CON­GRATS, DOC MARTIN

TV’s grump­i­est medic gets hitched

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - CONTENTS - Tim Oglethorpe

Mil­lions of fans of TV com­edy drama Doc Martin have been long­ing for this mo­ment. The will-they-won’t-they saga be­tween Martin Clunes’s grumpy medic and his schoolmistress sweet­heart, Louisa, played by Caro­line Catz, fi­nally ends in a shower of con­fetti when the cou­ple get mar­ried. The on-off ro­mance has been played out for years, with the au­di­ence be­ing teased by a planned wed­ding in 2007 that failed to ma­te­ri­alise when the cou­ple got cold feet. One viewer was so ex­as­per­ated, he even ac­costed Martin Clunes in a su­per­maket car park and told him to get a move on and marry Louisa.

Now, as the new eight-part sixth se­ries be­gins, we see the Doc tak­ing a taxi from his surgery in Portwenn to a pic­turesque church in the Cor­nish coun­try­side. There he waits pa­tiently for Louisa, while the vicar tells him hair-rais­ing sto­ries about bride­grooms be­ing left wait­ing at the al­tar for hours. Happily, there’s no chance of the doc be­ing left high and dry by Louisa, mother of his in­fant son, James.

In what’s sure to be one of the most touch­ing and ro­man­tic mo­ments on TV this year, Doc Martin stands ut­terly trans­fixed as his beau­ti­ful bride ar­rives at the church look­ing stun­ning in an ivory lace and silk satin dress. Caro­line Catz’s ther­mal pad­ding — film­ing took place on one of the cold­est days of the year — is kept dis­creetly out of view.

Caro­line says, ‘At the end of the last se­ries, baby James was kid­napped by the chemist Mrs Tishell, and that changed the game com­pletely. Martin and Louisa re­alised how much they wanted to be to­gether.’ Adds Martin, who’s now filmed 44 episodes of Doc Martin since the show be­gan in 2004, and has barely cracked a smile in any of them, ‘It’s as scary as any mar­riage is on the day, but it seemed the right thing to do. The chal­lenge in this se­ries is to see them live to­gether and get on in what­ever way they can, or can’t, and be good par­ents.’

The se­ries will have its darker mo­ments, too. Martin says, ‘My char­ac­ter’s blood phobia re­turns, and every­where sud­denly seems noisy and un­mer­ci­ful with a young child around. The doc slowly un­rav­els as he with­draws into him­self.’ Martin had his own real-life drama as a vi­ral in­fec­tion forced him off set for three weeks, so other char­ac­ters were hastily given big­ger sto­ry­lines. We’ll see for­mer handy­man Bert get back with old flame Jennifer Cardew. And his son Al, also des­per­ate for love, joins an in­ter­net dat­ing agency. Six se­ries in, it looks like Doc Martin is in as rude a health as ever.

Doc Martin is back to­mor­row, 9pm, UTV

(Martin Clunes)

The sur­geon who swapped the bright lights of Lon­don for the role of a GP on the Cor­nish coast of south­west Eng­land. He rarely shows his emo­tions but the oc­ca­sional, long­ing look in Louisa’s di­rec­tion re­minds us how much he loves her.

(Caro­line Catz) The vil­lage head­mistress who’s had an on-off ro­mance with Doc Martin ever since they flew

to Corn­wall to­gether and he di­ag­nosed her glau­coma en route. The kid­nap­ping of their baby

son, James, brought them closer to­gether.

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