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Dr. Martin Ellingham, a London-based surgeon, relocates to the picturesque seaside village of Portwenn, establishing himself as the area's general practitioner. He grew up in the area having been raised by his now widowed Aunt Joan Norton. His reasons for leaving London and the high-paid life of a consultant are not clear initially but related to a phobia he has recently developed. He soon meets several of the locals and eccentricity abounds. Martin's situation is made more difficult by what can only be referred as an almost complete lack of an acceptable bedside manner. He is gruff, abrupt and intolerant, not only in issues related to medicine, but to life in general. He and the headmistress of the local school, Louisa Glasson, are clearly attracted to each other and despite their awkwardness, slowly develop a relationship. Written by
After years of 'Men Behaving Badly' and 'Have I got News for you', I certainly didn't. After this series I do though.
Someone should teach the Americans how to make this sort of show: funny, whimsical and without a glimmer of preaching, with weird and damaged characters that hug you from the screen, and pathos aplenty. It requires a light hand unfortunately, something that neither Hollywood nor primetime TV in the US is renowned for.
Thank God for the Brits, who've forgotten more about this kind of TV than all the network moguls and writing teams will ever know. Dominic Minghella takes us on an oddball outing worthy of Richard Curtis, and I thank him very much.
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