Ir­ri­ta­ble GP re­tains his charm

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air - Doc Martin,

The fol­low­ing might seem like an in­con­gru­ous aside, given that Martin Clunes’s char­ac­ter here, Dr Martin Elling­ham, is so fa­mously hu­mour­less. And many oth­ers would see Clunes and re­call some­thing ob­vi­ous such as which ran for six sea­sons and made him fa­mous. But see­ing Clunes al­ways prompts me to think of the short-lived mock­u­men­tary se­ries Come Fly with Me cre­ated by the Lit­tle Bri­tain stars David Wal­liams and Matt Lu­cas. In par­tic­u­lar it re­calls their Ja­panese school­girl char­ac­ters who waited around the air­port ter­mi­nal in the hope of meet­ing their idol, English ac­tor Martin Clunes. They even sang a de­mented trib­ute to him.

It re­ally was un­for­get­table; pos­si­bly a lit­tle racist, and cer­tainly the stuff of night­mares.

Here is some­thing Clunes might ac­tu­ally laugh about: au­di­ences for Doc Martin in Aus­tralia and Bri­tain re­main truly im­pres­sive. Lo­cally it has been re­li­ably more than a mil­lion view­ers per episode — and more than five mil­lion peo­ple view each episode in Bri­tain.

In the sea­son-eight premiere, the fic­tional Cor­nish town of Portwenn is abuzz with wed­ding prepa­ra­tions for Jan­ice (Robyn Ad­di­son) and PC Pen­hale (John Mar­quez). But a med­i­cal is­sue — what else? — threat­ens to pre­vent the nup­tials tak­ing place.

Al (Joe Ab­solom) finds the role of best man rather tax­ing, es­pe­cially with Bert (Ian McNeice) en­sur­ing that only whisky is served at the prewed­ding party. Caro­line Catz re­turns as the Doc’s wife Louisa, and guest stars this sea­son in­clude Sigour­ney Weaver.

And of course our lead char­ac­ter prom­ises to re­main the same, for­ever. “The Doc is as ob­sti­nate as ever,” Clunes said. “But he is try­ing his best to be a bet­ter hus­band and fa­ther.” Sun­day, 7.40pm, ABC.

Martin Clunes says his Dr Martin Elling­ham ‘is as ob­sti­nate as ever (but) try­ing his best to be bet­ter’

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