If you’re a Doc Martin fan or a Martin Clunes fan, you might want to check out the September edition of Readers Digest. It features Martin Clunes, a.k.a. Doctor Martin Ellingham, as he recounts a textbook case of Life Imitates Art. Seems as though Philippa Braithwaite, Doc Martin producer and wife of series star, Martin Clunes, was admitted to hospital with an infection in her gall bladder and surgeons wanted to take out her appendix.
“She had an infection in her gall bladder and the surgeon was minded to take out her appendix. There was no infection in her appendix and instinct told me that it would be the wrong thing to do. So I took her home instead and she was treated there. As Philippa’s husband, it was my prerogative to do this. But when I was chatting to hospital staff they handed me her medical notes to look at in a way they might not have with an ordinary member of the public. I do wonder whether there wasn’t some confusion between me and Doc Martin.”
Clunes did go on with a bit of an odd comparison between British and American medical dramas, “You have to remember that British medical dramas are obliged to be accurate. You can’t just make things up as they do on American shows. So we have a medical expert on the series and I have learned about certain conditions and procedures.”
For my money, I have to believe that the likes of ER, Grey’s Anatomy and even the early days of St. Elsewhere all had medical experts on set during production so that things weren’t just ‘made up’.