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"Doc Martin," produced by England's ITV, is a comedy that follows the life of Dr. Martin Ellingham, a high-flying surgeon who finds his career abruptly halted when he develops a phobia of blood. After leaving his desirable post in a London hospital, Martin reluctantly takes a much less exciting job as the GP, or general practitioner, for the small oceanside village of Portwenn.

Though he chooses Portwenn in part to be near his beloved Aunt Joan, his gruff and often rude manner soon alienates him from the villagers, who insist on calling him Doc Martin, much to his chagrin. Throughout most of season one, it remains unclear if Martin and the residents of Portwenn will overcome their differences. However, when he faces his blood phobia to save the life of a young Portwenn boy suffering from a ruptured spleen, the attitude of the villagers changes and Doc Martin becomes a cherished part of the town -- though his unpleasant demeanor is as present as ever.

Throughout the show there is considerable romantic tension between Martin and Louisa Glasson, the principal of Portwenn's elementary school. Though the mutual attraction is evident, Martin's tendency to be unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally, offensive initially prevents the romance from escalating. At the end of season three, Martin abruptly proposes to Louisa in a moment of passion, but both have second thoughts and neither show up at the alter. Nonetheless, the romance is not over, and season four finds Louisa unexpectedly pregnant but still unwilling to marry Martin.

A recurring theme throughout this series is Martin's struggle to relate to the people around him. He frequently does not understand why his manner is so off-putting, especially to Louisa, and he often struggles to be more personable. When Louisa goes into labor with their child, Martin seems to experience an epiphany and tells Louisa that he loves her. Nonetheless, the question remains if he will be able to overcome his own personality to be a good husband and father. This question is the focus of season five, and promises to continue to plague Doc Martin in the yet-to-be-filmed sixth season.

Thursday 9:00 PM et/pt on Digital Rights Group
7 Seasons, 55 Episodes - Canceled
September 2, 2004
Drama
4.3/5
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Doc Martin Full Episode Guide

  • In the final episode, Annie Winton desperately wants Martin to try and save her husband, Jim Winton, despite Jim having been recently diagnosed as having terminal cancer.

  • Martin and Louisa don't seem to be having much success with their therapy, so Dr. Timoney advises that they should try and take things back to the beginning of their relationship.

  • Martin reaches breaking point with being followed around by Buddy: he resolves to find a vet to have him put him down. Morwenna, and eventually Louisa, manage to persuade him that it isn't quite that simple.

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