Doc Martin Series 5

Doc Martin Series 5 is slated to start filming soon! Keep up to date with all that's happening with the fifth series at the Doc Martin Series 5 Blog. Contributions to this new blog are welcomed, encouraged and essential!

And so it begins
Series 3, Episode 5

I've re-uploaded this as it has been blocked on YouTube due to music copyright issues in some countries.

Series 4
Episode Guide

(Synopsis taken from the ITV Press Pack, with some minor amendments)

Better the Devil

Life in the beautiful Cornish village of Portwenn has become ever more infuriating for Dr Martin Ellingham since the heart-wrenching decision to call off his marriage to local headmistress Louisa.

Louisa has left, and Martin has begun to question what keeps him in Cornwall. It’s certainly not his relentlessly annoying patients. It’s certainly not the amorous advances of the infatuated local chemist, MRS TISHELL. Martin has realised that if he is ever to escape, he must conquer his worst fear: the blood phobia that ended his surgical career.

Martin’s AUNT JOAN suggests that her friend BARBARA might be able to help with Martin’s blood phobia, but it turns out Barbara is a specialist in a very different field. When Barbara is involved in a bicycle accident with CLIVE TISHELL, Mrs Tishell’s little-missed husband who has been sent home from his oil-rig job after going deaf, Martin is injured too.

Martin accompanies Barbara to hospital, and is stunned to meet (scary) EDITH, his old girlfriend (yikes!) from medical school days. She is now a top-ranking doctor with a flourishing private practice. She is surprised and disappointed at how low Martin has fallen.

Edith books Barbara in for an operation, but when Martin discovers Edith did not perform a preliminary test that might rule out the need for surgery (charlatan!), he hurries to the hospital and takes matters into his own hands.

Mrs Tishell tries to cure her husband’s problems on her own, but when her efforts go disastrously wrong, Martin is able to find the surprising cause of Clive’s hearing loss.

Meanwhile, Martin’s scatterbrained receptionist PAULINE is struggling to cope with the effects of insomnia brought on by her brother ADAM’s snoring. Pauline’s on-off boyfriend AL LARGE sees an opportunity, and asks her to move in with him.

BERT LARGE, Al’s jovial father, is also looking for love. But will he accept sex instead? (Let's hope not!).

Martin learns there is a prestigious surgeon’s job coming free in London that is perfect for him if he can overcome his blood phobia. Does he want to be put forward for it? (Think twice good sir, I pray you!)

All Martin’s thoughts of the future are turned upside-down when LOUISA unexpectedly returns to Portwenn (Huzzah!). She wants nothing to do with Martin (boo!), but she has big news of her own.

Uneasy Lies the Head

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM struggles to deal with LOUISA’s news. But Louisa is adamant she does not want Martin involved (therein lies the rub).

Martin’s first patients are Pauline’s UNCLE JIMMY and AUNT JENNIE. They are trying for a baby but cannot conceive. Uncle Jimmy gets inexplicably angry with Martin. Martin sends them to Truro so EDITH (boo, hiss!), who is a fertility specialist, can assess them.

Louisa applies for a teaching post at the local school, and is interviewed by the new HEADMASTER. She gets the job, but notices that the Headmaster is acting strangely (he's not normal). He has an arm that rises up into the air without him seeming to notice it.

Martin’s AUNT JOAN is scathing of Martin’s attitude towards Louisa. But when Martin tries to talk to Louisa, he can’t help himself and angers her with his old-fashioned views (I'll tell you what's not normal...).

Louisa also has a frosty encounter with MRS TISHELL, who disapproves of her (poor poppet).

The Headmaster comes to see Martin about his constipation, but starts acting in a paranoid manner. Martin notices the Head’s strange physical behaviour for the first time, but before he can complete his examination, the Head rushes from the Surgery.

Uncle Jimmy’s test results come back showing he has dangerous levels of testosterone in his blood, and after initial anger, Jimmy makes a tearful and surprising confession to Martin.

Louisa goes to hospital for a routine check-up and discovers that Edith is going to be her doctor (what are the chances?). Louisa learns something about Martin and Edith’s relationship during medical school that shocks her (shoked, horrified, digusted, baffled, bewildered, annoyed, heartbroken, mildly interested...).

Louisa returns to her school and discovers that the Headmaster has taken her pupils down to the treacherous rockpools of Roscarrock Cove for a nature walk.

Martin diagnoses the Headmaster’s illness with the unwitting help of PAULINE and, alerted by Louisa, rushes down to Roscarrock Cove to try and save the children.

Perish Together as Fools

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM is shocked (delighted?) to find LOUISA and AUNT JOAN knocking at his door before the Surgery has opened. Louisa has had a medical scare and wants Martin’s reassurance that everything is fine.

PC PENHALE, still officially the world’s worst policeman, has an unexpected visitor: the older brother he has always idolised, SAM.

Trying to show off in front of his brother, Penhale injures a tourist, and when they take the tourist to Martin, Sam learns from PAULINE that the Surgery needs re-painting. Sam volunteers for the job.

Martin and EDITH go to a restaurant (grrr) to discuss her medical research, which she wants Martin’s help with. It isn’t a date, but Edith teases Martin playfully. When she drops him off outside the surgery afterwards, Edith gives Martin a kiss (off with her head!).

BERT notices that Pauline is going stir-crazy living with AL, and tries to offer the younger man some relationship advice. But when Al tries to act on the advice, his ham-fisted efforts make the situation even worse.

Martin is called to the home of MR ROUTLEDGE who is complaining of chest pains. But Mr Routledge is a nuisance-caller and there’s never anything wrong with him. Mr Routledge wants Martin to put him into a nursing home so he can be looked after all day long. Martin refuses.

Martin notices that Sam has some problems with his memory and co-ordination. It’s probably just a virus, but when Martin takes Sam’s family history, he decides there is a very small possibility that Sam has a rare genetic disease.

When Sam tells his brother, Penhale becomes convinced that he has the disease too and is going to die. Penhale takes his brother for a tearful farewell drink at the Crab & Lobster.

Louisa visits Edith for a check-up, and Edith elicits a very personal and embarrassing piece of information from Louisa (mmm, interesting - she didn't know how babies were made perhaps?).

Tired of renting, Louisa is looking for somewhere to live in the village. Aunt Joan suggests she visits Mr Routledge to ask him about his plans, but when Martin discovers Louisa there, something unexpected happens.

Sam’s blood tests reveal he does not have the genetic disease, but Martin diagnoses a different illness that will change Penhale’s opinion of his brother forever.

Driving Mr McLynn

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM is called to LOUISA’s new home after she has a dizzy spell while shifting furniture. Martin urges her to slow down, but is shocked to learn that Louisa has applied to be her school’s headteacher again.

As a school governor, Martin is asked to join the interview panel for the headteacher position, but when he makes it clear that he thinks Louisa is now unsuited for the role, his invitation is withdrawn.

Martin’s first patients are an elegant elderly couple, MR & MRS McLYNN, who want a disabled person’s parking permit so they can park near the shops. But when Martin attempts to assess Mr McLynn’s paralysed legs, he inadvertently stabs a needle into Mr McLynn’s hand and draws blood. The McLynns vow never to return.

AL needs some money fast for a mysterious reason, and offers to sort out all Louisa’s household and plumbing problems if she can pay him before the weekend.

SALLY, the School Secretary, comes to Martin complaining of hayfever, but when Martin wants to examine her, she makes an excuse and leaves.

AUNT JOAN is driving in the village when she is involved in a car crash with Mr & Mrs McLynn. When PC PENHALE rushes to the scene and tries to impose his authority, he is ignored by both drivers.

EDITH visits Martin for some advice on her medical research, and Martin reveals he has applied for the prestigious surgeon’s job in London. He has been invited up to London to discuss it. Their growing intimacy is interrupted by Louisa, who wants to confront Martin about his attitude towards her and the headteacher position. Louisa is taken aback to find Edith already there.

Martin visits Aunt Joan and discovers that she is in severe financial difficulties with her farm.

PAULINE becomes suspicious of Al’s secretive behaviour, and when she hears that he has been spotted semi-naked in Louisa’s house, she fears the worst.

Louisa gets good news about the headteacher job, but Sally is looking increasingly unwell. When Sally returns to Martin’s Surgery, she has a surprising confession to make about her recent holiday in Ibiza.

Martin sees Mr & Mrs McLynn behaving oddly in the village, and makes an astonishing diagnosis. PC Penhale is nearly injured in the process.

Al finally reveals to Pauline why he has been so secretive, and Edith brings Martin an ingenious gift to help him get the surgeon’s job in London, but it has unexpected consequences.

The Departed

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM is in London to meet with ROBERT DASHWOOD, who is leading the selection process for the prestigious London surgeon’s job that Martin has applied for. Robert can tell that Martin is excited to be back in the world of surgery, and is pleased that Martin has finally conquered his debilitating blood phobia. Robert is confident that Martin will get the job.

On the train back to Cornwall, Martin is annoyed to be seated next to one of his patients, a sheep farmer named JIM SELKIRK. Jim is a noisy eater, and when he falls asleep, he slumps on to Martin’s shoulder. But when Martin tries to rouse him, he discovers that Jim has died of heart failure.

On his arrival in Portwenn, Martin is immediately summoned to AUNT JOAN’s farm. LOUISA has taken some schoolchildren there on an educational trip, but one of the boys, THEO WENN, has been naughty behind her back, and Aunt Joan has punished him by locking him inside the chicken coop. The boy, Theo, is having a panic attack.

In his Surgery, Martin is visited by Jim’s widow, MRS SELKIRK. She is looking for emotional comfort, but Martin is not the person to provide it.

Theo gets ill in Louisa’s class, and is taken home. When Martin arrives, Theo’s parents – JULIET and RICHARD WENN – are certain that their child picked up the illness in Joan’s chicken coop, and Martin cannot deny it is a possibility. The Wenns announce their intention to sue Aunt Joan.

Despite what he allowed Robert to think, Martin has not fully conquered his blood phobia, and he must visit DR MILLIGAN, a highly-rated cognitive behavioural therapist recommended by EDITH. The session does not go according to plan, but Dr Milligan is charm personified, even when Martin walks out.

Mrs Selkirk returns to Martin’s Surgery, and tells him she is now seeing visions of her dead husband. Martin orders her to get some rest.

Joan receives a threatening letter from the Wenns’ solicitor and, on top of all her other financial difficulties with the farm, it causes her to collapse. Martin attends, but once he has left, Joan hurries to the Wenns’ home to try and make things right. The Wenns are unsympathetic, and Joan – on the spur of the moment – lies to them about Theo’s medical test results clearing her of any responsibility for his illness. Martin is furious with Joan when he discovers she has lied.

Martin receives a CD recording by Dr Milligan to help overcome his phobia.

When Mrs Selkirk is found collapsed in her sheep pen, Martin is able to uncover the medical reason behind her hallucinations, and when he receives Theo’s test results, they do point to Joan’s innocence and Martin is finally able to identify the real source of Theo’s sickness.

Midwife Crisis

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM meets Portwenn’s new midwife, MOLLY, who will be looking after LOUISA. Martin is dismissive of her profession, and the two of them do not hit it off.

BERT and AL have a new cook at their restaurant, MARIGOLD, and she surprises them both one morning by bringing in some dead pheasants she claims to have caught in a snare. Although married, Marigold is very flirty towards Bert, and Bert is smitten.

Marigold cuts her finger, and Bert protectively rushes her to Martin’s Surgery. When Marigold tells Martin her sister has glandular fever, Martin orders her to take extra hygiene precautions around the food she cooks.

Martin visits Louisa’s school to perform hearing assessments on the children, and Louisa reveals that she is having a few ‘toilet troubles’. Martin is quick to diagnose an urinary tract infection, and writes her a prescription to collect from MRS TISHELL.

Louisa encounters Molly at Mrs Tishell’s chemist shop. Molly is disapproving of Martin’s prescription for antibiotics, advocating a more natural, holistic approach to health, and she urges Louisa to reject the medicinal route. Louisa follows her advice.

Martin finds that Dr Milligan’s cognitive behavioural exercises are a great help with his blood phobia. Martin is able to take blood from PC PENHALE without reacting. But this makes PAULINE highly suspicious – what is Martin up to?

Martin visits AUNT JOAN at her farm, and breaks the news that he is intending to become a surgeon in London again. She is supportive, but urges him to tell Louisa.

Bert buys Marigold a special gift for her birthday, and is devastated when she does not turn up for work. He drives to her home, and discovers that her husband, MICHAEL, is very ill.

Louisa develops a temperature, which Molly tries to sooth with herbal remedies. Martin is furious when he discovers this – Molly’s homespun ideas are seriously endangering Louisa’s health. Martin and Molly have their final stand-off.

Before Martin can tell Louisa about returning to London, Bert calls Martin to Marigold and Michael’s house on the moor. Martin treats Michael, and makes a surprising discovery that explains Michael’s illness and why Marigold thought she had glandular fever.

Martin’s unexpected detour to Marigold and Michael’s place means that he cannot attend a planned meal with EDITH and ROBERT DASHWOOD, but when Edith returns later that night, she has big news for Martin: Robert is going to offer him the prestigious surgeon’s job in London.

Louisa overhears Edith telling Martin this.

Do Not Disturb

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM seeks out LOUISA to talk about his new surgeon’s job in London, but they are interrupted by (bloody) BERT, who wants to plan a (bloody) baby shower for Louisa.

To solve her farm’s money problems, AUNT JOAN starts a small Bed & Breakfast business. Her first guest, unexpectedly, is another local farmer, TED, who has also got into financial difficulties. Initially they’re a good match, but Joan soon finds that Ted is far from the perfect guest.

PAULINE’s suspicions are confirmed when she steams open a confidential letter addressed to Martin and discovers his contract offer for the (bloody) London job. Suddenly insecure about her own future, she confronts Martin, who offers her no reassurances but will write her a reference.

PC PENHALE learns of Martin’s plans to leave him behind in Portwenn, and offers to transfer to London’s Metropolitan (Hot Fuzz) Police so they can still be together.

Pauline is very disappointed by Martin’s (competent) reference, and urges AL to use his influence to change Martin’s mind. When Al fails in this mission, Pauline tries to demonstrate her worth, but her plan backfires and Martin ejects her from the Surgery.

Martin struggles to (competently) run the Surgery on his own. Joan brings in Ted, who she suspects has had a mild heart attack at her farm. Martin examines Ted, and finds a mysterious lump in his abdomen. Martin books Ted in for some hospital scans.

Pauline and Al enjoy an impromptu afternoon by the seaside, but Pauline is stung by a jellyfish and must seek out Martin for his help (when Al's generous offer is rejected).

Joan calls Martin to her farm because she is increasingly worried about Ted. When Martin discovers some bald patches on Ted’s scalp, he is able to make a remarkable diagnosis about Ted’s illness.

Louisa finds it hard to enjoy her baby shower because everyone wants to talk about (bloody) Martin leaving Portwenn, but Bert makes an emotional speech that nearly saves (further ruins) the day.

Martin joins EDITH at a hotel (the devil wears a waist coat) where she is giving the keynote speech to a medical conference about her research (and telling jokes apparently). Edith has booked them into one bedroom (harpie!).

