Doctor at Sea (1974– )
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Sir John and Baby Doc 

Dick gets the sack and Duncan resigns in protest. With Collier gone and the Binghams bringing up triplets they've nothing to stay around for and become ship's doctors on passenger liner the... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Ernest Clark ...
Robin Nedwell ...
Geoffrey Davies ...
Shop Assistant
Lincoln Webb ...
Nobby (as Dave Prowse)
Sandra Dickinson ...
Joe Gladwin ...
Roy Evans ...
Rodent Operative
Terence Conoley ...
Captain Lightwater


Dick gets the sack and Duncan resigns in protest. With Collier gone and the Binghams bringing up triplets they've nothing to stay around for and become ship's doctors on passenger liner the Begonia, only to find the captain is Sir Geoffrey's twin brother Norman. Next day they are shipped aboard by a crane to a very dirty ship whose last doctor died of suspected parrot fever and where they are likely to be pursued by crewman Mad Jake. Fortunately they find out in time they're on the wrong ship, it's not the Begonia after all. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

21 April 1974 (UK)  »

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"I do like your leg!"
9 November 2006 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Loftus sacks Dick for making one mistake too many. Unable to get him to change his mind, Duncan resigns in protest. Out of work, he and Dick sign up as ship's doctors aboard the passenger liner M.S. Begonia. They look forward to a new life of sun, sea And being free of Loftus. But they've a shock in store...

The title refers to the unusual nicknames given by the sailors to the medical staff; 'Sir John' ( Duncan ) is 'surgeon', 'Baby Doc' ( Dick ) means 'junior surgeon'. Alan Tew's theme has been given a nautical remix, and excellent it is too.

'Sea' gets off to a splendid start with this Gail Renard/Phil Redmond scripted opener. With many of the original cast and crew having moved on, it took the opportunity to look back and remind the viewer how far the characters had come in a short space of time. Duncan's fierce defence of Stuart-Clark is proof of the bond of friendship between them. I doubt whether such a scene would have been possible in the earlier series. There's a lovely moment near the beginning where Dick and Duncan plan a surprise farewell party at St. Swithins, only to realise they're the only ones left from their student days. Collier moved on three months before, while the Binghams are bringing up triplets ( ! ). The past is represented by a series of monochrome snapshots ( Upton is in a few ) backed up by a mellower arrangement of the theme. Even Dick sheds a tear for days gone by as the sequence ends.

Before sentimentality takes over completely, we move onto a naval outfitters' shop, where Duncan and Dick wreak havoc pretending to be Zorro and Long John Silver. Using a plot device borrowed from the film 'Doctor In Trouble', the new Captain is the twin brother of Loftus, enabling the role to be played by the same actor.

Funniest moment - Duncan and Dick arriving at what they think is their ship, only to find it is not what they expected. Rats infest their cabin, a sewer pipe hangs over the woodworm-infested bunks, a mad sailor periodically has violent fits, and the Steward has the hots for Duncan ( a brief but funny appearance from Christopher Biggins ). Fortunately, it turns out not to be the Begonia after all and as the episode ends, we see our heroes running across the docks, carrying a heavy-looking trunk between them. St. Swithins may have gone, but for the moment, it hardly matters. A classic episode.

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