Another post coming soon

I thought I should mention that I am working on another post and hope to publish it soon. It’s taking a while partly because of the topic and partly because we have a lot going on at home right now. We live at the beach and have many visitors at this time of year. Of course, next week is a holiday week in the US. We love having so many visitors, but there’s less time for writing, etc. I hate to miss out on swimming in the ocean and all the other fun things to do. So please bear with me and don’t give up on reading the blog!! Thanks!

Originally posted 2014-06-26 15:41:18.

29 thoughts on “Another post coming soon

  1. Mary F.

    Enjoy your holiday and don’t worry about how soon you can get out your next post; many of us will be enjoying the holiday too!

  2. Joan

    I’ve enjoyed this discussion of the Doc Martin show but I’ve become concerned with the general acceptance that series 7 will be the last. It just came to my city in Texas and although I’ve watched all the episodes many times I want it to continue and think we should all advocate for that. I don’t really understand why MC sends mixed messages about the program’s ending. Maybe he thinks this whips up continued interest. Or he might think his viewers can pressure ITV into continuing to air it. I think most of his fans want it to continue.

  3. Post author

    Thank you for your comments Joan. My opinion about the end of DM is that it can’t go on forever because no show can. Generally shows of this type run their course and all those involved with putting on the show try to find the right time to draw it to a close. To the best of my knowledge, each show begins with a hope that it will continue to draw an audience and last for several seasons, but no one ever knows for sure what will happen until the show is premiered and the chips fall where they may. The fact that DM has been able to sustain its popularity through 7 seasons even though it takes a year off between most of its series is quite remarkable to me, and a long run. When DM started MC and CC, and the entire cast, were 10 years younger than they are now. I love the show, but they’re getting a little old for the roles they are playing at this point. Of course, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility for a man age 53 and a woman age 43/44 to have a toddler; however, in their case they’ve been pretending that each series begins where it left off. That means that it gets increasingly harder to appear like they haven’t aged. Then there’s Eileen Atkins who is so excellent as Aunt Ruth and become such a key member of the cast. She will be 80 soon. I honestly am surprised that so far none of the key cast members has suffered any serious illnesses or injuries. A lot can happen in 10 years. I’d like to see them wrap up the show when it’s still at a high level just like “Breaking Bad” and “The Sopranos” and so many other shows have done. I would have been sorry to see the show end with S6 because that would have been such a downer and so inconsistent with the type of show it’s been. S7 has the potential to return the series to its best moments. Since they take 2 years to polish the writing and storyline, I have high hopes for them to come up with 8 great episodes and bring most of the characters to a good place on which to conclude. We’ll be sad to see the show end but satisfied that they made such a good show and that it lasted as long as it did. (I’m not completely ruling out another series after 7, although realistically it’s hard to believe that will happen.)

  4. Santa Traugott

    I think they’d probably prefer to exit with the audience wanting more, rather than wondering what’s taking them so long to get off the stage.

    I think the only reason we have a S7 is that it was impossible to do everything they wanted to do after S5 in just one season.

    In the back of my mind, I’ve wondered if some of the audience dissatisfaction with the lack of humor in S6 is because we have just seen too many variations already of Penhale’s antics, Al’s lovelorness, Bert’s chicanery. And we don’t want to admit that it’s getting a little stale, so we puzzle over the decline of humor and lightness. That’s just me saying that I think they’ve probably gotten about as much mileage as they can out of the series premise and long run.

  5. Post author

    I’m with you Santa on the first part and also agree that Penhale’s antics have gotten quite stale. It’s just the way things are that shows that aren’t procedurals or soap operas lose their impact if they go on for too long. You gotta know when to fold ’em!

  6. Carol

    Karen, Have a great time at your beach home – lucky dog! And Joan, I think Martin gives those mixed messages because they never really know themselves if ITV will continue to buy and distribute the show. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I want to tell you about something that will only cost you 4.99 a month and will give you all the DM you want AND so much more great TV and that is ACORNTV. Yes, acorn, like the oak tree. Go online and look them up. They will give you a month free and then, if you are like me, you and your family can get hooked, not only on the Doc but so many other good shows, old and new, that the Brits stream on Acorn. Hope that helps you. I watch ACORN as much or more than Netflix. It just has some great shows.

