Doc­tor’s or­ders

De­spite not hav­ing much in com­mon with his char­ac­ter, Rodger Corser isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty on Doc­torDoc­tor. By AMELIA SAW

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

RODGER Corser has his hand in a box of blood and guts. His eye­brows fur­row in con­cen­tra­tion as he mas­sages a dead pig’s heart.

And they say TV is glam­orous.

Han­dling of­fal may seem an un­palat­able task for most, but it’s all in a day’s work for Corser, who plays Dr Hugh Knight on Nine’s hit drama Doc­tor Doc­tor – and he’s hap­pily taken it in his stride.

“It’s OK,” Corser says, when asked how his gagre­flex has adapted to the gig.

“Last year, Hugh couldn’t op­er­ate (be­cause of a hand in­jury). But he’s do­ing some op­er­a­tions now, so the art de­part­ment and spe­cial­ef­fects team have upped the ante.”

Set in the fic­tional coun­try town of Why­hope, the se­ries cen­tres around he­do­nist city heart sur­geon Hugh, who is forced to re­turn to his hometown af­ter his wom­an­is­ing ways land him in hot wa­ter. There, he is re­united with an ar­ray of colour­ful coun­try char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing his flir­ta­tious ex­girl­friend Char­lie (Ni­cole da Silva), who is now dat­ing his brother Matt (Ryan John­son), and his ec­cen­tric town-mayor mother Mer­ill (Tina Bur­sill).

How­ever, un­like his char­ac­ter, Corser ad­mits he was never been much of a heart­throb.

“I had as­pi­ra­tions to be a lady-killer,” the ac­tor ad­mits, wist­fully re­call­ing his high­school years.

“But then my mates would say, ‘Look, mate, you’ve got no form, you’re hope­less’.”

De­spite Corser’s self- dep­re­cat­ing mem­o­ries, au­di­ences were cer­tainly taken with the new hot doc­tor on their screens.

Corser was nom­i­nated for the viewer-voted Gold and Sil­ver Lo­gies this year, while the se­ries was up for Best Drama pro­gram.

Although Doc­tor Doc­tor fin­ished the night without a gong, Nine was so con­fi­dent in the show’s suc­cess it com­mis­sioned a sec­ond sea­son by the time episode two had gone to air. But Corser can­not take the credit alone.

The ru­ral medico-drama, which many have likened to long-run­ning lo­cal favourite A Coun­try Prac­tice, is the cre­ation of ac­claimed ac­tor­turned-pro­ducer Clau­dia Kar­van and es­teemed lead writer Tony McNa­mara ( The Se­cret Life of Us, Love My Way and Off­spring).

For Corser, who has made a long ca­reer of play­ing men in uni­form – most com­monly as po­lice­men in Rake, Stingers and Un­der­belly – this is only the sec­ond time he’s donned a stetho­scope and scalpel. His only other stint as a doc­tor was in 2006 on Home and Away, when he co­in­ci­den­tally played another Hugh, that time Dr Sul­li­van.

“It’s good to play peo­ple who are ac­tu­ally mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives, to be able to jump in their shoes for a bit,” the 44-yearold says. “Hugh’s dry wit and la­conic na­ture is fun to play.”

How­ever, there’s one as­pect of Hugh that Corser has no de­sire to share: his bach­e­lor life­style.

“It’s very dif­fer­ent to my life,” the mar­ried fa­ther-of­four (and step­fa­ther to one) says. “I don’t think I’d like to be a bach­e­lor. I’d hate to be out there in my 40s try­ing to do it all. I’m not sure what peo­ple my age do, jump on a dat­ing app or some­thing? Oh no … I’m very happy where I am.”

Coun­try prac­tice: Rodger Corser stars in the ru­ral medico-drama Doc­torDoc­tor.

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