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Doc Martin (Part 14 — Spoilers)


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Old 03-09-2012, 12:11
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Another DM smile that I don't think we've mentioned before:

S1E2 when Roger tells DM his secret is safe with him and DM says: "It's not likely you'll be able to tell anyone anyway" (After Roger has the surgery for his throat cancer because he won't be able to talk).

I love Roger and think it is great that DM seems to be on his wavelength. Both equally grumpy in this ep though!
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:15
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S1 Ep2
I love the line:
"Louisa you're looking...right through me."

Was DM about to compliment LG???
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:26
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Well, I guess we can't quote from a previous thread and here we now are at Part 14, so ....

in reply to Statesidefan, it seems to me that PB has created, with MC, a structure in which he can really flourish. More power to her! If keeping him off the hard stuff is the price to pay for that, I don't think he seriously complains BTW, he did also mention in another interview that they have wine with dinner "every other night."

about The Great Re-Watch: -- now having been to DocMartinOnline to check this out, I see that the discussion is not really going to take place on that site, but is more or less open-ended, with both Digital Spy and Twitter mentioned. It's sort of a general invitation to "talk amongst yourselves" if I understand correctly. I'm not inclined to tweet my views, since I'm too verbose for twitter so definitely we should continue here. Maybe postpone discussion of E2 a week?

Although I am primed with comments about S1E2, "Gentlemen Prefer" -- starting with not understanding the title.

Last edited by NewPark : 03-09-2012 at 12:36. Reason: now having actually informed myself of what I was talking about
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:27
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What time is this playing on ITV1?
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:35
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Well, I guess we can't quote from a previous thread and here we now are at Part 14, so ....

in reply to Statesidefan, it seems to me that PB has created, with MC, a structure in which he can really flourish. More power to her! If keeping him off the hard stuff is the price to pay for that, I don't think he seriously complains BTW, he did also mention in another interview that they have wine with dinner "every other night."

about The Great Re-Watch: -- I guess we could more or less do both? It feels cozy here, and I enjoy the dialogue, but also maybe opening it up to others will bring some fresh perpectives, as did the discussion with the WETA blogger's rewatch. So I would be in favor of continuing here as well, depending on what others want to do.

And I am primed with comments about S1E2, "Gentlemen Prefer" -- starting with not understanding the title.
MC certainly looks healthy and happy so whatever PB is doing I think is great.

I am not on Facebook or twitter so hope we can discuss the show here. I don't mind doing two weeks of S1 Ep2.

I guess the title could mean - Most "gentlemen prefer" blondes but this one, DM, prefers brunettes.
Otherwise I am completely in the dark.
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Old 03-09-2012, 13:30
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Clearly, Martin and Louisa had serious communication issues from the get-go, and having a baby together didn't change that.

But how big an impact did Eleanor's arrival in PW have on the eventual break-up -- did it accelerate it?
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Old 03-09-2012, 13:32
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why don't we just say that for the next two weeks we discuss E1 and E2? (unless others feel that's just too confusing.)
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Old 03-09-2012, 13:35
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Clearly, Martin and Louisa had serious communication issues from the get-go, and having a baby together didn't change that.

But how big an impact did Eleanor's arrival in PW have on the eventual break-up -- did it accelerate it?
I tend to think it did -- in that it brought into sharper focus for Louisa some of her dis-satisfactions with Martin. Eleanor was quick to spot and comment on them.
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Old 03-09-2012, 13:42
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I tend to think it did -- in that it brought into sharper focus for Louisa some of her dis-satisfactions with Martin. Eleanor was quick to spot and comment on them.
I agree that Eleanor's criticisms of Martin at first made Louisa defensive of him -- but then reinforced her own growing concerns.

Maybe it also made Louisa focus on romantic relationships? Clearly her own parents' marriage was miserable, but she didn't want one that made her unhappy too?

