The star of the BBC’s hit psychological drama Doctor Foster has said she hopes the show will make people “think twice” about having affairs and the consequences of divorce.
Suranne Jones, who returned as Dr Gemma Foster earlier this month after uncovering her husband’s adultery in season one, told the Sunday Mirror that “hopefully it will make people think twice about divorce or having an affair in the first place”.
“I certainly hope it makes people think about how they conduct themselves, if they do split with somebody,” she said.
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While last season focused on her husband Simon’s affair with a younger woman and the break-up of their marriage, season two has focused on his return after two years away, and the impact of the couple’s divorce on their son.
The show has gained a loyal following since it first aired in 2015, and an estimated six million people tuned in to the most recent episode to watch Gemma and her ex-husband (played by Bertie Carvel) having X-rated “hate sex” in the kitchen.
Reviewers claim that Gemma and Simon are “bonkers”, larger-than-life “dramatic characters” – "but a lot more of this behaviour goes on than we admit" says Janet Street Porter in The Independent.
For her part, Jones recently admitted to Marie Claire magazine that filming the drama had made her able to appreciate how strong her marriage is - and to sympathise with other women going through such trouble.
According to the Mirror, the 39-year-old, who is married to magazine editor Laurence Akers and began filming season two just six months after the birth of her son in March last year, revealed that having a child has given her a different perspective on the series.
The former Coronation Street star also said that while the second season has a “solid ending”, she would be open to returning for a third outing, provided the story was right.
The penultimate episode of season two airs on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC One.
Doctor Foster series 2: when is it on and what will happen?
Doctor Foster returns for its long-awaited second series next week with anticipation running high after more than ten million people tuned in to watch the its nail-biting finale back in 2015.
Suranne Jones returns as Dr Gemma Foster who, over the course of the first series, slowly uncovers her husband's adultery and decides to take matters into her own hands and exact revenge.
When does series 2 start?
The series opener airs on BBC One next Tuesday 5 September at 9pm meaning it will go head-to-head with The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.
What can we expect?
The first series ended with Gemma's cheating husband Simon (Bertie Carvel) and his young lover Kate Parks (Jodie Comer) running off into the sunset and series 2 picks up the story in real time, when he and Kate return to Parminster to celebrate their upcoming wedding.
His return, two years after his affair was exposed, "leaves Gemma reeling and is bound to set a chain of rather dramatic events in motion" says the Radio Times.
What are they saying about it?
Fresh from the BBC's successful adaptation of his play King Charles III, the show’s writer and creator, Mike Bartlett, told Digital Spy: "We’re now going to tell the next chapter in Gemma’s story. 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".
Jones, who said she was initially apprehensive to reprise her role because she felt "my story had finished", has described the series as a "contemporary western" and added the new series will have a "weirder, sexier edge".
"It is 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. Now we can look into what happens to a woman after divorce, when deceit and revenge have taken their toll".
What about the critics?
Sequels can be disappointing (Broadchurch, Top of the Lake), baffling (The Returned) or just keeping plodding on regardless (you name it) – "but rarely do they improve on and enhance the original" says The Independent. Yet Doctor Foster "could well be an exception if the blistering first episode of the second series is anything to go by".
While refusing to give away any of the "heart-stopping plot lines", the Mail on Sunday did warn viewers to "prepare to become obsessed all over again".
What if I missed the first series?
The BBC has made the entire first series available on BBC iPlayer ahead of next week's series 2 air date.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.