Doug Coutts’ TV Preview: Doctor Foster

Doctor Foster

DOCTOR FOSTER | TV1, 8.30 Sunday-Thursday

A Personal View By Doug Coutts

A Personal View
By Doug Coutts

Prior to this show, the only Dr Foster I’d heard of went to Gloucester in the pouring rain, stepped in a puddle of considerable depth and was subsequently never heard of again.

This new Dr Foster is also somewhat accident-prone, if discovering a blond hair on your dark-haired husband’s black scarf can be properly termed accidental. 

Ep 1 kicks off at a frenetic pace with early morning bonking, dressing, skipping breakfast, organising parties and eyeing a waiting room full of patients to cleverly build the suspense before everything stops when The Hair is discovered and the opening titles roll. 

Post titles and it’s life as usual except the doc is now finding that there are loads of blondes in her life and each a prime suspect.

Suspicion builds, life unravels, career suffers. It seems hubby’s affair could be a figment of the good doctor’s imagination, but then again…

Tune in all next week for more nicely cinematographed red herrings, or perhaps a few of the perfectly framed other fish in the sea. It’s a pleasure to look at, even if the characters aren’t necessarily having the time of their lives.

What other critics said:

“It’s a brilliant and gripping portrait of a marriage slowly being poisoned. I’m a little fearful that it’s going to descend into melodrama in the not-too-distant future, but with leads and support this good, even if it does, I will probably hardly care.”– The Guardian

“This was compelling, tightly-scripted drama, more in the vein of feature-length psychological thriller Gone Girl than a cosy comedy TV drama. The old green-eyed monster is a common topic in a relationship-focused show, but Mike Bartlett’s naturalistic script, brilliantly delivered by Suranne Jones and Bertie Carvel, was close to the bone.” — The Independent

“What started out as a soundly-acted tale of a wronged woman rapidly unfurled into hogwash. The next episode will either be good, or it’ll feature alien spaceships, exploding breast implants and a secret tunnel underneath Salford Town Hall.” — Daily Express

“This is middlebrow drama but the use of Congreve’s The Mourning Bride tells us that its writer, the playwright Mike Bartlett, has ambition for it. Despite the director Tom Vaughan’s over-bright realisation, it invokes dark Jacobean drama, full of violence, intrigue and unlikely plotting.” — The Times

“This was tensely intriguing fare. It was reminiscent of Fatal Attraction from the wronged wife’s point of view or the domestic noir novels that have been all the rage since Gone Girl. I’m impatient to see how the story can be spun out over another four episodes and will be making another appointment with Doctor Foster.” — The Telegraph

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years. He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at:

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