Doctor at the Top (1991– )
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Sins of the Father 

Over twenty years have passed since their student days. Dick is now Professor of Surgery with rich wife Emma and daughter Rebecca, a militant union leader among the medical students, Paul ... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview:
Robin Nedwell ...
Geoffrey Davies ...
George Layton ...
Roger Sloman ...
Jill Benedict ...
...
...
Brenda Cavendish ...
Brenda Snell
Marie Collett ...
Margaret
Tanya Ronder ...
Justine
Kristine Landon-Smith ...
Sister
Paul McCrink ...
Picket
Ernest Clark ...
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Over twenty years have passed since their student days. Dick is now Professor of Surgery with rich wife Emma and daughter Rebecca, a militant union leader among the medical students, Paul is a thrice-divorced Harley Street consultant and Duncan married to Loftus's daughter Geraldine. Whilst perusing a photo album to discuss the guest list for Sir Geoffrey's upcoming birthday party, the three doctors find a picture of former nurse Dorothy Sheridan, who dated them all. When Rebecca introduces her friend Justine, Dorothy's daughter, each wonder if they are her father - as does colleague Lionel Snell. Written by don @ minifie-1

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21 February 1991 (UK)  »

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"But that was twenty years ago!"
5 September 2007 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Time has marched on since Doctors Paul Collier, Dick Stuart-Clark and Duncan Waring first met as students at St. Swithins. In 1991, Paul is a consultant with his own Harley Street practice, Dick has taken over Loftus' old job as Professor of Surgery ( a position he obtained after his rich wife Emma made a large donation to the hospital ), and paediatrician Duncan married Loftus' daughter Geraldine, and fathered five kids.

Dick's daughter Rebecca has joined the students union, much to his disgust, and a very militant figure she cuts too, leading protests against rumoured ward closures.

Emma and Dick decide to organise a gala dinner in honour of Geoffrey Loftus' 75th birthday. Geraldine suspects the Stuart-Clarks of wishing to hijack the event to further Dick's chances of getting a knighthood...

The idea to do a new chapter in the lives of 'the terrible trio' came from actor George Layton, last seen in the 'Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?' episode of 'Doctor In Charge' in 1973. L.W.T. turned the revival down, so he took it to the B.B.C., who were undergoing something of a craze for exhuming old sitcoms, such as 'Agony' ( another L.W.T. show ), 'The Liver Birds', and 'The Legacy Of Reginald Perrin' ( without Leonard Rossiter, of course ).

Trying to pretend it was still 1973 would have been a waste of time. Hence the main characters had to be shown as older men with social and family responsibilities ( save for Collier, who was still single ). Interviewed by Terry Wogan prior to the screening of the first episode, Geoffrey Davies admitted to making the change an important condition of his return to the role.

The gang have never been away, it seems. Which is a pity as in one fell swoop the audience is deprived of the chance of an emotional reunion akin to the 'Auf Wiedershen Pet' clan's gathering at Oz's 'funeral' in 2002. No mention is made of Collier's departure nor Duncan and Dick's adventures at sea and down under. Mike Upton is referred to briefly, now a G.P. in Dundee. Waring is said to have been married for twenty years, a piece of unnecessary revisionism which unfortunately invalidates every episode made after 'Doctor In The House'.

Loftus' daughter has undergone a name change from 'Valerie' to 'Geraldine'. Yes, the gang are all here but the passing of time has made them a lot less amusing, particularly Duncan. The fault for this show's failure must lie on the shoulders of Layton, whose script for the opening episode was so lame it caused long-time fans to switch off in droves. It was like tuning into a new 'On The Buses' only to find Stan and Jack discussing bowel cancer instead of trying to chat up clippies.

The main 'joke' here is that the lads, while swapping memories, find that they all slept with the same nurse, one Dorothy Sheridan. As no-one of that name appeared in the previous series, we must take it as granted they they are really referring to Nurse Dottie Grace, who appeared in several episodes of 'Charge'. Layton clearly hadn't done his homework.

The best part features the welcome return of Ernest Clark, once more 'the ogre of St. Swithins' - Professor Sir Geoffrey Loftus. Frail though he was at the same of filming ( he died three years later ), he is still able to steal what little show there is.


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