What To Watch Now 'Doc Martin' Has Ended

Picture Shows: Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) nose to nose with a small cute dog.

Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) and a friend.


Doc Martin is a tough act to follow. After eighteen years and ten seasons, the show has become a beloved fixture. Whether it’s Portwenn’s collection of idiosyncratic individuals, the gorgeous scenery, or the twists and turns of the relationship between the titular doctor (Martin Clunes) and Louisa (Caroline Catz), the show has consistently delivered compelling, humorous, and emotional viewing. Even at his most abrasive and annoying, Clunes could convey that perhaps he was more than a transplanted, supercilious Londoner. Wisely, the series took its time in revealing, if not a heart of gold, a man capable of deep emotions and strong ethics. The sheer entertainment value of Doc Martin sniping at neighbors and patients was just too good to waste. 

What is it we love about medical series? Possibly, the medicine comes second, although who hasn’t enjoyed a crisis (on TV) as the gurney hurtles through pristine corridors, blood squirts generously, and a doctor shouts out inexplicable medical commands. Or a baby is born! Gone are the days of a three-month old infant standing in plumply as a newborn, those babies (real or otherwise) now look appropriately discolored and annoyed. But the major attraction of medical series is the lives and relationships of the staff and how they survive their demanding work and schedules. 

So, what’s next on your viewing list? Let’s take a look at some of the medical shows available now.

'Green Wing'

Green Wing is set in the fictional East Hampton Hospital, with several series and isolated episodes created and aired from 2004 to 2006, and is unlike any other hospital sitcom you'll see. It's a hospital where you rarely see a patient; apparently, the doctors don't either. However, there is an occasional surgery, but the storylines such as they rely on slapstick, soap opera conventions, and surreal episodes. New registrar Caroline Todd (Tamsin Grieg) is attracted to both surgeon Guy Secretan (Stephen Mangan) and "Mac" Macartney (Julian Rhind-Tutt), but the very bizarre HR officer Sue White (Michelle Gomez), in this clip impersonating a Nazi in a film, regards Mac as her property. Other notably eccentric characters also include consultant radiologist Alan Statham (Mark Heap) in a bizarrely kinky relationship with Joanna Clore (Pippa Haywood), the worst-kept secret in the hospital.

Creator and writer Victoria Pyle encouraged the actors to improvise, and scenes frequently sped up or slowed down for comic effect. The series was filmed in two working hospitals, with cast members having to dodge (or engage) actual hospital staff and patients. Green Wing is currently available to stream for free on Tubi.

'The Indian Doctor'

In The Indian Doctor, you're about to meet two fish out of water, Dr. Prem Sharmer (Sanjeev Bhaskar), and his wife Kamini (Ayesha Dharker), who find themselves, to their confusion and disappointment, in the Welsh mining village of Trefelin. Responding to a call from the British Government, tempting well-qualified medical personnel back to the UK in the early 1960s, and also needing a change after the death of a child, the highly educated and sophisticated couple were hoping for a London appointment. 

Kamini is distraught at finding herself in a primitive backwater, and Prem finds the villagers, whose primary language is Welsh, unintelligible. "It's my lugs," a patient says, meaning his ears, and is surprised when Prem asks him to remove his trousers. But there's plenty for the doctor to do, with some severe problems awaiting him. This is a coal mining town, which means the possibility of disease (Black Lung) and injury among the miners, and Prem has to take on the mine owner to see that justice is done, just as he has to fight to promote vaccinations when a smallpox epidemic breaks out in the town. It could be just a sitcom about the funny foreigners in a small village, but the series goes way beyond that with its themes of grief, loss, love, class, and race. As always, Bhaskar is a delight, and his interactions with Kamini are riveting.

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The Indian Doctor

THE INDIAN DOCTOR is a comedy drama set in the 1960s following a Delhi grad and his wife.
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'The Heart Doctor'

Known as Doctor Doctor in its native Australia, you can find all five seasons of The Heart Doctor on Acorn TV. Rodger Corser stars as Hugh Knight, a brilliant cardiac surgeon with a self-destructive streak. His pattern of performing intricate surgeries followed by drink, sex, and drug rampages in his downtime can only continue so long, and inevitably, everything comes crashing down. Up before a tribunal, he is sentenced to community service at a small, underfunded hospital in the rural town of Wynhope and forbidden to perform surgery, serving as a regular doctor. 

