“Doc Martin” Series 7, Episode 1 Review

by Karen Gilleland © 2016

As “Doc Martin” Season 7 continues to air around the world, I’ve decided to begin my reviews. I visited PortScreen Shot 2016-02-26 at 3.47.52 PM Isaac during filming, and I admit my opinion may be biased by the fabulous good fortune of meeting Martin Clunes and other cast members, but I will try to be objective and offer both positive and negative reactions.

S7E1 “Rescue Me”

I found many good things to praise in the season opener. The overall tone was lighthearted and the story lines interesting. The build-up is to the re-enactment of Portwenn Lifeboat Station’s rescue of the “Moon Ray” on its fifth anniversary. Villagers are excited because TV will be covering the event.

As always, the cast and guest actors were outstanding. A welcome addition to the regulars is the narcissistic Janice (played by Robyn Addison) — a self-involved airhead, whose character is intrinsically funny. Psychologist, Doctor Rachel Timoney (Emily Bevan), another repeating role, “doesn’t suffer fools gladly” and provides a sharp opponent to cross swords with Martin.

Of the one-time characters, I particularly liked warm and low-keyed Barry (Joss Porter), who delivered several funny lines. For example, Martin comes to the farm looking for his aunt. “Where’s Doctor Ellingham?” Martin asks. Barry replies: “I thought you were Doctor Ellingham.” In contrast to Barry’s humble character, we meet the boastful “Moon Ray” hero, Steve Baker (Daniel Ryan), who adds a dash of pepper to the mix.

Lots of delightful moments, such as Ruth’s words with Al at the farm where renovations have stalled. Al complains, “You did say you were going to be a silent partner.” She rejoins: “Silent, not dumb.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 11.34.07 AMA touching moment when  Ruth commiserates with Martin about Louisa: “Oh, Martin,” she sighs and puts her hand on his arm as they walk down the steps. Your heart aches for him.

And who can help smiling at the scene where Martin leaves a heart-rending telephone message to Louisa. Before hanging up, he adds, “Um, this is Martin Ellingham, obviously.”

I also laughed at the bit where, twice, he walked in front of the TV camera as the announcer was partway through his spiel. At a different point, the TV crew was sitting down eating clotted cream fudge–ah, that brought back memories.

We’re treated to a gorgeous scene with Morwenna, Janice and Steve sailing toward a cove and then crashing. Very exciting and beautifully photographed.

morwenna janice

The episode attempts to build suspense as to whether Louisa will return from Spain. Martin says to Aunt Ruth, “I don’t know when she’s coming back.” Ruth answers: “Or if she’s coming back at all.” But we all know Louisa will return. Here’s a woman who has never gotten along with her mother and refused to move as far away as London with her son’s father. It’s obvious she would never stay in Spain, where she doesn’t even speak the language. I think the suspense should have been built around the question: Will she return to Martin?

A small criticism about the pacing: I found the two bedroom and teeth-brushing bits repetitious. The very funny scene with Martin falling down the stairs would have sufficed. Eliminating a scene could have allowed Louisa to return in the first episode, which would have picked up the pace between her and Martin.

What pleased me most is that Martin Clunes was on screen much more than he was in S6. I timed his appearances in S6 (something only an insanely addicted fan would do, right?). In one episode, he was off camera two-thirds of the show–30 out of roughly 45 minutes (once, for 15 minutes at a stretch). I like all the other characters, but Martin Clunes is the heart of the show. Fortunately, this season, he is off-camera only three to four minutes at a time.

My overall reaction to E1: Thank goodness, our “Doc” is back and in good form!

Click on the following links to read other reviews:

S7E2 “The Shock of the New”

S7E3 “It’s Good to Talk”

Read all articles and FanFiction on the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

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18 thoughts on ““Doc Martin” Series 7, Episode 1 Review

  1. Thanks for your review. I also look forward to the scenes with Martin. I wonder if watching the filming in person would spoil my enjoyment of the show. Did you find that an issue with the fans who were there and met the cast? From your review I assume it didn’t lessen your enjoyment any.

    On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 1:44 PM, Doc Martin with Martin Clunes Fan wrote:

    > Martin Clunes Doc Martin Fan Site posted: “by Karen Gilleland © 2016 As > “Doc Martin” Season 7 continues to air around the world, I’ve decided to > begin my reviews. I visited Port Isaac during filming, and I admit my > opinion may be biased by the fabulous good fortune of meeting Martin Clunes > and oth” >

      • Hi Karen, I agree completely that viewing the filming in the village of Port Isaac (Port Wenn) does not distract from viewing each episode. In fact, if fortunate enough to be on sight, it adds to the series because of the technical perspective. That was of interest to me. It is a gorgeous village.

