Revenge, deceit… and even castration? Find out what’s next in the second series of Dr. Foster.
It was hailed by critics, earning multiple nominations at the National Television Awards.
And the ratings were sensational. A final figure of 10.1 million tuned in for the high-tension finale, establishing the show as the biggest new BBC drama of the year.
Mike Barlett’s infidelity thriller set viewers’ nerves twitching with paranoia, with Jones suspecting that the series’ success was partly down to it being “slightly uncomfortable viewing”.
But with a (loosely) tied-off ending, where though can Doctor Foster go from here? What’s next for woman scorned Gemma – and cheating scoundrel Simon (the superbly sleazy Bertie Carvel)?
DOCTOR FOSTER SERIES 2 START DATE: WHEN’S IT COMING BACK?
Shooting on “the next exhilarating chapter” in Gemma’s life kicked off in September 2016 – which means you probably shouldn’t expect new episodes ’til early 2017 .
Why the hold-up? A few reasons – Jones welcomed her first child with husband Laurence Akers in March 2016, so is taking a well-deserved break.
Then there’s the busy schedules of the entire cast, plus writer Bartlett’s commitments to Press – a new drama series set in the unpredictable world of print journalism.
That’s the bad news. The good is that “most of the original cast” – which included Jodie Comer as Kate, with Neil Stuke and Sara Stewart as her parents Chris and Susie – will return.
“It’s not going to be a whole new ball game,” Jones has said of Doctor Foster v.2. “It’s a continuation of Gemma and Simon’s story, but it’s a different stage in their life…”
Again, its five episodes, with award-winning writer Mike Barlett again on scripting duties and Sherlock director Jeremy Lovering at the helm.
DOCTOR FOSTER SERIES 1: THE STORY SO FAR…
In case you haven’t caught the first series of Doctor Foster yet (and what are you playing at – it’s only five episodes and it’s fantastic ), here’s a brief précis:
Jones plays Gemma Foster – a GP who’s happily married to property developer Simon, with whom she has a young son, Tom (Tom Taylor).
The discovery of a blonde hair on Simon’s scarf leads Gemma to unravel a web of lies – that Simon has been having an affair with Kate Parks, the daughter of one of her patients. And worse, Kate is carrying his child.
Though she plots revenge, Gemma decides to stay with Simon after the death of his mother – and the affair appeared to be over with.
But Simon was still cheating – and Gemma finally exposes his infidelity and dodgy business dealings to Kate’s parents over a painfully fraught dinner.
After a violent confrontation between husband and wife, Simon and his mistress slipped away. But Gemma won custody of their son, having proven unequivocally that she was not to be made a fool of.
DOCTOR FOSTER SERIES 2 PLOT: SO WHAT’S NEXT?
It’s hard to fathom where Doctor Foster can go from here – and Jones admitted in April 2016 that she “had to be convinced” a second series would work before signing on.
“[It was] because my story had finished,” she explained. “But then when they told me what they wanted to do with it, I felt that nothing had been done on television like it.”
Her co-star Carvel has also dismissed suggestions that a second series could be “a cynical exercise in just regurgitating the success” of the first.
“I don’t think any of us really want or need to do that, so it’ll be its own story, with its own motor,” he insisted.
Spoiler alert: We’ll pick up with Gemma Foster two years after the events of the first series, with Jodie Comer telling us that the time jump will give the show “a definite shift in energy”.
“The amazing thing about series one was the build-up,” she said. “It was such a build-up to that final episode, but that’s happened now and the story’s moved on.
“People have changed, time has passed – we pick up the series two years later on.”
The new episodes will explore “what happens to a woman after divorce, deceit and revenge has taken its toll”, according to Jones.
“That had only just been touched on [in the first series] – so yeah, we start with the trauma and what happens in the period after,” she told us.
Elaborating after her BAFTA win in May 2016, Jones hinted series two will “look at what actually happens when two people have to live with each other and parent a child.”
“It’s kind of two people at war, so Mike Bartlett wrote it as a contemporary Western, and it does feel like that,” she later explained.
“It’s what happens to two people who essentially still hate each other that haven’t sorted out their issues, and have a child to look after in the meantime I think it’s really brave, different, and it certainly pushes the boundaries of family drama.”
For his part, writer Barlett has hinted that the second series will explore the longer-reaching consequences of Simon’s cheating – and of Gemma’s revenge.
“Her life in Parminster may look better on the surface, but as she will discover to her cost, every action has its consequences eventually. No-one comes through hell unscathed.”
We got our first look at the new series courtesy of a trailer for the BBC’s entire 2017 line-up, released on New Year’s Day 2017.
Two more similar teasers followed, on January 15 and May 11, providing more glimpses of the high drama to come:
DOCTOR FOSTER SERIES 2 SPOILERS: BUT WILL SIMON GET HIS COMEUPPANCE?
Some viewers felt that philandering Simon got off too easy at the climax to the first series – escaping for a new life with his pregnant mistress.
This audience was out for blood – and with a new image showing Gemma with blood quite literally on her hands, will series two deliver?
“I don’t know what kind of comeuppance people are wishing for – whether there’s blood and death and castration involved…”
“I don’t wish unhappiness on anyone, neither do I think this is a story with a good guy – or girl – and an evil guy. It’s a story about recognisable flawed human beings.”
It sounds like Bertie is keen for his character to escape a grisly fate – and his on-screen mistress Comer has hinted that we might even end up sympathising with the show’s ‘villains’.
“On a personal level, what’s exciting for me is people will actually get to know Kate as a person,” she said. “She is just known as ‘the other woman’ – so I think it’s quite cool to come back and hopefully maybe give people a different perspective.”
“I’m quite interested if people will change their opinion of her… I think towards the end [of series one] you got to know her a little bit more, and she grows even more in series two. think people will get to know her more and maybe understand her – that’s what I’m hoping for anyway.”
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