Why Americans Should Be Watching ‘Doc Martin’

Martin CLunes

Doc Martin, unlike Downton Abbey, might be unfamiliar to American audiences, but it shouldn’t be. The show, now in its seventh season, is a comedic drama in a similar vein as House, but with far more humor. Martin Clunes, the star of the series, is a comedic genius with a deadpan style that causes fans to chuckle throughout.

The Los Angeles Times refers to Clunes in the series Doc Martin as beloved, and fans agree, perhaps adding that Dr. Martin Ellingham and all of the citizens of Port Wenn are a wee bit off.

“Martin Clunes is the star and co-steward of Doc Martin, a popular and personally beloved British import (from the commercial network ITV) 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.)”

The show can currently be found on Netflix, Hulu, and the new season on Acorn TV. It can also be found on many PBS stations.

Clunes in the series is dry, much like Hugh Laurie in House, but he is also a physical comedian, moving his way around a town that seems built two sizes too small for his large frame. Also, like House, Doc Martin believes he is always the smartest guy in the room, and there doesn’t seem to be a medical mystery he can’t solve.

“I tell you, I’ve always been quite physical about acting.”

Venture Capital Post is reporting that the series will see some changes in season 7. Stoic, detached Martin is finally seeking a change in his ability to have interpersonal relationships with people, namely his wife Louisa, and his son James, which has sent him into therapy. The doctor also wants to finally get over his blood phobia, which understandably is harming his practice. Perhaps most exciting in season 7 will be a cameo by Sigourney Weaver, who is reportedly a big fan.

Seeing Martin Bellingham open up, at least as much as he can to a psychiatrist, Dr. Rachel Timoney, shows a side of the doctor that fans have not seen, and finally much is revealed about his childhood.

WBUR says that fans have been waiting for the series to resume, but it has been delivered to fans in small bites, as the island of Port Wenn (really Port Isaac) has a very small window of good weather for shooting.

“There are a rash of high-quality shows that have debuted recently on cable, pay cable and streaming. The Leftovers on HBO; Homeland on Showtime; Fargo on FX, for starters. And while I’ll dutifully be in front of the television for all of them, the show that has me most excited is the streaming of Series Seven of Doc Martin.”

Once fans watch an episode or two of the original series, you are hooked. Doc Martin has taken the comedy/drama to a new level.

While House would do everything he could to avoid actually seeing patients, Doc Martin has no choice, but wishes all of the morons would stop talking and simply follow directions.

“He’s about as good at showing his feelings as your average zombie unless it’s one of exasperation with the local constabulary (‘You idiot!’) or a patient who doesn’t follow his instructions and starts to explain why (‘Stop talking’).”

Unlike many comedies, Doc Martin has a serial quality that keeps you on the hook for the next episode. If you are looking for a new funny, cerebral show to add to your must-see list, you owe it to yourself to check out Doc Martin.

Are you a fan of Doc Martin?

[Photo courtesy of Youtube]