I have a feeling that Eleanor is to be a contrast to Louisa (for sure, their maternal instincts are at opposite ends of the spectrum) -- but maybe there is more? Eleanor's wanderlust reinforces Louisa's need to stay in familiar territory??
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Old 03-09-2012, 13:58
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so, sports fans, on FB Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) Fan Club page, someone has posted quotes from the latest Women's Weekly article featuring MC. You should go and read it -- I don't think it's "fair use" to copy it here-- but highlights include a definite backing away from season 6 is the last one, a hint that big shakeup is coming in S6, and another tribute to Phillipa and Emily --"I'm no good without them." Plus, he's bought another horse -- 17 in all now. There, I've summarized it without meaning to.
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Old 03-09-2012, 14:15
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so, sports fans, on FB Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) Fan Club page, someone has posted quotes from the latest Women's Weekly article featuring MC. You should go and read it -- I don't think it's "fair use" to copy it here-- but highlights include a definite backing away from season 6 is the last one, a hint that big shakeup is coming in S6, and another tribute to Phillipa and Emily --"I'm no good without them." Plus, he's bought another horse -- 17 in all now. There, I've summarized it without meaning to.
Could you please give the FB link -- I've looked at the various Doc Martin FB sites (there are several) and don't see the quotes? Many thanks
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Old 03-09-2012, 14:27
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Could you please give the FB link -- I've looked at the various Doc Martin FB sites (there are several) and don't see the quotes? Many thanks
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DocMartin/

Sorry -- should have done that in the first place! It's the first item.
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Old 03-09-2012, 14:37
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https://www.facebook.com/groups/DocMartin/

Sorry -- should have done that in the first place! It's the first item.
Many thanks. Very interesting!

I'm game -- what do you think the BIG changes will be?

Move to London?
Wedding?
Twins

Wait, I know the BIG change -- we'll see a passionate embrace between Doc and Louisa??!!
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:01
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What time is this playing on ITV1?
9-10pm tonight and at the same time tomorrow night
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:03
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What time is this playing on ITV1?
It's on from 9-10 UK time zone.
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:14
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It's on from 9-10 UK time zone.
thanks (and to CurlyGirl too). Expat Shield is fired up and ready to go at 4:00 p.m. edt.
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:51
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Many thanks. Very interesting!

I'm game -- what do you think the BIG changes will be?

Move to London?
Wedding?
Twins

Wait, I know the BIG change -- we'll see a passionate embrace between Doc and Louisa??!!
Perhaps once we find out in the next couple of weeks who has signed a contract to be part of the cast for S6 we can have a vision as to where they want the storyline to go.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:01
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My observations (S1E2)

1. Martin and the dog that isn’t his: Martin and the dog becomes something of an opening gambit. It strikes me that this is how many episodes begin. The point being made with the dog often in the first season, it seems to me, is that while nobody else loves Martin, the dog is always there for him – the companion of his bed, the one who joins him after he has been ousted from Louisa’s taxi (E7). After taking the dog to the police station and him getting out thanks to “a good lawyer” in the last episode, Martin tries a couple of alternative methods of dog disposal here: leaving him with Joan on the farm, throwing a stick and hoping the dog will chase it over the cliff (pretty dark, that!). We learn that the dog is male in this episode owing to his off-screen ravishing of Lady Lancelot (the dog that Carmen carries in her handbag. Gremlin does seem to go for the petite of stature – the ill fated Princess Tinkle also catches his eye in S3E4, which is vaguely disturbing to us viewers). In S5 the fishmonger paints a picture for Martin of what lies ahead of him as an aging bachelor – unkempt dwelling, indifferent personal hygiene, no reason to get into anything more formal than his y-fronts on a slow Saturday. In some way the dog seems to present the same spectre in SS1-3. The dog is what is left to him when his romantic overtures fail. The dog’s somewhat seedy bachelor existence and scruffy countenance, his general unwantedness, presents a picture of what remains for Martin in his life as a “lone wolf.”

2. First patients: Martin’s first official day at the surgery sees him all dressed up with no place to go. He is so eager to start treating diseases, to help actual patients with genuine medical problems, but his first two callers come to see the improvements he’s made to the surgery, drink cups of tea, and the third (Mrs. Black, am I right that she is later reincarnated as Dr. Dibbs?), comes to make him a match. I never have quite understood her line: “If it’s the breast you’re after and she’s a Scotch pancake, there’s much that could be done – chicken fillets.” Is it supposed to make any kind of sense? Who’s the flat-chested “she.” Martin quickly loses patience with his surgery full of “gawpers” in this scene, but he certainly bites his tongue more in the name of politeness, even cordiality, even eagerness (to do a good job for them as their GP), than we see him in later interactions with patients where his watchword seems to be: “stop talking.”