Wynhope is also his hometown, and he's flung back into the bosom of his family, who resent his departure for the big city. His mother Merrill (Tina Bursell) is a ruthless, crooked town politician, his father considers his eldest son a failure, and his ex-girlfriend Charlie (Nicole da Silva) married his brother Matt (Ryan Johnson) shortly after he left town. Worse, he's answerable at the hospital to boss Penny (Hayley McElhinney) and subjected to random drug tests. Further humiliation is in store when he falls in love with Penny, and an on-off relationship struggles to survive. For all his faults, Hugh is by far the most likable member of his family, and you'll find yourself rooting for him and enjoying his charm and humor. Also, look out for astonishing Australian scenery.

'Mercy Street'

PBS's home-grown Mercy Street, produced by Ridley Scott, bravely tackles issues of race and class in Civil War Alexandria, VA.  Both a character-driven drama and an attempt to make sense of the horrendous slaughter and injustices of its time, it has the characteristics of a series that took on too much (and clearly anticipated running for more than its two seasons). However, it's beautifully filmed, and the cast is superb. It was set in 1862 in the former Mansion House Hotel, owned by Confederate sympathizer Jack Green (Gary Cole), and converted into a Union hospital. 

The story starts with the arrival of Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an abolitionist appointed to be a Nurse Supervisor at the hospital, ranking higher than Nightingale-trained nurse Anne Hastings (Tara Summers). Anne is having an affair with Dr. Byron Hale (Norbert Leo Butz), a firm believer in amputation as a cure-all, whose status is in turn threatened by Jed Foster (Josh Radnor), a forward-thinking doctor with European training all for the use of morphine (and not just for the patients). Emma Green (Hannah James), rejects her genteel upbringing as the daughter of the town's former hotel owner, to nurse wounded Confederate soldiers, outraged that they receive inferior care at the Union Hospital, and becomes a militant supporter of the Southern cause. Ironically, the world of Mercy Street is one in which a woman or a Black freedman could find agency, although Samuel Diggs (McKinley Belcher III), who has the surgical experience, is not able to use his skills. He and Mary form an alliance, working together to do the best they can for their patients. 

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Mercy Street

Season 2 of this Civil War-era drama explores the growing chaos within Alexandria.
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'The Clinic'

RTE's The Clinic, which aired from 2003 to 2009, was a big hit in Ireland and Britain and gave a shot in the arm to Irish film and TV production. It also served as a career-booster for several actors who have since gone on to have major careers: Chris O'Dowd, as Brendan Davenport, seen in the clip enquiring about his grandmother; Amy Huberman (Finding Joy), Dominic Mafham (Kingdom) and Aidan Turner (Poldark). Saoirse Ronan made her TV debut in the first season. 

An unashamed medical soap (that is, the characters are always in trouble and usually in bed with each other), the blurb reads: In modern-day Dublin, a group of dedicated medical professionals work in a busy city health clinic. There they experience many joys and sorrows as they confront the frailty of human life, their hidden longings, and the cost of their professional ambitions. All seasons are streaming on Acorn TV.

'Royal Flying Doctor Service'

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is a love letter to Australia's intrepid medical providers who fly vast distances to serve patients; the real-life organization defines itself as "Australia's Biggest Waiting Room." Based on true stories, the series is fast-moving, entertaining, and thoroughly believable, with characters you root for. The fish out of water, Sr. Medical Officer Eliza Harrod (Emma Hamilton), is a highly qualified London surgeon who fled her husband after the British press splashed the story of his extra-marital affair all over the tabloids. Her teenage son, Henry (Ash Hodgkinson), reluctantly accompanies her to Broken Hill, a jolly Australian small town with a drag bar. 

There are breathtaking shots of the landscape and of medical procedures (the actors really did their homework), and you become entangled in the relationships between the crew. Flight nurse Pete Emerson (Stephen Peacocke),  Dr. Wayne Yates (Rob Collins), a gifted doctor and single father, and Base Manager Leonie (Justine Clarke) provide great ensemble acting. These are characters you will want to root for. Season 2 recently arrived on PBS Passport.

