By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Sigourney Weaver guest stars on the British dramedy “Doc Martin.” The film icon and award-winning actress (“Avatar,” the “Alien” movies) plays an American tourist who visits the sleepy seaside community of Portwenn where she is sent to the irascible physician’s practice to get a prescription refilled. Once there, she argues with the Doc (played by Martin Clunes) over what kind of medication she needs and is appalled at the way the doctor speaks to his assistant, ultimately offering up advice on how to stand up to him. All of this is icing on the cake for Martin after he and his wife tell their therapist about a recently failed date night, which leads to the couple questioning their ultimate compatibility.
Earlier this year Clunes explained that he met the award-winning actress on a British talk show, and she revealed to him that she was a fan of the series. She also is a close friend of “Doc Martin” cast member Selina Cadell, who plays Mrs. Tishell, the town pharmacist on the show.
“My wife (writer/producer Philippa Braithwaite) was at the chat show, and afterwards we were yakking away and Sigourney said, ‘You’ve got to get me in it,’ so we wrote this little self-contained story that would only took two days to shoot, half expecting her not to be able to do it, but lo and behold, she did turn up,” said Clunes.
Clunes, 54, said it was delighted to work with the actress.
“She was just exactly what you’d hope for from a big star,” he said. “She was so nice and gracious and a little nervous. She’d worked hard on her part. She knew her lines. She had worked on her backstory. She was literally everything you could have asked for. It was a joy. I was so excited I fell off my chair twice.”
The episode airs in the Southern California market exclusively on KCET, Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. PT. “Doc Martin” is KCET’s highly acclaimed and top-rated dramedy that stars Clunes as Dr. Martin Ellingham, whose truculence and tactlessness continue to cause mayhem in a small Cornish community. The series details the trials and tribulations of the brash Ellingham, a celebrated London surgeon who is forced to quit his job after developing a blood phobia. Much to his chagrin, he finds work as a general practitioner~in the sleepy village of Portwenn. The series, popular on both sides of the Atlantic, is in its seventh season.