Martin notices that their room service waiter appears to have the symptoms of a condition that could make him blind, but when Martin attempts to warn the waiter, a shocking and bloody accident is caused (let's not point the finger at who caused it).

Martin deals with the accident without hesitation, proving to both him and (bloody) Edith that his blood phobia is completely cured, and he is now fully able to be a surgeon in London again.

The Wrong Goodbye

DR MARTIN ELLINGHAM and PAULINE are surprised by the number of patients coming to see him on the last day before his Surgery closes and he moves to London.

EDITH comes to see Martin to discuss the previous night’s events in the hotel. Edith says she will see Martin again when he is settled in London.

Taxi driver TOMMY delivers a patient to the Surgery, but complains of migraine headaches himself. Martin checks him for any serious brain conditions, and tells him to make an appointment with the new doctor if the headaches continue.

Martin visits LOUISA at the school to finalise financial arrangements for after the birth. Louisa’s teaching assistant TASHA is rehearsing a musical number that the schoolchildren will be performing at tomorrow’s Harbour Day celebrations.

BERT has cooked up a new scheme to recycle the used vegetable oil from the restaurant. AL has his doubts, but Bert is adamant he is helping save the planet.

AUNT JOAN visits Martin in the evening to help him finish 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.

Martin helps one of his removal men, WILL, with a minor medical condition, and pays a final visit to MRS TISHELL, raising her hopes of a romantic parting. She has made a unique leaving gift for Martin.

Tasha leads the schoolchildren down for their Harbour Day performance, but Louisa will not be able to attend because she has a routine hospital appointment. Tasha appears a little dizzy, and Martin is concerned. He tells her to make an appointment with the new doctor.

Martin is driving out of Portwenn with the removal men when he sees Tasha fall from the Harbour Day stage. With a little bit of help from a guilty Bert and Al, he is able to diagnose Tasha’s medical condition, and is shocked to learn that she is married to taxi driver Tommy, who is driving Louisa to her hospital appointment. Louisa’s life is in danger.

Martin rushes after Louisa, finding her safe at the scene of a road accident caused by Tommy. Martin and Louisa help Tommy to a nearby inn where his medical condition can be treated.

Martin stabilises Tommy successfully, but due to her exertions, Louisa goes into premature labour...

Doc Martin
Series Four, Episode One

Scene: Evening. Interior Martin’s Kitchen.
Martin is standing at the sink in shirt with no tie, sleeves rolled up, and chopping vegetables. A picture of domestic bliss. Louisa enters through the kitchen door.

Louisa: Hello you!

She walks to Martin and gives him a quick kiss hello.

Martin: You’re late.

Louisa gets herself a glass of wine.

Louisa: Yeah. Sorry. Staff meeting went on forever. We’re trying to decide on the class structure for the next school year – who goes where, numbers. Endlessly dull.

Martin: Well, give all the miscreant, inbred ratbags to the other teachers and you teach all the intelligent, well behaved students who give decent Christmas presents.

Louisa: Ah. Yes. If only you’d been there we could have wrapped things up sooo much earlier.

Louisa smiles fondly at Martin.

Louisa: What about you? How was your day? How many lives did you save?

Martin: I’d lost count by lunch time. I had to put a few of the deranged locals out of their misery. My misery actually. You save some, you lose some. I think it came out fairly evenly by the end of the day.

Louisa: Well done you. I’m just going to change. I smell like smelly children.

She gives Martin another quick kiss, putting her glass on the bench.

Martin: Yes. You do.

Louisa: At least I don’t smell like dead patients.

Martin: Fair point.

Louisa heads up stairs. Martin watches her go with obvious admiration.

Scene: Martin’s bedroom. Louisa is pulling on a cosy jumper.
Martin enters.

Louisa: (playfully) Oi you! You’re supposed to be making my supper!

Martin: I thought you might need a hand changing.

Martin takes Louisa around the waist and pulls her to him. They awkwardly overbalance and fall onto the bed. They roll so they end up side by side, facing each other. They are gazing into each other’s eyes, like in all corny romantic scenes.

Louisa: I love you Martin. You make me so happy. You make me so happy...

The shot pans out from Martin to reveal he is actually alone in bed, waking from a dream. His expression changes from one of happy contentment to one of disappointment. He reaches out to his bed side table and takes the now rather worn-looking letter Louisa wrote him when calling off their wedding.


Scene: Grocery store. Louisa is picking up a few items, as is Bert.

Bert: Louisa! You’re back!?

Louisa: Yeah. Back to reality. Hello Bert.

Bert: How was your

Louisa: (politely, despite his slip) It was very good, thank you Bert.

Bert: When did you get home?

Louisa: Just this morning. (Holds up the toilet paper she’s just taken from the shelf) Restocking. (She hurriedly puts it down again, a little embarrassed).

Bert: Well, glad to have you back Louisa. I guess we’ll see you at the Doc’s party tomorrow night.

Louisa: (shocked) Is there a new Doc?!

Bert: So you’ve not seen him yet then?

Louisa: Who?

Bert: The Doc.

Louisa: There is a new Doc?!

Bert: (confused) No.

Louisa: Then who’s having the party?

Bert: The Doc.

Louisa: Martin?

Bert: The one and only.

Louisa: What for?

Bert: It’s Joan’s birthday. It’s a surprise mind you. Doc’s organised it all. Out at my place.

Louisa: Sorry Bert, but are you having a laugh?

Bert: No. I must admit we all thought it was a little odd to start, but then again the Doc’s been doing a few things that are a little odd of late. Al said Pauline said he’s a changed man since...well since...Anyway...he’s been acting odd.

Louisa: Perhaps he’s not well.

Bert: Perhaps.

Louisa: (a little sadly) Or perhaps he’s never been better. (Shakes her head) Anyway. I heard a rumour you gave up the restaurant game?

Bert: Nope. Bert Large is not a quitter! Well, except for the plumbing...and the bottled water...and the...

Fade to next scene.

Scene: Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her computer. Martin comes down the stairs.

Pauline: Morning Doc.

Martin grunts and goes into his consulting room, closing the door. A split second later the door opens again and Martin sticks his head out.

Martin: Good morning Pauline. How are you this morning?

Pauline: (amused) Oh, I’m well thank you Doc.

Martin: I’m glad to hear it.

Martin nods and closes the door again. Pauline is amused. She gathers together the patient notes for the day and goes to the consulting room door and knocks.

Martin: Yes?

Pauline lets herself in.

Pauline: Got your patient notes for the day.

Martin: Just put them down. (After a pause) Thank you.

Pauline: Have you seen the new Wellness Centre has opened up by the hall?

Martin: Yes. Reflexology, Iridology, Herbology. Every fifth group hug is free. Ought to come in handy when old Mrs Mitchell breaks her hip, or some grubby little git gets chicken pox. Yes very handy. Let’s see them yoga their way around those.

Pauline: Not afraid of a little competition are you Doc?

Martin: Not at all. I survived Mark’s sister, I can survive this. Quite frankly the less moronic imbeciles I have to see the better. My concern is I’ll be cleaning up the mess these new age, ball balancing, wheat grass drinking, naval gazing, self focused lunatics make!

Pauline: Perhaps you should go there Doc. Might help you relax!

Martin: I’m perfectly relaxed thank you very much Pauline.

Pauline: I’d hate to see you tense then.

Martin: Yes. You would.

Scene: Kitchen of Bert’s Restaurant. Al is busily sorting papers and food. Bert enters.

Al: Dad! Where’ve you been? We’ve got loads to do!

Bert: Sorry son. Had to pick up a few last minute supplies...retail.

Al: Yeah, well we better get moving. We don’t want to repeat the mess we made of the Doc’s last party.

Bert: Aye. That was a debacle.

Al: In more ways than one.

Bert: She’s back you know.

Al: Who?

Bert: Louisa.

Al: Has she seen the Doc yet?

Bert: Nope.

Al: I might just give Pauline a call. Give her a heads-up.

Bert: Not a bad idea son. Not a bad idea at all.

Scene: Doctor’s Surgery. Pauline is at her desk. The phone rings. She answers.

Pauline: Portwenn Surgery. (After a pause) Oh hello Al.

Scene: Martin’s consultation room. Martin is at his desk writing up patient notes. There is a knock at the door.

Martin: Come.

Pauline pokes her head in the door.

Pauline: Doc?

Martin looks up from what he is doing, slightly impatient, as Pauline enters.

Martin: Yes?

Martin goes back to writing his notes.

Pauline: Mrs Jenkins phoned to cancel Mr Jenkins’ three o’clock appointment. He’s dead apparently. Gary Blackburn was wanting to come in as soon as possible, so I put him in for three o’clock and your new printer has arrived.

Martin: Thank you Pauline.

Pauline hesitates, a look of concern on her face.

Pauline: And Doc?

Martin: Mmm?

Pauline: (after a pause) She’s back.

Martin stops writing, but doesn’t look up.

Martin: Thank you Pauline.

Martin goes back to writing his notes. Pauline hesitates to leave, waiting for more of a reaction from the Doc. Martin looks up.

Martin: Was there something else?

Pauline: No. No. Just...No. I’ll just go back outside then shall I?

Martin: Yes, that would make both our jobs a lot easier.

Pauline: Ok then.

Pauline leaves, shutting the door behind her. Martin puts his pen down and stares blankly ahead.

Scene: Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk looking on YouTube. The door to the Doc’s consulting room opens and she hurriedly minimises the internet screen. Martin strides out past Pauline’s desk.

Martin: I’m going out.

He’s gone before Pauline has time to answer. She speaks to the empty room.

Pauline: Alright then. I’ll hold the fort, shall I?

Scene: Martin is pulling up outside Aunty Joan’s farm house. As he gets out of the car, Joan walks up to greet him.

Joan: Marty!?

Martin: Hello Aunty Joan.

Joan: Goodness Marty. You’re making quite a habit of this. I’ve seen you more in the last six weeks than in the last thirty-six years.

Martin: Well I can go if you like.

Joan: Don’t be a child Martin. Come inside.

They walk toward the house.

Scene: Martin and Joan enter Joan’s kitchen. Joan goes to wash her hands and begins preparing some sandwiches. Martin stands at the table.

Joan: Do you want lunch?

Martin: No. Thank you. I just dropped by to see if you were still ok for dinner tomorrow night at Bert’s?

Joan: Yes Marty. I haven’t changed my mind since yesterday.

Martin: Right. Good. Shall I pick you up?

Joan: Thank you, but no. I’ll just meet you there.

Martin: Right.

Martin begins to fidget with items on the table, picking them up and putting them down again.

Joan: Are you sure you won’t eat?

Martin: No. I should go.

Martin makes no move to leave.

Joan: Is everything ok Marty?

Martin: Yes. Fine.

Joan: Good.

They stand in silence for a moment. Martin still makes no move to leave.

Martin: Ah, did you, um, hear that, ah, Louisa is back?

Joan: I see! (Martin’s behaviour now makes sense to her) Have you seen her yet?

Martin: No.

Joan: Don’t leave it too long Martin. It’ll only get harder.

Martin: What do I say? What if she doesn’t want to see me?

Joan: It’s Louisa. Start with hello and the rest will come.

Martin: (unconvinced) Mmm.

Joan: Go and find her Martin. Go on.

Martin: Perhaps.

Joan: Not perhaps. Do it!

Martin: Right. I’ll see you tomorrow then.

Joan: Yes, you will.

Martin goes to leave.

Joan: Marty?

Martin stops and looks back.

Joan: It will be fine.

Martin nods and leaves.

Scene: Louisa is coming out of her front door. She scans the street before heading off down the hill.

Scene: Martin is in his car, driving away from Joan’s. He is trying different intonation and emphasis using the following phrases.

Martin: Hello Louisa. Louisa, hello. Hello. Louisa.

Scene: Mrs Tishell’s. Mrs Tishell is humming away happily as she organises stock on her shelves. She is particularly chipper. Louisa enters. Mrs Tishell immediately stops humming and looks at Louisa with great disappointment.

Mrs Tishell: Oh. You’ve come back.

Louisa: Yes. Hello Mrs Tishell.

Scene: Bert’s Restaurant. Martin walks up to Bert who is serving a customer. Martin mistakenly uses a tender tone he was practising for Louisa.

Martin: Hello Bert.

Bert, fortunately, does not hear him. Martin then barks...

Martin: Bert!

Bert turns around with a start.

Bert: Oh, Doc. Hello there. What can I do for you?

Martin: Just letting you know Joan will be arriving around 6.30 tomorrow, so you will need everything set by then.

Bert: No problem Doc. Say no more.

Martin: Gladly.

Bert: You’ve got final numbers then Doc?

Martin: Yes. It hasn’t changed.

Bert: Louisa couldn’t come then?

Martin: What?

Bert: Oh, sorry Doc. I thought you knew. She’s back Doc.

Martin: Yes, I’m aware of that thank you Bert.

Bert: Right-o then. Not my place.

Martin: No. I’ll see you tomorrow evening.

Bert: That you will.

Martin: Right. Goodbye.

Martin begins to leave, but turns back, obviously feeling slightly awkward.

Martin: Has, ah, she been in here Bert?

Bert: Who’s that then Doc?

Martin: Louisa.

Bert: No, not in here. Saw her at the grocery store though, early on today.

Martin: Right. Goodbye then.

Martin strides out. Bert watches as he goes. He shakes his head with concern.

Scene: Louisa leaves Mrs Tishell’s and heads off down the street. As she disappears from view, Martin rounds the corner and enters Mrs Tishell’s.

Scene: Interior Mrs Tishell’s. Mrs Tishell is now slowly putting stock on shelves. She appears to be cursing under her breath. She looks up as Martin enters and visibly cheers.

Mrs Tishell: Oh. Hello Doctor Ellingham!

Martin: Good afternoon Mrs Tishell.

Mrs Tishell: I had a feeling you’d come today.

Martin: Yes. Well, you did phone and tell me my order had arrived.

Mrs Tishell:
Oh yes! I’ll just get it. Shall I put the kettle on?

Martin: No.

Mrs Tishell: How about a biscuit?

Martin: No. Just the order.

Mrs Tishell hands Martin his box.

Mrs Tishell: Next time then.

Martin: (under his breath) No, I doubt that.

Martin begins to leave.

Mrs Tishell: Have to be off then do you?

Martin: Yes.

Mrs Tishell: People to see?

Martin: Yes. I am a doctor after all.

Mrs Tishell: Oh, that’s good. Patients. I thought you might be rushing off to see Louisa. Cruel and heartless fool that she is.

Martin: Mrs Tishell! I’ll thank you not to talk about Louisa like that.

Mrs Tishell: Oh sorry Doctor. I forgot myself. I’m terribly sorry. But, she did miss her chance didn’t she?

Despite himself, Martin can’t help asking...

Martin: Have you seen her?

Mrs Tishell: Yes. She was in here not two minutes before you arrived. Looked terrible.

Martin: (with clear concern) Did she?

Mrs Tishell: Oh yes. Very unattractive...

Martin: Goodbye Mrs Tishell.

Martin rushes out.

Mrs Tishell: Oh dear.

Scene: Outside Portwenn School. Louisa is inside a school room, sitting at a desk, staring blankly at pages spread out before her. Martin spots her from across the street and begins to walk absent minded toward the school, focussed solely on Louisa. He walks straight into a pedestrian coming the other way.