2b. Babs: The first episode was all about breasts, now in the second we have Elaine describing the express lane cashier as a “bimbo” with “babs up to here,” Mrs. Black asking Martin if he’s a “breast man” and Elaine, again, asking of Martin re: Carmen, “what is it with men and big babs?” Babs are on someone’s mind in this first season, are we supposed to infer that it’s Martin’s or just Dominic Minghella’s? If the idea was originally to depict Martin as a character with a repressed interest in babs (you do feel he could answer Elaine’s question if he wanted to, don’t you?), I think that sort of goes away by the last episode of this season, where he looks at a woman’s ample bosom and only sees a melanoma. If it was ever on the cards to “develop” that theme of “Doc Martin, breast-man,” I’m glad they moved away from it. A doctor with a prurient interest in babs is just nasty. By the end of this season Martin is, if he wasn’t to begin with, a consummate professional – just look at the way he deals with Melanie. I’m not sure I would trust his father in the same way, but when Mark asks in S2E2 whether Martin has ever been convicted of a sexual offense, I totally believe Martin, not only that he has never been convicted, but that there is no perversion there.

2c: So is Mrs. Black’s question what is being alluded to in the episode title: “Gentlemen Prefer”?

3: Mr. wool-in-ear: The extra who puts his hand up, and then lowers it when Martin asks whether there’s anyone who has come to see him with a genuine medical complaint, I believe is another local who has been cast. We see him quite often throughout the series. In S3E4 he dances with Louisa at Penhale’s party. In S5E1 he is the man Martin lets through with his Dibbs-proferred prescription at the chemist’s – he says it is a “toilet matter.” Having been an extra at one point myself (see my appearance in the long-forgotten basketball movie “The Sixth Man”) I thought there was some rule about not giving speaking lines to people who do not belong to the actors’ union. Yet, Mr. wool-in-ear is given a word or two to speak here or there (as in that S5 appearance).

3. Ah, Jeff Rawle – perfect casting as Roger Fenn. But now as I rewatch these Doc Martin episodes, having seen him play a transvestite in William and Mary, I have a hard time not seeing him in wig and dress. I think I read somewhere that he and MC are buddies. Since Doc Martin is MC (and PB’s) own party, I wonder they have not invited Caroline Quentin to play some role. What’s the use of owning your own production company if you don’t use it to provide work for all your friends?

4. The sacking of Elaine: E: Look. M: No, you look Elaine, for a new job. E: Wot..just because… M: Because you are the most incompetent person it has ever been my misfortune to encounter and that incompetence could very well end up costing someone their life (this after the mis-assigned prescriptions and the mis-transcription of Bobby Richards’ name and phone number). We’re all cheering for Martin in this scene aren’t we? He comes across as the level-headed professional, not over-the-top nasty, just insisting on a certain standard of competence from his receptionist (ie. that she not endanger lives). Yet, as soon as he steps out the door and gets a wedding invitation from Elaine’s father “to thank him for looking after Elaine” he realizes how not straightforward this perfectly justifiable action is going to be in a small community. If Martin gets more sour and grumpy toward the village as the series goes on, seeing the way he begins (full of good will) and the way the village takes against him (in this matter, IMO, unjustly) makes that development quite logical and understandable.

4b. Martin accepting an invitation to a wedding would just not have happened in later seasons. He would have said a firm “No” without explanation or apology.

5. Louisa and Martin at the school: Bad hair day for Louisa, glad we haven’t seen that style repeated too often. Martin and Louisa show that they are quite one another’s equal in conversational repartee (reminds me of some of the scenes between Petruchio and Kate in Taming of the Shrew), and the chemistry between them is already visible underneath. Louisa, in the first indication that she is really a bit of a feminist (a theme which doesn’t come to the fore again, I don’t think, until S4) says that Martin’s insistence on having the last word/conversational dominance is “so male.” He replies “thank you.” I think he would rather be noticed in his maleness by Louisa than complimented by her for the agreeableness of his conversation. He notices her too. That she’s easy on the eyes he’s already registered, but by anticipating his need for directions by telling him it’s 30 not 15 minutes to the Richards’ home, she proves herself an efficient woman with some presence of mind. In the raising of CC’s eyebrow at the end of the encounter, and despite the sparring nature of their exchange, I think we can read some stirrings of romantic interest on Louisa’s part.

