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.
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.
ROLL OPENING CREDITS
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 honey...holiday?
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?
Bert: The Doc.
Louisa: There is a new Doc?!
Bert: (confused) No.
Louisa: Then who’s having the party?
Bert: The Doc.
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.
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.
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: Has she seen the Doc yet?
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.
Pauline pokes her head in the door.
Martin looks up from what he is doing, slightly impatient, as Pauline enters.
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?
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
Joan: Not perhaps. Do it!
Martin: Right. I’ll see you tomorrow then.
Joan: Yes, you will.
Martin goes to leave.
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...
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.
Bert: You’ve got final numbers then Doc?
Martin: Yes. It hasn’t changed.
Bert: Louisa couldn’t come then?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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 the...um...other 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Louisa does not stop or turn around. Martin quickens his pace.
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?
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...
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.
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) He...is...such...a good...doctor.
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 with...you 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 think...do you think he was pleased I wasn’t there?
(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.
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: Ah...no. 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.
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.
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: (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 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 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.
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.
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: 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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: So are you going to take my blood then? No Pauline?
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 appears to be listening intently to something.
Martin points to his ear.
Martin: Race three. Royal Ascot. Sky Sports Racing.
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.
Martin: I should have your results in a day or two, so I’ll let you know.
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 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.
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: 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.
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 the...well...you know?
Martin: No. I don’t know.
Louisa: The new...well...Wellness Centre. And I was on the , um, thingamajig...
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?
Martin: Tingling? Pins and needles?
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 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?
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?
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: 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.
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?
Louisa: And you have it with you?
Martin doesn’t answer.
Louisa: You should throw it away Martin.
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 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.
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?
Penhale: People coming and going from a back room? Trying to coax you to go into the room?
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?
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?!
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.
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.
ROLL CLOSING CREDITS