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  #1  
Old 08-27-2009, 03:17 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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So, does Doc Martin have Asperger's Syndrome?

I don't know how many people here watch this excellent British television series. It's about a brilliant London surgeon who moves to a small village in Cornwall to become a GP. Trouble is, he sucks at bedside manner, as he has no social skills whatsoever.

As I watch the series, and I think I've now seen all the episodes, it seems like they're leading up to this conclusion. At first I thought he was just a self-important dick who had never had to deal with people much, but the episode I watched last night seemed to say otherwise. The teacher Louisa was scolding him to tell him to develop a bedside manner or social ability, and he plainly told her, "Most of the time I don't even know what you're talking about."

So what do you think? They're filming the next series even now.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2009, 02:26 PM
Acorns...but not Bacon Acorns...but not Bacon is offline
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The writers actually touched the Aspergers notion in an early episode -

The gist of the story is a psychiatrist and his new age family move to the town, the pyschiatrist notices Docs..you know..usual behaviour and tells Doc that he thinks Doc has aspergers and suggests Doc recieves help from him, you can imagine Doc's response

Hmm I wonder how many times I can say Doc in the same paragraph.....

Anyway

That makes him sound like a reasonable psych but in the episode he and his family were irritating. And were meant to be.

I've just found the episode summary

Quote:
A family of city slickers seeking a new life by the sea look set to disrupt the tranquillity of Portwenn.
Anthony and Terri Oakwood and their son Sam move in next door to Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz) having bought their house from recently widowed Mrs Averill.
The family is unconventional in their lifestyle and their arrival upsets Louisa, Martin (Martin Clunes) and the other locals.
They manage to gatecrash an intimate dinner Louisa has prepared for her and Martin. With their romantic plans ruined, the disgruntled doctor makes a hasty exit leaving Louisa to deal with the neighbours from hell.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2009, 02:55 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Originally Posted by Acorns...but not Bacon View Post
. . . tells Doc that he thinks Doc has aspergers and suggests Doc recieves help from him, you can imagine Doc's response . . .
Hmm, let me guess -- "Sod off"? "Stuff it, you tosser"?

I guess I haven't seen them all. Here in the U.S., it's unusual that anyone has even heard of this series at all. Only a few episodes have been broadcast so far over public television, so finding and watching all the episodes is a bit of a hunt.

I'm looking forward to seeing this one.

Last edited by teela brown; 08-28-2009 at 02:55 PM..
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2009, 03:16 PM
Acorns...but not Bacon Acorns...but not Bacon is offline
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Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
Hmm, let me guess -- "Sod off"? "Stuff it, you tosser"?
It was actually more of a glare and a general brush off of the suggestion, Martin looked at him like"Everything you suggest is wrong because you are a ignorant tosser." He really can convey that with one look

Last edited by Acorns...but not Bacon; 08-28-2009 at 03:16 PM..
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2009, 06:36 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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I've seen the show several times and I know a bit about Asperger's Syndrome, and Doc Martin doesn't come across as an "Aspergian" to me at all. I think he really is just an arrogant jerk, although a basically good-hearted and well-intentioned one.
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2009, 09:57 AM
imaginer imaginer is offline
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Hey, new here.

Do I have Aspergers syndrome?

I think I do.

I've worried about my behaviour for a while & when my wife talked to her family saying that she was at the end of her tether with me... nothing much came of it but it did make me pause for thought, it made me stop and think.... am I just me, is it just my personality or do I have a mental health issue.

I'm 37 & married with 2 children, the older being 10 & the younger being 9.

They're both great kids.

I wondered if I am autistic & so I took a questionnaire on-line... the results didn't indicate autism... just some mild social phobia.

Then I saw the Doc Martin episode where the psychiatrist guy suggests that Doc Martin may have Aspergers.

Funny thing is... me & my wife like watching the show & we both recognise traits that I & Doc Martin share.

So a search for Aspergers on-line lead me to the Aspergers "quiz";

http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

..... I took the quiz and it just hit the nail on the head... I never knew... nobody ever really had confronted me & said "I think you have a mental health issue"... sure everybody knows that I'm a little kooky... that I can at one moment appear to be fantastic and smart... the next, when it comes to being socially with others...

I just don't know what to do, or how to do it.

If I have Aspergers then I think the Doc has it too..... I think that he is arrogant (And please forgive spoilers, I'll try to avoid too much) in the episodes just now (Nov 2009 in the UK) the issue of Aspergers being coupled with the issues of being an arrogant know it all doctor.

Yes Martin has Aspergers in my opinion..... but not everybody with Aspergers is the same & Doc Martin is a pompous arrogant know it all doctor who has real difficulties when it comes to social interaction... exasperating the situation.