Pedestrian: Tosser!

Martin: Sorry.

Martin continues to watch Louisa from the street outside the school. He stands looking at her, his right hand resting on his left breast pocket. As if sensing his gaze, Louisa looks up and outside at Martin. He raises a hand in greeting. Louisa smiles back. Martin gestures to see if he can come inside. Louisa nods and gets up to let him in. Martin goes down the stairs leading into the school.

Scene: Interior of the Portwenn School, at the doorway to the classroom.

Louisa: Hello Martin. (She smiles a little unsure of herself)

Martin: Hello Louisa. (His admiration of her is evident in his softer than usual expression).

Louisa: Come in.

Louisa walks back to the desk where she was working, while Martin stands closer to the doorway. They slip easily into conversation. Louisa sorts papers and is constantly moving, while Martin watches her from the doorway.

Martin: Welcome home.

Louisa: Thank you. It’s a little weird to be back.

Martin: When did you get back?

Louisa: This morning. I can’t seem to sit still though, so I thought I’d pop in here and sort out a few things – the class structure for the next school year and all that.

Martin: Well that should be easy enough. You teach all the well behaved, intelligent children who give good Christmas presents and give all the inbred, miscreant... ratbags (he begins to realise this is like his dream), to teachers.

Louisa: Not a bad plan.

Martin: Um...How was your trip?

Louisa: It was fine. Lots of time to think. Too much time to think actually.

Martin: Ah. Well. You look...ah...well...the same.

Louisa: (embarrassed) Thank you. So what have I missed here then?

Martin: Nothing really. Same insanity. Different day. We were the main topic of discussion for a while. Pre-Mesozoic buffoons with nothing better to do than speculate about what went wrong.

Louisa: And what did you say?

Martin: I didn’t say anything. They were quite happy to concoct with their own sad little version of events. Who am I to disabuse them of their ridiculous notions?!

Louisa: But Martin, I don’t want them going about thinking the wrong thing.

Martin: Why not? They usually do.

Louisa: Yes...but...

Martin: Anyway, most of them were fairly close to the truth.

Louisa: Which is?

Martin: That you were brought to your senses just in the nick of time.

Louisa stops and looks at Martin.

Louisa: You left me, just as much as I left you, remember Martin.

Martin takes a step closer to Louisa.

Martin: Of course I remember.

They look at each other for some time, conveying sadness, regret and concern. Martin steps back. Their sense of ease with each other is gone.

Martin: Anyway. I better let you get back to it.

Louisa: Yes. Alright then. Bye Martin.

Martin turns to leave, but hesitates and turns back to Louisa.

Martin: There’s a surprise party for Aunty Joan tomorrow night at Bert’s if you’d like to come. I’m sure Joan would like you to be there.

Louisa: Oh right. Thank you.

Martin: Six-thirty.

Louisa smiles and nods.

Martin: Goodbye then.

Louisa: See you.

Martin leaves, glancing back as he goes. Louisa sinks into a chair and stares blankly ahead.

Scene: Next day. Doctor’s Surgery. Martin follows a patient out of the consultation room. He hands the patient notes to Pauline and takes a new set of notes. It is quite busy.

Martin: Right. Brett Bowman?

Brett is a twenty-ish year old male who hops up and appears to be the absolute picture of health. He follows Martin inside the consultation room. Martin closes the door.

Scene: Inside the consultation room.

Martin: Have a seat. What seems to be the problem?

Brett: I’ve been hit by a car.

Martin: What?!

Brett: (A little louder) I was hit by a car.

Martin: What kind of car? A Lego car?

Brett: No. A Range Rover.

Martin: So where are you hurt?

Brett: I’m not really, but I thought I should get checked out in case.

Martin: Fair enough.

Martin begins to examine him.

Martin: When did this happen?

Brett: ‘Bout half an hour ago. I was walking down by the pub when I noticed a car driving real erratically, so I tried to stay out of its way. It hit me all the same.

Martin: Well you appear to be extremely lucky. You’ve some superficial bruising, but I’ll refer you for some x-rays just to be on the safe side.

Brett: He was going real slow Doc. Hunched over the wheel. Only just moving really.

Martin: Could have been having an absence seizure. Do you know who it was?

Brett: No. Didn’t recognise him. Not from around here I don’t think.

Martin: Have you reported it to PC Penhale?

Brett: No. No harm done.

Martin: Not this time anyway.

Scene: Martin walks out of the consulting room behind a yawning patient. He takes patient notes to Pauline.

Pauline: Big day Doc.

Martin: (Thinking) Mm, odd day. Broken nose from a bar room brawl, self inflicted split lip, a hit-and-run victim without a scratch on him, topped off only by the patient who swore he had severe ant bites from non-existent ants. I’m done.

Pauline: You better get ready for the party Doc. You’re the host with the most remember.

Martin: Yes.

Pauline: What time’s the stripper coming?

Martin ignores her and walks up the stairs. Pauline has a giggle to herself.

Scene: Bert’s Restaurant. Joan’s party is in full swing. There are quite a number of people there. All the regulars and others. The atmosphere is jovial. Louisa is circulating, chatting to various people, but watching Martin as he does the rounds with considerably more ease than she is used to seeing. He appears to be verging on enjoying himself. He occasionally glances in Louisa’s direction, but goes back to entertaining others. He does not make any attempt to talk to Louisa. After the crowd finish singing Happy Birthday to Aunty Joan, Louisa finds herself standing awkwardly alone. She begins to get edgy. After a minute of watching Martin, trying to catch his eye, she feels slighted and so she goes up to Aunty Joan.

Louisa: It’s a great party.

Joan: Ah, Louisa!

Louisa: But I think I’m going to head off home. (Her eyes begin to fill with tears). Thank Martin for me.

Joan: (Looking concerned) Why not thank him yourself?

Louisa: Oh, no. He’s busy. Bye. Thanks again.

Louisa rushes off.

Joan: Louisa!?

Joan looks concerned. She goes and talks to Martin. We don’t hear what she says.

Scene: Outside Bert’s Restaurant. Night. Louisa is hurriedly walking away from Bert’s. Martin exits the restaurant and follows her.

Martin: Louisa!

Louisa does not stop or turn around. Martin quickens his pace.

Martin: Louisa!?

Louisa stops as Martin catches up to her. She hurriedly wipes tears from her eyes.

Louisa: Sorry Martin. I just suddenly got tired. I asked Joan to say thank you.

Martin: Well I’m here now. You can say it yourself.

Louisa: Thank you Martin. It was a lovely party. It was very surprising.

Louisa can’t stop a stray tear from falling down her cheek.

Martin: If it was lovely, why are you sad?

Louisa: I’m not sad.

Martin: You are.

Louisa: Am not.

Martin: Tears of joy are they?

Louisa: (Shaking her head) I’ve never seen you like that before Martin. You were talking to people, being civil. You almost seemed...happy!

Martin: (Confused) And that made you sad? You don’t want me to be happy?

Louisa: No, that’s not it. I want more than anything for you to be happy Martin. I’m sad...No. Forget it.

Martin goes to say something, but Louisa continues before he has the chance.

Louisa: I’m sad because I don’t make you happy. It seems my leaving made you happy though. I’ve spent the last six weeks wondering if I made the biggest mistake of my life letting you go (Louisa is beginning to speak rather erratically), and it seems you’ve just picked up and moved on, being congenial, throwing parties, smiling, happy to be rid of me! (Poor impersonation of Martin) “Well thank God she’s gone. No more Miss Misery Guts. Let’s crack open the champagne and have a jolly good time old chaps!”. Well, I’m sorry Martin. I’m sorry I dragged you down for so long. (She realises she’s being a little hysterical and takes a deep breath). I’m glad you’re happy. I really am. I only ever wanted you to be happy. Sorry Martin. I’m sorry I didn’t make you happy. (She draws another deep breath) I’m babbling. You don’t need to worry. I won’t bother you anymore. Sorry. I...

Martin: (Short and sharp) Are you quite finished!? Firstly, I don’t sound anything like that when I speak, I don’t drink champagne and I’ve never said “old chaps” in my life. Secondly, not a miserable day has passed in the last six weeks that I haven’t felt the pain of your absence acutely. I thought of you...constantly. I’d see your face, smell your scent, hear your voice. I wanted nothing more than to have you here and speak to you. And finally, I’m not happy because you left. I’m happy because you’ve come back.

Louisa is clearly taken aback.

Martin: Have we got all that clear?

Louisa: Yes, alright then.

Martin: (Regaining his composure) Good. Well. I’ve got a party to get back to. Goodnight.

Martin nods and strides off back to Bert’s. Louisa looks confused, and then allows herself a pleased smile. She heads off away from Bert’s, stops, turns and heads back towards the party. She then changes her mind again and heads off toward her home.

Scene: Doctor’s Surgery Reception. Al is installing the new printer and talking in hushed tones to Pauline.

Al: So did you talk to her at the party then?

Pauline: I didn’t get much of a chance. She left so early.

Al: Yeah. What was that about?

Pauline: I dunno. The Doc followed her though. Came back alone all the same.

Al: So we’re none the wiser about what happened then?

Pauline: Still quite a mystery I’m afraid. Where’s Nancy Drew when you need her?

Al: Who?

Pauline: Nancy...Never mind. We need a plan.

Al: Well, she’s a woman. And you’re a woman...

Pauline: (Smiling suggestively at Al) Certainly am!

Al: Can’t you have a woman to woman chat?

Pauline: I’m starting to think you’re a bit of a woman Al Large. You’re a bit of a nosey old gossip monger, you are! Hey?

Al: I’m concerned is all. A wedding gets called off at the last minute – one me and dad put a lot of work into mind you...

Pauline: Huh!

Al: ...and it’s nice to know why.

Pauline: So what do you suggest we do?

Al: I dunno. Take Louisa for a drink. A welcome home like. That sorta thing.

Pauline: (Warming to the idea) Yes. She probably does need someone to talk to. It’s a bit like I’d be doing a good deed. Yes. Alright then. Tonight even maybe.

Al: Great. Well I gotta go. Tell the Doc I’ll be back later. His wireless network is rubbish. I gotta get a few parts.

Scene: The Doc Consultation Room. Martin is washing his hands as there is a knock at the door.

Martin: Come in.

Pauline enters. Martin turns to her as he dries his hands.

Martin: Is Al finished?

Pauline: No he had to go though. Said something about you or your computer being rubbish, and he needs to get parts. He’ll be back later.

Martin: Right. Fine.

Pauline: I went to the Wellness Centre this morning Doc.

Martin: What?! Why!?

Pauline: Just doing a little spying for you.

Martin tusks. He is not impressed.

Martin: Shouldn’t you have been here at work?

Pauline: It’s quite nice, it is. Service with a smile. I came out feeling very well.

Martin: Yes, but you went in feeling well. You weren’t sick Pauline.

Pauline: Perhaps I was and I just didn’t know it.

Martin: Perhaps you could have saved yourself some money and sat on the hill looking at the harbour and achieved the exact same outcome.

Pauline: There was one thing that was a little odd though.

Martin: Just one?

Pauline: Yeah. There’s a private consultation room through the back.

Martin: I’ll alert the media!

Pauline: While I was there four people went in and out.

Martin: And what’s odd about that? Most people who go into a room come out again, eventually.

Pauline: Unless they’re being written out of a soap opera. But the thing is, they were only in there for one or two minutes. Not nearly long enough for a consultation. I mean even you tend to take a bit longer before you drive them away.

Martin: Thank you Pauline.

Pauline: Your welcome. I just thought it was a little bit strange is all.

Martin: Yes, well I don’t think we can get them shut down for being a little bit strange.

Pauline: No. I guess then they’d have to shut you down too, wouldn’t they?!

Martin: Don’t you have somewhere else you could be. Like doing your job for instance.

Pauline smiles as she leaves the room.

Pauline: I’m off actually. Night Doc. Al will be back soon with the stuff for the computer stuff.

Martin: Good.

Scene: Interior. Portwenn Local Pub. It’s fairly busy. Louisa and Pauline are at a table together. They’ve already had a couple of drinks. We join them mid-conversation.

Pauline: Well, you know what he’s like.

Louisa: (Leaning forward and placing great emphasis on each word)

Pauline: Yes. Yes he is. He doesn’t say much though, does he? I mean he doesn’t give much away about himself or his life.

Louisa: (Sitting back) No. No, I guess not.

Pauline: I mean he didn’t say anything about what happened know...the wedding and all.

Louisa: Didn’t he? Really? (Concerned) How was he Pauline? Was he ok?

Pauline: Well, it was a bit hard to tell really. He was grumpy and quiet and rude and ill-tempered. But then again he’s always grumpy and quiet and rude and ill-tempered. He did start acting a little strange after a few weeks. Every so often he’d be...well...nice is too strong a word. Tolerable, I guess you’d say.

Louisa: (Curious) Really?! Why is that, do you think?

Pauline: No idea.

Louisa: Do you you think he was pleased I wasn’t there?

Pauline: No!

(Louisa smiles and nods)

Pauline: Were you pleased? You know, that you didn’t go through with it? Was it your decision and all?

Louisa: Was it weird at the church?

Pauline: What? Apart from the weird fact that the bride and groom didn’t show up?

Louisa: Well, yes. Apart from that.

Pauline: So, why didn’t the bride and groom show up?

Louisa: I mean, how long did people wait? Did my mother make a spectacle of herself, per usual?

Pauline: (Clearly lying) Ah, no. She was very curious as to what went wrong though.

Louisa: Just another thing to add to my long list of failures as her daughter. She didn’t even call me after you know? No surprise I guess. I didn’t call her either.

Pauline: That brother of yours was a bit of alright.

Louisa: Which one?

Pauline: There was more than one?!

Scene: Doctor’s Surgery. Martin’s Consultation Room. Al pops his head in the door as Martin is packing up for the day.

Al: I’m all done Doc. I’ve set your new printer defaults and your wireless network should be fine now.

Martin: Thank you Al.

Al: No problem. See you then.

Martin: Goodnight.

Al goes to leave, but turns to the Doc before exiting the room.

Al: I’m heading down the pub if you wanna come Doc.

Martin: No thank you Al.

Al: No problem.

Al leaves the room. Martin puts his right hand to his left breast pocket, then calls after Al.

Martin: Ah, actually Al, I think I will head down there with you.

Al sticks his head back into the Consultation Room.

Al: Right-o.

Martin: Give me half a minute.

Scene: Back at the Portwenn Pub. Louisa and Pauline are looking a little worse for wear.

Louisa: It’s such a big decision. What if you get it wrong?

Pauline: (bored) So what colour did you pick?

Louisa: Well, I haven’t yet. I mean there’s the walls, the bedspread, the curtains...

Pauline: (A little more lively) You know what else is a big decision? Marriage.

Louisa: Are you and Al getting married?! Oh, that’s lovely!

Pauline: No. No. Well, I don’t know. No.

Louisa: Shame.

Pauline: Right Louisa. I’ve tried to be subtle. Now I’m going to be blunt. Why didn’t you and the Doc get married?

Louisa: Do you think you’ll ever get married Pauline?

Pauline: Ok. Did you have an affair? Was that it? (Thinking she’s got it) It was Danny, wasn’t it?!

Louisa: (Laughs) No!

