Mac (Green Wing)
|First appearance||Caroline's First Day|
|Last appearance||The Special|
|Portrayed by||Julian Rhind-Tutt|
Often simply referred to as "Mac", Dr Macartney is a surgeon working in the fictional East Hampton Hospital. His early life is not well known - quite a lot about it is a total mystery, and even his first name is unknown (though in series 2, episode 4, his former girlfriend Holly reveals that her nickname for him was once "Paul", while Mac's nickname for Holly was "John", as in Paul McCartney and John Lennon). His relationship with Holly lasted for six years, but they split up four years prior to the beginning of the series when she told Mac that she was going to abort their baby as it would be a "spanner in the works". She has since got married and is expecting a child. However, Holly has now left her husband and has returned to the hospital as a paediatrics registrar. She also tried to get back into a relationship with Mac by lying about her abortion, claiming that she never had it. She also tells Mac that that they now have a son, Mackenzie, who is four years old and has the same kind of hair as Mac. This was later discovered to be false, as Mackenzie was not Mac's son, and Holly had dyed Mackenzie's naturally dark hair red.
Mac is noted for his kindness - he is always willing to help anyone out of a tight spot. If there is a fight, he will always be the one to break it up. If someone is upset, he will try to cheer them up. If someone is being victimised, he will stand up for them. He often has to stand up for junior doctor Martin Dear, who is often bullied by his half-brother Guy Secretan, one incident even resulting in Mac chasing Guy throughout the hospital and hitting his head against a locker in order for him to apologize. He is also very professional, and does not like his team - Guy and the new surgical registrar Caroline Todd - being disturbed.
He has shoulder-length, strawberry blonde hair that one member of staff, Sue White calls the "Lion's mane". Guy often mocks it, saying that the reason he has it long is to "hide his large ears." Sue is just one of the many female members of staff who are attracted to him. Others include Caroline and Emmy, a physiotherapist working in the hospital.
Mac is also noted for his dry sense of humour, a contrast against Guy's outrageous, crude and immature persona. He has a quick wit and is known for his comebacks, namely towards Guy, Caroline and Alan, who clearly does not approve of his sarcasm.
Fluent in French, Mac enjoys intimidating Guy by explaining the history of specific terms including cassoulette and sabot.
In series one, Mac is offered a position as a consultant in Sheffield and was intending to move up there with Emmy; however Caroline manages to win him over. Later that same night however, Mac tries to stop an intoxicated Guy who joyrides an ambulance and eventually crashes it over a cliff, putting Mac into a coma that lasts over two months. When he finally awakens he has completely forgotten the 24 hours before the incident and has no memory of the feelings he had for Caroline.
During the coma, Sue White lies to the hospital in Sheffield and tells them that Mac has died, taking away Mac's precious job opportunity. She also "experiments" and takes some of Mac's semen during his coma and impregnates herself with it through injection, later claiming to be pregnant with Mac's child (she announces this by sawing her way through a table in an Indian restaurant where some of the hospital staff are having dinner). However, the baby turns out to be a lion, probably due to the Lion's mane.
In his spare time, Mac likes to ride his Ducati SuperSport 1000DS motorbike (which he apparently keeps in a hospital lift after placing an "Out of Order" sign on the Call button), but he does have the odd habit of riding it around naked. He also collects Evel Knievel memorabilia. He is a big fan of The Kinks. Another habit he has is making bets with Guy, and constantly proving that he is better than him. He is also known to like Goths, saying what he likes about them is the fact that "they try to pretend to be ugly on purpose." He is also against plastic surgery for reasons of vanity, but not for those people who have had accidents. Mac has also been best man at seven weddings.
His parking space is A3, right next to the hospital, but he does not use it. This angers Alan who only has a reserve parking space away from the hospital, despite his rank as consultant, but nothing he says or does can change this. Mac is apparently entitled to the parking space because he is a surgeon, even though he does not use it. He fills it with sand and has a beach barbecue there with Guy and two bikini-clad women, much to Alan's chagrin.
He was told at the end of the second series he was dying (the name of the cause was later revealed to have an A and an E in it). He was given a month's leave, and when he returned he learned of Caroline and Guy's engagement. However, Guy then allowed Mac to marry Caroline before he died. At the wedding, everyone coughed when Mac's real name was mentioned during the vows, much to Martin's disappointment.
One of the few facts known about his childhood, according to Green Wing - The Complete First Series Scripts was that he watched Fraggle Rock. His favourite character was called Red, because both characters had similar coloured hair.
When Mac first met Caroline, they fail to get on. Mac thinks of her a neurotic and Caroline thinks of him as rude. However, the more they work together, the more they start to like each other. When Caroline is sick at her housewarming party, Mac helps her, and eventually kisses her, after she has been sick.
After her afternoon out with Guy, Caroline decides that it is Mac that she truly loves. However, by the time she asks him out, Mac is already going out with Emmy the physiotherapist, and he is planning to move to Sheffield. When Caroline tells Mac of the supposed crimes Emmy had committed, Mac knew that Emmy had already told him about the other Emily Lewis Westbrook. Luckily though, Mac’s attitude to the false accusation leads Emmy to leave him and for him to embrace Caroline.
Their relationship takes a bad turn however after the cliff-hanging ambulance accident. Caroline constantly visits Mac while he is in a coma, talking, reading and playing music to him. When Mac wakes up, not only does he headbutt Caroline, but he has amnesia and has totally forgotten their relationship. Caroline tries to make him remember, but is not helped by Guy, who tries to interfere. But when Boyce tells Mac what happened before, they make up.
