SURANNE JONES TELLS US WHY GEMMA’S STORY IS FAR FROM OVER…
SHE’S LEFT WITH A LOT OF UNRESOLVED SEXUAL ENERGY”
Just like approximately 10 million of our fellow viewers, we were absolutely gripped by Doctor Foster in 2015, as GP Gemma Foster saw her perfect life unravelling when she discovered her husband Simon was having an affair. Gemma spiralled through anxiety, pain and anger – before vowing to hit Simon where it hurt by exposing his infidelity and his shady business practices.
We thought that was the end of the story, as Simon moved away with girlfriend Kate, while Gemma stayed in Parminster with son Tom to rebuild her life. Of course, life is more complicated than that, and as the series returns this week, Gemma discovers that Simon hasn’t gone for good.
“While everyone else has turned their backs and got on with their lives, she’s still left with an awful feeling as she’s got to have this person in her life because they have a child together,” points out Suranne Jones, who plays Gemma. “It’s now two years later, and Simon is back in Gemma and Tom’s lives – he hasn’t been around for those two years, but now he’s more of a feature. She’s back being a doctor and her job has become more intense, plus she’s living with a teenage son who is becoming a man.”
It’s not a huge spoiler to reveal that Gemma is deeply unimpressed to find Simon back in town, but she can’t beat her own curiosity. That’s how she ends up taking a diversion on her way to work to go and have a look at Simon’s new house…
“The first series was about Gemma losing her friends and her stability,” explains Suranne. “The second one is just anger and hatred coming
out. What’s interesting is that they were having a full sexual relationship while he was sleeping with the 23-year-old, so she’s left with a lot of unresolved sexual energy. It’s quite a dark story in that way.”
Gemma’s actions in the first series divided viewers, with some cheering her on from the sidelines while others thought she was out of control – but there was one word ascribed to her behaviour that Suranne wasn’t keen on.
“People said, ‘She’s mad, I love it!’” recalls the actress. “She’s not mad! Her husband was cheating on her with a younger woman and she didn’t know her own life, so of course she had a breakdown. It will probably be said about her again this year, but I think that says a lot about the people who call her mad. She may not always be likeable herself this time – I think sometimes you can go too far within that and lose sight of yourself. Not that I want any sympathy for Simon, but I’m sure he will get a bit of it this time around…”
Cheating parts: Bertie Carvel and Jodie Comer play Simon and Kate
Foster kid: Suranne with Tom Taylor as her son Tom