The team behind Doctor Foster are back with a gripping new drama Life.
Written by Mike Bartlett, Life is a spin-off from the popular show and takes place in the same universe.
Fans will be delighted to see a few familar faces but there is no need to binge watch Doctor Foster – the series is a complete story of its own.
When is Life on TV?
The first episode of Life starts on BBC One and iPlayer on Tuesday 29th September at 9pm.
From Tuesday, you can watch the boxset on iPlayer or wait to catch the show every week at the same time.
Across six episodes, the mini series tells the story of a house in Manchester divided into four flats.
We meet the people who live there and discover stories about loss, love, parenthood and more.
What is it about?
Creator and writer Mike Bartlett wanted to create a TV show about “isolation and it’s opposite- community.”
Speaking to the BBC he explained: “It’s about four flats in a divided up house in Manchester. We see the inhabitants individual strands unfold, but also, as they start to cross over, we’re telling one larger story at the same time.”
“It’s about how and why so many of us end up isolated and atomised even when we’re surrounded by other people. [It’s] about how hard it can be to find human connection but how vital that is, for us to live. It’s also about, I suppose, learning to be honest with oneself about what you’re doing with your life. Hopefully it’s funny as well!”
Star Peter Davison describes the show as: “It’s not a detective story. It’s not a costume drama, or a drama about how wonderful the past used to be. There’s not a nostalgia to it. It’s just a slice of life there in front of you, and you have to draw your own conclusions from it.”
Which Doctor Foster characters appear in Life?
One of the main characters in Life is Belle, a divorced yoga teacher living on her own.
Doctor Foster fans will recognise her as Anna (Victoria Hamilton).
Writer Mike Barlett felt like there was still much more to explore with her character.
“When I was writing some of her final scenes in Doctor Foster, the character surprised me when she said she was moving completely away to a new city. Starting again. That felt like a story full of potential and one I hadn’t necessarily seen – a woman in her mid-40s, married for a lot of her adult life but now divorced, and keen to start again. I also found Belle’s voice came very easily when writing, and that’s a good sign there’s lots of fun to be had with the character.”
He also revealed: “I wanted to work more with Victoria Hamilton.”
She’s one of the finest stage actors there has ever been, and I wanted to write a leading role on screen for her to get her teeth into.”
We last saw Anna in season two of Doctor Foster. She was Gemma Foster’s neighbour and friend who was determined to keep her marriage together despite the adultery.
However, as her husband continued to cheat, she left him to move in with her sister in Edinburgh.
This series picks up years later when Anna (Belle) is settled in Manchester.
Her cheating ex husband Neil Baker (Adam James) also makes an appearance.
LIFE – who’s in the cast?
Alongside Victoria Hamilton as Belle, Life has an all star cast.
Erin Kellyman plays Maya, Belle’s wayward niece who arrives to interrupt Belle’s ordered life.
Alison Steadman plays Gail, who is about to turn 70, when a old friend makes a life changing observation about her marriage.
Peter Davison stars as Henry, her husband.
Adrian Lester appears as David a previously happily married man who heads on holiday without his wife.
Saira Choudhry plays Saira, a stranger who turns David’s head unexpectedly.
Rachael Stirling is Kelly, David’s wife.
Melissa Johns stars as the heavily pregnant Hannah. Joshua James plays Liam, her stable partner. Calvin Demba plays the father of her unborn child – from a passionate one night stand.
Each character experiences a disruptive arrival that sets off the chain of events, which Life will follow throughout the series.
Is LIFE anything to do with David Attenborough?
BBC One’s Mike Bartlett names wildlife documentarian David Attenborough as his inspiration.
“It’s called Life because I wanted it to suggest one of those huge Attenborough nature documentaries. That in the same way, by looking at the intimate lives of individual creatures, we learn something about the larger species. Exploring something epic through the tiniest detail.”
Life starts on Tuesday 29th September on BBC One and continues every Tuesday for six weeks
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