Doc Martin: Series 5
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"Sweet, stirring, and completely addictive" —Slate
He’s surly, tactless, self-centered, and uptight—but he’s the only doctor in town.
"Full of lovable oddball characters" —Los Angeles Times
Fatherhood hasn’t softened the dour Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes, Men Behaving Badly). He’s about to take a new position in London when events conspire to keep him in Portwenn. His infant son with Louisa (Caroline Catz, Murder in Suburbia) needs a name, his replacement doesn’t seem up to the job, and he receives devastating news. Like it or not, he’s stuck in the scenic Cornish village with its quirky inhabitants—most of whom have grudgingly grown rather fond of the grumpy doctor. Although Martin has largely mastered his fear of blood, he still has no clue how to manage his life. How can he cope with sleepless nights, an aunt with issues, a flaky new receptionist, Louisa’s hippie mother, and the usual village dramas? This season, Emmy® winner Eileen Atkins (Cranford) joins the cast of the award-winning British drama.
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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.
Some of the characters are unbelievable, in a good way. They are caricatures of those people you encounter daily. Average to less than average people that tend to get in your way. Doc's receptionist is the medical receptionists from down under and I do not mean Australia. She is not intentionally malevolent, but she is so in a benign way.
I used to live in a small fishing village and know that this series is not that far from reality.
I cannot believe the characters, but yet I can because I know people like this and they are painted with a complexity that incorporates humor and human frailty. Then there is Doc who has the emotional presence of a sea monster, but every once in awhile he cracks and shows that indeed he is human.
Then there is Doc's girl friend who seems like such a nice woman, but you cannot quite get your hands around the fact that she doesn't give up on Doc and sees something in him that few others can see.
It's light, sometimes it will bring a tear, but mostly you will see the humerus side of life in a small village.