World News – UK – Doctor Foster spin-off explores ‘loneliness in big cities’


Launching a spin-off of an extremely popular TV series can go both ways There are a lot of success stories (like Frasier) but also quite a few flops (with everything respect I owe Joey)

BBC One’s latest drama Life is a Doctor Foster spin-off, which launched in 2015 and has been watched by over 10 million viewers

Life takes place in the same world as its predecessor, but only features one familiar character: Anna of Victoria Hamilton, the friendly neighbor who always had a glass of wine in her hand

But does that mean viewers have to have seen all of Doctor Foster to understand his new spin-off, which begins Tuesday night?

« Absolutely not, no », said Hamilton « To an extraordinary degree I think you really don’t have to have seen it

« Life is a very complete story in itself, it’s an entirely different universe and everything you need to know about it is given to you in the first episode of this story »

Those who have watched Doctor Foster may recall that Anna left Parminster in the second series, after finding out that her husband had been unfaithful again. In life, Anna changed his name to Belle (her full name is Annabel) and tries to start over

But she is just one of the many main characters, who all live close to each other

Set in Manchester, the series follows the inhabitants of a large house divided into four apartments, and also stars Adrian Lester, Alison Steadman and Melissa Johns Neighbors don’t know each other well, and yet their lives are intertwined unexpectedly

Writer Mike Bartlett (who was also behind Doctor Foster) was intrigued by the impact the characters’ actions could have on each other, often without them realizing it

« I was living in an apartment that was part of an old house that had been divided, and I was amazed that we were all a half-timbered wall from each other, but that we weren’t we didn’t really know, « he explains. » We would hear the most intimate details of each other’s sex and love lives, and yet you would meet in the hallway, and you wouldn’t exchange two words

« And I found that very interesting about our nature as people, when we want to be private and when we want community We desperately need connection, and yet so often we end up feeling lonely , especially in big cities, so I wanted to write about it « 

Some of the biggest shows in TV history were spin-offs The hit The Frasier spanned 11 seasons and recorded 264 episodes – just behind its predecessor Cheers, which hit 270 Happy Days had seven spinoffs The most successful were Mork & Mindy and Laverne & Shirley

More recently, Emmy-nominated Better Call Saul launched in 2015 as a Breaking Bad spin-off, and was created by the same team – Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould Young Sheldon continues three years later its debut as a childhood review of the main character of The Big Bang Theory

But others have been significantly less popular The Friends Joey spin-off only lasted two seasons and failed to match the phenomenal popularity of its predecessor and less is said about the spin- off of Only Fools And Horses Green Green Grass, the better

The series kicks off with the arrival of Belle’s teenage niece, who is a handful, to say it nicely « Her niece comes into her life like a whirlwind, and one of the things Belle has always ended up with. doing is taking care of others, taking into account their problems and being the person in charge of things ”, explains Hamilton.

« So you watch her try to face all of these people and basically try to put all of their problems for them, while being less than honest about the enormity of her own demons »

But each character on the show has their own inner battles – which is a reflection of real life, says Lester, who plays David: “Everyone goes through unique, incredibly deep and heartbreaking situations, and that’s great to be part of a show that explores this « 

« Here is a woman who had been married all these years, a lovely house, two children, and everything seemed to be going well, but suddenly she is looking back at her life, at the age of 70, » she said « Normally people look at their life again at 50 or 60, but at 70? Suddenly saying ‘hmm’ and reassessing it sounded interesting and empowering »

The fourth main character is Hannah, played by Melissa Johns. « In the first episode, Hannah is very pregnant and the father of her baby is Andy, with whom she had a one-night stand eight months ago, » explains does she

« I think the term is tangled up – you know, like Jada Pinkett Smith and August [Alsina], » jokes her co-star Calvin Demba, referring to a recent high-profile case

In the absence of a third Doctor Foster series, Bartlett felt there was potential to explore and develop the character of Anna, but also make drama that struck a different tone

“I had written a lot of pretty heavy stuff,” he said “Doctor Foster goes to very dark places, and this show goes to very dark places too, but what I felt I had not seen enough, it was a show that allowed us to see the strength of people, the kindness, the goodness

« A show that really took a bunch of characters through some of the most difficult things everyone faces in life, and saw how they dealt with it »

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Doctor Foster, BBC One, Victoria Hamilton, Anna Baker, Life, The Great British Bake Off, Drama

News from around the world – UK – Doctor Foster spin-off explores the «  solitude in large  » cities’



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