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RFDS: Royal Flying Doctor Service

Follow the heroes of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in the Australian outback.
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'This Is Going To Hurt'

Adam Kay’s TV adaptation of his award-winning international multi-million-selling memoir This Is Going To Hurt is hilarious and painful. Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal) stars as Kay in the series, expressing all his life’s anguish, exhaustion, and occasional exhilaration of his life as a doctor in the gynecology and obstetrics ward of an overfunded and understaffed NHS hospital. He hides his feelings with sarcastic rejoinders to patients and colleagues, and in between grueling shifts, Kay attempts to keep his personal life together, trying to find time for his boyfriend Harry (Rory Fleck Burnes). 

His distant mother (Harriet Walter) somehow manages never to say the right thing; she enquires if Kay and Harry are both gay when he announces his engagement. The hierarchical structure in the hospital, where Kay is answerable to the arrogant surgeon Mr. Lockhart (Alex Jennings), doesn’t provide Kay any real support; in addition, he has the responsibility for serving as a mentor to Shruti (Ambika Mod), a doctor in training. Despite the pain and brushes with tragedy, the book and series are described as a love letter to the NHS, paying tribute to all those who work in a system that presents insurmountable problems. The miniseries is streaming on AMC+.


Bramwell is a 1990s-era show with good intentions and some excellent material. It’s worth watching for Jemma Redgrave’s radiant performance as Eleanor Bramwell, a female doctor struggling against the 1895 patriarchy; that is, it’s worth watching until the writing and plot fall apart after Season 3. There’s some great supporting work from Ruth Sheen as nurse Ethel Carr; David Calder as Eleanor’s father Robert, and Kevin McMonagle as Joe Marsham, an anesthesiologist from a lower-class background who holds a torch for his exacting female boss. Eleanor is born into the wealthy middle class, and her father expects her to go into private practice. Neither of them has given up the idea that Eleanor will marry, and she obligingly accompanies her father to social events but with little interest.

Instead, she and wealthy Lady Peters (Michele Dotrice) establish the Thrift Free Infirmary for the Deserving Poor in a poverty-stricken part of London. Her patients are poor, undernourished, and subject to accidents associated with manual labor as well as nasty diseases. Cliff Parisi appears as Mr. Bentley, a hospital porter and former patient, who would otherwise be unemployable following an amputation. Racism, alcoholism, and crime are common. The greater problem for the viewers, beyond the blood and surgery, is Bramwell’s inconsistency, her terrible taste in men, and her impulsive decisions that endanger the Thrift and its patients. All seasons are streaming on Acorn TV.

'Call The Midwife'

In 2013 the cast of Call The Midwife got together for Red Nose Day (an annual TV fundraising event) and spoofed themselves, the popular documentary series One Born Every Minute, and invited a special guest, the eleventh doctor, Matt Smith. Call The Midwife has been a tremendously successful series, heading now for its 13th season in 2024, and is about more than having babies (although they are wonderful). Nonnatus House has tackled all sorts of problems, medical and social: mental illness, homelessness, addiction, abortion, rape, racism, and other serious topics still with us today.  

With its careful attention to period detail, Call The Midwife presents a somewhat idealized past (very few women gave birth at home in the late 1960s), but it's a world that we love to visit. Wouldn't you like to sit down with the nuns and midwives for a good cup of tea and maybe cake if Sister Monica Joan hasn't got to it first? Never mind if there's an unexploded bomb in the neighborhood, a train wreck, or a difficult birth in a hostile environment –– Sister Julienne and the gang will prevail. What more could you ask for?

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Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife is a moving and intimate insight into the colorful world of midwifery.
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Doctors is Britain's longest-running, much-loved medical soap. The show has been consistently praised for its inventive and topical storylines, frequently covering newsworthy topics such as immigration, mental health, homelessness, and underage sex. Unlike other long-running shows, it has not spawned much new acting talent, but fans like it for what it is, a Midland-set drama with comic or dramatic moments that are both predictable and exciting. 

Medical issues are peripheral, but it's the characters and the important moments in their lives that keep people watching. In some ways it's been progressive –– possibly the first mainstream soap to include a gay wedding, and which has frequently covered LGBTQ+ topics. Doctors is currently streaming on BritBox.

Janet Mullany

Writer Janet Mullany is from England, drinks a lot of tea, and likes Jane Austen, reading, and gasping in shock at costumes in historical TV dramas. Her household near Washington DC includes two badly-behaved cats about whom she frequently boasts on Facebook.

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