Review: Doctor Foster (Season 1, Episode 4)


Tension, trauma and inner turmoil, Dr Foster sets the pulse racing.

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Doctor Foster is an original BBC drama written by Mike Bartlett. It centres on the familiar storyline of a cheating husband and his wife’s attempts to find out the truth, but don’t worry, that’s only the first episode. What this drama does well is present the turmoil from the female perspective.

The raw quality of Suranne Jones’ emotive performance builds tension throughout. In the first episode we learn that her husband is cheating, but the complexities of the relationship is expressed further across the next three episodes, with numerous heart in mouth moments, most notably when she comes face to face with his mistress.

This drama highlights that a marriage, or indeed any relationship, is not just black and white, right or wrong, guilty or not guilty. The drama affects the audience right up until the end, prompting rage and annoyance at the husband’s behaviour and also at how Foster keeps failing to discard him and move on. But what this drama underlines is that relationships are as complex as the people within them. This realisation for the audience, forces them to question how you can deal with something when so much is involved? This devastation and internal dilemma is captured perfectly.

The final episode has been set up for her to expose her husbands secrets and to humiliate him publicly. This is what we have been waiting for the whole time. Foster has been so controlled in the first three episodes, before becoming unstable and losing her sense of morality and professionalism in episode four. We have been waiting, not properly understanding her delay in confronting her husband and we’re aching for him to be punished. The high quality of how this has been presented is brilliant, with my heart exceeding 130bpm every episode. She’s journeyed from innocent and naive, to resourceful and smart but now she has finally become devious and confident. Will she be triumphant in the final episode this Wednesday?

Dr Foster airs on BBC 1 at 9pm on Wednesday. 


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