Pauline: Did the Doc have an affair?

Louisa: (Laughs harder) No. And certainly not with Danny!

Pauline: (Wide eyed) Is the Doc gay?

Louisa: (Cheekily) I think not. I know not actually!

Pauline shudders.

Pauline: (Giving up) Ok. I get it. It’s none of my business. I suppose you both just did what you thought was right.

Louisa: (Sadly) Yes.

Pauline: (Lifting her glass) Shall we have another?

Louisa: (Absently lost in thought) Yes.

Pauline goes to the bar as Al and Martin arrive.

Pauline: Hello Al! Hello Doc! Louisa and I were just talking about you. Were your ears burning?

Martin: No.

Martin looks past Pauline and spots Louisa at the table alone, cradling her glass. He’s concerned and a little cross with Pauline.

Martin: What are you doing?

Pauline: It’s called being social Doc. Having fun. You should try it sometime.

Martin: (He is still watching Louisa) No. How many drinks have you had?

Pauline: (Looking at Al) Well not enough apparently (She smiles).

Martin: Right. Not enough. So you still have a couple of living brain cells and a remote amount of functionality in your liver. You’d like to kill that off too would you?

Pauline: Yeah. That’s right. Wanna help?

Martin: No.

Martin strides over to Louisa. He visibly softens.

Martin: Hello Louisa.

Louisa: (Smiles at Martin in a bit of a daze) Hello Martin.

Martin: Can I join you?

Louisa: Yes, of course.

Martin sits down across from Louisa. She begins to frown and regards Martin with suspicion.

Louisa: What are you doing here?

Martin: Al invited me.

Louisa: (Still frowning) And you said yes?

Martin: (A little defensively) Yes.

Louisa: (Looking at him sideways) Why?

Martin: Why not?!

Louisa: Yes. Indeed. Why not.

Martin: What are you doing here?

Louisa: (Looks over her shoulder as if checking for spies) I’m being interrogated.

Martin: I know the feeling!

Louisa: By Pauline.

Martin: What about?

Louisa: Don’t worry. I didn’t tell her anything. At least I don’t think I did.

Martin: What’s she been asking you?

Louisa: Why we didn’t, you know, go through with it.

Martin looks at Louisa with a perplexed expression and questioning, raised eyebrow.

Louisa: The wedding!

Martin: (Annoyed) It’s none of her bloody business!

Louisa: She’s just curious Martin.

Martin: Yes, very curious. What did you tell her?

Louisa: I didn’t tell her anything. I’m not sure I even know the answer anymore.

Martin: No.

They sit in silence for a few moments.

Louisa: Would you like a drink?

Martin: No. Thank you.

Louisa: (Shrugs) Suit yourself. I’m having another.

Martin: What’s the matter? Too much blood in your alcohol system?

Louisa: What’s the matter with you? Too much...niceness in your...vile system?

Martin: Well I see the mature part of the evening has begun.

Louisa shrugs.

Martin: Don’t forget you’re due for your next blood test tomorrow. That’s if your not passed out somewhere in your own vomit.

Louisa grimaces.

Louisa: Do you really want to talk about blood and vomit in the one sentence Martin. You’re leaving yourself wide open for a half decent insult.

Martin: From you?! Go on then.

Louisa: No. I’m not that mean-spirited.

Martin: Can’t think of one can you?

Louisa: I can.

Martin: Can’t.

Louisa frowns with concentration then looks intently at Martin, who returns her stare, for some time. Eventually she looks away and starts fidgeting with her glass and coaster.

Louisa: (Absently) You’ve got...great, big ears. Did you know that?

Martin: Yes. All the better to hear your mindless dribble with it seems.

Louisa: And to pick up a few satellite channels, I imagine.

Louisa smiles at Martin a little sheepishly, realising she’s been cheeky. Gradually her expression changes to one of discomfort.

Louisa: Mmm. I think I’ve had enough actually. I might be off.

Louisa stands. Martin hurriedly stands also.

Martin: Right. I’ll take you home then.

Louisa: Probably not a good idea Martin. I really think I should go back to my own place. Don’t want to tempt you.

Martin: I think I can control myself.

Louisa: Yes. Yes of course. Glad I inspire that in you Martin – self control.

Martin: And I meant your own place, (walking around to Louisa’s side of the table and continuing to speak, more to himself than her) you daft cow.

Louisa: (Taken aback) Sorry Martin, did you just call me a daft cow?!

Martin: Did I?

Louisa: I think you’ll find you did.

Martin: Right. Well. Sorry.

Louisa: You could at least say sorry like you mean it.

Martin: But I don’t mean it!

Louisa: (With a hurt look) Oh.

Martin: Shall we go?

Pauline comes back to the table with her and Louisa’s drink.

Pauline: You’re leaving?

Martin: Yes.

Pauline: Well I can take her home Doc. You just got here.

Martin: I think you’ve done quite enough already.

Pauline: (Shrugs) Suit yourself.

Martin stands aside to allow Louisa to leave before him. She smiles and gives a little wave to Pauline as she heads off. Martin follows close behind her. Al comes over to Pauline from the bar.

Al: So?

Pauline: Not a thing.

Scene: Louisa and Martin are walking along the darkened street towards her home. Louisa is a little unsteady on her feet and bumps into Martin occasionally.

Louisa: Your ears aren’t the only thing you’ve got that’s big you know?!

Martin: Louisa. Stop talking.

Louisa: Your nose is quite large also.

She looks up at Martin and bumps into him again as she does so. He puts a steadying arm around her waist as they continue to walk.

Louisa: And your hands.

She takes Martin’s hand from around her waist and examines it. Then she holds it up to his face.

Louisa: Look at that! And your...

Martin: That’s enough from you. Now be quiet.

Louisa: Yes, of course. Sshh!

They walk off into the distance, away from camera. Louisa is still babbling incoherently.

Scene: Exterior. Louisa’s house. Martin and Louisa arrive at her front door. Louisa opens it, goes inside, looks back at Martin, smiles, does a little curtsy, then shuts the door in his face. Martin is half shocked, half amused. He addresses the closed door.

Martin: Yes. Well. Alright then. Good night.

Martin strides off down the street, his right hand resting on the left breast pocket of his jacket.

Scene: Next Morning. Doctor’s Surgery Waiting Room. Louisa is sitting in the Waiting Room, waiting, and staring blankly ahead. She is the only one in the room. Martin burst through the door of his Consultation Room. Louisa jumps.

Martin: Ah, Louisa. Come on through.

Louisa: No Pauline today?

Martin: No. Apparently she’s unwell. (He raising a questioning and accusatory eyebrow). Probably off at the Wellness Centre, getting well again.

Louisa: Ah.

Martin: And you? How are you feeling?

Louisa: Oh, I’m fine.

Martin: Really? No headache? No queasiness?

Martin stands back to allow Louisa to enter the Consultation Room. He follows her in and closes the door with a thump. He then bumps a trolley of metal implements, which makes a loud clatter. Louisa grimaces. As Martin goes to steady the trolley, he knocks more things to the ground, to Louisa’s evident distress.

Martin: Sorry. Sorry. Clumsy of me. It’s these big hands you see. Very difficult. Such big hands.

Louisa blushes.

Martin: Have a seat.

Louisa sits. Martin drags his chair noisily across the room. Louisa frowns at the noise.

Martin: Sorry. You do feel fine don’t you?

Louisa: (With a pained smile) Yes.

Martin: Good. And generally? No dizzy spells or tiredness?

Louisa: No fine.

Martin: Good. And no problems while you were...ah...away?

Louisa: No.

Martin: Good.

Louisa: So are you going to take my blood then? No Pauline?

Martin: Yes.

Martin prepares the syringe as Louisa rolls up her sleeve. He prepares to draw the blood while looking away.

Louisa: (Clearly stirring him up) How do you take the blood without looking Martin. I mean isn’t it a little dangerous? Surely you can’t know when you’ve got enough blood? Or if you’ve got any blood for that matter? Or perhaps you’ll take too much blood?

Martin: Well, it does help that I’m not a complete moron. You do realise I’m not affected by the word blood?!

Louisa: Yes. I’m just saying...

Martin: Sshh!

Martin appears to be listening intently to something.

Louisa: What?

Martin: Sshh.

Martin points to his ear.

Martin: Race three. Royal Ascot. Sky Sports Racing.

Louisa laughs.

Louisa: Martin Ellingham, did you just make a joke?! At your own expense no less!?

Martin: Well, I was hoping it was more at your expense, but there you go.

Louisa: Huh!

Martin: I should have your results in a day or two, so I’ll let you know.

Jokes over.

Louisa: Oh. Ok.

They get up and Louisa heads for the door. She turns back.

Louisa: Sorry about the ears thing last night.

Martin nods with a smile in his eyes.

Louisa: See you later Martin.

As Louisa leaves, Martin puts his right hand on his left breast pocket.

Scene: Evening. Martin’s kitchen. Martin is preparing fresh fish. Half way through cutting he stops and looks intently at his hand. He raises it, examining its size. He then feels his ears. Finally he raises his hand to touch the end of his nose. As he does so, he recoils at the fishy smell of his hands.

Martin: Ridiculous!

Martin goes back to preparing his food.

Scene: Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her computer as Martin comes down the stairs.

Martin: Glad you could join us today Pauline. Hope I’m not keeping you away from your death bed.

Pauline: Just as well I came back Doc. Leave you alone for one day and the place goes to rack and ruin.

Martin: Yes. It’s amazing we’re still in operation.

Pauline: (Handing Martin the day’s case notes) Slow day today Doc.

Martin: (Heading into his consultation room) Mm, Bert must have had the night off.

Martin closes the door to his consultation room and Pauline smiles fondly in his wake.

Scene: Exterior. Portwenn Wellness Centre. Martin is walking up the street toward the Wellness Centre. It has a large sign that proclaims treatment for “Mind, Body and Spirit”.

Martin: (with distaste) Oh God.

Martin goes to the notice board in front of the centre and reads it.

Martin: No appointment necessary. Five minute consultations. Instant relief from pain and stress. Huh! Instant relief from a wad of cash as well I bet!

A couple of young girls come out of the centre laughing. As they walk by Martin glares at them and they stop laughing. Once past, they burst into laughter again. Martin rolls his eyes, tuts and walks off.

The door to the Wellness Centre opens again and Louisa walks out. She pauses just outside the door as if sensing something. She turns to look around, screwing her face up in apparent discomfort. She rubs her neck and then walks off in the opposite direction to Martin.

Scene: Interior. Louisa’s Home. Louisa is sitting propped up in bed, biting her nails and intently watching “Pride and Prejudice”. After a minute she pauses the DVD and picks up the phone from her bedside table. She turns at the waist, not the head. She looks at the phone, contemplating whether or not to call Martin. She puts the phone back on the bedside table, picks up some chocolate and unpauses the DVD.

Scene: Martin is at his kitchen table. He has the parts of an antique clock spread out before him. He picks up a few pieces and places them back down again. He looks at the door. Eventually he packs the clock pieces back on their tray and takes it into the side room. He comes out and switches off the light. He goes through to the lounge and picks up the phone. He dials a number, holds the phone to his ear, then quickly hangs up again.

Scene: Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at the reception desk. Martin opens the door to his consultation room and follows Mary Gordon, one of the teachers from the Portwenn Primary School, out into reception. They talk as they walk.

Mary: I suppose working at the school I was bound to pick something like this up eventually.

Martin: Yes.

Mary: Children huh?!

Martin: Yes. Children. Just like real people only smaller and more disgusting.

Mary: (Laughs unconvincingly) Um yes. So when can we expect to see Miss Glasson back at school?

Martin: (Surprised) What?

The phone rings and Pauline answers it in the background.

Mary: Well, it’s just she’s been gone a couple of days now and we’re really starting to miss her. The beginning of the school year is a busy time.

Martin: Of course.

Pauline: Doc?

Martin: Yes.

Pauline: Miss Glasson for you.

Martin: Right. Excuse me.

Scene: Louisa's Home. Dusk. Louisa opens the front door to Martin. She is looking very stiff and not moving her head. She’s obviously in some pain and a little embarrassed.

Martin: Louisa.

Louisa: I’m so sorry Martin. I just didn’t think I could make it up to the Surgery.

Martin: No. That’s fine. What have you done?

Louisa: I think I’ve put my neck out.

Martin: (Puts a hand out to show the way) Let’s go through.

They go through to Louisa’s dining room, where Martin pulls a chair out for her to sit on. He takes his suit coat off and sits on another chair facing her. They are very close. He speaks to her with a very caring tone.

Martin: How long have you been like this?

Louisa: Um. A little while.

Martin: An hour? A day?

Louisa: A couple of days. I thought it might self-correct, but it’s only got worse.

Martin: How did it happen?

Louisa: (She is embarrassed) Ah...well...

Martin waits with a raised eyebrow.

Louisa: I was at know?

Martin: No. I don’t know.

Louisa: The new...well...Wellness Centre. And I was on the , um, thingamajig...

Martin: Ah.

Louisa: I just hadn’t been feeling, well...well. So I...

Martin leans closer.

Martin: You could have come to me.

They look at each other.

Louisa: No I couldn’t.

Martin sits back again.

Martin: Why not?

Louisa: Because, I needed...I needed to...I just didn’t think I could.

Martin: You always can.

Louisa’s eyes well a little with tears. Martin nods. He is a little hurt.

Martin: Well, let’s see if we can’t make you feel more comfortable now.

Martin gently pushes Louisa’s hair behind her shoulders. He places his hands on either side of her face. Without realising, he gently strokes her jaw and neck with his thumb. Louisa is clearly uncomfortable. He begins to lift his hands and her head.

Martin: Do you have pain anywhere else?

Louisa: No.

Martin: Tingling? Pins and needles?

Louisa: No.

Martin: Good. Ok. Tell me if it hurts, or when the pain is relieved.

Martin continues to gently support Louisa’s head.

Louisa: (Dreamy) That feels good. I mean the pain is easing.

Martin: Ok.

Martin releases her face. He stands and walks around behind Louisa. She can’t move to see what he’s doing. As he stands behind her, he takes a steadying breath.

Martin now moves her hair back over her shoulders so he can see her neck. He uses his thumbs to feel down the back of her neck. Louisa closes her eyes. He gently massages her neck and down her shoulders. After a short time, Martin again places his hands on either side of her head, from behind now. His fingers are entangled in her hair.

Martin: I’m just going to manipulate your neck slightly Louisa. You may feel a little pain, but only briefly.

Louisa: (With eyes closed and a little nervously) Martin?

Martin: It’ll be ok. Ready?

Louisa: No.

Martin: You’ll be fine. Here we go.

Martin realigns Louisa’s neck, and then gently releases her head. He goes around and sits before her. Louisa slowly opens her eyes.

Martin: (Concerned) Are you ok? Are you hurt?

Louisa: Yes. No. I’m fine.

She gingerly moves her neck.

Louisa: Thank you Martin.

Martin again takes Louisa’s face in his hands, raising her head slightly, scrutinising her.

Martin: It feels ok?

Louisa: Yes.

Martin continues to hold her face, gazing into her eyes.

Martin: You may be a little tender for a while, so you’ll need to take it easy. You’ve experienced some trauma and will need time to heal.

Martin is looking at Louisa with clear concern and admiration.

