I’ve always had a soft spot for Martin Clunes, he seems such an affable chap in the main, but in Doc Martin he plays the opposite of that, and does it very well. Martin Ellingham is a brilliant, grumpy, misanthropic doctor who, having failed as a surgeon because of his fear of blood, has come to work as a GP in the beautiful Cornish village of Portwenn (actually filmed in Port Isaac). The village is populated by a roll call of truly splendid and dysfunctional characters, including Selina Cadell, who plays Sally Tishell, a somatising pharmicist in love with Dr Ellingham, as well as PC Joe Penhale, an agoraphobic police officer. Martin’s aunt Joan also lived in the village (played by the terrific ‘Tenko’ actor, Stephanie Cole), and during earlier series’, Martin has fallen in love with the local primary headmistress, Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz).
But their on/off relationship is doomed because he is incapable of sustaining a normal relationship. However, during the last series Louisa became pregnant with his baby, and in this new series, despite the fact they are no longer seeing each other, they are very bound up with each other after the birth of their little baby boy (not yet named since they can’t agree). This at a time when Martin has just overcome his fear of blood sufficiently to have bagged an excellent promotion to a surgical position in London. Sadly, the wonderful Stephanie Cole is no longer in the programme, as we discover when we hear PC Penhale telling Martin that his auntie Joan has died of a heart attack. Poignant and sad as this moment is, I was most up-cheered by PLA subsequently telling me that Stephanie Cole has moved on to a role in Corrie, and is utterly splendid in it. But of course.
Anyway, the new Portwenn GP turns out to be very far from satisfactory, so at the end of episode one, it looks unlikely that Dr Ellingham will be going anywhere. And I’m most up-cheered to see that a new aunt, Ruth, will be arriving next week, in the form of Eileen Atkins.
Posted by Inkface