Press Clippings - Page 11
High on a cocktail of prescription drugs and faced with the unwelcome prospect of quiet retirement with her dull husband, Mrs Tishell (Selina Cadell) decides it is now or never to discover whether her infatuation with the Doc (Martin Clunes) might be reciprocated. Her idea of seduction - which involves using baby James Henry as bait - proves not only desperate but dangerous, providing a real, er, cliffhanger for the final moments of the series.Gerald O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 31st October 2011
What is it about Portwenn that attracts so many batty people? Nearly everyone in the place lives on the fringes of eccentricity. And that's not another picturesque Cornish village. Tonight we meet Mrs Florence Dingly (played charmingly and lovingly by Anne Reid), who runs the local cat shelter and obviously takes more care of her moggies than she does of herself. Her run-ins with Doc Martin are a comic delight.
Meanwhile, Bert gets into trouble over an outstanding loan, Eleanor shirks her baby-minding duties - off-loading little James onto a local teenager in order to help Bert organise a sangria-laden Andalusian evening - and Martin, facing an emergency, has to perform an operation in his surgery.Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 24th October 2011
Few events are considered too unlikely to make it into the storyline of Doc Martin. Thus this penultimate episode sees the kind folk of idyllic Port Wenn harassed by a pair of violent loan sharks who, not content with terrorising Bert Large (Ian McNeice) over an outstanding debt, also try to shake down poor old cat-sanctuary owner Florence Dingle (Anne Reid). Mind you, even that doesn't sound so far-fetched compared with tonight's claim by Louisa's mother Eleanor (Louise Jameson) that she once ran a successful restaurant out in Andalusia. Now that's truly absurd.Gerald O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 21st October 2011
The only reason there are ladders in Portwenn is so that folk can fall off them but tonight the soft-hearted Joe Penhale manages to get himself stuck up one a few feet from the ground.
He's trying to impress his estranged wife Maggie (Julie Graham) with his new-found bravery in the hope that she'll stick around and give their marriage another shot. And, frankly, she could do a lot worse.
Look at Louisa, stuck in a non-relationship with a man who's missing most of the standard quota of emotional software. Tonight, Louisa returns to her teaching job, just in time for half the pupils and the caretaker to be struck down by a collection of strange illnesses.
But while Martin is handy to have around in a medical emergency, as far as normal relationships go he's a complete waste of skin. And that's not a situation Louisa is finding funny any more.Jane Simon, The Mirror, 17th October 2011
The Cornish whimsy continues tonight as Martin (Martin Clunes) and Louisa (Caroline Catz) discover that having a baby can actually cause a surprising number of arguments. They tackle his christening (Martin books it without consulting Louisa), who should return to work and whether the child should go to boarding school one day. Meanwhile PC Penhale (John Marquez) seeks to stop his recently unearthed wife Maggie (Julie Graham) leaving the village and school caretaker Mr Coley (Brian Pettifer) goes completely gaga.Gerald O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 14th October 2011
Another biggish guest star arrives: Julie Graham memorably spent three years as Martin Clunes's screen wife in William and Mary, and here they are again, reunited. Except they're not quite, because in Doc Martin, Graham plays the wife of PC Penhale (John Marquez). That's odd, considering we didn't know he was married. It's even odder that his wife thinks he's only just arrived in Portwenn.
Meanwhile, Cornwall's worst restaurateur Bert Large (Ian McNeice) is deeper in debt than ever, a fisherman keeps fainting, Eileen Atkins desperately deserves more screen time as Aunt Ruth, and Louisa's mother is still causing trouble, above and beyond her annoyingly nomadic accent.
As for the Doc himself, an episode full of the customary, satisfying sight of him being rude to people who fully deserve it has a glimpse of warmth at the end. That it's hard-won makes it all the more affecting - Clunes is brilliant at letting those little flickers shine through.Jack Seale, Radio Times, 10th October 2011
As Louisa and the Doc finally knuckle down this week to naming their poor baby, Julie Graham, who played Martin Clunes's wife in William and Mary, breezes into Portwenn - but this time she's married to PC Joe Penhale (John Marquez).
If your reaction to that is: I didn't know he was even married, well join the club, nor did Joe. But he seems awfully pleased to see Maggie all the same.
It turns out to be another medical puzzler for Doc Martin, whose talent for identifying extremely rare medical conditions rivals even Gregory House's.
It's all the more impressive seeing as the Doc is equipped with just his medical bag.
He usually has to double as a paramedic as well, since the folk of Portwenn have a strange inability to dial 999 - preferring instead to make the poor doctor sprint to each and every emergency.
I do hope that somebody buys him a nice pair of trainers for Christmas.Jane Simon, The Mirror, 10th October 2011
If you're looking for a bit of escapism then you could do worse than visit the quaint Cornish seaside retreat of Port Wenn in this light - and hugely popular - family drama, now midway through its fifth series. It's easy to see why Martin Clunes's shirty surgeon decided to stay in the idyllic fishing port rather than return to life in London as he nearly did at the end of the last series. The sleepy pace gently washes over you and the magnificent views (in reality those of the village of Port Isaac, which is indeed in Cornwall) transport the viewer to a picture-postcard paradise.
Tonight Clunes's no-nonsense Auntie Ruth (the splendid Eileen Atkins) is on formidable form cheating at chess, berating her chickens, and wanting to "bring back capital punishment for people who use their mobile phones on the train". The programme avoids banality by touching upon some serious medical issues. When PC Penhale's (John Marquez) ex-wife Maggie (guest star Julie Graham) turns up thinking it is April 2008, the Doc quickly spots signs of transient global amnesia and arranges an urgent brain scan.Rachel Ward, The Telegraph, 7th October 2011