  2. I was there for the filming of some of the first episode. I felt I was in heaven among the people whom I love and the main character whom I adore. Martin Clunes is a talented and wonderful man who makes time to talk to every one who approaches him.
    Its my second time there and maybe next year I will return as I felt so happy there.
    p.s. I hate any scenes of tooth brushing or self grooming. It;s a turn off. I usually turn my head the other way. Alice

  3. As much as I love Doc Martin, I can’t say the scripts were that great. Each episode showed how his character and Louisa couldn’t get it together on the communications front. Burts and his son seem to be going nowhere fast regarding their ventures. I find the episodes to be fluff vice substantive. A fan of Doc Martin.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  4. Hurray the show is finally back! The 45 minutes always fly by so quickly. Great acting, & story lines. Love it !!! ❤️💕. Lake Tahoe, Ca. USA

  5. Great review! I am so glad that the show is finally back! Can’t wait to see the next
    episode. For some reason it is not on tonight. (Sat. 2/27/16) At least in our neck
    of the woods. It is showing a re-run for a different season’s show. Oakdale, CA

  6. We are just seeing the Series7 in Australia now (I have previously purchased the DVD prior to the screening on TV).
    I have to say Iam throughly enjoying this series. There is a lot happening keeping one completely enthralled.
    I have seen some negative comments regard this series but in my opinion they are completely unfounded.
    Well done looking forward to Series 8

  7. I especially liked episode 7. Sigourney Weaver is so funny. And the “romantic” moments between Joe and Janice were very touching. I believe that some viewers, especially of my daughter’s generation, are finding E7 quite repetitious. But I never tire of it.

  8. Karen, I agree with your review regarding series 7 , it’s nice to see a return to a lighter tone but still with the frustrating interruptions and miscommunication. The more screen time for MC the better is certainly how I feel but, I think that series 6 must always be remembered as a late scramble to handle MC having been ill. I think many changes were made to cover and in retrospect, the best choice may not have been made. Nonetheless I think series 6 demonstrates the range of MC’s and CC ‘s acting. Some of their scenes the emotions were palpable. One of the many reasons I love the show and all associated with it, is the depth of talent. Carole

  9. The way Martin Clunes plays the teeth-brushing scene is absolutely top-notch MC. You say you want to see a lot of Martin Clunes: I wouldn’t even think of giving up that scene — now that I have seen it! (There are so many subtle things that MC does … which adds to the fun of watching closely for them. Just too amazing.)

  10. Pingback: “Doc Martin” Series 7, Episode 2 Review | "Doc Martin" with Martin Clunes Fan

  11. Pingback: "Doc Martin" with Martin Clunes Fan

  12. Pingback: “Doc Martin” Series 7, Episode 3 Review | "Doc Martin" with Martin Clunes Fan

  13. I have waited to comment on this series because I was so disappointed in it. Most things were negative. Al has his business but it’s a mess. They could have showed the building finished and still made problems. Instead he looked like a kid instead of a mature man. I absolutely hate what they did to Peter Cronk. Not only did they choose an actor who did not even resemble Peter but they portrayed him as arrogant and less intelligent than what we knew the precocious Peter to be. So they completely destroyed Peter Cronk. My favorite scene of all the episodes is the ambulance drive to the hospital when Peter had ruptured his spleen. Martin was magnificent in that. So was Peter. The medical scenes were good but I can see much more detailed and difficult scenes on several other shows. When they brought in Dr. Timony I was sure that Martin and Louisa would change some, especially Louisa. One would never expect a 180 degree turn in Martin and not even a 90 degree one but surely they could have changed both Martin and Louisa a little. Martin really wanted to. Louisa didn’t. I realize that they are never going to change these two, not even a little. This series (7) was the very worse for intimacy and closeness and they will never change it. So there is nothing to hoe for in Martin and Louisa’s relationship. The last scene was very bad. Yes, they kissed but no touching. This is just not normal but then Louisa seemed to like not being normal. My favorite seen in this series was Martin talking to Aunt Ruth. By the way he has hugged Aunt Ruth and Auntie Joan often. The look on his face, his tone and words were full of love and caring. Best wished to all.
    Carolyn

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