I know I have Aspergers because when given a "questionnaire" when given a "test"... I tense up..... but the questionnaire for Aspergers is called "The Aspie quiz" & suddenly it's not so difficult to complete... suddenly it doesn't seem so daunting.

That's not the only reason I think I have Aspergers but it just seems a very clear indication.
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2009, 10:06 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
Hmm, let me guess -- "Sod off"? "Stuff it, you tosser"?

I guess I haven't seen them all. Here in the U.S., it's unusual that anyone has even heard of this series at all. Only a few episodes have been broadcast so far over public television, so finding and watching all the episodes is a bit of a hunt.

I'm looking forward to seeing this one.
i watched the whole first series on netflix =) and really enjoyed it.
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2009, 10:36 AM
MarcusF MarcusF is offline
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My - admittedly vague - understanding was that Asperger syndrome is a spectrum disorder and assumed that Doc Martin was at the high functioning end of the scale. Having said that the writer varies his behaviour depending on the needs of the plot. One week he is almost without human understanding, the next he is showing compassion for his girlfriend or aunt - or whoever has the interesting illness of the week!

I do remember reading some article (no cite) where the writer said the character was actually based on a number of top surgeons he had know but with the level of arrogance toned down!

To my mind the real star of the show is Port Wen - actually Port Issac - the Cornish village where it is based.
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2009, 03:22 PM
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine is online now
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After reading this thread, I rented the first two seasons from Netflix. The third season doesn't seem to be out on region 1 DVD yet, but I've really enjoyed it so far. Thanks, teela!

During the first season they made his character too inconsistent for an Asperger's diagnosis. Martin would be horrible for the whole episode, but then at the end he would soften up and demonstrate perfectly normal social skills. They got better about this during the second season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusF View Post
To my mind the real star of the show is Port Wen - actually Port Issac - the Cornish village where it is based.
The village is gorgeous, isn't it? We also rented Saving Grace, which isn't a very good movie, but it's filmed in the same village and it's where the Doc Martin character first shows up. He has a totally different personality, though.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2009, 03:55 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Yay, a few more Yanks who've seen it! A couple of women here at work also rented and watched it on my recommendation, and they're totally hooked. I see that KTEH (a PBS channel here in the bay area) is re-showing series 1 again.

U.K. Dopers - so, series 4 is now showing over there. Anybody seen it? Is it still good? I'm hoping it doesn't go all Monk on us and have the main character become a mere caricature of himself.

Yep, Port Isaac is gorgeous. If you track it down on Google Earth, you'll find it's bristling with embedded photographs taken by tourists trying to track down Doc Martin - and they're from all over the world, to judge by the languages in their captions. It must drive Port Isaac inhabitants bonkers.
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2009, 01:21 AM
BlackKnight BlackKnight is offline
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The first season is available for free on Hulu.com: Doc Martin.

I watched the first two (three?) episodes a while ago, but had to stop. There are many good things about the show, but I was getting extremely irritated by his secretary. I wanted so badly to punch her that I just couldn't keep watching.
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2009, 02:31 AM
NineToTheSky NineToTheSky is offline
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Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
U.K. Dopers - so, series 4 is now showing over there. Anybody seen it? Is it still good? I'm hoping it doesn't go all Monk on us and have the main character become a mere caricature of himself.
Yes, I'm watching it. The last episode of this series is this Sunday. It's still carrying on in the same old way. I don't want to give anything away, but there are a couple of strong story lines running concurrently, relating to Louisa and his chosen career path. His character is pretty much the same.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2009, 02:57 AM
Sonnenstrahl Sonnenstrahl is online now
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Originally Posted by BlackKnight View Post
The first season is available for free on Hulu.com: Doc Martin.

I watched the first two (three?) episodes a while ago, but had to stop. There are many good things about the show, but I was getting extremely irritated by his secretary. I wanted so badly to punch her that I just couldn't keep watching.
He got rid of her. The new one is still a bit ditzy, but competent. The first one (I forget her name) bugged me that much, too - if the writers had treated it as just his idiosyncrasy that he couldn't deal with her, I would have turned it off.

I don't know if the doctor has Asperger's, but I do read him as more socially clueless than, say, House. He's arrogant, sure, but I think he also really doesn't realize why some of the blunt things he says are unwelcome.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2009, 07:31 AM
MarcusF MarcusF is offline
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Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
Yep, Port Isaac is gorgeous. If you track it down on Google Earth, you'll find it's bristling with embedded photographs taken by tourists trying to track down Doc Martin - and they're from all over the world, to judge by the languages in their captions. It must drive Port Isaac inhabitants bonkers.
We had never watched Doc Martin before we visited Port Issac in April this year while they were filming the present series. Actually we had never really heard of it! We saw the film crew and asked what was going on and got looked at as though we were mad Of course we had to check it out when we got home and Mrs Marcus was hooked.

