The “Doc” Is Back!
By Karen Gilleland © 2013
What a treat! Take a front row pew at Martin and Louisa’s lavish wedding. Sip cider at the reception. Cozy up in front of the fire. But don’t snooze. The show is packed with emotional surprises.
Sigh. Backlit in the doorway of the church in a gorgeous wedding gown, Louisa causes Martin to stop short and catch his breath. He had been on his way out, apparently thinking the bride wasn’t coming. Martin Clunes said the scene reminded him of his own wedding and that neither he nor the “Doc” was “unmoved by seeing Caroline [Catz] appear in the doorway.”
Chuckle. When Martin rushes both his vows and the ring exchange, David Ryall, the minister, covers the double faux pas superbly with his archly modulated voice and raised eyebrows.
(Fans who have questioned why the “Doc” always wore a ring on his right hand will notice it is now on the left, obviously his own wedding band.)
Ahh. Imagine Rod Stewart’s “Sailing” floating in the air as Martin leads Louisa smoothly onto the floor for the traditional first dance. (We have to imagine it, unfortunately, because generic music is substituted in the U.S. version. We know the original music was “Sailing” because Martin Clunes jokes about the song title in a TV interview. I’ve put the question to ITV. When I receive a response, I will post the answer.)
On the dance floor, a little bit of the “Doc” slips out. “Did you have dance lessons when you were a child,” Martin asks Louisa when she steps on his toes.
“I thought not.”
Ooh la la. In a secluded lodge, the couple’s finely played honeymoon sequence sparks a warm glow. I like the gentle nod to Martin’s past tactless remarks after kisses (bad breath, hormonal imbalance). A lingering kiss, and Louisa whispers:
“Whatever you say.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
Holy moly, Batman! That warm glow flares up – not into passion, but into a roomful of smoke. It wouldn’t be “Doc Martin” if Martin and Louisa walked off into the sunset. Instead, they walk off into the foggy woods — in their wedding duds. Misadventures take the “Doc” out of his element, while Louisa hits her stride, even lambasting a farmer for his bad manners as he aims a shotgun at her.
The farmer soon regrets his encounter with the “Doc,” whose mishaps result in the man’s severing his carotid artery. Not to worry. The “Doc” saves the man’s life using needle, razor blade, hair clip, fishing line, and that essential surgical staple, a bottle of whiskey.
In the meantime, Mike Pruddy (played by Felix Scott) joins the regulars as an electrician-cum-childminder. Responding to an S.O.S. from Al that the lights have gone off in the surgery, Mike not only fixes the fuse box, he gives Aunt Ruth a lesson in childcare. He tells her that James is teething and she needs to rub vanilla essence on his gums.
Says Mike: “I grew up in a family of 10. I was the eldest. Screaming babies were practically the soundtrack of my youth.”
Back home in the morning, clothing splattered with blood, Martin and Louisa assure everyone that the blood isn’t theirs. “Whatever happened,” says P.C. Penhale, “we can fix it. People go missing all the time.”
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