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.

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 :wink:

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


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

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.

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 :smiley:

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.

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”;

… 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.

i watched the whole first series on netflix =) and really enjoyed it.

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! :smack:

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.

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.

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.

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.

The first season is available for free on 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.

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.

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.

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 :smiley: 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!

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.

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

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.

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.

—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.

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.