  7. waxwings

    I wish to second Carol’s plug for AcornTV. I signed up a year ago and never once regretted my $4.99 a month. As a Connecticut Yankee I can attest to how wonderful it is–—British TV!

    Ditto, for the uncertainty of iTV’s renewals for the show. BP never really could bank on it. Though one could argue for the show’s continuation based on the fact that ratings never dropped, it had a certain character weariness. And so I can agree with Santa’s insight that “we have just seen too many variations already of Penhale’s antics, Al’s lovelorness, Bert’s chicanery. And we don’t want to admit that it’s getting a little stale…” (I do confess my guilt here Santa, though I would watch no matter what!!!)

    And I agree with Karen that the actors are getting older and some more vulnerable (O please God, don’t let wonderful Ian McNeice have a heart attack), and it’s best to wrap up the show when it is still at a high level. S7 carries with it the potential to revisit the originality, freshness and comedic greatness of the type of show it’s always been, especially in its earlier seasons. I don’t have a shred of doubt the writers, producers and directors will end up in this place, esp. if Series 7 is the last.

    So grateful for ALL the insightful comments always on this blog site. Keep writing everyone!

  8. Joan

    I do watch Acorn and enjoy it. Between Acorn and Portwennonline I’ve watched many Martin Clunes movies but I like Doc Martin the best. I know Martin Clunes is doing other shows soon and would like to see them but I’m not sure they’ll be shown on Acorn because I understand Acorn is somehow tied to Public Broadcasting in the US and that it’s hard to be accepted. A friend of mine who saw a lot of British movies and was surprised she had never seen Martin Clunes. I’m afraid if Doc Martin concludes it will be difficult to see Martin Clunes in the US. I’m hooked up to Amazon in the US and in the UK so maybe I can get some of his stuff through them. It seems like BP might not have a show that makes as much money as Doc Martin. I hope they’ve planned for that.

  9. Maria

    Karen, I totally agree with your and other’s comments here. Much as I will hate the show to end when it finally does, I think that one more season, in which we see Martin and Louisa make progress in their relationship, is where it should end. The fact that the actors are getting older is not insignificant. They need to be believable in the roles and while, as you say, it’s not unheard of for people their real ages to have small children, within the context of the show, it doesn’t make sense. Louisa was 37 when she got pregnant, so she shouldn’t look 45 two years later (true, life with Martin is stressful, but hopefully not to the point that it ages her drastically!). Maybe more importantly, their relationship is the centerpiece of the show and what keeps us all watching, but for that to happen, there has to be conflict or unresolved tension or something else that drives the story forward. We want them to be happy with each other, or see that they are well on the way to understanding each other, but when they get to that point, there is nothing more to tell. For the show to continue then, it would have to focus on the other characters. That would be possible, and probably entertaining, but it would become a different show. In fact, I think they would have to introduce some new characters, since as someone (sorry, I can’t find the exact post at the moment) said, we are quite used to the antics of Bert, Al, and Penhale. So far, the authors find ways to keep them amusing, but it would become increasingly challenging. In fact – to segue into a slightly different topic here – I think Penhale in particular is in danger of becoming a bit of a caricature (just the character; I think the actor plays the part well). I just rewatched seasons 1 and 2 and it seemed to me that Mark Mylow, while also funny and in his own way naïve and inept, was a more nuanced and thus more believable character. I would love to see him return. And in another aside, does anyone happen to remember a British comedy called Outnumbered that was shown on PBS here. It was about a couple and their challenges of raising three very energetic children. The daughter was a very precocious and hilarious 7-year old, and the actress, Ramona Marquez, is John Marquez’s niece.

  10. Mary F.

    Wow, all these interesting comments popped up out of no where! I think the only possible way for DM to continue past 7 would be if they purposely fast forwarded the show several years hence, ie start series 8 where James Henry is 9 years old. And that would also be a way to introduce several new characters. But like you say, it may have already run its course…although I’d still hate to see it go! There is so little on tv worth watching and even less worth discussing….

