Doc Martin: The Early Years (2000-2007)

February 12, 2014 | By

He’s grumpy, he’s brilliant, and he gets the girl (eventually)!

In a lead-up to the release of Doc Martin: Season 6 – already available in the U.S., and delayed for Canada until mid-March – from the old site I’ve transferred reviews of the films, teleplays and seasons in which Britain’s grumpiest doctor debuted and grew into a (slightly) romantic albeit still resiliently short-tempered man.

The character’s first appearance was in the Craig Ferguson comedy Saving Grace (2000), making Ferguson the co-creator of the good doctor. Fans of the series will not recognize Doc Martin, because within the feature and the two spin-off TV movies in 2003 – Doc Martin and Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie – Martin Clunes’ first version of the brilliant surgeon was as a pot-smoking, animal loving chap named Dr. Bamford.

Realizing a character who likes dogs, is helpful, and tolerant of odd locals leads to an inert series, Bamford was remade as Dr. Martin Ellingham, a brilliant surgeon who never drinks, smokes, loathes all animals, and has contempt for all levels of society.

In North America, Season 1 did the rounds on TV, plus received a pricey DVD release from Image. After a long delay, Acorn grabbed the rights, and all subsequent seasons have been released close to their U.K. dates – a good thing for fans hooked on one of Britain’s most addictive imports.

I watched one episode of the first season on Vision TV, realized this was a series for me (being a nascent curmudgeon), and opted to buy the U.K. release because for less than the North American set, I could get Seasons 1 and 2. It was a blatantly obvious bargain.

Season 3 was also available in the U.K. prior to Acorn’s distribution agreement, so you’ll notice reviews of the teleplays and seasons 1-3 stem from a mix of the Australian PAL and British PAL DVDs, respectively. Also bundled within the Season 2 review is the Xmas special On the Edge, which was released separately on DVD in Britain, but was assembled with Season 2 in the U.S.

Reviews of Seasons 5 and 6 will be up shortly, as I’m in the midst of upgrading into a C.V.-styled site prior to launching the revamped

Last note: I erred and waited too long to review Season 4, so there’s a gap in my otherwise exhaustive assessment of Doc Martin. Given I tend to re-watch the entire series every 1-2 years, expect a review at some point.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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