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Jim Shelley reviews Doctor Foster

The good news was Doctor Foster was back for a second series, with Suranne Jones again worryingly convincing as the nation’s most popular, most unhinged, GP - or Gemma as she probably preferred to be known.

The bad news was Gemma was more deranged than ever. Not that you could blame her – not considering the fact her (now ex-) husband Simon was in Parminster too having ended the two years’ exile that followed Gemma’s discovery that her suspicions about his financial impropriety and infidelity were not paranoia.

The manipulative swine was also accompanied by Kate, the young blonde he’d been having an affair with and had now married.

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Gulp. Be afraid be very afraid…Not so much for Gemma, Kate, or even for Simon. No. For us…

Episode One of the new series confirmed viewers had four weeks of agonising tension and all-too familiar raw emotional trauma ahead.

‘It’ll be OK !’ Doctor Foster told her young son Tom when they read his father, Kate, and their baby, were back in town.

No it really wouldn’t be, you thought. That was the one thing we could be sure about in the follow-up’s storyline.

If the theme of Series One was betrayal, Mike Bartlett’s opener suggested the second was revenge – not just for Gemma but again for us.

10 million viewers had been gripped by the finale of 2015’s drama that threatened to be a classic during a spectacularly torturous, twisted, dinner but finished in a cop-out when Doctor Foster allowed Simon to drive off into the sunset with his lover rather than exact a more satisfyingly painful retribution.

Not this time you’d assume.

This series was set up as a battle of wits, a fight to the death possibly (judging by the blood on Gemma’s hands in the publicity poster): a campaign of Mutually Assured Destruction between two warring parents playing marital mind games and virtually stalking one another as they wrestled for care of their Tom. Poor kid.

Simon’s return to Parminster had upset and unbalanced Gemma but equally she was clearly relishing the dark dance they had started and the prospect of retaliation.

Suranne Jones is brilliant at expressing the way Gemma’s actions encompass unwise, emotional decisions that have a decidedly wild, alarming, air of danger but still make us sympathise with her.

Gradually she reminded us Gemma was quite bonkers – more than for things like dating one of her patients, or necking wine from the bottle, but laughing during one encounter with Simon ‘I’m recording this conversation’ then correcting herself ‘I didn’t really record it. Actually I did.’

OK so she may be a psychopath, but this time we want her to be avenged: Simon is even worse.

‘I need to feel there’s been some ill effect from what you’ve done to me and Tom,’ she told him. ‘I don’t think you’ve suffered at all.’

For his part, Simon ended Episode One bluntly telling Gemma his intention was to drive her out of Parminster for good, without Tom.

When he struck the first blow - persuading the boy to walk out on Gemma to move in with him and Kate – Gemma had already been pushed over the edge.

Things were so different at the beginning when we saw her dream life in Parminster: at home with Tom and head of the kind of local practice we all long for.

Inevitably, her comfortable middle-class nirvana was short-lived.

A red envelope inviting Tom to

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