Dr. Mateo is a Spanish TV series produced by Notro Films for the Spanish network Antena 3, which premiered on February 22, 2009. It is based on the British series Doc Martin, which gained high audience levels in several countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy and Australia.
We first see Mateo Sancristóbal as a Spanish doctor working in New York. He is a very well respected surgeon and an extremely proud man who completely lives for his work. During a tricky operation he is splattered with blood and develops Hemophobia (blood phobia). He is distraught and decides to leave everything and settle in the small town of San Martín del Sella in Asturias, Spain. There he begins a new life as the town’s doctor and quickly gets to know the weird and wonderful locals.
This Spanish TV series follows the day to day occurrences in San Martín del Sella and treats the viewer to some amazing Asturian scenery and some impressive acting, especially from lead character Mateo Sancristóbal, played by Gonzalo de Castro. De Castro was awarded the “TP de Oro” for “Best Actor” on Spanish television in 2009 and is a joy to watch. De Castro’s character, Dr Mateo, is a strict and uncompromising man, suffering from Asperger Syndrome and obsessed with tidiness and order. His communication problems with the nosey locals and his off-on romance with beautiful school teacher Adriana Pozuelo (Natalia Verbeke) are central themes in the series. He is apparently unable to share his life with anyone but himself.
Other key players in the series include Alfredo Escobar (Alex O’Dogherty) the town policeman, Tia Juana (Rosario Pardo) Mateo’s aunt and local greengrocer, Elena (Maria Esteve) the baker and girlfriend of Alfredo, Carol Diaz (Lulu Palomares) the town radio presenter, Tom Pellegrini (Daniel Freire) an ex-rocker and local bar owner, Marga (Hope Pedreño) Mateo’s receptionist, Riqui (Gonzalo Kindelan) the radio technician and bartender at the tavern and Pedro (Rodrigo Castellanos) the son of Elena who strikes up a friendship with Mateo based on their love of zombie movies.
Where many other Spanish TV series have fallen by the wayside, Dr Mateo has maintained a firm grip on its prime time Sunday evening family slot. It is truly a great show. The production is quirky and clever and the acting, from almost every single player, is sublime. Highly recommended!