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DOC MARTIN is a catchy comedy drama starring Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly) as Martin Ellingham, whose truculence and tactless manner causes mayhem in a small Cornish community. The series, which has steadily gained fans during its first four seasons, follows the celebrated London surgeon, who unfortunately has developed a phobia to blood. For public television stations who have been following the steady performance of the series via APT syndication, now is the perfect time to introduce viewers to one of England's most popular comedic dramas.
As Martin moves in and meets the locals, he realizes that adjusting to village life is not going to be smooth sailing. In his sharp suits and flashy car, he's a fish out of water. His first patient is Sir Gilbert Spencer, a retired lieutenant colonel, with an embarrassing problem – he's grown breasts. Meanwhile, it's Lifeboat Day in Portwenn, and the harbor is alive with stalls, fairground rides and a jazz band, but Martin has become the butt of jokes among the bevy of teenage girls from the village. Just when he thinks the day couldn't get any worse, Martin is forced off the road and into a ditch on his way out of the village. He's rescued by local police constable, Mark Mylow, who takes him home. But as Martin opens the door, he finds the hall ankle deep in sludgy water. It's the final straw. Martin decides he is not cut out to be a village G.P., and decides to tender his resignation. Can anything or anyone change his mind?
Despite his disastrous introduction to life in the sleepy village of Portwenn, the former surgeon has decided to stay and give it a go. The waiting room is full with patients enjoying tea and biscuits served by Elaine. It seems the previous doctor allowed his patients to treat his office as a drop-in café to share their ailments, but not necessarily to seek medical treatment. Elaine's inefficiency pushes Martin over the edge and he fires her. News of her dismissal spreads around the village like wildfire, and Martin becomes universally disliked. The café won't serve him, patients are cancelling appointments and Elaine leaves town, missing her father's wedding. Martin confides in a patient, telling him about the phobia that prevented him from continuing his surgical career. Elaine returns in time for the wedding and Martin asks her to return to work, but on the strict understanding that she adheres to his ground rules.
Dr. Martin makes his on-air debut at Radio Portwenn, the local radio station, and, no surprise, he's not a natural in front of the microphone. Meanwhile, a nasty stomach bug is sweeping through Portwenn. People are dropping like flies, and filling Martin's office. Martin decides he must try to track the source of the bug, and looks to the public swimming pool. When the pool staff refuses to shut it down, Martin makes an announcement to everyone in the pool about something dangerous in the water, creating mass panic.
The Portwenn Effect
It's time for the Portwenn Players Dance, an auspicious event in the village's social calendar, and Bert the plumber is in charge of selling tickets. Louisa buys two tickets and invites Martin. But Martin doesn't dance, and most certainly not at social occasions. At the office, Martin meets with a patient, Mark the constable, who confesses an embarrassing dilemma – he fears his lack of success with the ladies has something to do with size, and wants to hear the doctor's opinion of what is "normal." Later, Martin makes a house call to the park ranger, Stewart James (Ben Miller, Primeval). The two seem to have a lot in common until Stewart introduces Martin to his “friend” Anthony, who just happens to be a six-foot, red … squirrel!
Of All the Harbors in All the Towns
An old flame of Martin's Aunt Joan sails back into her life and whisks her off her feet. But her suitor, John Slater, is seriously ill with a life threatening heart condition, as Doc Martin discovers when he insists on running tests on him. Slater wants to rekindle the love affair with Joan and sail off into the sunset with her. But Martin is anxious for Joan that she will have to nurse a very sick man. Schoolgirl Melanie Gibson, one of Port Isaac's bevy of teenage beauties, develops a crush on the doctor. He's her hero after he puts her dislocated shoulder back, and stops the agonizing pain she has been suffering. There's romance in the air between Al and Elaine. He's always had a soft spot for her. Thinking that she has split with her boyfriend, Al tries to woo her, by downloading a special selection of music onto an expensive iPod for her.
The tourist season has arrived in Portwenn. Disgruntled by the invasion of holidaymakers, Martin grimaces as he makes his way through the crowds. Then he notices an attractive woman, and stops to stare … at her chest! She can't believe it when he says he'd like to examine her chest. Martin was actually trying to warn the woman about the dangers of sunbathing for fear of skin cancer, but his usual abrupt and quirky manner has caused offense. Gossip about the blood phobia which forced Martin to terminate his brilliant career as a surgeon seems to have spread round the village like wild fire. Two patients in the surgery can't resist mentioning the "b" word to Martin. Then he gets an urgent call from the pub. Bert has had a terrible accident while working there, and he's bleeding profusely. The sight of blood pouring from Bert's wound begins to trigger the all too familiar panic attacks for Martin. But on closer examination he realizes the blood is actually tomato ketchup!
Dr. Martin Ellingham is still as clumsy as ever when it comes to forming relationships with the opposite sex. Just when things are beginning to look rosily romantic between him and pretty school teacher Louisa Glasson, he makes a terrible faux pas. She can't forgive him for accusing her of failing in her dental hygiene regime. Meanwhile, Muriel's condition deteriorates in the home. Then Martin realizes that her problems are being caused because she is dehydrated, and that has caused her to become confused. At the surgery, Martin is taken aback to find a strange girl working in reception.
