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Doc Martin: Out of the Woods (2005)
Great series, stupid episode
Normally this show is well thought-out and written, balancing the silly stuff with some intelligent and witty stuff. In this episode, the witty stuff took a back seat and the silly stuff turned stupid. The real problem has to do with PC Mark Mylow's journey into the woods with Al Large. First, the two get lost and Mark does not want to admit it to Al. Then Mark gets bitten by a snake. Instead of realizing this could be serious, he says everything is OK and wants to continue the journey, with Al finally saying they need to return, though they are still lost. Then the stupidity continues when Doc Martin enlists the help of ranger Stewart James, who has some serious mental issues and just adds unnecessary idiocy to the situation. When Martin and Stewart arrive at the scene, they quickly separate, as Martin realizes that Stewart is just losing touch with reality. Martin then promptly gets lost while Stewart stumbles upon Al and Mark (who is by now seriously ill), but is not able to provide any assistance, due to his mental issues. Al finally convinces Stewart to look for the doctor. When Stewart finds Martin, he first wants to shoot him, thinking he is a poacher, but then gets his foot caught in a trap. Martin helps him get loose, only to get his own hand stuck in the trap. Stewart helps free Martin, only to the get his hand stuck. At this point I wanted to turn the show off. Instead of being humorous, the entire sequence of events just comes across as idiotic. The writer's should be ashamed of their writing on this one. By far the worst episode thus far into the series.
I'm sorry for rambling a bit. I just expect more from this show. I'm sure many others will disagree with me, which is OK. Still a great show, but it's a good thing this episode is the exception.
One of the best non Cabot Cove episodes
This episode has always been one of my favorite non Cabot Cove outings, along with the Ireland episodes, which were also great. The mood of this episode is so light hearted but engaging. Diana Canova did a great job in her role, creating a very likable character. The scenes with her boyfriend to be and the inspiration for beat copy, Denis Arndt as Lt. Vincent Palermo, were great. Ann Morgan Guilbert also stands out in her brief appearances, perfectly capturing a smart, powerful woman who knows how to handle snot nosed puppy dogs like Keith Carmody, played very well by Gary Sandy, not to mention Dwayne Hickman as the likable studio head and Maggie's agent, whose actions are not always in Maggie's best interest. And Tim Thomerson was just perfect as egotistical Hollywood type who looses it when he becomes a suspect, only to revert back to his old ways, having learned nothing in the process. In the end, I felt a little sorry for Bruce Kirby's character.
The only true weak point is the continuity error with the pencil and the writers treated us the audience as idiots, having to repeatedly show us the "here it is, but gone here" bit.
Still one of the best MSW shows set out of Cabot Cove.
Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
I have loved this movie since I first saw it on TV, alone, in the late afternoon on a Friday in the Spring of 1980. It's a somewhat slow paced, though engaging movie that frequently relies on atmosphere rather than action to set the horror environment, and the result is sublime. The voices in Jessica's head, the water scene with Emily, the fogged shots of the house, the running of Jessica through the orchard as Woody is spraying the field are classic horror moments, similar to the cemetery segment of Night Of The Living Dead (1968).
I find this movie very similar to Carnival Of Souls (1962), which is another classic horror film that relies more on atmosphere than action. I highly recommend it, especially if you prefer horror films that are atmospheric rather than bloodbaths. It is unfortunate that this movie is so underrated and under-appreciated by most people.