Doc Martin role gives actor real-life operating instructions
BRITISH actor Martin Clunes (pictured) called upon the medical knowledge he learned while playing a fictional TV doctor to stop surgeons carrying out an unnecessary operation on his wife. Clunes played Dr Martin Ellingham in British drama Doc Martin for seven years and used what he learned from the show’s medical expert to question surgeons’ decision to operate on his producer wife, Philippa Braithwaite. Doctors determined Braithwaite needed surgery to remove her appendix but Clunes’ basic medical knowledge made him realise the operation was ‘‘nonsensical’’. He tells Reader’s Digest: ‘‘She had an infection in her gall bladder and the surgeon was minded to take out her appendix. There was no infection in her appendix and instinct told me it would be the wrong thing to do. So I took her home instead and she was treated there. You have to remember British medical dramas are obliged to be accurate. You can’t just make things up as they do on American shows. So we have a medical expert on the series and I have learned about certain conditions and procedures.’’ Clunes stars in thriller The Town.
The Town: Fridays, 9.20pm, ABC1.