Life stars Alison Steadman and Adrian Lester open up on characters’ inner battles

The Doctor Foster spin-off follows four neighbours as they come to terms with their own individual struggles.

Adrian Lester plays David in Life

BBC One’s new Doctor Foster spin-off Life will see many characters face their demons, according to the drama’s stars.

Advertisement

The series, which is set in the same world as the earlier show but features a largely new cast of characters, follows four neighbours whose lives become entangled even though they don’t know each other well.

And Adrian Lester, who plays David on the show, says that, as is the case in real life, all the characters have certain inner battles to fight.

“Everyone is going through some unique, incredibly profound, heartbreaking situations, and it’s great to be part of a show that explores that,” he told the audience at a virtual Q&A.

One person who finds herself  going through a particularly major change is Alison Steadman’s character Gail, who has a “chance encounter” just as she’s turning 70 years old – and finds herself completely reevaluating her life.

“Here was a woman who had been happily married for all these years, lovely home, two kids, and everything seemed fine, but suddenly she looks at her life again, at the age of 70,” Steadman explained.

“Normally people look at their lives again at the age of 50 or 60, but at 70? To suddenly say ‘hmm’ and re-appraise it, that seemed interesting and challenging.”

The drama serves as a Doctor Foster spin-off, with two characters from Doctor Foster making an appearance. The main one of those is Victoria Hamilton’s Anna (now going by the name “Belle”); and writer Mike Bartlett – who created both shows – said the new show was a good opportunity to explore the character in a different way.

He said, “I’d written a lot of quite heavy things. Doctor Foster goes to very dark places, and this show goes to very dark places too, but what I felt I hadn’t seen enough of was a show that allowed us to see the strength that people have, the kindness, the goodness.

Advertisement

“A show that really took a group of characters through some of the toughest stuff that everybody has to face in life, and saw how they dealt with it.”

Life will air from Tuesday 29th September at 9pm on BBC One. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide, or take a look at our new TV shows 2020 page to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.