CONGRATS, DOC MARTIN
TV’s grumpiest medic gets hitched
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
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.