It does drive the locals mad - or at least some of them. The others are all too busy making money from the crew and visiting tourists! The Doc's house actually has a sign saying it is a private dwelling, no interior shots are done in the house, and please respect the occupents' privacy. The stangest thing - having watched three series - was that Martin Clunes actually smiled as he walked through the streets!
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  #15  
Old 11-03-2009, 12:33 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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. . . The stangest thing - having watched three series - was that Martin Clunes actually smiled as he walked through the streets!
After watching him in Doc Martin, I tried to watch a few clips of Men Behaving Badly on youtube, but it made me too uncomfortable to see Martin Clunes mugging and doing broad comedy. I far prefer him as the Doc, stodgy and grim though he may be.

However, also on youtube, I found a film of outtakes from Doc Martin. Martin Clunes is a big dog-lover, contary to his TV character. It's fun to see him in some flubbed-up takes with the dog in the series, where he melts from being disgusted in the scene by the dog's presence to hugging it joyfully and giving it a kiss.
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  #16  
Old 11-03-2009, 02:25 PM
kbear kbear is offline
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He hosted Have I Got News for You the other week and it was very strange to see him all shiny and happy.

I get a kick out of the show...didn't realize it ends this Sunday. That's the thing about British television. You just start to get hooked and snap! it's finished!

It seems to me that he suffers from more than just being an arrogant jerk. He clearly has no social compass at all. I'd thought some form of Aspergers
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  #17  
Old 11-03-2009, 02:30 PM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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Rather than watching Men Behaving Badly, watch him in the lovely remake of Goodbye, Mr Chips. I dare you not to cry/get dust in your eye.
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  #18  
Old 11-03-2009, 07:06 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by Lamia View Post
I've seen the show several times and I know a bit about Asperger's Syndrome, and Doc Martin doesn't come across as an "Aspergian" to me at all. I think he really is just an arrogant jerk, although a basically good-hearted and well-intentioned one.
It's been long enough since I posted the above that I've seen quite a few more episodes of the show, and I now feel I could believe that Martin does have (pretty mild) Asperger's Syndrome. I doubt this was intended by the writers, but it's a plausible take on the character.
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  #19  
Old 02-17-2011, 08:36 PM
mommylo mommylo is offline
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Originally Posted by Lamia View Post
I've seen the show several times and I know a bit about Asperger's Syndrome, and Doc Martin doesn't come across as an "Aspergian" to me at all. I think he really is just an arrogant jerk, although a basically good-hearted and well-intentioned one.
---I've seen most of the shows, love it, and also have LOTS of personal experience with Asperger's Syndrome - my son has it. I'm no doctor, but, to me, Doc Martin is TOTALLY Aspie. He's no arrogant jerk, just a prickly personality type. I know other Aspies who are less prickly, more interpersonal, and don't come across as arrogant jerks.

The thing about Aspies is that they do indeed tend to be the smartest of us. Some of them who are more logical come across as arrogant jerks because they are smarter, they know it, and, don't have the social skills to be patient with those who aren't as smart. They don't think they are smarter, they know they are, because, they really are.
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  #20  
Old 02-18-2011, 07:40 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I like the show, but my wife can't stand it, and makes me change the channel. It's odd because we both love British dramas, comedies, and dramedies and she even likes Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served?, which I don't. She also doesn't like Jane Austen adaptations.
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  #21  
Old 02-18-2011, 09:40 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Must have missed this thread first time around. We've been watching the season that's airing presently, but I don't know which season it is. It's the one that has the guy in bondage. From the start of it, it seems to be the first season. Any help?
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  #22  
Old 02-18-2011, 11:07 AM
jasg jasg is offline
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Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
Martin Clunes is a big dog-lover, contary to his TV character. It's fun to see him in some flubbed-up takes with the dog in the series, where he melts from being disgusted in the scene by the dog's presence to hugging it joyfully and giving it a kiss.
He has also done a documentary series (on NatGeo? in the states) named "Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs".

You can also catch him in Shakespeare in Love.
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  #23  
Old 02-18-2011, 05:55 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by mommylo View Post
---I've seen most of the shows, love it, and also have LOTS of personal experience with Asperger's Syndrome - my son has it. I'm no doctor, but, to me, Doc Martin is TOTALLY Aspie. He's no arrogant jerk, just a prickly personality type. I know other Aspies who are less prickly, more interpersonal, and don't come across as arrogant jerks.
I'm surprised that you bothered to bump an 18 month old thread just to disagree with a post that I retracted 15 months ago.
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  #24  
Old 02-18-2011, 11:39 PM
atiragram atiragram is offline
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Doc Martin