6. Martin at the Richards’ house: After upbraiding the villagers for mistaking his surgery for a tea room it’s really quite funny that Martin asks Mrs. Richards to make him a cup of tea. Of course it is just to get her and her hysteria out of the room. I quite like the way he interacts with Bobby, and a true note is struck here to the way the Doc typically is with underage patience (eg. Theo Wenn in S4) right through the series. He is not as likeable as Dr. Martin Bamford when examining Rita Gorie’s little boy, but he definitely has a darkly humourous way with him which is reserved for his interactions with children (this leg’ll have to come off – don’t worry, with modern anesthetics you won’t feel a thing. Under your tongue, that’s it, under it, lift it), and I think, on the whole, they respond well to it. Martin is feeling pretty good about his doctoring here. He has relieved the mother’s mind with the tonsillitis diagnosis, he even has the correct antibiotics on him, then when the Richards girl comes and tells her mother that Martin has sacked Elaine, Martin loses all his good credit. I’m really feeling very sympathetic toward Martin at this point, whereas in later seasons in interactions with the villagers, our sympathies tend to be on their side. Look at that -- what should there be on the Richards’ mantelpiece but a Buddha!! What is it with the roving Buddhas of Portwenn?!

7. Pasta, soup of the day, chile con carne! Wow, the Doc’s diet was much less restrictive in S1: carbs, sodium, red meat! His mineral water preference was already in place here, though, as was his way of taking tea (milk, no sugar).

8. Very funny scene at the petrol station. I like this actress who plays Pamela. Am I right that she reappears as the grocery store cashier in S2E1, refusing to take Martin’s credit card (“Mr. and Mrs. Credit have passed away”)? Already Martin has formed the opinion that he’s in purgatory (his reference to the “village of the damned”). I love those word-pictures that Dominic Minghella draws: Pamela having her fifth child in three years, with a snowstorm howling outside, and her boyfriend rotting in prison, in S2, bodies piling up, rats scrabbling through cottages, future archaeologists unearthing the ruins of Portwenn and asking how did this unspeakable disaster occur, how? Because Miss Glasson said. I don’t remember Martin waxing so picturesque in his speech after S2 until the last episode of S5 (will their pinched faces, spreading contagion like a bushfire). Too bad; I find those moments very funny, and illustrative of a kind of intelligence in Martin that is related to humour and not necessarily to medicine.

9. Poor Roger. He is crushed at his probable cancer diagnosis and Martin is not at all sensitive in delivering it: “you may not care about this, but unfortunately I’m paid to” – cold. I do feel he atones somewhat in coming around to Roger’s house with the confirmed diagnosis and saying, really quite gently, “I can talk you through what happens next.” I think of all the medical conditions we see diagnosed in the series, Roger’s cancer is one of the most devastating. Roger even says that Martin (in comparison to his surgeon) was like “Florence Nightengale.” While the decision has been to move away from more serious medical diagnoses because things like cancer “aren’t funny.” I think seeing Martin with patients who are going through very serious and protracted (over more than one episode) medical conditions gives more scope for his compassion – indeed something even approaching “a bedside manner.” I find the 2 or 3 medical issues brought up per episode in the latter seasons a bit choppy. It has also apparently taxed Dr. Martin Scurr’s fund of interesting medical conditions to near bankruptcy. Could we not have another main character in S6 facing something fairly serious medically, and that story arc being developed across several episodes? I don’t even mind if they kill off Bert Large round about S6E7 for the sake of showing that Martin has some compassion buried deep within him, since it’s in all likelihood the last season anyway.

10. Martin on the phone arranging for Roger’s laryngoscopy. This is a bit of a gambit as well, Martin on the phone speaking with somebody at a lab or a medical colleague and shouting at someone in the room to “shut up” (usually a patient) or to “stop that” (in this case, Gremlin rummaging through his rubbish), then saying to the person on the phone, “no, not you.” Dependence on such gambits is in some people’s view (apparently in MC’s) a lower form of comedy, but I find I like these repeated leitmotifs – like the exploding airbag (which we saw again in the scene at the garage with Roger Fenn).

11. The hilltop scene with Carmen and Bruce (looking at Carmen’s babs now – not that big by my reckoning). Despite the noisomeness of Carmen, Martin actually engages with them, expresses interest when Bruce tells him of Elaine’s mother’s premature passing, says it’s a “shame” that Carmen’s relationship with Elaine isn’t better, allows himself to be visibly gratified by Bruce’s words “A life alone, what is it for? I mean obviously not you, you do something positive, I just mean the rest of us, you contribute, and that must feel, uh, you know, saving lives…” and concedes that Elaine has “personality.” Either this is the distinctive flavour of S1 coming through – a more sociable Martin -- or else considerable pains are being taken to show us that Bruce is a character whom Martin quite likes, and is willing to go out of his way for. Why would that be? Maybe because Bruce confesses to being just as flummoxed by Elaine as Martin often is himself. She has thrown the two men in her life into a kind of solidarity against her (I sometimes think Martin has a solidarity with the unseen Greg too –the third man in Elaine’s life – for the same reason). Whatever you may think of Elaine, she brings forth things in Martin that we have not seen much of since her departure from the series.

