Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day One Hundred and Ninety-one - Doc Martin, "Isn't he supposed to be grumpy?"

It's funny... I deal with parallel universes, retconned backstories, and cast changes all the time when it comes to some of my favorite pastimes and mediums (notably, anime and comic books), but I find it very confusing living with the two Doc Martins, both played by Martin Clunes.

In the current universe, the one that my mother is fond of and which is the reason I decided to check out the Sky Pictures film on Netflix to begin with, Doc Martin (Ellingham) is a grumpy transplant GP with a fear of blood. It's an interesting drama at times, but mostly "meh" to my eyes.

Even more so is the previous incarnation of Doc Martin (Bamford) who runs off to the country not to avoid blood, but his prolifically cheating wife and manages to find himself along the way... as well as catch a gelatin-leaving "phantom" who is stirring up trouble in the small village.

Apparently the character originated in yet another previous film called Saving Grace about a small town widow who turns to marijuana growing to save her home.

Sometimes, British television just boggles my mind with its convoluted fluidity when it comes to characters.

In any case, this particular version is the stand-alone Bamford one... you know, the Doc Martin who's wife cheated on him with all three of his best friends? It's made even worse when he finds out while having lunch with said friends.

Off he goes to the obscure fishing village in Cornwall where he's enmeshed in the local scandal of the Jelly Phantom who sneaks around leaving molded gelatin desserts with hidden evidence of scandalous behavior inside. The villagers are mostly suspicious of Doc Martin until he begins to win them over one by one, starting with the a local fisherman and moving on to a lonely housewife and her sick son.

The mystery itself is rather boring... as is the drama over the affair and Bamford's attempts to get over it by throwing himself into crab fishing and pot smoking to pass the time. I was really disappointed that the resolution wraps up in such a convenient way so as to allow Doc Martin to become the village's general practitioner, but what can you do?

I do like his interactions with Rita (Neve McIntosh), the beautiful housewife with an absentee husband and a sick son. There's implied chemistry there, though I never really felt sparks when she and Doc Martin were together, but I imagine the obvious play, should that version of the Doc continue, would have them in an affair... or, at least, a forbidden attraction with her ne'erdowell husband showing up to put a damper on things.

Overall, it's a choppy melodrama with hardly anything redeeming about it... a fact that is compounded when you consider the revamp the character went through to get to his current, surlier incarnation with the same actor.

Ah, well... it's okay, just bleh for the most part, but there are certainly better films out there that exemplify small-town England.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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