Life viewers were left gripped by the show’s ‘gaslighting’ storyline last night which saw Alison Steadman play a wife battling with whether or not to leave her husband.
The latest BBC One drama is a spin-off of 2015’s hit series Doctor Foster, set in Manchester, and follows the intertwining storylines of the residents of a large house divided into four flats.
Viewers were particularly captivated by the story of Gail (Alison Steadman), who is married to Henry (Peter Davison) and celebrating her 70th birthday before making the startling realisation that her husband was emotionally abusing her.
But right at the moment she was about to leave him, she changed her mind – leaving viewers furious. One tweeted: ‘Come on, Gail. Stand up for yourself.’
Life viewers were left gripped by BBC One’s new drama which includes a ‘gaslighting’ storyline where Alison Steadman’s character Gail battles with whether or not to leave her husband Henry (Peter Davidson)
After bumping into old friend Dawn (Buffy Davis), Gail realises that her husband’s subtle digs and patronising comments have taken a toll on her confidence over the years
Viewers were willing Alison Steadman’s character Gail to tell her husband she was leaving him, and urged her to ‘stand up for herself’
Others willed to pluck up the courage to leave her husband, with one tweeting: ‘Jeez, I hope Gail tells Henry where to go.’
After bumping into old friend Dawn (Buffy Davis), Gail realised that her husband’s subtle digs and patronising comments have taken a toll on her confidence over the years.
At dinner she heard Henry and her children speaking about how terrible with money she was, while at her 70th birthday party Gail noticed her husband constantly interrupting her, calling her ‘old’ and making everyone laugh by undermining her speech.
After her epiphany, Gail was seen packing a bag, ready to leave her husband, and wrote a letter to him saying goodbye.
However, soon before leaving, Gail was hit with the news that Henry only has six months to live, following a medical diagnosis.
‘How long do you have?’, asked Gail, to which Henry replied: ‘Six months probably’.
At dinner she hears Henry and her children Rachel (Kate Ashfield) and Jonathan (Geoffrey Streatfeild) speaking about how terrible with money she is
Pictured, Alison Steadman as Gail reminiscing on the person she was before meeting her husband
Viewers were left in dismay as Gail swiftly removed the letter she had written her husband from his hand, presumably because she now plans to stay with him, and asked him if he’d like a cup of tea.
One tweeted about their dislike for her husband Henry: ‘I already hate Henry. A self-righteous, belittling, undermining, overly critical, chauvinistic piece of s*** with a relentless stream of dismissive micro-aggresive insults to smother everything Gail says.’
While the spin-off show is set in the same world as Dr Foster, the only character from the original show who features in the new series is Anna Baker, played by Victoria Hamilton.
Victoria’s character was Gemma Foster’s (Surrane Jones) neighbour Anna Baker, and was last seen in season two of the BBC drama moving to Edinburgh to live with her sister after her husband Neil cheated on her again.
Some viewers took to Twitter to express their dislike for the character of Henry, who is married to Gail – played by Alison Steadman
While the spin-off show is set in the same world as Dr Foster, the only character from the original show who features in the new series is Anna Baker, played by Victoria Hamilton
However, Life finds her settled in Manchester, where she has moved into a flat in a house run by Gail and Henry and changed her name to Belle.
Belle’s life is said to fall into disarray when her sister Ruth (Susannah Fielding) is hospitalised, leaving her troubled niece Maya (Erin Kellyman) in her care.
Another storyline in the show saw university lecturer David (Adrian Lester) go on holiday without his wife Kelly (Rachael Stirling), and meet an attractive student called Saira (Saira Choudhry).
While the pair flirted, David was reluctant to cheat on his wife, and after discovering that the young woman was actually one of his English students, became even more cautious of Saira.
Viewers were also left in shock by another storyline in the show, which saw university lecturer David (Adrian Lester) go on holiday without his wife Kelly (Rachael Stirling)
He meets attractive student Saira (Saira Choudhry) and while he is reluctant to cheat he discovers that she is one of his English students
However at the end of the episode, viewers are shocked to discover his wife actually died five weeks ago – after David told his neighbour during a heated argument.
The show also introduced heavily pregnant Hannah (Melissa Johns), who recently coupled up with Liam (Joshua James) but still has a connection with Andy (Calvin Demba) – the father of her unborn child.
Despite having travelled away for the majority of her pregnancy, Andy was there for the birth of his child, assisted by neighbour Gail.
Heavily pregnant Hannah (Melissa Johns) is stuck between the father of her baby and her new boyfriend