12. Martin and Mark at the pub: MM: do you fancy a drink? ME: Ahm, No, thanks, I don’t want to get tar and feathers on my jackeh. I think New Park is absolutely right that Martin is a lot “tighter” in his diction in subsequent seasons, more clipped “yeses” fewer “yeahs” and narry a “sod off!” or an “arse” to be heard. In S1 Martin drops a few of his final consonants, including the one on “jacket” in this line. When I rewatch this episode that dropped dental always hits my ear as sounding most “unMartinish.” Martin declines the “good single malt” that Mark’s got on the go in this scene, though the fact that Mark thinks that that might entice him, contributes to my hypothesis that in S1 Martin is an occasional whisky-bibber. The fish which I presume is what’s wrapped in the newspaper will have great currency later on. Maybe it’s not that Martin was such a devoted fish-eater in London. It’s just that he’s discovered the “silver lining” of living in Cornwall – fresh fish available at the harbour market and locally grown organic veg. Maybe it’s the fact that moving to Portwenn has precipitated a dietary adjustment that his uncharacteristic request for “chile con carne” in the earlier scene is designed to show.

13. We haven’t yet seen Martin working on a clock (though there were some clangs which sounded clock-like in the last episode’s scene with the moving van), though here, in the absence of any patients we see him working on his computer. Yes, I think we are supposed to assume, looking forward to E3 and back to an earlier discussion, that Martin has a certain facility with fixing computer hardware, and only gives Al this job out of a desire to help him out financially. When Mrs. Winter, his last appointment calls to cancel, Martin is again facing one of those moments where someone (a woman, as it happens) has rejected him/left him bereft, and it’s into that void that the faithful dog again steps. Martin’s snarl is very funny – no wonder the dog likes him. Just as his interactions with children are enjoyable to watch because it calls forth something child-like in him, his interactions with that dog, brings forth something bestial in him – he relates to both children and dogs by somehow getting down on their level. In fact were it not for the hygiene considerations, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him BITE that dog at some point.

14. You’ve heard me before saying that I like that song of Roger Fenn’s and wondering if it is an original composition. There is something Bob Dylan-esque about its poetry and about Fenn's gravelly execution, and it also has something in common with Maritime folk ballads and the traditions of sea-superstition/magic which makes it sound quite indigenous to Cornwall (“We set to sea, in a boat made of flowers, and drifted for days till our lips tasted land. It was bitter. So we sailed away, the last breath of day, chased the hot metal skies of the ocean, with no notion. We came by night to the fortunate islands, laying like fish ‘neath the nets of our kisses, that’s why this is…” I was so disappointed to hear what they replaced that song with in the German version of this episode – bizarre since they bought the rights to use the rest of Colin Towns’ music, yet they chose to have this song be some execrable rock piece, in English, featuring the F-word?!! I think Martin like’s Roger’s ballad too, and is actually somewhat in awe/envious of Roger’s former life as a member of a band. MC’s has said that he grew up wanting to be in a band and to be a rock star, and in many of his other roles (William and Mary, Hunting Venus) there is scope for his musical tastes and talents to display themselves. Maybe this scene with Roger Fenn was a door being left open to that, early in this series. Obviously they chose not to take the character in that direction, but I think at a certain point in series 1 it would not have been too unbelievable to see Martin agree to jam with Roger of a Saturday afternoon on whatever instrument his expensive early education taught him to play. …Or maybe it’s not too late. We learned in S4 that Martin is a poet. What if he were to collaborate with Fenn on an original piece (Martin's lyrics to Fenn's melody) sung to Louisa at their wedding reception? (What’s that? The sound of women swooning on 7 continents? (well 6, MC hasn't yet done a documentary on the penguins of Antarctica)). MC apparently plays the harp (Yes.) which would be a spectacle calculated to send at least this lady minister/soppy folk music afficionado into a swoon (and I’m not even that much of a “Clunatic,” it’s just the harp! It’s the most Christian of instruments according to Garrison Keillor’s Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra, and is also adaptable to either symphonic or folk music ends. I dunno, maybe Martin played it in an amateur orchestra comprised of medical students raising funds for the hospital or for Doctors Without Borders – its not impossible). Probably they won’t give us that – it would be the high-water mark for ooey-gooey in Martin’s character, but the poet in him and the way he responds to Roger’s music all the way back here in S1E2 tells us there is a soulful side to him. If Louisa can’t bring it out at his wedding, it’s probably going to remain repressed/unexpressed for all of their married life.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:02
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15. Ah, there he is working on a clock. My first time watching the series through, I totally missed the that he was a clock-smith until S3E1 where Martin makes reference to “his hobby” and Louisa says “ah yes, your clocks.” But rewatching the series makes me see that this was a part of the character envisioned from the very first episode. I wonder if antique clocks are an interest of MC’s – perhaps from seeing them come and go through his mother’s antique shop. Unless that’s the case, the choice of this particular hobby for Martin Ellingham just seems to reinforce the sense of time passing, and the need to redeem one’s time (which seems to be a theme of the show, touched on again in this episode by Bruce Denham’s words quote above in #11).

