Marcella Backland left the Metropolitan Police for the sake of her family, only to have her husband leave her. She returns to her job on the murder squad, investigating a case that seems disturbingly familiar to her.
A seemingly cold but very passionate policewoman goes head to head with a seemingly passionate father who is in fact a cold serialist in this procedural out of Belfast. The only thing they share is their common complexity.
A dramatization of the life of LGBTQ+ trailblazer, voracious learner and cryptic diarist Anne Lister, who returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1832, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home Shibden Hall.
Doctor Gemma Foster's life is about to be torn apart. She's a talented family doctor at the heart of her community, a loving wife and mother, a woman people can trust. But her world is fractured the moment she suspects her husband, Simon, of having an affair. Determined to discover the truth, Gemma unearths dark secrets that threaten everything she loves. As her life and the lives of her patients and family are thrown into chaos, only one thing is certain - Gemma will find herself behaving in ways she could never have imagined.
Have found myself watching the BBC less over the years, mainly because of being too busy and also not a lot that airs regularly interests me. Programmes that were watched religiously when younger are now only watched sporadically or not watched anymore, having lost interest. There are though a fair share of treasures, like their literary period dramas and the David Attenborough nature documentaries, and unexpected gems.
While not without its drawbacks, 'Doctor Foster' is one of those flawed but better than expected winners. It won't appeal to all tastes, the criticisms are understandable, and it's not quite one of the best BBC dramas/series in years. To me on the other hand, 'Doctor Foster' when it first aired in 2015 was something that personally didn't expect to be as good as it was. And its second season this year was one of the better BBC programmes airing in the latter part of this year.
'Doctor Foster' to me isn't perfect. Do agree about the truth and credibility being stretched, Gemma especially making some rash and unrealistic decisions. Some events also happen and are resolved all too conveniently. The final episode of Season 1 also felt somewhat unbalanced and absurdly melodramatic and sees Gemma's unrealistic actions at her worst and most extreme, almost erratic.
On the other hand, 'Doctor Foster' is very well made visually, stylish and audaciously with a fluid way of how it's shot. The music has presence but has moments where it isn't too intrusive, though it can be prone to being melodramatically overbearing.
The script is thought-provoking and continually smart and gripping, with some genuine pathos, tension and a little dark subtle humour. The storytelling is not always perfect in balance but has plenty of twists and turns and its depiction of flawed relationships and such can be quite chilling. The same goes for Season 2 in both the script and story, except that it takes a darker and more emotionally turbulent tone, as well as even more twisted. There are still the same faults that the first season did, except the ending of Season 2 is more of a nail-biter and more emotional.
Direction keeps things controlled, the storytelling never gets dull and the characters are interesting even if their behaviour is uneven and are largely unsympathetic with the exception of Tom. A huge part of 'Doctor Foster's' appeal is Suranne Jones, who is in nearly every scene and dominates them all in an outstandingly nuanced turn that says so much whether saying anything or being reliant on expressions without saying anything.
Bertie Carvel is also excellent and Tom Taylor is wholly credible as the most sympathetically, realistically and consistently written character (one does relate to him). All the supporting cast do very well, with Robert Pugh in Season 1 being one of the most memorable ones.
In conclusion, flawed but still a winner. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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