Louisa: Right. So cancel my swim of the English Chanel then? (She laughs nervously).

Martin: I’m afraid so.

Louisa: Martin?

Martin: Yes.

Louisa: Will I be able to hold my head up on my own eventually?

Martin realises he’s still holding her face and slowly lets it go.

Martin: Sorry.

Louisa smiles at him. It’s been quite an intense few moments. Unable to take it anymore, Martin hurriedly hops up and grabs his suit coat from the back of the chair. An envelope falls from the breast pocket. Louisa carefully bends down and picks it up.

Louisa: You dropped...

She looks at the envelope. It has her writing on it. She realises it’s the letter she wrote Martin when calling off the wedding.

Louisa: What’s this?

Martin: Ah, nothing.

Martin tries to take the envelope from Louisa, but she moves it out of his reach.

Louisa: You kept it?

Martin: Yes.

Louisa: And you have it with you?

Martin: Yes.

Louisa: Why?

Martin doesn’t answer.

Louisa: You should throw it away Martin.

Martin: No.

Louisa: Yes.

Martin: I can’t.

Louisa: Why not?

Martin: I need it.

Louisa: What for?

Louisa stares at Martin. Eventually he replies.

Martin: I need it to remind myself that even if I didn’t make the biggest mistake of my life by sitting glued to the couch on the day of the wedding, things would still be the same. You still wouldn’t be mine. I keep it with the hope that one day things will be different. That one day I will make you happy. I’m miserable without you Louisa. Before I met you I was quite content on my own. Now my life feels empty. I’m nothing without you. So I live each day with your letter and the fragile hope that you’ll love me again and that you’ll allow me to love you.

Louisa stares at Martin, then hold the letter out to him. She is trembling. Martin wraps his hand around hers and the letter.

Louisa: You should keep it.

Martin: You’re shaking.

Martin steps closer holding Louisa’s hand close to his chest.

Louisa: Yes.

Louisa slides her hand out from Martin’s grasp. Martin tucks the letter inside his left breast pocket. They stand of a moment.

Martin: I should go.

Louisa: Thank you Martin.

Martin: I’m here if you need anything.

They again stand looking at each other for a time. Louisa smiles and hesitantly Martin walks to the door. Louisa goes with him. Louisa opens the door to reveal PC Penhale on her stoop, about to knock. It is now dark.

Louisa: Oh! Hello Joe.

Penhale: Hello Louisa. Doc.

Martin: Penhale.

Penhale: Sorry to bother you, but it’s a matter of the law. I’ve been making some enquiries and I noticed Louisa that you’ve visited the Wellness Centre.

Louisa: Yes. I did. (Looking at Martin) Don’t think I will again in a hurry though.

Penhale: Interesting. Why is that then?

Louisa: Oh, nothing. Just I put my neck out is all.

Penhale: You been there Doc?

Martin: Of course I haven’t!

Penhale: Right. Well, I’m just wondering Louisa if you noticed any suspicious behaviour or received any unwanted attention, if you catch my meaning, while you were there?

Louisa: Suspicious?

Penhale: People coming and going from a back room? Trying to coax you to go into the room?

Louisa: No.

Martin: You’re joking!?

Penhale: I never joke about the law Doc.

Martin: What were they doing?

Penhale: Seems Portwenn has become the epicentre of an amateur and rather disorganised drug ring. Marijuana. Non-medicinal purposes, if you take my meaning.

Louisa: (Almost impressed by the revelation) Really!?

Martin: They were stoned!

Louisa: Who was?

Martin: My last six or so patients.

Penhale: I’ll need their names Doc.

Martin: Mm. They’ll be long gone.

Penhale: And Louisa, if you think of anything useful...

Louisa: Sure Joe.

Penhale: I’ll be off then. Sorry to disturb. Night all.

Louisa: Night Joe.

Martin: Yes. Goodnight. Oh, PC Penhale?

Penhale: Yes?

Martin: You should talk to Pauline.

Penhale: She’s been dabbling has she? Right-o Doc.

Martin: No. But she may be able to help.

Penhale: Thanks for that Doc. I’m off then.

Martin and Louisa are left in the doorway looking at each other.

Louisa: Well there you are then.

Martin: Yes. Who’d have thought the people of Portwenn needed to be any more subdued or lose any more brain matter? No wonder I didn’t work it out – it was hard to tell the difference.

Louisa: That’s a bit harsh Martin. I’m from Portwenn. Do you think I’m subdued and brain dead?!

Martin: No.

Louisa: And you’d have to say you’re from Portwenn now, wouldn’t you?

Martin: Yes, I suppose so.

They stand looking at each other for a moment.

Martin: Well. I should go. Goodnight Louisa.

Louisa: Goodnight Martin.

Martin reluctantly turns and walks off down the street. Louisa leans against the door frame, watching him go, biting her lower lip. As he strides off, Martin places his right hand on his left breast pocket, where he has placed Louisa’s letter. Suddenly, Louisa calls after him.

Louisa: Martin!

Martin stops and turns around.

Louisa: I miss you.

Martin walks back to Louisa and stands before her in the doorway.

Martin: I miss you too.

Louisa reaches down and takes Martin’s (large) hand and leads him inside. The door closes.


Doc Martin
Series Four, Episode Two
“The Calm Before the Storm”


Scene: Early morning. Martin’s Kitchen. Martin is preparing an espresso. Aunty Joan walks past the window and waves. She then knocks at the kitchen door and enters.

Joan: Morning Marty.

Martin: Aunty Joan.

Joan: Glad to see you’re alive and well.

Martin: (confused) Yes. I am.

Joan: I called by to see you last night and you weren’t here.

Martin: Ah, no. (Unconvincingly) A, um, medical emergency came up.

Joan: Yes?

Martin: What?

Joan: Your emergency?

Martin: I can’t discuss my patients.

Joan: I see.

Joan stands and stares at Martin with a raised questioning eyebrow.

Martin: Fine. If you must know, Louisa put her neck out.

Joan: Oh, I see! I phoned later also. No answer.

Martin: Well, it took a little longer than expected.

Joan: (suggestively) Mm, I’m sure it did.

Martin: Don’t be crass Aunty Joan. It doesn’t suit you.

Joan: I didn’t say anything!

Martin: We talked. That’s all.

Joan: Quite a lot of talking then, especially for you, gauging by the hour.

Martin: And...if you insist on sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong, we played Scrabble.

Joan: You? Played Scrabble?

Martin: Yes. I’m literate.

Joan: Who won?

Martin: I’d rather not say.

Joan goes and gives Martin a semi-hug. He looks uncomfortable, but has the mere hint of a smile in his eyes.

Joan: I’m so pleased for you Marty.

Martin: Nothing’s changed.

Joan: If you say so. Now what’s for breakfast?

Martin rolls his eyes and tuts.

Scene: Same morning. Louisa’s kitchen. Louisa is boiling the kettle. She crosses to the table where Scrabble is still spread out. She picks up a piece and smiles fondly at the memory. She then begins to pack it all away.

Scene: Morning. Portwenn Surgery Reception Area. Pauline is sitting at her desk, logging into her computer. Martin comes into the reception area from his kitchen.

Martin: Good morning Pauline.

Pauline: Morning Doc.

Martin: Do you have my patient notes for today?

Pauline: No patients today.

Martin: What?

Pauline: You haven’t got any appointments booked for today. No calls. Nothing.

Martin: How is that possible? The people of this village are statistically among the sickest people in the world.

Pauline: I dunno. (Sarcastic) Perhaps you truly are a healer.

Martin: Yes. Well. I guess I’ll be able to catch up on a few other things.

Pauline: You should take up golf Doc. Isn’t that what aging doctors do?

Martin: Yes. Following a little ball around until it falls into a hole would make all the years of hard work worthwhile.

Pauline: There you go then. That’s sorted.

Martin: Just let me know if anyone gets sick.

As Martin turns to leave, the door to the surgery opens. Martin and Pauline turn to look. A frail little old lady walks in.

Pauline: Oh hello Mrs Appleyard! How are you my love?

Mrs A: Oh. Not too good Pauline.

Pauline: Oh dear.

Mrs A: I’ve come to see the Doc. Is he in?

Martin is standing right there, a little put-out at being ignored.

Pauline: You’re in luck.

Martin: What seems to be the problem? Your eyes?

Pauline gives Martin a reprimanding look.

Pauline: You can go straight in. It’s a slow day today.

Mrs A: I tried to call...

Martin: Yes. Pushing those little buttons can be a real trick.

Pauline gets Mrs Appleyard’s notes from the filing cabinet and hands them to Martin, hissing at him under her breath.

Pauline: Behave! (To Mrs Appleyard) Through you go now.

Martin and Mrs Appleyard go through to his consultation room. Al enters the surgery reception.

Pauline: Hello Al! What are you doing here!?

Al: I been trying to call you, but couldn’t get through, so I thought I’d pop in.

Pauline: My mobile’s broken. I told you that.

Al: Yeah, I know. But I’ve been trying the land line here with no luck.

Pauline: Well that’s a bit weird. It’s not like I’ve been on the phone.

Al: Maybe it’s busted. Let’s have a look.

Al picks up the phone and puts it to his ear.

Al: No dial tone.

Pauline: Mm. Odd. The internet’s still working.

Al: It’s on a separate line.

Al lifts the whole phone from the desk and pulls the chord up also. The whole cord comes up. It is not plugged in.

Pauline: Oh no!

Al: It’s all right. We’ll, just plug it back in. No drama.

Pauline: (worried and amused) Yeah, but Al, we haven’t had any calls for days! Who knows how long it’s been unplugged. The Doc’s got no appointments!

Pauline giggles nervously.

Al: Whoops.

Scene: Martin’s consultation room. He is talking with Mrs Appleyard.

Martin: I really think it’s best if you get this seen to as quickly as possible. I’ll phone ahead to the clinic in Truro and let them know to expect you.

Mrs A: Thank you Doctor.

Martin picks up the phone and puts it to his ear. He then holds it away, hangs up and tries again. Still nothing. He catches on to the fact the line is dead.

Martin: (yelling) Pauline?!

Pauline: Bit busy out here Doc.

Martin sticks his head out of the consultation room to see Al bending down, plugging the phone back in.

Martin: (menacingly) Pauline! What have you done?!

Scene: Afternoon. Exterior Portwenn Grocery Store. Martin is leaving the store as Louisa is entering. They meet in the doorway. Louisa takes a step back to allow Martin out. They are clearly pleased to see one another.

Louisa: Martin!

Martin: Louisa. Hello.

Louisa: Heya.

Martin: (pointing to the arm full of books Louisa’s carrying) You’re, ah, back at work?

Louisa: Yeah. Shaping young minds once again.

Martin: And how’s your neck?

Louisa: Feeling much better. Got a great night’s sleep. First time in ages. You could have slaughtered a pig and I wouldn’t have roused.

Martin: Mm, delightful image.

Louisa: Sorry. How are you?

Martin: Well, apart from still believing I was cheated in Scrabble...

Louisa: I won fair and square Martin.

Martin: Yes. Well, next time I’m bringing my medical dictionary.

Louisa: (pleased) Is there going to be a next time?

Martin: Well...yes. I think a rematch is in order don’t you?

Louisa: Fine. I’m not intimidated.

Martin: Perhaps you should be.

Louisa: So when is this rematch to be held then?

Martin: Um, Friday night? Your place?

Louisa: I’ll be there...obviously.

Martin: I’ll look forward to victory then, then.

Louisa: As will I.

Martin: Good.

Louisa: Great.

Martin: See you then.

Louisa: Bye.

They stand looking at each other, each reluctant to be the first to leave.

Martin: Right. Friday then.

Louisa: Yes.

Louisa smiles and gives a little wave. She then walks off away from the grocery store. Martin looks at her with a perplexed expression and raises a questioning finger.

Martin: Ah, Louisa?

Louisa, who is walking away from him, stops in her tracks and turns around.

Louisa: Oh, I forgot...

Martin: Your groceries.

Louisa: Yes.

She gives an embarrassed smile and walks past Martin into the grocery store. He gives a nod and then walks off with his head held high.

Scene: Evening. Portwenn Pub. Louisa orders a glass of wine at the bar and is making her way to a table outside when Martin’s father, Christopher Ellingham, bumps into her, spilling her wine.

Louisa: Argh!

Christopher: Oh. I’m terribly sorry.

Louisa: (Brushing herself off) No. That’s ok. Accidents happen.

Christopher: Let me get you another. White wine was it?

Louisa: It’s fine. Really.

Christopher: I insist. What kind of gentleman would I be if I let a beautiful woman go thirsty?!

Louisa: (blushes) Well...

Christopher: (to the bartender) A repeat for the young lady.

Louisa: Thank you.

Christopher extends his hand in introduction. Louisa takes his hand. He puts her hand to his lips.

Christopher: Christopher Ellingham, by the way.

Louisa raises her eyebrows.

Louisa: (surprised) Oh really!? Hello. I’m Louisa.

Christopher: Well it’s lovely to meet you Louisa.

Louisa: (looking for a spark of recognition) You don’t know who I am, do you?

Christopher: I’m sorry. Have we met before?

Louisa: No, no. It’s just...No. Sorry, my mistake. I just thought...I know your son is all.

Christopher: Ah, yes. I imagine young Marty has made quite an impression on everyone in Portwenn. (Heavy sarcasm) Life of the party I bet?! Charming them left, right and centre.

Louisa is taken a little aback and looks at Christopher with a questioning eye.

Louisa: Well...

Christopher: But let’s not talk about Marty. I fancy you’re much more interesting.

Louisa takes her drink and Christopher guides her to a seat.

Christopher: Tell me, what is it you do in this sleepy little hamlet Louisa?

Louisa: I’m, ah, the Headmistress at the local Primary School.

Christopher: Impossible. Headmistresses are supposed to be hideous old battle axes. You’re far too delightful for that.

Louisa laughs in spite of herself.

Christopher: Have you lived here long?

Louisa: All my life.

Christopher: Really?! I’m surprised I haven’t come across you before. I’d never forget such a lovely face.

Louisa: (with curiosity) You know, you’re nothing like Martin.

Scene: Evening. Martin’s kitchen. Martin is putting away dishes. There is a knock at the kitchen door. He opens it to reveal his father.

Martin: (shocked) What are you doing here?!

Christopher: Well that’s a fine greeting.

Martin: I told you never to come back to Portwenn.

Christopher: Can’t a father drop in on his son?

Martin: Yes. A father can. You can’t.

Christopher: Marty. Water under the bridge.

Christopher walks past Martin and inside. Martin reluctantly shuts the door.

Martin: What do you want?

Christopher: I was in the neighbourhood.

Martin: No you weren’t.

Christopher: I was passing through.

Martin: The road through Portwenn doesn’t lead anywhere.

Christopher: Alright. Fine. I felt it was time to bury the hatchet.

Martin: Great. I’ll just go and get it.

Christopher: No need for violence Marty. I just wanted to say thank you in person for fixing me up.

Martin: It’s a little late for that. That was years ago now.

Christopher: Ah, it’s never too late.

Martin: And I did it for Joan, not for you.

Christopher: Yes. Anyway, how about a drink?

Martin: I haven’t got anything.

Christopher: Luckily I have.

He holds up a bottle of scotch.