  11. Linda

    IF series IS the last, I hope it ends with Martin and Louisa doing well in their relationship. I don’t see a problem with the actor’s ages really and think they remain believable. Hopefully Martin Clune’s health issues are over and he has put on the weight he lost in series 6. They are really stuck with what to do with the ancillary characters but something NEW would be refreshing. I am hoping that they will successfully answer questions we all have, and end with good things happening to the characters.

  12. Post author

    Your comments are exactly right. If they put Martin and Louisa on a good track, we will all be pleased but the story will have reached a point where it would be hard to once again take them apart without driving us viewers crazy. For the record I want to say that Caroline Catz to me has aged wonderfully and looks prettier now than she did in S2. Nevertheless, she looks older than she’s supposed to be in the series and can’t continue to be believable as a 30 something for much longer. Martin Clunes has allowed himself to age appropriately and now has totally grey hair. His effort to lose weight and get fit is good for his health while also having some effect on the age he appears to be. Men are fortunate in that their age doesn’t carry the same import, although within the context of the show, he shouldn’t appear to age too fast compared to the previous season. As you say, their marriage has been stressful, but hopefully not THAT bad!!

    I’m with you on both Penhale and Mark Mylow insofar as they are constables with a mixture of ineptness as well as occasional deep insights. They have definitely taken Penhale in a more slapstick direction. When they made him both agoraphobic and narcoleptic, it was a bit much. Now those issues have disappeared and he primarily was a silly comic interlude between serious scenes in S6, and I grew very tired of that. I was glad he came to the rescue in E8 and redeemed himself.

    I am not familiar with the show you mention. The whole Marquez family is apparently good at acting. I’ll see if I can find the show.

  13. Post author

    What you’re suggesting is often what they do when they bring back a show for a special some years after it has ended. They might not bring in new characters, but they would fast forward to a time when the children are older and their lives are at a different stage.

    I am forever hopeful that new TV shows will appear that can once again excite us. I’m not into sci-fi or too much violence, so I am looking for shows with character development, story, and humor. It’ll happen again.

  14. Maria

    Oh gosh, I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I think CC has not aged well – I think she is absolutely beautiful, and if anything, looks younger than her actual age. That makes the contrast between Louisa and Martin all the greater, although it is obviously realistic in terms of visually portraying his breakdown (I do hope that MC gains back some of the weight he lost – I’ve read varying accounts ranging from 15 to 40 pounds, which is a lot for anyone to lose, especially through illness and when it happens quickly. I think he looks better with a bit more weight).

    I too loved how Penhale stepped up and took charge both assertively and appropriately at the airport. It’s that combination that he never seems to quite get right. He is often assertive but it’s usually inappropriate!

    I see that many episodes of Outnumbered are on the free version of Hulu, in case you are interested.

    The idea of fast forwarding the show to 7 or 8 years later is interesting! I don’t know that it would work as a whole series of episodes, but I could imagine it as a one-off special.

    I hope it is ok to mention other series here (since I’ve already done it ), but another British show I would recommend is Foyle’s War. The premise and setting are completely different from DM, but the show is similar in that it raises complicated and timeless issues that don’t have simple answers. The main character’s personal life is not the main storyline. However, he has a backstory which is gradually revealed and is consistent with his current behavior. He is similar to ME in that he is very honorable, follows his own compass, and is does not express emotions easily. However, he is different in that he is quite reflective and insightful about human behavior and motivations.

  15. Maria

    ps – I am not really posting from the future or at 3:00am; the timestamp is 3 hours later than the actual time here in North Carolina, so somewhere in the Atlantic!

  16. Post author

    I never thought that you don’t like Caroline’s looks. I just wanted to go on record as thinking her appearance has only improved over time.

    I know about Foyle’s War and need to watch more of it. Thanks for the recommendations. I have no objections. I’m sure we’ll continue to spend most of our time discussing DM.

  17. Post author

    I have no idea how the time got set and don’t know how to fix it. I’ll try to figure it out at some point. All I use it for is to see the time differential between when we posted comments. Sorry.

