8:30pm Sunday, March 7 on TV One
On tonight’s series finale of Doc Martin, the curmudgeonly Dr Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes) is packing up his Portwenn home and practice in preparation for his move back to London (on TV ONE at 8.30pm).
Martin and Pauline (Katherine Parkinson) are surprised by the number of patients coming to see him on the last day before his surgery closes. Martin heads to visit Louisa (Caroline Catz) at the school to finalise financial arrangements for after the birth of their baby, before heading home where Aunt Joan (Stephanie Cole) helps finish off his packing.
Martin is surprised when Pauline arrives the next day, but she is getting the surgery ready for the new doctor, who is keeping her on. He is driving out of Portwenn with the removal men when he sees an accident at the Harbour Day celebrations. He stops to help and discovers Louisa is on her way to the hospital with an unwell taxi driver, Martin fears for her life, and the life of their baby.
Edith (Lia Williams) also comes to see Martin to discuss the previous night’s events at the hotel – and lets him know she will visit him again when he is settled in London.
Williams explains her character, Edith, is motivated to help the doc: “Edith is sort of the female version of the doc in a lot of ways, apart from she doesn’t have haemophobia, and her drive of the series is to help him recover from this.
“She is very naughty and funny, and she has a very dry look on life. She is hugely successful; and she is rather cruel with her patients just like he is. There is a sensitivity chemical in her body that is missing.”
Williams researched the role by talking to her sister, a top gynaecologist, about her experiences. But she admits she would be useless in a medical emergency. She once accompanied her husband to hospital for a routine procedure, which involved him being cut open with the aid of anaesthesia.
“He couldn’t feel a thing and I just flicked my eye over to what they were doing and I went very faint and just had to sit there with my head between my knees.”
So she can relate to the doc’s blood phobia too. “It is the weirdest sensation. Logically your brain is telling you everything is fine, but there was something about the sight of blood that causes a chemical reaction.”
However tough Edith is on the outside, the chink in her armour was meeting her rival for the doc’s affections, Louisa Glasson.
“Edith is too grown up to get hot under the collar about Louisa. The only problem is, she knows the effect Louisa has on the Doc and that bothers her. Ultimately, her aim is to restore him to his former glory – a fantastic surgeon. She thinks she is undermining him and not letting him work to his full potential.”
Missed an episode of Sunday Theatre: Doc Martin – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.