Louisa is nervously awaiting an interview for promotion to head teacher of Portwenn Primary School, and she's anxious to make a good impression. But the odds seem to be stacked against her. Dr. Ellingham is on the board of governors, and she's not sure she can count on his vote. Meanwhile, Bert Large is testing out his culinary skills on the villagers. He's taken over the running of the fish and chip shop while owner Mrs. Cronk is in the hospital — and goes to some unusual lengths to improve the food! Martin discovers that the skin infection affecting some of the local children is not impetigo as he had initially diagnosed, but a rare condition usually only passed by animals.
Blood is Thicker
Bert Large has been hiding a heartbreaking secret from his son Al, which threatens to jeopardize their close relationship. His reluctance to produce his son's birth certificate arouses Al's suspicions. Could it be that Bert is not his dad? Martin visits the Flint brothers at the remote country home they share with their father Victor and mother Doreen. Wallace and Paddy Flint have been suffering chronic stomach disorders, and a blood test confirms they have salmonella poisoning. But there's something else odd about this family. Meanwhile, P.C. Mark Mylow has had to deal with his domineering sister's arrival in Portwenn. She has decided to set up in business in Mark's flat above the police station as an herbalist offering alternative remedies.
There's concern in Portwenn that local radio presenter Caroline Bosman has a drinking problem. She's been heard slurring her words during her broadcasts, and she's been seen driving erratically. Her marriage is on the rocks because of her strange behavior. P.C. Mylow has romance on his mind. He's been bowled over by the pretty, blonde newcomer to Portwenn, Julie. He offers to give her driving lessons, and is over the moon when she accepts. But his little bubble of happiness bursts when she decides to enroll at a proper driving school. Meanwhile, Martin has an odorous problem with one of his patients. Vernon Cooke stinks so much nobody can bear to be in the same room. Martin has the unpleasant task of trying to discover the cause.
Always on my Mind
Irate husband Phil Pratt accuses Dr. Ellingham of killing his wife Helen when he comes to their house to treat her. Then a horrific accident on the farm leaves Mr. Pratt desperately needing the doctor to save his life. Joan finds him trapped under a tractor, where he has been all night. A new teacher at Portwenn primary school, Tricia Soames, has sore hands. The doctor soon realizes that Tricia is showing all the signs of obsessive compulsive disorder. Meanwhile, things are looking up for P.C. Mylow on the romance front. Julie invites him to her house for coffee. And he doesn't leave until the following morning, looking rather disheveled, but with a smile on his face.
The Family Way
Dr. Ellingham's parents, whom he hasn't spoken to in seven years, make a surprise visit to Cornwall to stay with their son. He's puzzled why they should turn up out of the blue to see him, but does his best to welcome them to his home, even though his father delights in sneering at his drop in status from surgeon to general practitioner. Christopher Ellingham is a suave surgeon, oozing charm, nothing like his son, and the villagers are soon taken in by his charisma. But his wife Margaret seems oddly quiet and reserved. Martin worries that she might be ill. Meanwhile, Louisa's beau Danny collapses, barely able to breathe. Louisa calls Martin who diagnoses a collapsed lung. He recognizes that Danny is gravely ill, and when the ambulance is delayed, he has no alternative but to carry out emergency surgery to save his life.
Out of the Woods
Mark Mylow intends to marry beautiful Julie Mitchell. For his stag night, Mark wants to camp out in the woods under the stars accompanied by his Best Man, Al Large, but it is not long before the two intrepid campers are lost in the woods. Then an adder bites Mark's ankle and he suffers a potentially fatal allergic reaction. Al has finally flown the nest, and has been busy setting up his first home. The flat needs a lot of work to make it habitable again. While he has been wandering in the woods his dad Bert thought he would try to spruce the place up for him, with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, it appears the beaches of North Cornwall are being stormed by legions of poisonous fish intent on terrorizing the teenage population of Portwenn. Teenage boys have been lining up for treatment for weever fish stings. Martin is furious to hear that the boys had been playing a deadly game of who could stand the pain of being stung the longest.
Graham Orchard, a Salvation Army member, arrives in Portwenn to try to trace a missing woman named Emma Lewis. Danny's near-death experience with a collapsed lung has made him appreciate how precious life is, and in particular how special his relationship with Louisa is to him. He wants Louisa to move in with him, but she is hesitant. With his wedding to Julie imminent, Mylow is busy making final preparations, including securing life insurance. The health check reveals puzzling results, especially when Mark's bride tells him she is pregnant. Mrs. Tishell has been wearing a collar to combat neck pain for years. The doctor urges her to remove it. Mrs. Tishell fears removing the collar will just cause her more pain, and toys with the idea of helping herself to painkillers from the pharmacy. Louisa tells Martin that she has split up with Danny and invites him to join her for a glass of wine. She pulls him into the sitting room and asks him to kiss her. He blurts out that he loves her, and promptly collapses on the floor!