When TV Times meets up with Suranne Jones for a chat about her new drama Doctor Foster (Wednesday, September 16), she’s concerned that the BBC1 thriller, about a GP who thinks her husband is having an affair, might cause friction in households across the country.



The five-part series centres on popular GP Gemma Foster, who lives in the fictional town of Parminster with her husband Simon, played by Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’s Bertie Carvel, and their 11-year-old son Tom. Suranne, 37, reveals more…



What is your character like?

“She’s a busy doctor, wife and mother and is trying to be a pillar of the community. She works long hard hours and supports her family and she is juggling everything. But she has a happy marriage, she likes her patients and it’s all working well.”



How does she react?

“Her gut tells her that something isn’t right, but she starts to behave in unusual, difficult and inappropriate ways and crosses the lines of professionalism. The beauty of this piece is that it shows what suspicions can do to an everywoman because it pulls out extreme parts of your personality. Because of her questionable behaviour, she might not remain an innocent in viewers’ eyes. She has things of her own to hide…”



Is this like other medical shows?

“People said it was going to be the new Doc Martin and it is so not that! I sat in on a practice meeting and then with patients. Some were so ill that they didn’t care that there was an actress in the corner writing while they were opening up and having blood tests and doing pee samples. I felt awkward but privileged to be there. I also watched a brilliant Channel 5 series, GPs: Behind Closed Doors, and my real husband used to come in and find me crying at all these real-life situations.”



Does you own home life differ from Gemma’s?

“I’ve never experienced what Gemma goes through, and thankfully I’m in a very happy marriage, but if I wasn’t, it would have been harder to film. Two of my acquaintances have been through something similar. One did regrettable things and thought she was going mad checking emails and statements and a friend of a friend got a private investigator to follow their partner. If you’re going to do that, you shouldn’t be with them. I’m very black and white, if your relationship isn’t trustful, then don’t stay in it.”



Was the shoot tough?

“I didn’t realise I’d be in every scene, although I should have known by the title! I do look exhausted on screen by the end, but that works for the character.”



Are you looking forward to filming the Scott & Bailey special?

“It’s great to be back. I love working with Lesley and because it’s a three-parter, we can tell one story.  Rachel has been away working in vice so it’s about well-loved characters who haven’t seen each other for a while coming back for a case, which is interesting, because they might have changed.”



This time it must be extra special for you because you’re an executive producer?

“It is great to help create the stories. I’ve always been heavily involved, but I’ve now got a title!”