The Great Doc Martin (Re) Watch Starts Series 2 – Episodes 1 and 2

The great Doc Martin viewing marathon continues this week here at Telly Visions as we dig right into Series 2. (I’m so proud of this so far – I feel like I’ve really committed to it now as we get into the second season. Hurrah.)  I feel like the show is now basically established – for a lack of a better term – we know who the characters are and what they like and how they interact with one another. And now, with all the set up of our players and main storylines complete, I feel like we will get into some big things.

So, click through and come chat with me! Leave your thoughts, favorite moments, funny lines, etc. in the comments.

Series 2, Episode 1: “Old Dogs”

This is the One Where: We meet an old love interest of Louisa’s who comes back to Portwenn to move his mother to a nursing home. Martin gets a new receptionist and a very strange case involving a man who keeps injuring himself over and over.

Oh, No, Elaine’s Gone! I’ve known since the first episode that Elaine wouldn’t be sticking around Portwenn for too very long, because someone on the internet told me that (why??) when I first mentioned I might start watching the show. But, even though I knew it was coming, I was hoping she’d at least make it through some part of the second series. I was hoping this even though I’ve watched enough TV to know that the break between seasons is basically the perfect time to do cast changes. Sigh. I’ll miss you, Elaine! You were awesome!

Meet the New Girl: Pauline. I really am going to try very hard not to give in to my desire to instantly dislike Pauline simply because she is not Elaine. I am. Really. It’s a bit challenging though when in some ways the character feels a little too much like Elaine – or rather Elaine with a slightly posher varnish on, so to speak. Because Pauline seems quite like her cousin, except she knows more about computers and how to work in a surgery and is maybe a tiny bit less openly abrasive. And I get that Martin probably needs something like that – or would if this were real life, anwyway - but there was something very charming and fun about the fact that he had Elaine working for him, who was none of those things, but sort of what he needed anyway

Sidebar: Pauline and Al. Apparently I really just want Al Large to be happy with someone, because I kind of thought they were sweet in their initial interactions, even though I’m not entirely sure how I feel about her.

Mark is My New Favorite. Aww, Portwenn’s never had a mugging! (Well, of course it hasn’t – everyone in town knows everyone else! But, honestly that’s the cute sort of weirdness about the town that I enjoy. And yay, Mark’s back! (After the loss of Elaine I was nervous!) Mark going “undercover” to catch the Portween mugger is possibly the most adorable thing I have ever seen. His “visible policing,” I love it!  And his conversation with Martin in the car and them being friends and seeing them grow old in the nursing home? So sweet. I kind of love them as friends, precisely because they’re such opposites, and that Mark’s life outlook is so different.

The Medical Mystery of the Week. This story about Mrs. Steele struggling with what appears to be dementia honest his a little close to home for me, so I might have glossed over parts of it because it was difficult to watch. If nothing else that’s a sign that it’s quite well-written, because it felt very real. The scene where Mrs. Steele wandered into the water on the way to th  don’t quite understand how the drinking fluids thing is the solution to the old woman’s dementia, but I was so relieved by the mostly happy ending that I don’t even care.

The Curious Case of Eddie Rix. Well, talk about unexpected plot resolutions. Of everything I thought could be wrong with this guy, in-home dominatrix injury was not something I would have guessed. Between this and the literal toilet humor incident a couple of weeks ago, I have to give this show credit for consistently surprising me. And it certainly doesn’t shy away from focusing on sub-plots that I don’t know a lot of other comedies would have the nerve to do.

Eavesdroppers Often Hear Highly Instructive Things. Loved the scene of Martin eavesdropping on Pauline and Al’s conversation. Was I supposed to read that as him initially assuming that they were talking about him and Louisa before anyone said the name Elaine? Because that’s totally how I read it, and it was sort of embarrassingly sweet.

The Continuing Saga of Martin and Louisa. Glad to see that Louisa can really hold a grudge. Good for her, really, because Martin gave her the worst apology I’ve ever heard. And, honestly, though Martin’s clearly pining after her, he’s also NOT acting as though he’s done anything wrong, which is something he should really work on.  I’d like to think that it’s Martin’s reaction to Louisa being upset about his dental hygiene comment that has her so angry with him, rather than the specifics of what he said. Even if he clearly has no idea that that’s the case, or why what he said bothered her so badly.

Series 2, Episode 2 “In Loco”

This is the One Where: Louisa is in the running for the headmistress position at the school, a disgusting skin rash breaks out among Portween’s kids, Peter Cronk stays with Martin while his mother is in hospital, and Bert Large helps keep Mrs. Cronk’s shop open.

Best Doctor Ever. “You head’s going to explode.” Loved Martin with the first skinrash patient. Generally, I think Martin Clunes does some of his best work opposite the child actors of this show.

The Return of Peter Cronk. I have to say, one of the best things about this show is that it doesn’t have a lot of throwaway characters. Everyone you meet you eventually end up seeing again at some point. It’s lovely, and really gives the show a sense of actual community, instead of just having random characters pop in and out for medical cases of the week and then never be seen again.  Plus, I just love Peter to little pieces.

But…. I sort of really disliked the scene of Louisa and Martin arguing about who was going to look after Peter. He’s just a child after all – and it makes them seem so petty to snipe at each other over him. (And Martin’s always been great with kids, no matter how much he’s seemed to dislike them, so I find it a bit difficult to believe that he would be so openly hostile towards Peter. And especially not in front of him.)

Peter Should Stay With Martin All The Time. Martin’s scenes with Peter are probably my in my top 3 of the whole series. I love that Peter idolizes Martin for a lot of the same reasons that so many people dislike him and sees a kindred spirit. The comment Peter made about him being just like Martin because he didn’t have friends? Ouch, my heart! I love him hanging out at Martin’s surgery and I so wish that could be a continuing trend. 

The Continuing Saga of Martin and Louisa. Sigh. Oh, Martin. The instant that the two of them seem to finally be getting on the same page about anything, Martin has to say something horrifying (implying that Louisa is being nice to him to help her chances during her headmistress interview). It’s amazing that she still talks to him at all anymore, so there must be actual love under there somewhere. But watching them fight at cross purposes can get a bit uncomfortable.

Best Line: Martin: “Portwenn has one doctor and 966 people who know better!” 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB