Duelling Docs



By Belinda Young

On Screen they are Bitter Rivals but behind the scenes they are the best of mates…

Trembling with rage Erik Thomson slams his fist into Martin Lynes face. Martin stumbles, dazed from the blow, and then with a grunt gives Erik a taste of his own punch. The director calls “cut” satisfied with the performance. In seconds the intense anger which had suffused the faces of both actors has disappeared, they walk away together congratulating each other on mastering the choreography of their fight scene.

It’s fortunate that neither Erik (Dr Mitch Stevens) or Martin (Dr Luke Forlano) are the stringent followers of method acting. If they stayed in character, working life would be unbearable, with the guys competing over everything from who has the best lines to who has the most adoring female fans.

This however, is not the case. While on-screen the rivalry between their characters has escalated, behind the scenes thier own friendship is blossoming. “My only fear with Erik coming on was that he might get all the good storylines,” Martin says. “But he helped my character evolve by giving him some friction.”

Considering their track record, it’s amazing the two can even look at each other. When they worked on Pacific Drive together a few years ago, their characters also resorted to trading blows.

Outwardly the tension between surgeon(Luke) and physician(Mitch) results from working under a different medical philosophy. While Luke believes in curing with a scalpel, Mitch sees surgery as the last option. However, both Erik and Martin agree that there are also more personal and deep-rooted reasons for the angst.

“It leads off to two guys roughly the same age, who are both doctors. There is certianly and ego thing happening.”

“They hide behind the fact that it’s a medical rivalry but it actually goes a lot deeper than that,” Erik says.

“There is that professional thing,” Martin agrees. “But I think the main thing with Luke is that before Mitch he was the main man. Then Mitch arrives and everything changes.”

Off Screen, The All Saints docs may be the best of mates, and they may even surf together, but TV WEEK senses that a little of the Mitch and Luke rivalry remains, especially when it comes to who throws the better punch.

“Me,” Martin is quick to say. “He may have thrown the first punch but I threw the last and finished it, so I reckon I came out looking better. I win!”

Transcript of Magazine Article by Annie 6th July 1999
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