Doc Martin (the greatest show ever) Episode Recaps

Doc Martin s1e6 “Haemophobia” (2004)

This is an ongoing feature recapping episodes of the Greatest Show Ever, ITV’s “Doc Martin.” Please watch the episodes before reading if you don’t want spoilers.

It’s another glorious day in Portwenn. Doc Martin promptly gets called a tosser for looking at a woman’s jubblies, which have a suspicious mole on them. He’s worried about cancer. She’s understandably displeased about the eyes on her jubblies. This parallels the first episode nicely, where Louisa got miffed at Martin for staring at her closely before he diagnosed her with glaucoma.

Adrian Pitts shows up–you know, Adrian? The young doctor who was mentored by Martin, who we haven’t seen in a few episodes and won’t see again? He wants to be promoted at the hospital, so he’s hoping that Martin will give him a good recommendation. Both Parsons and Martin are in agreement though: He’s an arse. And he is! He doesn’t take it well when Martin tells him he’s an arse to his face.

The town is catching onto the fact that Martin has haemophobia, and they’re giving him trouble for it. More than one patient brings it up in their appointments. Then Bert Large goes and fakes an injury at the pub, claiming he slipped with the drill. They cover his arm in ketchup to get Martin fainting/vomiting/whatever. Bullies! And a douche move from Bert, who’s been one of the only sorta-friends Martin has in town.

Even Caroline on the radio is gossiping about the blood issue. When multiple people call in to discuss the haemophobia, Martin calls in to yell at everyone, which is an absolutely fabulous rant. And everyone deserves to hear it! Of course, this does not stop the giggling girls from mocking Martin and calling him a tosser. Maybe I should have been keeping a count on how many times Martin is called a Tosser?

Martin can’t figure out who spilled his secret until the end of the episode, when we meet Adrian again at hospital. Adrian smugly admits that he’s the one who told the village about Martin’s haemophobia. What an absolute arse!

The medical mystery: Peter Cronk is back! He hates school and lies about having a note to get out of PE. He doesn’t fit in. Louisa’s decided to make him her special project (“Is it because you’ve given up on Doc Martin, then?”), and she’s got an eye on Peter when he falls at the PE he didn’t want to do. Some jerk kid grabs his ankle so he beefs it off a ladder onto a crash pad. Louisa encourages him to laugh along with the bullies so he’ll be part of the in-crowd, but it doesn’t change the fact he took a bad spill. Martin gets summoned.

Martin goes to see Peter after the whole blood prank, and Peter tells him that nothing is wrong. Martin tells him to shut up because he isn’t a doctor, recommends Peter goes to hospital, and leaves abruptly. This is heartbreaking to wee Peter. “Mum said not to show people that you’re clever, because if they’re not clever, they won’t like it. But Doc is clever and I thought he’d like it.”

Louisa does take Peter to the hospital. It’s necessary: Peter’s mom has severe anxiety, and she doesn’t handle issues well. Louisa’s a good surrogate for the appointment. But they still don’t catch the problem. They rule out broken bones and send him onward, even though he still doesn’t feel good.

Joy Cronk shows why Peter has grown to be so protective (and only gets worse over the course of the show). Just learning he went to hospital because of a PE accident sends her into a long panic attack. She’s still crying hours later because Peter’s condition declines. She manages to summon Louisa, who summons Martin, and they discover that Peter is severely ill. He’s vomited everywhere, is terribly pale, and unresponsive to attempts to awaken him.

Peter has a ruptured spleen from his bully tripping him! They need an emergency transfer to hospital!

And it’s so dramatic that Martin has to operate on him in the ambulance! This is the first time Louisa assists on a procedure, and it’s one of the first really graphic procedures we’ve got on the show. It’s not enough to transfuse fluids into Peter, so Martin cuts into little Peter to stop the bleed. It’s a little gory if that bothers you. It certainly bothers Martin. He does the procedure while also being sick. He has to put his hand into the child to clamp the splenic artery and keep it there until they arrive at the hospital. Holy crap??

But he pulls through, and so does Peter.

The Auntie: Martin’s not getting any relief from Joan. She tears into him for missing lunch, and eats without him while he’s addressing other things. Plus, she tells him that he’s responsible for the way the town treats him. I don’t know if that’s actually true. It doesn’t feel quite right. It’s a pretty old-fashioned way to think about things.

The Assistant: This is Elaine’s last episode, and I’m glad. As much as I love her actress, Elaine is a terrible assistant — Martin couldn’t fire her, so this is the only way to get her out of the surgery. Begone, white girl dreads! She’s barely in this one. We can just look forward to Pauline now.

The Larges: Although Bert is the main actor in the blood prank against Martin, Al is clearly not keen on the bullying. They don’t go anywhere with it. But throughout the show, we do get a lot of clear delineation between Al (sometimes competent) and Bert (the opposite of the Midas Touch), and one more delineation is Al’s humanity.

Louisa & Martin: This is such a great episode for Louisa & Martin, though it initially doesn’t seem to be the case. Louisa confronts Martin about his “minor blood issue,” since she was on the panel that hired him and didn’t hear a word about the haemophobia. But before it can turn into a fight, she asks him why they have to fight all the time. They’ve got no answer for that. (“Because it’s good for ratings over ten seasons?”)

In my favorite moment, Martin has an excellent dream where he imagines Louisa sitting on him, kissing on him…licking him…aaaand it’s actually the dog. Well, he wakes up, anyway, which he needs in order to join Louisa in taking care of the Cronks.

Martin tells the story of his haemophobia to Louisa in this episode. And Louisa gets to lose her shit on Martin’s behalf, which is when she most obviously loves Martin. As angry as she gets at him, she won’t put up with anyone else treating him badly. That’s her job! Because she does it with love!

This also has their first kiss. Which Martin ruins promptly by saying that her breath smells like she has some kind of gastroesophageal reflux. I’ll take “What’s the least sexy thing for a guy to say to a woman after their first kiss?” for twenty, Alex.

Favorite Quote: As to the so-called homeopathic remedies, if there’s one for chronic infantilism then I suggest that your caller and the entire village embark on a course immediately!


Louisa’s Hair Rating: 10/10. This episode has Louisa’s staple ponytail-with-bangs. It looks great on her! But her hair is a fuller lifted ponytail that’s sort of…fanned out and teased? by the end of the episode, which is even better. Weird how nice she looks when getting awakened in the middle of the night, but then again, Louisa always looks good. We also get her hair down at the end of the episode. All the hairs! All of them excellent!

Infuriating Level: 8/10. Peter’s a little turd, but kids don’t deserve bullying, and Martin doesn’t deserve it either. I’ve never cottoned onto the whole “put up with bullying” thing. The show doesn’t endorse it either (Louisa changes her mind by the end of the episode). Still, going through multiple people advocating for bullying behavior for an hour is infuriating! This town sucks and their hellspawn children suck!

Episode Greatness Level: 10/10. The splenectomy in the ambulance is memorable and Martin’s cock-up after the kiss is legendary. I love it soooo much. But of course, I always love this damn show!

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