Christopher: Got this at the pub. Charged me an arm and a leg for it mind you.

Martin rolls his eyes and goes to get a glass for his father.

Christopher: Well worth it though. Met a beautiful young girl. Friend of yours I gather. The local headmistress.

Martin: (worried) What?!

Christopher: Knocked her drink clean out of her hand.

Martin: Louisa?

Christopher: That’s the one. Said she knew you.

Martin: (seething) You stay away from her!

Christopher: Settle down Martin my boy. We just had a drink.

Martin: Leave her alone.

Christopher: Good Lord Marty, anyone would think you cared.

Martin regains his composure and changes the subject.

Martin: Why are you really here?

Christopher: Not tonight Marty. It can wait. Let’s have that drink.

Martin: You’re not staying here if that’s what you’re thinking.

Christopher: Fine.

Scene: Evening. Louisa’s dining room. Louisa and Martin are sitting at the table facing each other. On the table is a Scrabble board and several books.

Louisa: (amused) Phlegmbosis is not a word!

Martin: It is. It’s the medical term to describe the excessive production of phlegm.

Louisa: Right. Well if you get that, I get eleventy. The five year old term for the number that comes after tenty!

Martin raises an eyebrow.

Martin: I never had you down as a sore loser Louisa.

Louisa: I never had you down as a cheat Martin.

They smile at each other.

Martin: Drink?

Louisa: Yeah, thank you.

Martin gets up to get Louisa a drink, clearly comfortable in her surroundings.

Louisa: I met your dad the other day.

Martin stops what he’s doing.

Louisa: Is he staying with you?

Martin: Ah, no. He isn’t.

Louisa: He didn’t know who I was.

Martin: No.

Louisa: Didn’t you ever tell him we were engaged?

Martin: No.

Louisa: Why not?

Martin: Because it was none of his business.

Louisa: But he’s your father.

Martin: Yes. But ah, generally we don’t talk.

Louisa: Yes, I know, but I thought...

Martin: (getting a bit short with her) I didn’t want him to spoil things, ok!?

Louisa: Ok.

Martin: I can do that all on my own.

Louisa: (reassuringly) Martin. (After a pause) Why is he in Portwenn?

Martin: I don’t know. (Getting stroppy) Louisa, please. Can we not talk about this right now?!

Louisa: (reprimanded) Yes, alright.

Martin comes back and sits down with their drinks.

Louisa: So, it looks like I’m winning again.

Martin: What!?

Scene: Interior. Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Mrs Tishell is behind the counter when Christopher Ellingham walks in.

Mrs Tishell: Good morning. Can I help you with anything?

Christopher: Mrs Tishell is it?

Mrs Tishell: Yes. That’s right.

Christopher: Christopher Ellingham.

Mrs Tishell puts her hand to her cheek, mouth open in a rather dramatic way.

Mrs Tishell: Well, I must say, as I live and breathe, you’re every bit as handsome as your son! Oh my!

Christopher: Are you all right Mrs Tishell?

Mrs Tishell: Oh, I’ve rarely been better. What can I do for you? Cup of tea? Piece of carrot cake?

Christopher: (bemused) Ah, no, thank you. Just some aspirin.

Mrs Tishell: Certainly. Glass of water with that?

Christopher: No. That’s fine.

Mrs Tishell gets the aspirin and hands it to Christopher.

Mrs Tishell: There you are.

Christopher: I must say Mrs Tishell, the service here is excellent.

Mrs Tishell: Oh, thank you! Now about that cup of tea...

Scene: Afternoon. Exterior. Bert’s Restaurant. Joan is unloading fresh produce from the back of her truck when Christopher walks up.

Christopher: Joanie!

Joan turns around and glares at him.

Christopher: How delightful to run into you!

Joan: I wish the feeling were mutual. You’ve got a nerve coming back here.

Christopher: Come on now Joan.

Joan: Come on nothing. You’re a scoundrel and if I never saw you again I’d be a happy woman.

Christopher: That’s the feisty sister I remember.

Joan: What are you doing here Christopher?

Christopher: I came to see my family. Is that a crime?

Joan: You don’t come to see your family. You come to extort things from your family.

Christopher: I was in a pickle Joanie. I had no choice.

Joan: We always have a choice.

Christopher: Anyway, I’m here now, so there’s no changing that fact.

Joan: Yes. Unfortunately.

Christopher: Truce?

Joan: Never. (Relenting a little) Have you seen Martin?

Christopher: I have. He was just as welcoming as you.

Joan: I can imagine.

Christopher: He’ll come around.

Joan: No, I doubt that.

Christopher: So what’s the story with him and the school teacher? He was very protective of her. Practically bit my head off when I merely mentioned her name.

Joan: You don’t know?

Christopher: Know what?

Joan: They were engaged Christopher.

Christopher: (disbelieving) You’re joking!?

Joan gives him a look to confirm it is true.

Christopher: You’re not joking. My God! I underestimated the boy. Lord, how did he manage that?! Saw sense before the deed was done did she?

Joan: I really don’t know.

Christopher: Just as well for her sake hey Joanie?!

Joan: He cares a great deal about her Christopher and you should respect that.

Christopher: Yes. Yes of course. (Still disbelieving) The old dog hey!?

Scene: Evening. Bert’s Restaurant. Martin and his father are sitting at a table having dinner. Bert comes to the table.

Bert: Evening Doc.

Martin: Bert.

Bert looks from Martin to his father and back to Martin.

Martin: Ah, Bert, you remember my father, Christopher Ellingham.

Bert: Pleased to see you again Sir. Bert Large at your service. I take it everything is to your satisfaction this evening.

Martin: Yes. It’s all quite tolerable.

Christopher: So this is your place? Very impressive Bert.

Bert: Thank you very much. If you require anything at all you just give me a holler. (Noticing their water jug is empty) I’ll just get you a fresh colander of water.

Martin: A carafe Bert.

Bert: If you’d prefer Doc.

Bert goes to get the water.

Christopher: So you were engaged?

Martin snaps to attention.

Martin: Who told you that?

Christopher: Joan. Fine thing when you have to find out your own son was engaged from someone else.

Martin: I’d prefer you didn’t find out at all.

Christopher: My God, she’s a beauty Martin. And you let her get away?

Martin: Yes.

Christopher: Saw sense did she?

Martin: We both did.

Christopher: Really? Well, I’m sure it was fun while it lasted, but a good decision in the end. After all, you’re not really husband material are you Martin my boy?

Martin listens with a concerned frown on his face.

Christopher: You’d have made her miserable at the end of the day, sad and sorry sack that you are. Drain the life right out of her. Extinguish the sparkle in her eye. It’s what happened to me and your mother.

Martin: I’m not you.

Christopher: No. But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Trust me Martin; inevitably it would have happen to you too. It’s not worth the heartache. Watching someone go from loving you to loathing you isn’t easy. Not marrying Louisa is probably the kindest thing you could have done for her. And yourself.

Martin: (annoyed) You don’t know anything about Louisa, or me for that matter.

Christopher: Perhaps not. But I’m only saying this because I care.

Martin: You don’t know what it is to care.

Christopher: And you’re an expert are you?

Martin: No.

Christopher: Just think about it Martin.

Martin: Mm.

Christopher: (obviously feeling a little awkward) Speaking about caring, I know you may not, but I have news about your mother.

Martin: You’re right. I don’t care.

Christopher: Regardless, you have a right to know – she’s not well Martin.

Martin: (with a mere hint of concern) What’s wrong?

Christopher: She has cancer. Of the liver. It’s secondary. They’re talking months at best.

Martin: Right.

Christopher: I can tell you where she is...

Martin: (distractedly) Right.

Christopher: Just let me know.

Martin: (still staring into space) Yes.

Christopher: Are you ok?

Martin: Fine.

Christopher: If you’d like to know more...

Martin: No.

Christopher: Right then. (After a silence) Does this place have a loo or should I have brought my own bucket?

Martin: Round the back, past the kitchen.

Christopher stands and heads to the toilet. Martin stares blankly, lost in thought. Bert comes back with the water.

Bert: Alright there Doc? You don’t look so good. There’s no blood in the food. I checked it myself.

Martin: Well things are looking up. The food is fine Bert. I’m fine.

Bert: Right then. Well if you need anything else...

Martin: No. I don’t need anything.

Scene: Exterior. Day. The fish market. Louisa is completing a purchase when Martin rounds the corner. They see each other. Martin, however, on seeing Louisa, turns to go back from where he came. Louisa does a little double take, and then calls after him.

Louisa: Martin!?

Martin stops and turns but does not change his course.

Martin: (distractedly) Ah, hello Louisa.

Louisa: (concerned) Are you alright Martin?

Martin: Yes, fine.

Louisa: Didn’t you see me?

Martin: (still looking like he wants to run away) Ah, no. I have to...

Louisa: I was just wondering if you’re still coming to the barbeque at the school tonight?

Martin: Ah, tonight. I can’t do tonight. Something’s cropped up.

Louisa: What’s cropped up?

Martin: Sorry. But it’s...ah...more important.

Louisa: (indignant) Oh. Right. Well if it’s more important!

Martin: Yes. It is. Sorry. I, um, have to go.

Louisa: (confused) What’s happened Martin?

Martin: (short) Nothing’s happened. It’s just that there are things in life that are more important than sitting around eating burnt sausages on stale bread and listening to duelling banjos.

Louisa: (hurt & perplexed) Ok. Right. Another time then.

Martin: I don’t know. Perhaps.

Louisa: Well... See you Martin.

Martin: Yes. Goodbye.

Louisa walks off, looking back over her shoulder, clearly at a loss as to why Martin was treating her so coldly. Martin glances at her, then curses under his breath.

Scene: Evening. Exterior. Portwenn Primary School grounds. A good crowd of adults and children have gathered. There is a live folk band, people are dancing and eating. Louisa is happily chatting to people. Aunty Joan is sitting at a table eating her barbequed food. Louisa goes up to her.

Louisa: Hello Joan.

Joan: Louisa!

Louisa: It’s a lovely evening. Glad you could come.

Joan: I never miss it!

Louisa: Impressive turn out this year.

Joan: I thought Martin was coming with you?

Louisa: He was. But something more important came up apparently.

Joan: Well, you know Marty. Not really his scene is it?

Louisa: No. I guess not.

Joan: Never mind.

Louisa: I met Martin’s father the other day.

Joan: Ah yes. Christopher.

Louisa: He’s like the anti-Martin isn’t he?

Joan: Yes.

Louisa: All charm and flattery.

Joan: (with clear distaste) Yes. Not an honest bone in his body.

Louisa: (shocked by the venom in Joan’s voice) Oh.

Joan: He doesn’t deserve to call Martin his son.

Louisa: What? Why?

Joan: And Martin’s mother is worse. Vile woman.

Louisa: (very curious) Really? How so?

Joan: I take it Martin hasn’t spoken of them much.

Louisa: No not really. Just the odd comment here and there. I mean I know they don’t get along too well.

Joan: Well, it’s not my place to say anything.

Louisa: Would that be why Martin was acting a little bit strangely today? Because his father’s here?

Joan: I dare say it is.

Louisa: Right.

Louisa looks across the harbour in the direction of Martin’s Surgery.

Scene: Same evening. Exterior Doctor’s Surgery. Martin is standing out the front of the Surgery, gazing across the harbour at the school, full of life and action. He is holding a cup of tea. He looks down at it sadly, then back at the school. He turns and goes back inside, closing the door behind himself.

Scene: Day. Interior. Portwenn Primary School. Louisa is sitting with a student who is doing some cutting, guiding him.

Louisa: You need to turn the paper Kenny, not your scissors. It’s much easier that way. (He does) There you go! Well done.

Another student approaches Louisa. He is wearing a paint smock and carrying a paint pot that has two brushes sticking out of the narrow opening in the lid.

Louisa: William! Paint stays in the painting area!

William: But Miss...the brushes are stuck!

Louisa: I’ll help you in the paint area.

William: Look...

William pulls on the two brushes at once. The brushes and the lid come flying out of the paint pot, splattering Louisa with purple paint. It’s on her arm, her top, in her hair and in her eye.

Louisa: William!

William: (very sheepishly) Sorry Miss.

William beats a hasty retreat to the paint area and a teaching assistant, Karen, comes up to Louisa.

Karen: Ew. Purple. That’s not going to come out easily.

Louisa: It’s in my eye.

Karen: And your hair!

Louisa: Yes, thank you Karen! Can you handle this lot for a minute while I go and clean up? Andrew’s next door if you need anything.

Karen: Yes. Of course.

Louisa leaves the classroom.

Scene: Portwenn Primary School Staff Room. Louisa is trying in vain to get all the paint off her clothes and out of her hair. Another teacher, Mary Gordon, comes over.

Mary: Lordy, what happened to you?!

Louisa: Workplace hazard I’m afraid. Have I got it off my face and out of my hair?

Mary: Yes. Your eye doesn’t look too good though. It’s going a little red and puffy.

Louisa: Yeah, got a bit of paint in it. I’m sure it’ll settle down.

Mary: (pointing to Louisa’s arm) You missed a spot.

Louisa: Thanks.

Scene: Exterior. Street a short distance from Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Louisa is walking towards Mrs Tishell’s and PC Penhale is wcoming toward her in the opposite direction. They meet.

Penhale: (noticing her eye) Ew, that looks nasty.

Louisa: Yeah, well the other guy looks worse.

Penhale: Did you get an ID on him?

Louisa: No. I was joking Joe. I’ve just got something in it.

Penhale: Oh right. Sorry. Always a policeman I’m afraid. Just can’t turn that off.

At that very moment two teenagers scream by, one yelling at the other.

Teenager: I’m gunna kill you!

Louisa looks on with concern. Penhale doesn’t even notice them.

Louisa: (pointing in the direction they teenagers ran) Ah, Joe...

Penhale: Can be a real curse at times. Everything starts to look like a crime. Innocent people on the street start to take on the characteristics of hardened felons.

Louisa: Mm, I see.

Penhale: Well I’ll let you sort that eye out. Off to see the Doc are you?

Louisa: Ah, no. Mrs Tishell.

Penhale: Right then. See you later.

Louisa: Yes. Bye Joe.

Penhale heads off in the opposite direction to that which the teenagers took. Louisa raises her eyebrows at him and then heads for Mrs Tishell’s.

Scene: Interior. Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Martin is collecting an order.

Mrs Tishell: There you are Doctor Ellingham.

Martin: Thank you.

Mrs Tishell: I met your father the other day.

Martin: Yes, well, that’s hardly my fault now is it?

Mrs Tishell: Such a charming man.

Martin: Yes. Could charm the birds out of the trees I’m sure.

Mrs Tishell: (with emphasis) He stayed and had a piece of carrot cake.

Martin: Well good for him Mrs Tishell. One less piece you’ll try and force on me I suppose. Now I really must be off.

As Martin turns to leave, Louisa enters. Her eye is looking rather red and inflamed.

Louisa: Oh, hello Martin.

Martin: What’s wrong with your eye?

Louisa: Nothing.

Martin: You look terrible.

Mrs Tishell: (under her breath with a roll of the eyes) Finally he realises it.

Loiusa: It’s fine.

Martin: It’s not fine.

Louisa: I got paint in it.

