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‘The Heart Guy’ Doesn’t Seem to Have Much of One, but the Show Does
June 5, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 8 comments

The Heart Guy, a new medical drama from Australia courtesy of Acorn TV, proves you can take the same premise for two shows and come out with almost diametrically opposed results.

The Heart Guy, which becomes available Monday on Acorn and was called Doctor Doctor back in Australia, takes a bloke who was a rock star surgeon in the big city and deposits him in a small village where he must reinvent himself as a general practitioner reduced to dealing with the most trivial of everyday medical complaints.

Anyone who has any familiarity with British TV will note we have just summarized the much-loved Doc Martin.

Like Martin Clunes’s awkward, snappish Doc Martin, The Heart Guy immediately establishes himself in the small village as a jerk. A useful jerk, even a necessary jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.

As our story begins, Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser, top) is an ace heart surgeon in Sydney, with all the arrogance of the most stereotypical surgeon.

He believes he’s the best, which isn’t necessarily a bad quality in his high-wire profession. He also believes the rules don’t apply to him, only to discover after a misadventure involving adult substances that they do.

He is sent to the unsubtly named village of Whyhope, where he is placed under the thumb of Penny (Hayley McElhinney, left), a supervisor who reminds him early and often that being a good lad during his scheduled one-year tour in Whyhope may be his only shot at getting back on the fast track.

Penny has some issues of her own, and she suffers a few serious lapses in the oversight area. It’s still clear that when we get to the “will they/won’t they” sweepstakes, Penny is a potential entrant.

More immediately, Hugh falls in with a young nurse named Aoife (Shalom Brune-Franklin), who has incredibly long hair for a nurse and also has the ticket for Hugh to continue his hard-partying ways.

Hugh’s real complication, though, is his ex-girlfriend Charlie (Nicole da Silva, below), who is now married to his brother Matt (Ryan Johnson). Like the rest of Hugh’s family, they live in Whyhope.

Hugh really likes his brother. He also still really likes Charlie, and she really likes him. They don’t say so because they don’t have to.

Throw in Hugh’s mother, a local councilwoman who has the same attitude toward rules as Hugh, plus Hugh’s evasive father and a bunch of other zany friends and relatives, and you get a medical show that spends far more of its time on complicated and often amusing personal dramas than on medicine.

That’s okay. We don’t need another operating room show, and The Heart Guy often weaves the medical part into the character storylines anyhow.

As this description suggests, The Heart Guy walks a very different path than Doc Martin because Hugh Knight is such a different character.

Where Doc has trouble with people in all situations, Hugh is a born schmoozer. He charms the ladies and, when he chooses, he also charms the men.

Where we feel sorry for Doc, because we know he’d love to shed the hard shell that makes his life much more difficult than it needs to be, we’re more likely to think Hugh deserves what he gets.

Still, we wouldn’t mind seeing him edge toward redemption, if only for the sake of the people around him. That promises to be a slow process.

And no, we probably shouldn’t be looking for a crossover episode with Doc Martin. Each would diagnose the other as a jerk, which we can do easily enough right at home.

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Marie Catherine Gambino
Is the actress playing Charlie in Series 3 actually pregnant in real life and trying to hide the bump?
Jan 10, 2019   |  Reply
Anne Wlodarski
Is the show coming back for a second season?? If so, when??
Dec 11, 2017   |  Reply
Joyce Rime
This show is great. Happy to see there will be a second season.
Aug 22, 2017   |  Reply
Bitsy hall
How many episodes of heart guy is there! We love it
Jun 13, 2017   |  Reply
More please! Loved it!!
Jun 10, 2017   |  Reply
Will there be more episodes of The Heart Guy? Love the characters and see a future for Hugh -- would love to watch it develop. Plus, I love the office administrator played by an Asian actor -- I'd like to see him get "the girl" for once.
Jun 7, 2017   |  Reply
Love the Heart Guy!
Jun 6, 2017   |  Reply
Carleton Carlito
Show starts off with promise then proceeds to get somewhere between infantile and adolescent. Sanctions irresponsible behavior as A-ok and seem very contrived.Too bad...some good moments.
Feb 5, 2022
How many episodes will be on Acorn?
Jun 6, 2017   |  Reply
Carleton Carlito
Oh, forgot the part where all the kids have the answers and the adult indulge
Them instead of giving the the well deserved kick in their arses.
Feb 5, 2022
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