Dark and twisted

Melo­drama picks up two years on, writes Seanna Cronin

South Burnett Times - - LIFE - Sea­son two of Doc­tor Foster airs Tues­days at 7.30pm on BBC First

GEMMA Foster’s life takes an even darker and more twisted turn in sea­son two of Doc­tor Foster.

The ac­claimed Bri­tish melo­drama fol­lows, Gemma ( Su­ranne Jones), a GP, af­ter she finds out her hus­band has been hav­ing an af­fair.

Sea­son two picks up two years later as Gemma’s ex- hus­band Si­mon and his new wife Kate, plus their baby daugh­ter, an­nounce they are mov­ing back to Parmin­ster.

Their re­turn sparks a bit­ter se­ries of events that threaten both fam­i­lies.

En­ter James, a mild- man­nered teacher from Gemma’s son Tom’s school who asks her out dur­ing a con­sul­ta­tion and finds him­self a by­stander in Gemma’s emo­tional whirl­wind. “I hadn’t watched

Corona­tion Street or Scott and Bai­ley, so I didn’t know Su­ranne at all as a fig­ure in Bri­tish TV really,” Prasanna Puwa­nara­jah tells The Guide.

“I watched sea­son one ( of

Doc­tor Foster) and loved it. “I thought ‘ Wow this is a really bril­liant ac­tress’.

“I thought the show was an ex­tra­or­di­nary look be­hind the twitch­ing cur­tain of mid­dle- class Eng­land.

“We have these towns all over the coun­try where peo­ple know the lo­cal GP really well and peo­ple au­to­mat­i­cally anoint them with this unas­sail­able moral clar­ity.

“This show’s hy­poth­e­sis is if you push a per­son far enough and trau­ma­tise them then they’ll re­spond and kick back and de­fend what they need to de­fend.”

De­spite an ex­tremely awk­ward first date, Gemma drags James to her ex’s house- warm­ing party even though they are not in­vited.

“We never know what’s go­ing on in peo­ple’s lives when we ask some­one out. It’s an act of say­ing to some­one ‘ I’d like to in­vite you into my world’,” Prasanna says.

“James hasn’t watched sea­son one of Doc­tor Foster, so he doesn’t know what we know. He’s just met a per­son who’s just been really straight- for­ward with him on the first evening they’ve spent to­gether.

“That level of glar­ing hon­esty is quite un­usual and it makes him cu­ri­ous about her.”

As Gemma and Si­mon con­tinue to try to make each other as mis­er­able as pos­si­ble, James is a bea­con of hope for Gemma if she can man­age to let go of the past.

“He’s the one per­son in the world who doesn’t know her past and po­ten­tially isn’t judg­ing her,” Prasanna says.

“He rep­re­sents the next pos­si­ble step in her jour­ney. Peo­ple do ex­ist in the world who are not spooked by things hap­pen­ing on a date that are quite full- on or re­veal­ing, or who are just not weirdos. James goes ‘ I’ve dis­cov­ered some­thing about you but let’s just not push the red but­ton just yet and see how this plays out’.”

But as fans of the ac­claimed se­ries know,

Doc­tor Foster will never de­liver a sim­ple, happy end­ing.

“I just watched the fi­nale of sea­son two here in the UK,” Prasanna says.

“Ob­vi­ously I re­mem­ber read­ing the scripts, but it’s been so bril­liantly well made. The highs and lows are so well achieved. We’re all col­lec­tively very proud of it. It’s a really good piece of work.”

PHOTO: SAM BARKER

MUST- WATCH: Su­ranne Jones stars as Gemma Foster in the TV se­ries Doc­tor Foster.

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