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Portwenn Online
A Magical Cornish Village
Doc Martin is
IN
Gold Buddha
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One thing on the show that has really intrigued fans is the Gold Buddha who seems to travel all over the
surgery.  The most interesting thing I discovered when I was doing this Buddha project was that there
are apparently two Gold Buddhas.  One has an attached base and the other one does not.  The base
does not look like something that can be removed because twice now we have seen someone pick it up
from the top and the base remains firm.  The two have been swapped back and forth - including within
the same episode!

I also discovered that the Gold Buddha is not the only Buddha in the surgery. There is also a large White
Buddha and several smaller ones.  All of these also travel around the surgery, so there is a White
Buddha page and a Small Buddhas page.
Click photos to enlarge - click again to close
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Series 1
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Episode 1

In Episode 1 we see a glimpse of Martin
unpacking the Gold Buddha and placing it on the
wooden cabinet next to the door.
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The Gold Buddha moved around quite a bit in the first 4 series.
It starts out in the Consulting Room on a table between the two back windows, but
then pops up in other locations - including one entire series in the living room.

In Series 5, when Martin moves back into the surgery, it finds a (mostly - see S6E3)
permanent place on the cabinet behind his desk.  
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Episode 2

It stayed between the back
windows for the whole series.
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Episode 3
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Episode 5
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Episode 4
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Episode 6
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Series 2
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Episode 2

This is the only time the Gold Buddha is located
anywhere other than the Consulting Room.  For the
whole series it was placed in the Living Room.
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There are no scenes shot that show
this area in Episodes 1, 3, 5 & 7.
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Episode 4
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Episode 6
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Episode 8
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For the Christmas Special filmed between
Series 2 and Series 3, the Gold Buddha
was moved back into the Consulting
Room and placed on the mantle.

But, for the first time we have the Gold
Buddha with no attached base.
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Series 3
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Episode 1

The Gold Buddha was moved to the mantle in the
Consulting Room in the Christmas Special, and
remained there for all of Series 3.  For the entire
series it sat at the far left side of the mantle.

Again, all through Series 3 it was the
Gold Buddha with no base.
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 5
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Episode 4
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Series 4
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Episode 1

For Series 4, the Gold Buddha with the attached
base is back.  It's also back on a table between
the two back windows.  In Series 1 it sat on the
left with a brass banker's lamp on the right.  
This series it sits on the right with a different,
silver finish banker's lamp on the left.
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 5
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Episode 4
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8

In this episode, Martin has packed up the office
and the Gold Buddha prominently sits at the top
of one of the last boxes to go.

We see it being carried toward the moving van
when Martin takes it from the mover and tells
him, "It's valuable."  He then straps it into the
back seat of the Lexus.  
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Twice in Series 4 we see that the Gold Buddha
with the base is all one piece because it's
picked up from the top and the base remains
firmly attached.

At the right Martin picks it up from the mover's
box.  The inset at upper right (from Episode 1)
shows Edith handling it with the base attached.
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Series 5
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Episode 1

Driving back to Portwenn from the hospital, the
Gold Buddha is still strapped into the back seat.  
However, it appears it now may be the one without
the base (compare to the one as Martin is racing to
get to Louisa in S4E8 in the inset).

Once Martin and Louisa move back into the surgery
in Episode 2, the Buddha (with no base) is installed  
behind Martin's desk.  With a couple of minor
exceptions, it will remain there through at least
Series 7.
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Episode 2

The Gold Buddha is now on top of the wooden box
on the right side of the cabinet behind Martin's
desk.  In one scene in this episode, it mysteriously
moves down to the cabinet top on the left side.

In Episode 3 it returns to the top of the wooden
box and remains there for the rest of the series.
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Episode 4
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Episode 3
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Series 6
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Episode 1

In this series, the Gold Buddha continues to sit at
the right side of the cabinet behind Martin's desk,
but on top of a different, shorter wooden box.  It's
still the one without the base.  It does move a little
bit from side to side - sometimes to the right of the
painting and sometimes in front of it.

However, in Episode 3 it plays a little game of
hide and seek!
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Episode 2
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 3

In the opening scene, the Gold Buddha is in it's
proper place for this series.
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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But in the next Consulting Room scene it has
disappeared.  The books are gone, the wooden
box is in the middle of the cabinet, and a
turquoise vase is in the spot at the right.
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The next time we can see into the room, it is back in
it's normal place, but now its the one with the base
attached.
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In the last scene of the episode it is missing again
and the turquoise vase is back.
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Series 7
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Episode 1

At the beginning of this series, the Gold Buddha is
still at the right side of the cabinet behind Martin's
desk, but it's now sitting right down on the surface
instead of on top of a wooden box.  And now it's
back to the one with the base.

At least for the first 3 episodes...
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Episode 2
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Episode 6

Still on the left side, but now it's back to the one
without the base.
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Episode 7

Based on 2 glimpses, it still appears to be the one
without the base.
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Episode 4

The first time we see the Gold Buddha in this
episode it has changed places with the wooden
box on the cabinet and is now on the left side.

But not only that - it's now the one without the
base.  You can see the difference when you
compare to the adjacent books.  The books come
up to just above the elbow on the one with the
base.  They come all the way up to the neck on
the one without the base.
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But later that day - note that Martin and Peter are
wearing the same outfits - the one with the base is
back!  
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Episode 5

Still on the left side and still the one with
the base.
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Episode 3
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In Episode 8, there is only one
scene in the Consulting Room and
there is no angle that shows that
area of the room.
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There may also be a couple of slightly
different Gold Buddhas with bases.

Take a look at these two closeups
when Martin grabs it from the box and
then straps it into the Lexus.

Are the bases the same?
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Series 8
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Episode 1

The Golden Buddha was back in its regular spot in the
Consulting Room behind Martin's desk at the start of
Series 8.  

For all of Series 8 it was the one with no base.
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Episode 2
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 4

In this episode the Buddha has disappeared.  Later
in the episode we catch a glimpse of it in the dark
back right corner on top of the tall secretary.  It
remains there the rest of the series.
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 3
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No camera shots in that area in
Episode 8
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In Episode 1 we had the best closeup ever when the
Curate asks about the Buddha and then makes
reference to it having become one of the most
popular ornaments to keep in the home.

Is this a hidden message to us?