  18. Maria

    oh, it doesn’t matter to me – I just thought it was funny when I noticed that my post seemed to have appeared from three hours in the future. Figuring out how to reset the timestamp is probably one of those computer sinkholes, and I’m sure we would all rather you spend your time thinking and then writing your great comments about the show!

  19. Linda

    I doubt that MC even knows if there will be a series after 7. No doubt they want to test the waters and see what the audience and ITV think. I don’t think anyone would be sorry if there was another series after 8! People are crazy for this show! Some of us have only just found out about this show and have crammed all the series into a short time to catch up. We would be bereft if it was al over so soon. I do agree that it will be hard to write meaningful stories for the future but these are some of the most creative writers on earth and I am sure, if everyone wants to continue, they will come up with more great stuff. It will be dependant on the cast wanting to return and I can imagine that they might be growing weary of the routine by now. There are so many loose ends and storylines that could use more explanation that I am sure that they could do more. They do sort of have to declare the end before the last series in order to write for the ending. I want to go to Cornwall and would love to be in Port Isaac they are filming. Already, for 2015, places are booked for the Spring!

  20. Linda

    Joe is such a dear. I wish they would give him a great story line that isn’t just stupid. I love him! They could have real fun with Mrs. Tishell too. Poor Sally. She has just been a laughing stock for all the series but really, she is a loyal, hardworking woman. I’d love to see her have a happy ending too! I hope Al finds love with Morwenna, and Bert and Jennifer marry and are happy. I hope Al and Ruth make a successful business at the farm too.

  21. Linda

    It would be so fun to see them with a toddler James! I want them to have a sweet pregnancy with a baby girl so that they can experience the whole event and really enjoy it. ME should deliver his baby daughter. I also hope he gets over his hatred of dogs and adopts Dodger as a family pet for James! That would make for some fun. They hate cats but maybe could tolerate a doggy for the sake of James!

    There was also a suggestion that Al find out that Christopher Ellingham was his real father. That would give Martin and Al a half brother, and Al and Martin would inherit the farm when Ruth dies. What fun they could have with that storyline!

    I also would love to see Roger and Martin become best buds and do some stuff together as men friends. Martin needs a friend!

  22. Joan

    I think the time confusion is because of the time difference between the US and the UK. The UK is several hours ahead of us and the time is the time in the UK when the comment is posted.

    I have always been annoyed by Bert, Penhale,, and Tishell but when it was commented characters like them are a part of the dramedy formula they’ve bothered me less.

    I think the earlier shows set the table that for Al to have some Ellingham genes in him. He could be Ruth’s biological son and Martin’s cousin, or Christopher’s biological son and therefore Martin’s brother, or even Martin’s biological son since like Ruth he could have had sexual experiences at a”” very young age.”

    I don’t think it’s necessary for Doc Martin to end happily although I’d like to see that ending. After all how many marriages really live happily ever after? The age difference between Martin and Louisa is just something that is part of the story and we shouldn’t demand too much reality to cause the ending of the show. Normally, I don’t like older man with young, beautiful wife. My parents had that age differential and I watched as over time it became a cause for loneliness for both because they were at different stages of life and their needs were different. I started to write to Caroline to warn her of that problem but since it’s fiction I thought that was silly. I really get tired of old man-young woman movies ie Woody Allen, Viagra commercials etc but I’m not bothered by Martin and Louisa. I’ve seen some interviews of Martin since the end of Season 6 and he looks healthy and younger. So I don’t think age is a reason to end the show.

    I’ve been expecting a double suicide since Romeo and Juliet has been mentioned at least twice. Martin said in an interview that he directs himself but can’t be a director of a show and learn his lines at the same time . He told the others maybe Doc Martin should go into a coma and then he could direct that show. So maybe the ending will be tragic.

    I think part of the tone of Series 6 is Martin Clunes wanting to do more drama. I watched The Town in which he was drunken mayor of a small town. He had a small part but he did a fine job playing the dramatic scenes. It was as good or better than his Doc Martin portrayal. I saw a scene he played in Strike Back which was rated higher than any of his Doc Martin shows. I agreed. He did an outstanding job with that part.