16. Poor Martin, the dearth of patients has reduced him to waiting outside the lav listening to other men pee. The deliverty man’s reaction to his proposal of a prostate exam is priceless!

17. The W word, the T word, the P word, AND the Z word. So what do we think? Wanker? Tosser? Pillock? The Z word? I’m afraid, like Martin, I’m at a loss. Young Bobby and Martin are both the S word in this scene: Superb

18. Martin and Aunt Joan talking about his firing of Elaine: AJ: So she made a mistake, everyone makes mistakes. M: Yes, but she can’t admit them. She’s got this thing where you take her up on something and she comes right back at you with a complaint. AJ: And when you make a mistake you roll over and let them tickle your tum? (Martin’s reply to this is completely non-verbal but it is so eloquent: he looks quizzically upward (thinking), opens and closes his mouth several times, then marches away with a goose-step). This bit of dialogue is quite clever. The behaviour Martin describes in Elaine (the inability to apologise) is a behaviour of his own (Elaine Denham (ED) is in some respects a mirror of Doctor Ellingham (DE) to propose a variation on my earlier theme of Edith Montgomery (EM) mirroring Martin Ellingham (ME). It’s that behaviour that Louisa objects to all the way down the line in E4E8“everybody makes mistakes Martin, but most people learn from them” -- which makes the degree to which the writer knew at least some aspects of the later character already here in the second episode of S1 seem quite far-seeing and impressive. AJ also steps into what will be her patented role as Martin’s “truth teller” here. Nobody can really confront Martin and make him think as well as AJ does, not even Louisa. Martin doesn't get the sympathy/solidarity from Joan that he has been expecting to get on the Elaine issue, so once again he is rejected (by a woman) and once again Gremlin, who he discovers has not remained at the farm, but has somehow gotten into the backseat of his car, raises his shaggy head, ready to be Martin’s solace.

19. M: Elaine, what’s happened to you? E: It’s tan. M: It’s orange. One of my all time favourite Martin/Elaine exchanges. This is the scene where Martin goes on to say: “You’ll miss your father’s wedding.” “I think it would mean a lot to him.” “Elaine, were you very young when your Mum died?” “You know I think people will understand how hard that must have been, and difficult for you to move on and see your father move on…whoever the woman was…I suppose… I could have been more understanding.” EHN!. None of that sounds remotely like the Martin we come to know later, who would definitely consider all this drama in his receptionist’s family as “none of my business.”

20. Louisa and AJ at the Platt. Gosh, Louisa’s had that same handbag for 5 seasons! I never have liked it – talk about things that are bin-worthy! Another bad hair day too.

