Bender It Like Doctor Foster

There has been much talk about the amount of alcohol consumed in the BBC drama Doctor Foster, most of it by Dr Gemma Foster herself, played by Suranne Jones.

There is little doubt that Doctor Foster does tend to reach for the nearest bottle of chilled white wine in moments of stress, but is she really such a slatternly lush as the media would like to portray her?  It seemed like there was only one thing to do: go on a Doctor Foster bender and find out.

Series 2 episode 2 of Doctor Foster seemed as good a model for a big night out as any other.  So, how does the evening start?

Dinner at a colleague’s––Dr Siân Lambert’s––house: BYO two bottles of white wine.  I don’t have a colleague in the medical profession, but I do know someone who’s been struck off and who is always happy to share a couple of bottles––I actually take three, since I know that he won’t supply his own conveniently chilled bottle of Ledoc from a fridge, à la Dr Lambert.  It’s a good start.

Gemma Foster shares three bottles of white in the upper middle class house and garden of a colleague, complemented by a delicate, home-cooked fish dinner; I take turns chugging out of the bottle of three of Tesco’s cheapest in a bus shelter and then a park bench, accompanied by a party bucket of turkey twizzlers––better than fish for soaking up the alcohol.

However, Doctor Foster is not someone to let the grass grow under her sensible black party pumps for very long.  She is soon vacating the comfortable social norms of middle class dinner party respectability to gate-crash a lonely-teens party at the house of her son’s best mate, Max, wine bottle still in hand.  I find myself morally-compromised––frankly unable––to pick up a lonely teen in the park, so I give my companion the slip and neck the remainder of the white on my own.

And then on to a club.  This is more like it.  This is a place where I can comfortably walk side by side with Doctor Foster, until she heads to the dance floor.  I remain the barfly.  Small bottle of Heineken.  Not my preferred choice of beer, but it goes down easily enough.  Moving on to shots now.  We see Doctor Foster knock back two, but the suggestion is that she has had more.  I line up four.  Sambuca?  Tequila?  It is not clear.  I stick to vodka: classic; classy.

It is at this stage of the evening that Doctor Foster begins to feel a bit frisky.  In comparison, I feel only depressed.  Not drunk; not invigorated; only dispirited.  I could murder a decent pint of real ale.

I think Doctor Foster still has some learning to do when it comes to screen drinking, and as a drinking game it’s just not up there with Withnail and I.

© Beery Sue


Beery Sue shows that she’s still standing at the end of the evening.


Mudskipper Press advocates drinking responsibly.

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