Martin: Well you have to get it out again! You run the risk of developing all sorts of irritations and infections and possibly permanent damage.

Louisa: Yes. I know. I tried to get it out. I was just coming to get...

Martin: Come up to the surgery and I’ll flush it out properly for you.

Louisa: Well, I don’t...

Martin: Yes, you do.

Martin strides out and calls to Louisa.

Martin: Come on.

Louisa shrugs at Mrs Tishell.

Mrs Tishell: It seems you’ve been summoned.

Louisa: Yes.

Louisa leaves. Mrs Tishell watches her go.

Mrs Tishell: Lucky thing. If only I had a bit of paint in my eye. Never mind.

Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Louisa is lying on the examination couch. Martin is leaning over her, looking in her eye. He is being very businesslike with her.

Martin: Well. I think that’s got all of it.

Louisa: It was non-toxic.

Martin: That doesn’t make any difference. Your eye will reject any foreign body – toxic or not.

Louisa: Mm.

Martin begins to clear up. Louisa sits up and watches him.

Martin: You’re all done. You can go. I’ll need to check on you...your eye...tomorrow, just to ensure the inflammation has settled.

Louisa: Ok.

Martin continues to busily arrange things. Louisa watches in silence. After a few moments, she speaks.

Louisa: Martin? Is everything alright?

Martin: (not looking at her) Yes. Fine.

Louisa: It’s just you seem a little distracted. And well...over the last couple of weeks I got the feeling we...well...that things were going...Have I done something wrong?

Martin: No.

Louisa: So, why...

Martin: (with no emotion & continuing to clean) My, ah, mother is not well.

Louisa: Oh.

Martin: She has cancer. Secondary cancer of the liver. It doesn’t look good.

Louisa: Martin I’m sorry.

Martin: Yes.

Louisa: How do you feel?

Martin: I’m relieved.

Louisa: Relieved?!

Martin: Did I stutter?

Louisa: Why are you relieved?

Martin: Well...I thought my father had bad news.

Louisa: (disbelieving) And that’s not bad news?

Martin: Well, it’s not good news for her obviously.

Louisa: And for you?

Martin: I guess I don’t really care.

Louisa: Martin! She’s your mother! She’s dying! How can you not care?!

Martin: (turning to her and using a slightly patronising tone) Sometimes, Louisa, the best thing you can do is not care.

Louisa: I don’t believe that. I don’t believe you believe that either.

Martin: Don’t tell me what I believe.

Louisa: It’s ok to care Martin.

Martin: It’s a risk.

Louisa: A risk worth taking.

Martin: Not always.

Louisa: (sad concern) What did she do to you Martin?

Martin: Nothing.

Louisa looks at Martin with genuine concern and affection. He continues to move busily around the surgery while talking.

Louisa: So what? You just turn it off?

Martin: The more you care Louisa, the greater the potential for hurt.

Louisa: Well, yes. But pretending you don’t care doesn’t actually mean you don’t care. You still care, even if you try to tell yourself you don’

Martin: (bamboozled) Pardon?

Louisa: I don’t know. Caring doesn’t have to end badly.

Martin: (finally stopping and looking at Louisa) It did for us.

Louisa: (challenging him) Who says it’s ended?

Martin: You did for one.

Louisa: No I didn’t.

Martin: You did.

Louisa: When?

Martin: We made the right decision Louisa. We don’t belong together.

Louisa: Why?

Martin: You want me to be something I’m not. You want me to change.

Louisa: I don’t want you to change!

Martin: You do. You want me to care for one. That’s not me.

Louisa: No. This is not you. You’re pushing me away. Why? What are you afraid of?

Martin: I’m not afraid of anything. I’m just not like you. I don’t need to care. I don’t need to smile and laugh and placate people with insincere platitudes. You do. You need their approval. I don’t need their approval. I don’t want their approval.

Louisa: What about my approval?

Martin: (after a pause) I don’t need or want your approval either.

Louisa: (hurt) Right then. Well, I hope it doesn’t disappoint you too much, but I still care about you and I care whether or not you care about me.

Martin: You shouldn’t.

Louisa: And I’m here if you need anything.

Martin: I don’t.

Louisa: Fine. Well. I guess I should go.

Martin: Yes.

Louisa: I’ll see you tomorrow.

Louisa rushes out of the consultation room. Martin speaks to the empty room.

Martin: Sorry.

Scene: Next day. Interior Portwenn Primary School. Headmistress Office. Louisa is sitting at her desk resting her head in her hands, staring blankly. There is a knock at the door. Louisa slowly comes back to reality.

Louisa: Come in.

It’s one of the other teachers, Mary Gordon. She walks in holding out some paper work to Louisa.

Mary: Here’s that planning you were after.

Louisa: Oh right. Thank you Mary.

Mary: Your eye looks a lot better today.

Louisa: Yeah.

Mary: Did you go to the Doc after all?

Louisa: Unfortunately.

Mary: Oh.

Mary has no idea what to say next. She stands awkwardly. Louisa isn’t really paying attention, clearly distracted with thoughts of Martin.

Mary: Anyway. Today’s a new day I guess.

Louisa: (snaps out of it) Yes. Sorry Mary. I’m just feeling a bit...Well, thanks for the planning.

Mary: Will you be alright?

Louisa: Yeah. Fine. Thanks. I may just take a walk.

Scene: Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk talking to PC Penhale. They are running through hypothetical, gruesome crime scenarios. Martin comes out from his consultation room and goes and put some files into the filing cabinet near Pauline’s desk. He glances at them with distaste.

Pauline: Multiple contusions to the head, broken arm, found at the bottom of the stairs.

Penhale: I’m thinking crime of passion. Pushed down the stairs in the heat of the moment.

Pauline: Perhaps. But can we just assume that?

Penhale: Well, you know what they say about assuming.

Pauline: No. What?

Penhale: I don’t know. I was hoping you could tell me.

Martin: You’ll make an ass out of you and me.

Pauline: Are you calling me an ass?

Penhale: That’s not on Doc.

Martin: No. It’s what happens if you assume.

Penhale: Assume what?

Martin: It’s the letters. (Frustrated) Never mind. Honestly, I mean you look like normal enough people... but you are actually (he walks back into his office trailing of a list of derogatory comments).

Pauline: It’s best not to engage him. Bit like a dog – never look him in the eye, it only provokes him.

Scene: Exterior. Hill outside the Portwenn Surgery. Louisa is heading up the hill. Penhale is heading down the hill.

Penhale: Hello Louisa. The eye looks much better.

Louisa: Yeah thanks. Just going to get the all clear now.

Penhale: Tell me Louisa, if you were going to commit a crime of passion, would it be pushing someone down the stairs or something a little more...oh...I don’t know...reliable?

Louisa: (looking worriedly at Penhale) Um...not too sure about that Joe. Can I get back to you on that one?

Penhale: Sure. No problem. Take your time.

Louisa: See you.

Penhale: Yes, see you later.

Louisa continues to walk toward the surgery and Penhale away from it.

Scene: Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her computer. Martin comes out to her.

Martin: Pauline! Where are the rest of my notes for this afternoon?

Pauline: On your desk.

Martin: No they’re not.

Pauline: Yes they are. I put them there.

Martin: Well they’re not there now.

Pauline: (snaps) Right!

Pauline stomps into Martin’s office. Then stomps back out again empty handed.

Pauline: Right. Well obviously you’ve put them away again.

Pauline opens the filing cabinet and gathers some notes together. She hands them to Martin, who fixes her with a stare.

Martin: It would be more efficient to have a monkey in charge out here.

Martin returns to his office. Pauline yells after him.

Pauline: You’re welcome!

Pauline sits back at her desk. The door to the surgery opens and Louisa walks in.

Louisa: Hello Pauline.

Pauline: Heya. He’s not in a very good mood I’m afraid.

Louisa: Oh right. Thanks.

Pauline: You can go through.

Louisa gives Pauline a brave smile. She goes and knocks on Martin’s consulting room door.

Martin: (barks) Yes.

Scene: Martin’s consultation room. Louisa opens the door and sticks her head in.

Louisa: Martin?

Martin: (turns and immediately softens. He checks himself, however, and is very short when he speaks) Come in.

Louisa: How are you?

Martin: Have a seat.

Louisa is a little taken aback by his tone, but continues.

Louisa: I’ve been worrying about you Martin.

Martin: Well don’t. Let’s look at that eye.

Martin pulls his chair close to Louisa’s and examines her eye.

Louisa: I was thinking...

Martin: Well there’s your first mistake.

Louisa: (stung, but continues) ...that if you’d like, I could go with you to visit your mother.

Martin pushes his chair back from Louisa and looks at her with much anger.

Martin: No.

Louisa: It’s not a 24 hour tumour Martin. You’re going to have to deal with this.

Martin: (staring at Louisa) Your eye is fine. You can leave.

Louisa: (calmly) Don’t do this Martin.

Martin: Do what?

Louisa: Why won’t you talk to me?

Martin doesn’t respond.

Louisa: What’s changed?

Martin: Nothing’s changed. I told you yesterday, and for your own sake you really should listen to me, I don’t need you.

Louisa: Why are you doing this to us?

Martin: There is no us.

Louisa: (challenging him) Why isn’t there?

Martin: We are no good together Louisa.

Louisa: Yes, we are.

Martin: We’re very different people.

Louisa: We’re not that different.

Martin: We want different things.

Louisa: No we don’t. I don’t accept that.

Martin: The truth is...

Louisa: Yes?

Martin: The truth is...(unconvincingly) I’m over you.

Louisa: You’re over me? What does that mean? You’re over me? What are we? Teenagers? Are we in school?

Martin: You exhaust me. I can’t take night after night of playing happy couples.

Louisa: So you’d rather spend night after night alone?

Martin: You know that about me. Don’t act surprised. People bore me.

Louisa: Well make up your mind Martin, do I exhaust you or do I bore you?!

Martin: Over time you’d discover the same thing. I can’t be the sort of person who goes to dinner parties and laughs obsequiously at banal humour.

Louisa: And you think that’s who I want you to be? I don’t want you to be anyone but yourself.

Martin: This is who I am. And you’re better off without me Louisa.

Louisa: No I’m not.

Martin: (more softly) And I’m better off without you.

Louisa: What about the things you said the other week? You kept my letter. You wanted me back.

Martin: (almost tenderly, in contradiction to his words) I wanted to conquer my failure Louisa. I wanted you to want me again. And you did.

Louisa: No. You’re lying. This isn’t you. Something’s making you act like this.

Martin: (getting angry) You’re making me act like this. You could have left when I told you to, but you don’t know when to stop. You keep doing this Louisa. You just can’t leave things alone. Why do you have to try and fix everything? Did you ever stop to think perhaps I don’t want to be fixed? Or did it ever cross your mind that perhaps the problem isn’t me? Perhaps the problem is you!?

Louisa: (losing her composure) Why are you doing this? Why are you being like this?

Martin: What am I doing?

Louisa: You’re being cruel and horrible.

Martin: I’m not being cruel and horrible. I’m being honest. I’d expect you to know the difference.

Louisa: You’re being hurtful. Can’t you see that?!

Martin: I’m not going to lie just to appease you. And I’m sorry Louisa, (clearly not wanting to say it, but doing it to push her away) but I really don’t want anything more to do with you.

Louisa: (not wanting to believe it) You don’t mean that.

Martin: I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I don’t mean to hurt you Louisa.

Louisa: Well congratulations, you’ve done it all the same.

Louisa rushes out, upset. As she pulls open the door, we catch a glimpse of Pauline racing back to her desk. Martin talks to the empty room.

Martin: Sorry.

Scene: Joan’s farmhouse. Kitchen. Evening. Joan is clearing up after a meal. There is a knock at the door. She goes to answer it. It is Louisa. Joan is clearly surprised to see her.

Joan: Louisa!

Louisa: (Louisa is a little distressed and uncomfortable at being there) Hello Joan. I’m so sorry to disturb you.

Joan: No, that’s fine. Come in.

Louisa: Thank you. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out here.

Joan: Yes. Far too long in my opinion.

Louisa: (stalling) So, ah, how are you?

Joan: I’m fine my dear. How are you seems to be the more pertinent question?

Louisa: I’m sorry Joan, I just didn’t know who else to turn to.

Joan: What’s the matter?

Louisa: I’m not doing too well. It’s Martin.

Joan: Of course it is. What’s he done now?

Louisa: He’s pushing me away. And I’m worried. I’m worried that...I’m worried he might mean it when he says...What am I doing wrong? Things were...

Joan: Louisa, slow down. You’re not making sense.

Louisa: Joan, I know you said it wasn’t your place, but I need to know. What happened with Martin and his parents? He’s only started behaving this way since his father showed up and his mother’s sick, but he’s acting like it means nothing to him. Why?

Joan: You’re right. It’s not my place, but I’ll tell you this much...He’s a damn fool if he pays any attention to a word his parents say!

Louisa: Why? What happened?

Joan: Ever since he was a boy, they made him feel like he wasn’t wanted, wasn’t loved. His mother resented his very existence – put him in boarding school, sent him here for holidays. It’s hard to overcome being rejected by your own parents; not feeling worthy of the one love that should be unconditional. He most likely doesn’t feel he deserves your love either. And if Christopher has been in his ear, I’d say he thinks he’s doing the right thing pushing you away. He’s still a scared little boy deep down – afraid of being rejected. But if he rejects you first he doesn’t have to face that possibility.

Louisa: But I’m not going to reject him.

Joan: You did once.

Louisa: Well yes. But it was his decision too. And at the time it was the right decision.

Joan: Yes. I’d say he did what he thought was best for you.

Louisa: (with spirit) You know, I’m sick of hearing that! I should be the one to decide what’s best for me.

Joan: Well go on then!

Louisa: (losing her bravado) What do I do?

Joan: Call him on it. Show him how foolish he’s being. Let him know you’re going to fight.

Louisa: What if he doesn’t listen?

Joan: Would you rather not try?

Louisa: No.

Joan: Right. Well go on then!

Louisa: (determinedly) Ok! I will! Thank you Joan. I’m sorry again to have disturbed you.

Joan: You’re welcome anytime.

Louisa: See you later then.

Louisa turns and heads to the door. Joan stops her.

Joan: Louisa?

Louisa turns back to Joan.

Joan: Whatever happens, never doubt for a minute that you’re very special to Martin.

Louisa smiles.

Louisa: Thank you. I need to hear that.

Louisa gives a little wave and leaves, closing the door behind her. Joan looks concerned and speaks to herself.

Joan: Oh Marty. What have you done?!

Scene: Interior. Morning. Martin’s Kitchen. Martin is at the sink when Joan walks past the window, doesn’t knock, just pushes open the door and comes in.

Martin: Oh right. Come in then. Given up knocking have we? I mean honestly Aunty Joan, do you not have your own home?

Joan: Martin Ellingham, you’re a bloody idiot!

Martin: What have I done?!

Joan: Tell me this – do you admire your father?

Martin: No.

Joan: Do you aspire to be like him?

Martin: No.

Joan: So why in good God’s name are you listening to him?!

Martin: Aunty Joan, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

Joan: Louisa.

Martin: What about Louisa?

Joan: Don’t play dumb with me Marty.

Martin: I’m not.

Joan: You deserve to be happy and if it’s Louisa who makes you happy, and I dare say it is, don’t miss this second chance. You may not get a third.