It appears to me that Doc Martin has asbergers. He's really a nice fellow who doesn't have a clue as to how he behaves towards others. Also it could be because his parents shut him totally out and seem to have never showed him any affection. Can hardly ait for season five to begin.
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  #25  
Old 02-18-2011, 11:48 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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You can also catch him in Shakespeare in Love.
Oh, damn! How did I not recognize him?
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  #26  
Old 02-19-2011, 05:32 AM
Kim o the Concrete Jungle Kim o the Concrete Jungle is offline
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Originally Posted by Eleanor of Aquitaine View Post
During the first season they made his character too inconsistent for an Asperger's diagnosis. Martin would be horrible for the whole episode, but then at the end he would soften up and demonstrate perfectly normal social skills.
I'd agree with that. I liked the pilot episode, where Doc Martin runs away to Cornwall because his wife cheated on him. But I lost interest when I started watching the series. It didn't seem like the same character, and I couldn't really see any sort of consistent character at all. It just didn't seem to come together.
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  #27  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:19 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Here's the DSM IV on Asperger's Syndrome:

Quote:
(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction
(B) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
(C) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest or achievements with other people, (e.g.. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
(D) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects


(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

(IV) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (E.G. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)

(V) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction) and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
He doesn't have those symptoms. He's just misanthropic.
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  #28  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:21 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim o the Concrete Jungle View Post
I'd agree with that. I liked the pilot episode, where Doc Martin runs away to Cornwall because his wife cheated on him. But I lost interest when I started watching the series. It didn't seem like the same character, and I couldn't really see any sort of consistent character at all. It just didn't seem to come together.
Wait. . .what? I thought he moved because he had a problem with blood? What the hell season am I in, anyway? It opened with Martin moving to this tiny town as a GP, having had problems as a surgeon in London.
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  #29  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:58 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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That's the first season. But there were some pilot movies before that, and in the first one, he finds out his wife is having an affair, so he divorces her and decides to leave London.
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  #30  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:29 AM
stretch stretch is offline
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Never saw a pilot where he was married and ran from his wife. That would make no sense!

The developed fear of blood makes perfect sense for him to give up being a surgeon and moving to be a GP where the only person who cares for him, Auntie Joan, lives. During in the series we discover:

SPOILER:
His mom and dad are asses and his mom hates and resents Martin for being born and causing his father to lose interest in her.
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  #31  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:47 AM
Kim o the Concrete Jungle Kim o the Concrete Jungle is offline
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Originally Posted by stretch View Post
Never saw a pilot where he was married and ran from his wife. That would make no sense!
Hence my problem with it. In the pilot movie he actually has a good reason for being grumpy, ranting and raving in some rather entertaining ways. It was all of the how could she have cheated on me and why didn't I see it coming? kind of stuff. He's a sympathetic schlub.

Come the first series, and the wife is completely out of the picture. But hey, the Doc isn't acting like a new divorcee who'd just uprooted his entire life. There's none of the depression, or soul searching, or desperate "what the heck do I do now?" kind of stuff you might expect. He's still just cranky, and a bit of a douche with it. Not insane "my life is falling apart" kind of cranky, like in the pilot, just low-level background assholishness.

It was a complete disconnect.

Last edited by Kim o the Concrete Jungle; 02-19-2011 at 11:50 AM..
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  #32  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:06 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Originally Posted by Kim o the Concrete Jungle View Post
Hence my problem with it. In the pilot movie he actually has a good reason for being grumpy, ranting and raving in some rather entertaining ways. It was all of the how could she have cheated on me and why didn't I see it coming? kind of stuff. He's a sympathetic schlub.

Come the first series, and the wife is completely out of the picture. But hey, the Doc isn't acting like a new divorcee who'd just uprooted his entire life. There's none of the depression, or soul searching, or desperate "what the heck do I do now?" kind of stuff you might expect. He's still just cranky, and a bit of a douche with it. Not insane "my life is falling apart" kind of cranky, like in the pilot, just low-level background assholishness.

It was a complete disconnect.
I never knew about the pilot about the divorce. I think the blood phobia thing is a good substitute; it caused him to give up his raison d'etre and he had to find a new career in a new town. I do think he becomes more Asbergers-y as the series goes on. He's a bit more human in the early episodes - even cracks a smile now and then.

It looks like more Americans are now seeing this series since I first started this thread, which is great. Now there's someone I can talk to about it! There are four seasons (or series), and I think Clunes has indicated they're going to film a fifth. Yay!

We're watching season one again, too, as it's being shown on our local PBS. I really love the Roger Fenn character - he gives as good as he gets when it comes to scenes with Martin.
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  #33  
Old 02-21-2011, 08:40 PM
Kim o the Concrete Jungle Kim o the Concrete Jungle is offline
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Maybe the best thing would be to think of it as two separate things. There's two Doc Martin's out there in Cornish fishing villages -- the one from the pilot and the one from the series. They just happen to look similar.
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