21. The hospital visit between Louisa and Fenn: (She appears to have found a comb between the Platt and the hospital). L: “Still no sign of Martin then.” Fenn: “Why does that bother you so much?” We were asking a while ago when the signs of Louisa’s interest in Martin first started to become apparent to us and to the village (prior to Melanie Gibson’s statement that Louisa fancies him and she’s Martin’s patient). I think we can add this statement by Roger Fenn to the raised eyebrow at the end of Louisa and Martin’s previous exchange. It’s apparent at least to Roger that Louisa’s interest in Martin goes beyond that of an appointing committee member wanting to be sure that the committee was vindicated in its decision. Compare this visit between Louisa (all compassion and kindness) and Fenn with Martin’s later one (all dark humour and insult). It reminds me of what someone once told me was the cardinal rule for dealing with depressives – don’t mollycoddle them. Fenn is much more succoured by Martin’s “bracing” visit than by this well intentioned one by Louisa. Nonetheless it shows us the goodness of her character -- her generosity of spirit to visit a man who has always been nothing but bitter toward her, and who is really very rude here. As I think I said in an earlier post, her love language is partially acts of service, as well as it is Martin’s. On this level they connect. Words of affirmation are far more necessary for her than for Martin, though and this is where they don’t. Both are visible in this scene, the way she shows concern for Roger by doing (coming to visit him, and later by arranging employment to alleviate his financial worries), and also with tender, sympathetic words. I think Roger appreciates at some level the former, but he doesn’t need and in fact distrusts, the latter.

22: I remarked in my commentary on E1 that the way Martin’s haemophobia is introduced to us is enjoyably inductive. It’s a mystery all through E1 why this flash London surgeon is consigned to purgatory in Portwenn, a mystery that only gets solved when Martin has his panic attack on the way to see Roger, and then explains to him why he’s looking so peaky. I am reminded of something mmDerdekea has said about the superior way of telling a story being to show rather than to tell. The pieces begin to drop into place for us as soon as we see Martin’s reaction to the blood, and we get to pat ourselves on the back because we have figured it out (mostly) before Martin has told us. We do need to hear the first-person account of what happened with the woman who ended Martin’s surgical career in London, because it fills in some necessary detail, but by that point we have already been shown. I really like Martin very much in this hospital visit scene with Roger. His reference to his Midas Touch doesn’t sound boastful, it sounds modest. His description of himself as someone who was walking the high wire and made the mistake of looking down, tugs at our sympathy, but we don’t have the sense that our sympathy is being wrung from us. Martin tells his story in a way that is not particularly self-pitying or bitter -- just matter-of-fact. This is the first time, I have the sense of Martin, as possibly a really great man, one who in Kipling’s words is able to “meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same.” He is fragile, but he is noble. For his part Fenn is also noble, in saying “you probably want to keep that quiet…your secret is safe with me.” This is a very manly exchange – two rugby mates punching each other in the arm, only the punches are all verbal: “it’s not like you’re going to be able to tell anyone anyway” (that line to me is the poster-child for Martin’s particular brand of dark humour) “you are a miserable bugger.” Oh, I do like this scene very much!!

21b. It is here we also learn about Roger Fenn’s adult daughter. She, and the relationship, seem less than satisfactory. In S2E6 when Fenn discovers he is an expectant father to twins, we see his hopefulness that this time he can be a better parent. I like these ties between S1 and S2, as with such a tiny note -- often just a single line -- they can give you a sense of rich backstory, and again, you feel chuffed with yourself as a viewer, because you have done the work of filling that in. Whatever Roger’s history with his first family was, his “second chance” seems to suit one of the show’s themes, that indeed people can learn from their mistakes, and change if they want to.

22. Going back slightly to Martin’s other encounters at the hospital, with the receptionist, and with Adrian Pitts and the other registrar who “sucks up” to him, we are again being shown, not told, that Martin is incredibly well respected and important professionally, and also that he has had to descend to quite a humble place. He parks in a surgeon’s spot, “Mr. Brownloe,” although he has neither privileges at that hospital, nor the privileged parking that would be accorded to a surgeon. The receptionist calls him on it: “you’re a GP” – in other words, go park with the other plebs, “And you’re a receptionist” Martin answers. “Is it me, or do you not understand plain English?” “It’s you.” Comic gold. Love that line! And which is typical of S1, we are totally onside with Martin in the insults he gives to people, because they deserve them!

