Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones: ‘Not sure how I’d fit third series in’

Doctor Foster
(Image credit: BBC/Drama Republic/Nick Briggs)

Suranne Jones reveals third series of Doctor Foster looking unlikely for very long time as she's busy with film and theatre projects

Suranne Jones has given TV Times an interview about how the series will build up to an “amazing” finale and why a third series looks unlikely…for now at least

What’s the story?

Any doubts that the second series of BBC1 drama Doctor Foster couldn’t live up to the glorious heights and tumultuous twists of the first run, were quashed within seconds of the gripping opening episode.

The sequel is proving to be even more compelling, shocking – and downright outlandish! – as the battle between warring exes Gemma and Simon Foster, played sublimely by Suranne Jones and Bertie Carvel, has reached new levels of toxic hatred.

Here Suranne Jones gives TV Times an interview about what’s in store

TVT: Could there be a third series?

Suranne Jones: "I’m not sure unless you are talking about doing it in 10 years’ time! I am very busy next year with a film as well as a theatre project [West End thriller Frozen next spring, in which Suranne will play a mother whose daughter is abducted] and a TV show [Sally Wainwright’s BBC1 period drama Gentleman Jack]. So I don’t see where we could fit it in and writer Mike Bartlett has also got a million amazing projects on. I’m really happy that we all did what we did and we’ve moved on to do other stuff. Also, it’s such an amazing ending that I wouldn’t like to then just say, 'Now we’re doing another one.'"

TVT: This series has seen Gemma and Simon’s mutual loathing escalate. But do they still have romantic feelings towards each other too?

SJ: When they were together, Gemma thought they had a loving relationship and now she has unresolved sexual energy and where does she put that? Also your head says you hate someone but your body betrays that, so there is a darker sexual tension going on under the hatred…

TVT: Gemma was the wronged woman in series one. But are they as bad as each other now?

SJ: Gemma hasn’t behaved well but this time, I looked at her and Simon and thought, ‘You’re both really hurt,’ and I hadn’t realised that before, because I’m usually concerned with what a swine Simon is! Now it makes more sense where we go towards in the finale because you’re looking at vulnerable, damaged people and what betrayal does to a person.

TVT: Will viewers be satisfied with next week’s final episode?

SJ: It ends in a place where it is uncomfortable and hopefully the audience will be glad that we’ve ended it there and realise why we thought it was important to do a second series. There is also an amazing set piece scene in the finale that just features three characters and it’s Mike’s best writing of the whole two series.

TVT: Was it tough going back to filming Doctor Foster after having your baby [Suranne has an 18-month-old son with husband Laurence Akers]?

SJ: I went back to work after six months and I was still quite hormonal but it was good because I couldn’t take anything home with me emotionally once I had a baby plonked in my arms. He also came on set with me and there is a brilliant picture of me carrying him when he is full of a cold and I am trying to be Gemma and pretend that I haven’t got a baby on my hip. All I could hear was, ‘Aww’ from the crew – he was taking my limelight away because he looks much better than I do!

TVT: Has being a mum changed the way you approached playing Gemma?

SJ: I’ve played mums before I was a mum but it makes you realise the enormity of seeing your marriage falling apart if you have a child, which I didn’t understand before. Also, I just look at Tom Taylor, who plays my son Tom, and if my own son grows up to be gorgeous and brilliant like him, I will be very happy!

TVT: Gemma is an amazing character, what impact has playing her had on your career?

SJ: I was an executive producer on ITV drama Scott & Bailey and being the executive producer again on this gave me the confidence to continue developing shows and I now have my own production company and write myself. Doctor Foster has also given me the confidence to take risks more because I don’t want to play it safe any more and when you get a Bafta for something like Doctor Foster you realise, ‘OK, risk-taking is good!’

TVT: Where do you keep your Bafta?

SJ: I had it underneath the fireplace but then my baby got interested in it so I put it on top of the fireplace and then I went into mother panic that he’d pull it down so now it is upstairs in the office. I’d like to put it in the loo though because that’s the thing that people do!

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!