MARTIN CLUNES is back in Cornwall as GP doc martin, and a new four-legged companion is about to make life more frustrating
DRAMA ITV HD, 9PM/ITV+1, 10pm Martin Clunes returns as Cornwall’s grumpiest doctor and, although the doc and his wife Louisa (Caroline Catz) are back together, it is not all plain sailing.
Doc Martin Wednesday, ITV HD, 9pm
STOMPING AROUND the fictional village of Portwenn in a permanent state of exasperation, it’s difficult to see how Doc Martin’s life could get any more frustrating.
But there’s a fresh storm brewing for the grumpy medic, played by Martin Clunes, when his wife Louisa (Caroline Catz) gets a new job and also brings home a dog – who quickly makes Doc Martin’s life even more miserable.
We met up with Clunes on set in Port Isaac to talk Cornwall, canines and the ‘best job’ of his career… LAST SERIES, WE SAW MARTIN AND LOUISA EXPERIENCE THE PAIN OF A TRIAL SEPARATION. ARE THEY ON SOLID GROUND AGAIN NOW? We couldn’t possibly carry on with the will-they-won’t-they between Martin and Louisa, so they’re back together.
ARE THERE ANY OBSTACLES TO THEIR RENEWED ROMANCE? There are some changes in Louisa’s circumstances as she embarks on a career change and then experiences a lot of torment about being a working mother. Martin’s supportive, but slightly dismissive too. They also get a dog, which Martin hates. Nothing annoys him more than sharing a house with a filthy, stinking dog – he can’t stand it! TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW FOURLEGGED CO-STAR… We’ve always wanted to have another dog on the show and Paddy’s [who plays Bob] such an eye-catching, beautiful dog – all he has to do is turn up. He’s already been in Midsomer Murders!
WE HEAR THERE’S A RATHER DRAMATIC STUNT IN STORE. WILL THIS BE AN ORDEAL FOR MARTIN? Yes, we have one episode we haven’t filmed yet that’s quite Tarantinoesque. A character has a bleed from the femoral artery, the
one in your leg that’s a bit of a gusher. In real life, you’d bleed out in about four minutes.
ARE THERE ANY GOOD GUEST STARS
THIS YEAR? My old friend Caroline Quentin is back, which was terrific, and so is Sigourney Weaver, who did a cameo in 2015. She’s friends with Selina Cadell, who plays Mrs Tishell, and she’s so sweet. After we sent her the script she got back to us almost immediately and said how excited she was. She’s got more to do this time – some lovely scenes. Art Malik and Samantha Spiro will be popping up, too.
MARTIN IS FUNDAMENTALLY QUITE RUDE AND MISERABLE. WHY DO YOU THINK WE LOVE WATCHING HIM?
I think, ultimately, it’s because he’s a doctor in a suit and he fixes everything, but because we’re British we don’t like authority, so he gets banged into door frames now and then [all of the door frames on the set are designed to be slightly too low for Clunes]. He’s definitely got grumpier since the first series. It’s a creeping disease.
YOU FILM IN THE SLEEPY FISHING VILLAGE OF PORT ISAAC. IS IT LIKE A SECOND HOME NOW? We counted up the amount of time I’ve spent here and it adds up to about three and a half years. The residents have had long enough to adapt to us being here and some have profited hugely – new businesses have grown up as a result of Doc Martin, like the shuttle bus and the tours.
WILL THE NEXT SERIES BE THE GRAND FINALE? Well, that’s the last commission and we are sort of working towards that being the end. But never say never. Personally, I’ll never get a better job, but it’s really hard for my wife Philippa [Braithwaite, the show’s producer]. There are six or seven drafts for each episode to get it right and keep it varied, yet the same – yet funny. It’s a massive ask. She’s about to go mad!
MARTIN CLUNES AND CAROLINE CATZ WITH NEWBIE PADDY (LEFT) AND OLD PAL DODGER
CLUNES ON THE SET WITH CAROLINE QUENTIN AND SIGOURNEY WEAVER (INSET)
THE TALENTED PADDY IN MIDSOMER MURDERS