Martin: And what about her?

Joan: She deserves to be happy too. She’s an intelligent grown woman Marty. She’s not going into this blind. She knows what you’re like – truly like.

Martin: But...

Joan: You can keep pushing her away. Lord knows I can’t stop you, and you can tell yourself you’re doing it for her good, or that you don’t care, can take a chance. Risk being happy Marty. Allow yourself that.

Martin:’s not...

Joan: It’s your life Martin. I’ve said my piece.

Joan turns and leaves. Martin calls after her.

Martin: Aunty Joan?!

Joan does not stop. Martin is left to ponder her advice.

Scene: Interior. Day. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk talking to Christopher Ellingham. No one else is there. We join them mid conversation.

Christopher: Yes, a forty-five foot luxury catamaran.

Pauline: Oh, nice. I can just picture you out on the open seas. It’d be such an eyesore!

Christopher: Pardon?

Pauline: (quickly) I mean sight for sore eyes! Sorry!

Christopher: (smiling uncertainly) Yes. Shall I go through then?

Pauline: Yeah, go through. He’s probably in there playing Pacman if I know the Doc!

Christopher clearly thinks Pauline is insane.

Christopher: Right. An experience as always Pauline.

Scene: Interior. Day. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Martin is sitting at his desk writing up patient notes. There is a knock at the door.

Martin: Yes.

His father walks in.

Martin: (short) What are you still doing here? You said what you needed to say; now you can pack up your horse or your donkey, or whatever it is that brought you here, and leave.

Christopher: (false concern) Where does all this anger come from Martin?

Martin: You know damn well where it comes from.

Christopher: Yes. You’re like a blasted elephant you are. Don’t forget a thing.

Martin: I wish I could forget like you.

Christopher: We’re not going to talk about this now.

Martin: What shall we talk about then? My failure as a surgeon? My failure as a son? My failure with finance? My failure as a fiancé?

Christopher: (laughing it off) Marty, you’re too hard on yourself.

Martin: You need to leave, I have patients.

Christopher: No you don’t. The waiting room is empty.

Martin: Right. Well I’ll leave.

Christopher: You’re acting like a child Martin. And you thought you were ready to get married.

Martin: That doesn’t have anything to do with this?

Christopher: It doesn’t? And anyway, you couldn’t even go through with it.

Martin: Does it bother you that I couldn’t go through with it, or that Louisa chose to be with me in the first place?

Christopher: You’re dementing Martin. It doesn’t bother me at all!

Martin: I think you can’t stand the idea that Louisa chose me. After all, who’d choose a failure like me? Especially when Mum chose to leave you.

Christopher: Don’t be ludicrous. And she didn’t choose you. She rejected you, just like everyone else.

Martin: (absolutely livid) You know nothing about it!

Christopher: (trying to calm things down) Martin. This isn’t how I wanted things to be. You’re angry now, but I’m leaving the day after tomorrow and I’d like to have dinner tomorrow night before I go.

Martin: I don’t think so.

Christopher: I’ll be at the pub from six. If you’re there, you’re there. If you’re not, you’re not.

Martin goes and opens the door and stands back.

Martin: Goodbye.

Christopher: Tomorrow night. Six o’clock.

Christopher goes out the door and turns to say something else. Martin shuts the door in his face.

Scene: Exterior. Portwenn School. The children are leaving for the end of the day. Louisa is rather impatiently ushering them out the door. Martin happens to be across the road and, upon seeing Louisa, hides himself from view and watches her.

Louisa: Right. Off you go. Quick sticks now. See you later.

Young William walks past, eyes cast down.

Louisa: William! A smile before you go please.

He looks up at Louisa and smiles, still a little embarrassed. She smiles back at him. William is the last student to leave.

Louisa: (to herself) Right! Things to do.

Louisa returns inside. She has not seen Martin. He continues to stare at the spot she has now vacated. Louisa then appears in the classroom, visible from the street. She looks up and out at Martin. He is unaware she is looking at him. Martin turns and leaves. Louisa gives a confused shake of her head, then begins to pack up things in the room.

Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery. Martin’s consultation room. Martin is sitting at his desk facing Bert.

Bert: The thing is Doc, I think I might still be depressed or oppressed or stressed.

Martin: Who’d have guessed?

Bert: So what’s wrong with me? I changed my lifestyle. I even lost a little bit of the blubber.

Martin: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but clearly you’re thinking too much Bert.

Bert: Me? Thinking too much?

Martin: Yes. I know, it’s hard to believe. Generally it appears you don’t think at all. You’re bored Bert. You haven't learnt from your past mistakes. You’re life has become repetitive again.

Bert: Repetitive you say?

Martin: Yes. Repetitive.

Bert: Repetitive you say?

Martin: (barks) Bert! All you need to do is break you’re routine slightly and add interest to what is otherwise perhaps the dullest existence known to man. And I don’t mean change careers!

Bert: Right. Break the routine. Stop thinking.

Martin: Preferably not all together.

Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Late Afternoon. Pauline is at her computer. There are a couple of patients waiting. Louisa bustles in, clearly on a mission, talking to Pauline as she strides by.

Louisa: Is he in Pauline?

Pauline: Yes, but...

At that moment Martin follows Bert out of his consultation room. Louisa pushes past the Bert, turns Martin around and pushes him back into the consultation room.

Bert: Louisa.

Louisa: Bert.

Scene: Interior. Same moment. Martin consultation room.

Martin: Louisa, what on earth do you...

Louisa closes the door.

Louisa: Right. I’ve had enough of this Martin. We need to sort it out once and for all.

Martin: Sort what out?

Louisa: I’m not your mother Martin.

Martin goes to say something, but Louisa continues before he can get a word out.

Louisa: I care about you. You. The actual you. As you are now. I want to be with you. I like having you around.

Martin again goes to say something, but Louisa cuts him off.

Louisa: And you’re not your father. You’re a better man than he could ever be. You hide it well, very well in fact, but you’re kind and caring and thoughtful. Admittedly, you are rude.

Martin: (finally getting a word in) Well...

Louisa: You can keep pushing me away, but I’m not going to give up that easily. I made that mistake once and I’m not going to make it again.

Martin: It...

Louisa: It’s you that I want. That I need.

Martin: You don’t need me.

Louisa: How about you let me be the judge of that.

They are looking intently at each other.

Martin: (childishly defiant) Well, I don’t need you.

Louisa: No. You probably don’t.

Martin: (with no conviction) And, I don’t want you.

Louisa walks closer to him.

Louisa: I don’t believe you.

Martin is now cornered.

Martin: Anyway, this, ah, isn’t a good time. Um, you should go. I, ah, have patients.

Louisa places her hand on the side of Martin’s face, then moves it to the back of his head.

Louisa: Is that what you want?

Louisa stands on tip-toe and kisses Martin’s neck.

Martin: (pleading) Please Louisa.

Louisa: Maybe it’s time you took a risk Martin.

Louisa kisses Martin beside the mouth.

Martin: You don’t want to do this.

Louisa: Yes I do.

Louisa kisses Martin on the mouth. He is tentative initially, then relaxes, placing one hand on the side of Louisa head, tangled in her hair, and the other hand on the small of her back. He pulls her close. After a time, Louisa pulls away, but they still hold each other. She smiles contentedly.

Martin: Yes. Well, I’m glad we got that sorted out then.

Louisa: I’m not sure it’s fully sorted.

She kisses Martin again. Unaware, tangled together, they begin to head toward the closed door that leads to the reception area.

Scene: Same moment. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk and a couple of patients are waiting. There is a thump against the consultation room door, which causes Pauline to give a slight jump of fright. She gets up and goes to the door to listen. She puts her hand to her mouth to smother a giggle. She then turns to the patients in the waiting room.

Pauline: Ok everyone. Sorry. Surgery’s cancelled for this evening. Sorry Mrs Nicholls. I’ll call tomorrow to schedule another appointment. Off you go then!

Pauline musters the patients out the front door. She then goes back to the consultation room door to listen again.

Scene: Interior. Same moment. Martin consultation room. Louisa and Martin are leaning against the door to the reception area, kissing. Louisa pulls away and speaks weakly.

Louisa: I, ah, have to go actually.

Martin: (disappointed) What?

Louisa: We’ve got a parent night at the school.

Martin: Oh.

Louisa: Can I come back?

Martin: Always.

They stare at each other. Martin is gently tracing the line of Louisa’s jaw with his thumb.

Louisa: I guess I could be a little late.

Martin: I can write you a Doctor’s Note.

Louisa: Yes.

They kiss again.

Scene: Next day. Interior. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Al is behind Pauline’s desk looking at the computer. Pauline is talking to him in conspiratorial tones.

Pauline: Next thing there’s a bang against the door.

Al: (pointing to the consultation room door) That door?

Pauline: (with a laugh) Yes! I had to clear the waiting room!

Al: No way. Not the Doc. Who’d have thought?!

Pauline: I know! Can you believe it? All very...

Martin comes out of the consultation room and Pauline quickly shuts up.

Martin: Hello Al.

Al: Hey there Doc. Just doing your monthly service.

Martin: Yes. Good. Carry on then. Could you check the phone lines too please Al? They’ve been playing up apparently.

Al: Ha! Right. No problem.

Martin: Good. Pauline? A word.

Martin extends his arm to indicate he’d like to see Pauline in his consultation room.

Pauline: (under her breath) Oh boy. (Out loud) Yes. Ok.

Pauline goes through to Martin’s consultation room.

Scene: Same time. Interior. Martin’s consultation room. Pauline enters followed by Martin, who closes the door.

Martin: I was thinking Pauline...

Pauline: (dubiously) Yes...

Martin: That perhaps I did put those patient notes away in the filing cabinet the other day.

Pauline: (shocked) What?!

Martin: I may possibly have inadvertently put them back, prior to actually seeing the patients.

Pauline: (like she’s talking to a small child) Are you trying to apologise to me Doc?

Martin: Yes.

Pauline: (with a chuffed smile) Aw! That’s so sweet.

Martin: (embarrassed) Yes. Well. That’s all.

Pauline: Very good Doc.

Pauline goes and opens the door to reception. She turns back to Martin.

Pauline: Or maybe Doc, I didn’t put them on your desk. I guess we’ll never know.

Martin nods and Pauline smiles, then goes back to Al. We hear her in the background.

Pauline: How’s that phone Al?

Scene: Exterior. Evening. Martin and Louisa are walking toward the pub together. They are, once again, very comfortable in each other’s company.

Martin: I’m only going to make sure he really leaves.

Louisa: It’ll be fine.

Martin: I have no expectation beyond the evening being soul destroyingly painful.

Louisa: Well, with an attitude like that...

Martin: If you expect nothing from people, you’ll never be disappointed.

Louisa: Mm, very cheery!

Scene: Same time. Interior, Portwenn Pub. It is very full. All the regulars are there, including Pauline, Al, Bert, Penhale and Martin’s father. Louisa and Martin enter from the alley outside.

Martin: Oh God. The whole asylum is here!

Louisa: (smiling) Be brave.

Christopher approaches them, sizing up Louisa.

Christopher: Martin my boy. Glad you decided you could make it after all.

Martin: Yes.

Christopher: And the very beautiful head mistress.

Martin rolls his eyes.

Christopher: Are you joining us Louisa?

Louisa: Yes. I hope that’s alright?

Christopher: A delightful surprise. In more ways than one. Let’s sit. I’ve reserved a table.

They head for a table. Time lapse to a little while later. Martin, Louisa and Christopher are sitting at the table finishing off their food. We join them mid conversation.

Christopher: (telling a tale about Martin) So he spent the whole evening wearing two different shoes!

Christopher laughs. Louisa smiles reassuringly at Martin. Martin is not impressed.

Martin: I need the lavatory.

Martin get’s up and leaves the table. Christopher looks at Louisa and smiles.

Christopher: So? You were engaged to my son?

Louisa: Yes.

Christopher: Wise decision not to go through with it.

Louisa: Pardon?

Christopher: Now don’t get me wrong Louisa. I want the best for my son, but you clearly deserve better. He’s not good enough for you.

Louisa: (shocked) Excuse me!?

Christopher: He’s a selfish being. Always has been. Not his fault I guess, but there you are.

Louisa is speechless. She shakes her head trying to come to terms with the fact that Christopher would talk about Martin that way.

Louisa: I don’t think...

Christopher: Don’t want to abandon you my dear, but I think I best use the little boys’ room too.

Christopher gets up and leaves the table. Louisa is still smarting.

Louisa: I’ll show him not good enough!

Martin returns to the table. Before he has a chance to sit down, Louisa grabs him by the hand and drags him across the room toward the door leading into the alleyway outside the pub.

Martin: Louisa! What are you doing?

Louisa: Just come on!

Scene: Same moment. Exterior. Alleyway outside Portwenn Pub. Louisa is dragging Martin out of the pub.

Martin: Have you taken complete leave...

Louisa stops and turns to Martin.

Louisa: Do you love me Martin?

Martin: What?!

Louisa: Do you love me?

Martin: What does that have to do with...

Louisa: Just answer the question.

Martin: It’s not that simple.

Louisa: It is that simple. Yes or no?

Martin: Well...

Louisa: Yes or no?

Martin: Yes. You know I do. I love you more than anything else in life. I didn’t know it was possible to love anything as much as I love you. I’ve loved you since the moment you questioned my ability to be a GP in this god forsaken crack in the earth. And with each passing day I love you more. You’re my last thought as I go to sleep at night and my first thought when I wake up in the morning. I’ll always love you.

Louisa: (moved) Oh.

She looks as if she may cry, but then shakes her head and snaps out of it.

Louisa: Right. Good. Well stop acting like such a tosser and start acting like you love me!

Martin: (not the response he was expecting) What?!

Louisa: For God’s sake Martin, put your arms around me every now and then, hold my hand, touch my leg. And if you’re feeling really brave, you could even kiss me.

Martin: But...

Louisa: Just do it!

Martin: Our private concerns...

Louisa: (threateningly) Martin!

Louisa strides off, back into the pub. Martin looks around, somewhat shocked. A moment later Louisa reappears.

Louisa: By the way, I love you too.

She goes over and gives Martin a big bear hug and a great smacker of a kiss on the cheek.

Louisa: Let’s go back.

Martin: I suppose you expect me to hold your hand?

Louisa: I’ll make it worth your while later.

Martin takes her hand and they go back inside the pub.

Scene: Same moment. Interior Portwenn Pub. Martin and Louisa walk in hand in hand. Martin’s father observes them, noticing the intimacy of the hand holding. They return to the table.

Christopher: Everything alright?

Louisa: (smugly) Fine.

Time lapse to later the same evening. Martin’s father is talking with Bert. Martin and Louisa sit at the bar on stools facing out into the room. Christopher is keeping an eye on them.

Martin: Louisa?

Louisa: Yes.

Martin: I’d, ah, like it if you would come to see my mother with me.

Louisa is moved. She smiles at Martin with a mixture of joy and sadness. She nods.

Louisa: Of course.

Martin places his hand on Louisa’s leg. She covers it with her own hand and squeezes tight. Martin leans into Louisa and they share a single tender kiss. Martin’s father watches and then turns away, head downcast. Martin continues to hold Louisa’s hand and they smile warmly at each other.