Doc Martin looks at first glance like dull, patronising pap. It’s got simple plots and an absurdly beautiful rural setting: Port Isaac in north Cornwall, renamed Portwenn for the show. The supporting cast talk in Somerset accents, like all TV actors asked to play people from Cornwall, or Norfolk for that matter. Everything always turns out more or less all right.
But despite its cosy medical-drama trappings, it’s too edgy and, frankly, too good to be left to the Heartbeat/Midsomer cocoa-and-moccasins crowd. Doc Martin isn’t just bucolic anaesthesia. It’s one of the most satisfying comedies on telly. It’s much more sharply scripted than it’s given credit for and has an endlessly funny central character.
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