Thursday, April 19, 2012

"DOC MARTIN" VS. 'DOC MARTIN'


The weather hit record highs Monday - on my day off - and yet I stayed inside, mainly to keep an eye on my cat Nucky who had surgery to remove a growth between his withers. (I'm a little worried about him as he's apparently scratched a few of the sutures loose. And before you comment, a cone around his neck would only have rested on the sutures themselves, so he couldn't wear one of those.)


So to occupy my time, besides cleaning out a bit of the apartment and going through old pictures to find the worthy ones to scan, I watched a few shows to clean out my DVR. An episode of 'George Gently', "Portrait Of An Unknown Man" from the anthology series 'Crisis' (although it was listed on Antenna TV as 'Suspense Theater') with Clint Walker and Robert Duvall, "None So Blind" from 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' (which truly caught me by surprise), and a couple of episodes of 'Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal' (online for that) which I can use for a future ASOTV Gallery, literary edition.

I also finally watched the original movie of 'Doc Martin', only to find that although the basics were there that set the stage for the series, so much of it was different that it has to be relegated to an alternate TV dimension.

Only Martin Clunes was present from the TV series, and he was the biggest change of all. In the 'Doc Martin' series, he was Dr. Martin Ellingham. But in this TV movie, he was Dr. Martin Bamford. Dr. Bamford came to this Cornwall village (Port Isaac, not Portwenn) after he found out that his wife*, another doctor, had cheated on him with three of his best friends in the medical profession.

"Doc Martin" Bamford was not adverse to blood, was not surly, distant, nor suffering from OCD and maybe even Aspberger's, unlike 'Doc Martin' Ellingham. Overall, he was a good enough character for a one-shot TV movie, but nothing special upon which to hang a TV series. (At least not in this day and age. He might have been just fine back in the more episodic TV of the 1970's.)

The change in hairstyles is a give-away as well......
None of the Portwenn citizens were to be seen in this TV movie, not even Aunt Joan. Dr. Bamford's motivation for going there was just that he remembered the place from his youth and he liked it there. The only actor I recognized was Paul Brooke as Charley the pub owner, who also appears in the follow-up movie as well as the theatrical film that preceded this.

Yes, there's a theatrical movie called "Saving Grace" in which Dr. Martin Bamford is a secondary character; "Doc Martin" was a prequel as to how he got to Port Isaac. And "Doc Martin and The Legend Of The Cloutie" was a follow-up before the character and premise was revamped for the TV series.

As these were just TV movies and not a full-fledged series, I'm thinking the TV Movie Of The Week dimension - Earth Prime-Time/MOTW - would be the best place to house this Doc Martin. The movie of the week world is the one which has a totally different succession of U.S. Presidents, going back to the 1930's with the TV adaptation of "Of Thee I Sing" (which was visited by Sweet the Demon!)

But because of the connection to the Cineverse via "Saving Grace", it could also reside in the "Borderlands", which is where the overlap with the movie universe is for films that cannot be fully integrated into the main Toobworld. (Like "M*A*S*H" and "The King And I")

"Doc Martin" Bamford was a pleasant enough fellow, and after seeing so many seasons of 'Doc Martin' featuring Dr. Ellingham's irritating manner, it was refreshing to see Martin Clunes so light-hearted. But in the end, I'm glad Dr. Ellingham is the citizen of Toobworld and not Dr. Bamford......

BCnU!

*Her name was Petronella, but I wanted to call her "Citronella"......

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