23. Bruce and Carmen’s wedding: Do we like Louisa’s updo? Certainly her hair and make-up people are being given more to do in these early seasons than later on. Again I think Martin’s comment: “You’re looking…straight through me” shows a level of social sophistication that his character loses later on. His comment in reply to Bruce Denham’s: “I’ve been sick twice and my heart is beating 300 times a minute” which is “perfectly natural I understand” is both more cordial and more socially easy than we would expect of the S3+ Martin. I believe this is a different church than the one used for AJ’s funeral and Martin and Louisa’s non-wedding. That makes sense, though, since the Denhams are supposed to be from Delabole. Bert, who has had very little to do in this episode, looks almost handsome there in the church, without his trademark wooly hat. Apart from the short conversation between the church and the reception marquee where Roger clears up the misunderstanding that Louisa has about Martin’s not visiting him while he was in hospital, the scene in the reception tent is all about Martin’s ostracism (he’s all alone at that table, not by accident, and this time with no Gremlin to solace him!) and Elaine’s reinstatement. I think had it been later in the series, when the folk at BP had twigged to the fact that of all the subplots it was the romantic one between Martin and Louisa that the viewers were most interested in (MC has said that that came to them all as something of a surprise), I think we would have had a scene between Martin and Louisa in that tent. Would they have had a conciliatory dance (unthinkable, isn’t it?). In any case I’m sure Louisa would have come over to apologise for her misunderstanding, thus cheering Martin in his loneliness at that table much more than a chorus of “for he’s a jolly good fellow” would have done (I did think that was a bit over the top, though not altogether out of character for Bert Large). Martin really never does get the better of Elaine all through S1, I think that really is the dance they do together, Elaine leading. Her coming back at him with her “ground rules” is very typical, and assures us that things at the surgery are very much business as usual -- not a chastened Elaine, and a Martin who gets some credit for being magnanimous (which is how it should be). I notice a) that it is sparkling mineral water in Martin’s glass at the wedding reception, so that least that is consistent, and b)that Louisa does not join in the singing of “for he’s a jolly good fellow” (although she kind of moves her shoulders to the beat). I think we are to take from that that her jury is still out so far as Martin is concerned, but he certainly has got her attention – she cares more what he does at this point than anybody else in that room.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:03
mmDerdekea
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Sorry -- should have done that in the first place! It's the first item.
If they now have the attitude that Doc Martin "should never become a soap", I wish they had thought that before S5! That was definitely a bit "soap"ish to me.

I'm excited and a bit nerve-wracked thinking of S6 to come.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:13
mmDerdekea
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You know what's a funny question to me in the series--in S3E6, the morning after they've finally had sex, LG asks DM if he regrets what they did.

Why would DM regret that? He certainly didn't, as he makes clear. One imagines they both quite enjoyed the intimacy as we learn from LG at the nutritional supper that she was planning on spending the night, assuming she'd get, and wanting more, of their bedroom experience.

Was DM's initial response in bed hard to figure? One wouldn't think so; I mean, guys are pretty obviously enjoying things in bed, and from that kiss in the taxi when DM was for a moment actively engaging LG (before his idiotic comments), he seemed, for that brief second, very sure of himself.

They had also slept together all night, too; DM didn't get up and head home early. So, they both enjoyed the experience, DM stayed the night, they slept together and LG is still wondering if he regretted it.

Was that just LG's own insecurity? Had SHE regretted it?
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:23
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Many thanks. Very interesting!

I'm game -- what do you think the BIG changes will be?

Move to London?
Wedding?
Twins

Wait, I know the BIG change -- we'll see a passionate embrace between Doc and Louisa??!!
The last one please!

Obviously the writers have started and the storylines are flowing in. Please, please, please let there be humour.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:33
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Series 1 episode 2 Gentlemen Prefer
Written by Dominic Minghella
Martin's surgery officially opens for business, but patients continue to treat it as a drop-in cafe. Former teacher Roger Fenn is hoarse and has a lump on his neck, so Martin refers him to a specialist for a biopsy. He is diagnosed with cancer and must have surgery which may cost the former singer his voice. Martin also sacks Elaine as his receptionist for her general attitude and incompetence after she inaccurately takes down the name or phone number of a boy with suspected appendicitis.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:34
Conniej
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“At home his wife (TV producer Philippa Braithwaite) doesn’t really let him have scotch and as he is pouring it as his wife walks in the room, he will say ‘He asked for it!’ I’m his whisky excuse!"


MC's excitement of going to make his own whisky makes much more sense now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd7WjA9Aufg
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:42
NewPark
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Many thanks. Very interesting!

I'm game -- what do you think the BIG changes will be?

Move to London?
Wedding?
Twins

Wait, I know the BIG change -- we'll see a passionate embrace between Doc and Louisa??!!
I'm wondering if the process of plotting the "big changes" has given MC more confidence that they can keep the show fresh and interesting, without the DM-LG romance story line. So that lets him at least consider the idea of a S7.

One possibility of a really big change is that they start the season several years further on -- show them married, JH about 4, another child or two, living at the farm (I know, I'm the only one who thinks that will ever happen!), I do also worry about any big changes involving LG, or should we say, LGE.
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