The relationship between Mac and Caroline is strained when Holly arrives at the hospital. Although Holly makes it clear that she is no longer interested in Mac (although secretly she is - the reason she took the job at the hospital was to win Mac back), she lies to Mac about having a son. The revelation leads to Caroline thinking it would be best for him and Holly to raise Mackenzie on their own, and starts going out with Jake. When it is discovered that Holly has lied, she leaves Jake and tries to get back with Mac again, but then Sue tells everyone that she is pregnant with Mac’s child.
Soon, Mac tries to propose marriage to Caroline, by initially asking her if she could swap shifts, then asking if she could move in with him. Caroline later gets a message, seemingly from him, (by model train) that he wants to meet her at the train station. However, Mac learns that he is going to die and rides off on his motorbike. Mac’s supposed failure to turn up leads Caroline to accept Guy’s proposal of marriage. However, Guy then offers Caroline the chance to marry Mac before he dies. Caroline accepts and the two wed.
Guy and Mac have a strong love/hate relationship. They often argue about who is the most important person during the operation. Guy often claims his job of keeping the patient asleep is the most important, whereas Mac takes the view that the actual operation, and his work is more central to the operation. They often play silly games together to prove who is the greatest, such as running through a swimming pool, Guyball and, "The Spoon of Destiny", in which they put a spoon in their mouth and try to fill a bowl of sugar as quickly as they can. Guy even plays Battleships with him when he is in his coma.
Although they get on for most of the time, Mac normally steps in to stop Guy from bullying Martin. When Guy lies to Martin about passing his exams, Mac throws coffee over him and then hits Guy’s head against the lockers, before making the half-brothers hug and make up.
Their most famous bet occurs before Mac is meant to move to Sheffield, when he bets the wages of his first month's consultancy that Guy cannot sleep with Joanna. Guy wins the bet; the incident then leads to the ambulance accident. The tape, which he gives to Martin eventually ends up in the hands of Sue, who uses it a blackmail to make him stop Mac’s relationship with Caroline, which works with only limited success.
When Mac starts to fall in love with Caroline, Guy tries on several occasions to stop him from what he thinks is his attempt at proposing, but they never are. When Mac finally seems to set things up to propose at a station Guy arrives to see what he could have if he "was a bit more ginger". When Mac doesn't show Guy tells Caroline that Mac is "a bloody good guy". Later, he decided to allow Mac to marry Caroline before he died. Guy was also the best man at the wedding.
Mac does not get on well with Alan. Like many of the doctors, Mac often attacks his pomposity and superiority. They often attack each other's hairstyles, Alan mocking Mac’s rather feminine haircut, and Mac making remarks about Alan’s moustache.
Their main argument arises when Alan buys a new car, and is outraged by the fact that Mac has a parking space close to the entrance that he never uses, because he rides a motorbike. Alan tries to do everything possible to get the space but fails. He seemingly wins the argument, when Boyce and Mac agreed to get Alan a better parking space, which results in his car being found in his office. He even goes into an operation which Mac is performing. Alan pulls out a gall bladder and swallows it, but regurgitates it.
Mac knows that Sue is crazy about him, but he shows no such affections towards her. He will do anything to try and avoid her. Sue never tries to stop her plans to marry him however, with her many attempts to murder Caroline and her sexual advances. On one occasion, she takes off all her clothes and waits for Mac to arrive at the office: instead, Alan enters. When Mac does eventually enter, he insists Sue put her clothes back on.
During Mac’s coma, Sue is technically given the opportunity to do all the things she wished to do with Mac that he would not do if he was awake. She conducts her own wedding and even steals some of his semen so that she can make herself pregnant. She succeeds, but in the end she gives birth to a lion named Simba.
In the second series, Mac gets a restraining order against her, and eventually suggests that she finds someone else, a person that will actually love her back. She apparently does, as she is accompanied by another man at Mac and Caroline's wedding.
Mac often ends up helping Martin when he is in trouble, or is being bullied by Guy. When Guy lies to Martin about passing his exams, Mac forces Guy to apologise after Mac pours coffee over him and bangs his head against a locker.
Despite this, Mac still has to step in to help Martin. One such incident occurs when Guy had taped him to the toilet walls.
Martin's reaction to Mac's news of his illness is particularly emotional, culminating in him pitifully wailing "I heart you, Mac!". He later attacks Guy for not showing more sadness at the news, which Caroline overhears.
Mac and Holly had a relationship for six years. They did get on well, even having their own nicknames for each other, "Paul" for Mac and "John" for Holly, after The Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon. However, when Holly became pregnant, and wanted to have an abortion because, "A child is a spanner in the works," Mac tried to stop her. Holly ignored him and had the abortion anyway, causing them to split up.
All the news that Mac now hears about Holly comes from Angela, who is still friends with her. She tells him of her marriage and her pregnancy. Holly then arrives at East Hampton to take over Angela's old job, since she has now split up with her former husband.
During her time at the hospital, Holly lies to Mac about not having an abortion, and tells him that their son is alive. It is later discovered to be part of a plan to make Mac have a relationship with Holly again, and Holly leaves the hospital.
Mac’s major relationship was with Emmy in physiotherapy. They date a few times and are intending to live together when Mac takes a consultancy position in Sheffield. Caroline tries to stop him by accusing Emmy of a string of crimes; however it turns out that they have been committed by someone who has stolen her identity. Mac does not take the incident too seriously, which leads Emmy to leave him.
Mac never visits the human resources department. He is friendly with both Boyce and Angela, with the latter also being friends with Holly.
According to a poll conducted by the British Sitcom Guide, Mac was voted the favourite character in Green Wing. He was also the voted the character most female fans would take on a date.
- "Green Wing Poll". British Sitcom Guide. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2007-09-08.