Doctor at Large (1971– )
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A Situation Full of Promise 

The lads are jealous when a handsome American doctor arrives, setting female hearts a-flutter. However there are more pressing matters as Michael, Paul and Bingham are on the interviewing ... See full summary »



(by) (as Oliver Fry), (series based on the 'Doctor' books by)

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Episode cast overview:
Geoffrey Davies ...
Harry Shacklock ...
Richard Pendrey ...
Rick J. Harley Jnr.
Sheridan Grant ...
Nosher Powell ...
George Layton ...
Ralph Michael ...
Joan Ingram ...
Esta Charkham ...
George Moon ...
Richard O'Sullivan ...
John Baddeley ...
Dr. McDougall


The lads are jealous when a handsome American doctor arrives, setting female hearts a-flutter. However there are more pressing matters as Michael, Paul and Bingham are on the interviewing panel to decide the new Senior House Officer. Michael has said it is a formality as he has promised it to Dick Stuart-Clark but when the better-qualified Nicky Barrington also applies Michael has no option but to give her the job. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

12 September 1971 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Farewell Dr.Upton
3 August 2007 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

St. Swithins' new doctor - the dashingly handsome American Rick J. Harley Jnr - is fancied by patients and staff alike. Stuart-Clark is insanely jealous of him.

The job of senior house surgeon on the Dean's firm is once more up for grabs; Upton, Paul and Bingham are entrusted with the job of interviewing the applicants. The interview is a mere formality as Upton has promised the job to Stuart-Clark.

However, one of the applicants is none other than Upton's old flame Dr.Nicky Barrington. As her qualifications outclass Dick's, Upton has no choice but to give her the job instead. Dick is furious when he learns that his friend has reneged on the promise...

The last episode of 'Large' is a cracker, penned by George Layton under his alias of 'Oliver Fry' ( it would be the last time the name would be used ). It neatly combines elements from earlier episodes, such as Nicky's and Upton's romance, and the latter's ongoing rivalry with Bingham, to provide an effective climax ( although there was a 'Doctor At Large' sketch in 'Mike & Bernie Winters' All-Star Christmas Comedy Carnival', shown on 25/12/71. Like the 'Doctor In The House' skits from earlier editions, it no longer exists ).

With 'Large' one of the most popular comedy shows on television, there was no chance of it being axed. However, it would have to continue without Barry Evans. According to Layton, the actor's erratic behaviour caused problems on set, and he was eventually fired. Finding himself typecast, he was reduced to starring in low-budget sex comedies such as 'Adventures Of A Taxi Driver' and ( ironically ) 'Under The Doctor'. He staged a comeback in 1979 in the hit L.W.T. series 'Mind Your Language'.

Its also farewell to Ralph Michael as the drunken, befuddled 'Dean'. Surprisingly, though mentioned, Loftus is not in this episode.

Crystal, the Dean's daughter, was played by Esta Charkham, later to become a casting director and producer, working on hit shows such as 'Robin Of Sherwood'.

Watching 'Large' now, its hard to believe it went out as a complete unit. The shifts in locations and supporting characters give it a fragmented feel, like watching several series strung together. For my money, the early Arthur Lowe episodes were the best.

Funniest moment - Bingham sitting in Mike's chair so as to look important. Unable to persuade him to shift back, Paul repositions his chair so as to put Bingham once again on the outside!

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