Wednesday 25 November 2015

Cheery Clunes couldn't be more different to his Doc Martin character

Martin Clunes is the star and co-steward of Doc Martin, the popular and personally beloved British import about a big-city doctor whose life becomes enmeshed, to his ongoing discomfort, with the people of Portwenn, a Cornish fishing village (He retreats there when a suddenly acquired fear of blood interrupts his surgical career).

It is a comedy of extreme frustration, in which Clunes' Dr. Ellingham, highly competent at his job and self-defeating in life, nevertheless manages to fall in love, with Caroline Catz's schoolteacher Louisa, have a child and marry, in that order (There are many other characters, each frustrated and frustrating in his or her own way). This has happened at a glacial pace and with many excruciating detours – a pace slowed further by the fact that, though the events of one season lead more or less straight into the events of the next, the show now appears only every other year. Martin and Louisa's son, James, born in a 2011 episode, is still a baby.

That on-off, schedule, which involves both Clunes and his producer wife, Philippa Braithwaite, has been adopted in order to not unduly disturb either the life of their daughter or that of Port Isaac (Port Wenn in the series), where the show films; its global success, which has also generated native adaptations in several other countries, has turned the town into something of a tourist destination. It's also because, Clunes says, "We'd never get the scripts in shape in any less time. It's not an easy show to write. However much time is never enough".

Though the character he plays on television is serious to a fault, Clunes himself is a cheery sort who finds amusement everywhere; indeed, he can barely speak for laughing.

It's your show, you're somewhat in charge of the character. But to what degree is he in charge of you?

That's a good question. I can tell off the page just reading it to myself when scripts come in and somebody's just gauged it wrong. Like if he apologizes, or uses the F-word – we don't go there. It sounds so wanky to say he lives, but I'm also very aware that I'm motivated by a huge desire to fall over and walk into things to make people laugh. You do get into a groove, which is great, when you get to act with the same people a lot. Like with, Caroline Catz – it's like a duet, you're like a duo jamming together.

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  1. Please, no more. Clunes created a very real sympathetic character in series 1. All the characters felt real and the writing was well balanced. There was a good story arc which continued thru series 2. Then Clunes did the unforgivable. He changed the Doc. By series 4 Clunes plays him like a brain damaged retard.
    He ruined this show.

    1. It is not fair, Doc Martin is the best to watch and they are all acting very well, even the dogs and specially Martin Clunes, who is my favorite actor. I think, series 7 is perhabs the best until now, because there is a good ethics or moral, who is normal, we are all different, also Louisa and the Doc and that is a good point.
      I really hope for series 8!

  2. 💤💤 ooh, nasty pasty ?

  3. Clearly not too many agree with the first comment since the show's gone global. I can't get enough I must say. Roll on series 8!!

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  5. I would agree with somewhat with post 1, but only to a point. Season 1 portrayed Doc Martin social awkwardness in a humorous way. Then the writers began tweaking his character to the point that it wasn’t funny anymore (series 6). My opinion is they need to tweak him back to something like he was in the first series, but make him a little less rude. I think they can make his character humorous, but at the same time more human. Hopefully there will be another series.

  6. The doc that got you to like the show in series 1 disappeared by series 4. Now if we could only get clunes and his writers to stop posting...

  7. Of course Clunes is cheery, he only looks at how much money the show makes - he owns it. The show was well balanced in series 1. It was the Doc getting punched in the nose trying to help, and it was Bert large being rude - he told the Doc to shove it 3 times in one episode. It's a normal acting Doc we see washing his car and asking Louisa out. What Clunes did to this character by series 4 is criminal.

  8. And dont forget, it was the Doc cracking a smile when he see the surfers'car floating in the water. I think Clunes wife, who's executive producer, doesnt want to see Martin and Louisa together. It would explain why the storyline has been so miserable for four series. Jealous Pippa?

  9. If they had put a disclaimer at the beginning of series 4 that Martin & Louisa were to be kept apart the entire series I wouldn't have wasted my time watching it. To do that after the horrible end to series 3 was rubbish.