    I don’t know if you’ve discussed the Buddha’s. I think that the core of the onion of Doc Martin is rationalization vs. mystery or reasoning vs emotions. I don’t know much about the philosophical discussion regarding these issues but I do know that the some of the parts he’s signed up for deal with these same issues. He’s contracted to play Arthur in Arthur and George. Arthur is Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote Sherlock Holmes. After gaining fame and fortune through Sherlock Holmes he became involved in a real life case of George who was falsely accused of mutilating animals. George was very rational and Arthur struggled with rationality and mystery. (I read the book.) MC is also contracted to do a remake of Harvey about a man who has a six foot rabbit as a friend. The rabbit is of course invisible and is a pooka but of course everyone around is horrified and think the actor is demented. Doc Martin had Stewart James with a friend that is a 6 ft squirrel. Also James Stewart is the reverse of Stewart James and James Stewart played the actor who had the rabbit as a friend in Harvey. Also in On the Edge Louisa’s father’s Bi-Polar friend made a joke about a 6 ft rabbit to Doc Martin. Also in Reggie Perrin Reggie took some clippers and trimmed a shrub into the shape of a 6 ft. rabbit.

    So I really want to see these shows and don’t know how to ensure it.

  23. Post author

    I think I’ve changed the time to Eastern US time now. I actually figured out where to find the setting. I’ll see after I post this if I did it correctly.

    I am not one to find it plausible that Al and Martin are related in any way. It’s a pretty wild idea and comes out of left field to me (to use a baseball reference). I also would not expect any kind of tragic ending akin to Romeo and Juliet. I doubt MC wants to direct so badly that he would consider ending this show with that sort of scenario.

    I have not discussed the Buddhas. Someone wrote that Philippa Braithwaite said she would not explain their use, so I figure they must have some personal meaning and no matter what our thoughts on them, we won’t know what their meaning is for sure.

    I, too, have read Arthur and George. I am a big Julian Barnes fan and love many of his books. I expect this mini series to be a good vehicle for MC and hope CC will be tapped to play his love interest Jean. I don’t know much about the fascination with rabbits. I had thought MC was going to play Harvey on stage this Fall, but now wonder if his role in Arthur and George will replace that. It would be hard to do both! But I don’t really know how the schedule looks. We’ll find out soon enough. I’d love to see Arthur and George and hope there will be a way to access it once it’s completed. The play would require a visit to London I would think.

    A lot to look forward to!

  24. Rosey

    There will be several new characters in Seaon 7. As far as MC wanting to get more comedy into the show,
    he said he will be walking into more doors! Also, I did read that Ruth would be having a major health concern. Lucky UK will be seeing it in a week while we across the ocean…..who knows? The DVD will be available on Dec. 8..guess Amazon will be very busy!! I don’t see a big age difference between Martin and Caroline; actually, she was 37 when she was pregnant. Because Martin has gray hair has nothing to do with age. Actually, I put him in his 40’s to Caroline’s late 30’s. When the series begins, I’m sure James Henry will be a toddler.

  25. Post author

    Thanks for writing Rosey. I’ve read much the same about S7 and the return of more humor as well as new characters. I’m not sure I agree about the ages of Martin and Caroline though. They are 9 years apart in real life, she’s currently 44 and he’s 53. I think she looks fabulous and can be mistaken for younger than her actual age, but she certainly looks older than when the show began 11 years ago. It’s been 6 years since the end of S4 when Louisa gives birth to the baby and now he’s just turning one. I give CC a lot of credit for aging well and looking so young, but if they wait another two years before an S8, it will be a strain to pull off still being 39 when she’s really 46. As far as Martin Clunes is concerned, he looks a good bit older than early 40s to me, and will actually be 55 by their next go round. No matter how much you appreciate his acting, he’s beginning to show his age and 55 is a good bit older than mid 40s and looks different.

    Then there are the other regulars, each of whom will age or possibly not return due to age. It’s a gamble to keep waiting two years between series and even to keep making the show. I give them lots of credit for coming up with new ideas, but the show will need to be altered significantly if they continue past this year IMO.

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