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Lets Hope this is not the Last of Doc Martin
on November 1, 2011
Two years on from Series 4 Doc Martin has returned to our screens and this series was well worth the wait. Formerly a highly successful surgeon who has developed a phobia for performing operations and in particular to the sight of blood, Doctor Martin Ellingham has started a new life as a GP in the quiet Cornish village of Port Wenn in the UK. However, having absolutely zero people skills and a nonexistent bedside manner, traits which extend to his personal life and in particular his relationship with his former partner, the long suffering Louisa, his dealings with the locals are somewhat uneasy.
The last series ended with Doc Martin wondering whether to move back to London, or stay in Port Wenn to support Louisa who has just given birth to their child. However, Doc Martin is less than impressed with his replacement as GP, and predictably decides to stay on. Quite a number of the plots this time round feature the rather haphazard child minding arrangements for the baby, and at one stage this is subcontracted out by Louisa's mother to some teenage girls at the bargain price of £2 (about $3) an hour! The climax to this series again revolves around the baby, but we do not have a cliffhanger ending this time round which I was grateful for as this always seems somewhat contrived.
Port Wenn is a quiet, country village and nothing of great significance seems to happen for a lot of the time. When something out of the ordinary does happen, it is played out to the full. For example, one episode is based on Bert Large, the restaurateur, borrowing £1,000 ($1500) from a wheelchair bound loan shark and his dim son, and being concerned about unspecified `repercussions' in the event of non repayment. However, much of the charm of this show lies in the gently eccentric characters who abound in Port Wenn. This time particular mention should be made of Morwenna, the Doc's new and somewhat scatty young receptionist who clearly does her best - Bless! Louisa's mother, who has rather eccentric views on keeping babies quiet and the rather stoic Aunt Ruth are also strong characters worthy of mention.
Yet again Martin Clunes excels as Doc Martin, playing the part with a largely expressionless face except for the odd twinge of exasperation or irritation which occasionally crosses his brow. He has made this part his own and you really cannot imagine anyone else as Doc Martin. There seems to be some doubt as to whether there will be a sixth series and certainly there has been no announcement so far. I think it will be a real shame if we have to make do with the 37 episodes to date, 8 of them from the latest series, as I would think this show has the potential to run and run.