster series 2 would either. The story has been told, the revenge has been served and that’s it. Nothing more to tell. No matter how much I would love to see Suranne Jones resurrect the character Gemma Foster for a second time.
If you get the chance to watch it please do. Equally, if you have watched it, please let me know what you thought. I can’t stop talking about it!
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
This Post Has 17 Comments
I totally agree with you, best tv drama since broad church!
This review is extremely good, Rachel you have a talent there.
Katie, thanks so much, your words are so kind and so appreciated. I do love a decent drama series. Hopefully, in the run up to Christmas we’ll be spoilt with some good TV. I do nothing but snuggle down and watch TV in the winter months! x
I watched it and absolutely agree – it was a flawless series. I’m not certain if I 100% liked her character at all times. Suranne excelled herself in this role either way, and I’m still reeling after watching the last episode the other day.
Thanks Fiona. I am still reeling too. So glad you enjoyed the review and indeed the series. Not watched anything like that in a long time. Will deffo be buying the DVD. x
I have to agree with you. I never watch anything like this on TV (my ‘things’ are Neighbours, The Apprentice, Strictly, Ant & Dec shows, Gogglebox and stuff on Netflix – I rarely watch any other tele), but after seeing clips on Gogglebox I decided to give it a watch and I’m SO glad I did! I haven’t seen the last episode yet but it’s been fantastic so far. I think Suranne played an amazing part and she really does deserve a BAFTA. I’m wondering now if there’s anything else I need to be watching on BBC! Lol X
I’m so glad you loved Doctor Foster, I haven’t heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy it yet! Was superb. I hope Suranne wins every award under the sun for her performance. Have been hearing about a Sheridan Smith drama on BBC2 that is meant to be good x
I was off sick yesterday and watched back to back every episode and I couldn’t agree with you more, it was AMAZING!!
Really good review.
Love reading your blog!
Ah Robyn, sorry to hear you were poorly. Hope you’re feeling better? I think Doctor Foster would be perfect viewing when you’re not feeling well. Thanks so much for reading and for commenting. I love that you love reading it! xxx
I totally agree Rachel, it was captivating. Having been through a similar situation I could really feel all her emotions, the way they were portrayed are as real as they were for me. Fantastic performance, brilliant review, keep them coming x
Ohh damn I keep reading reviews of this and wish I had watched it, bet it’s gone from catch up now 🙁 You’ve made it sound just like the sort of thing I like to watch! Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst and hope to see you like up again XX
I only watched the second and last episode because as you mentioned I found Doctor Foster herself a little cold, I understand she was supposed to be repressed and I liked all her quivering expressions (sadly I have the attention span of a flea due to over exposure to CBeebies). But I loved the scene in the girlfriends parents house, smashing trinkets and revealing secrets – ultimate revenge! Nice post. #bestandworst
I’ve heard awesome things about this too! My Mum nagged me to watch it and I was too late! Perhaps I should get it…this review is pretty convincing. It is great to get totally into something.Such escapism. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst and see you soon xx