DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

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DO you think it’ll get to the end of this se­ries of Doc Martin and that baby will still be name­less? There’s no sign of an out­come tonight. Not that there’s any huge rush. It’s not like it’s a cat or a dog and it’ll come when you call it.

Any­way, Martin (Martin Clunes) has to get through Joan’s funeral first. Ter­ri­ble shock. Or was it? Mrs Tishell the phar­ma­cist saw it com­ing, she tells Joe the po­lice con­sta­ble as they hand out the or­der of ser­vice at church.

This is Mrs Tishell, the big­gest stick­y­beak in Portwenn. She’s wear­ing a black fas­ci­na­tor, and with her neck­brace – for what in­jury I’ve never worked out – it looks quite some­thing.

The whole funeral is quite some­thing. I knew the minute the wo­man went up to Martin to say some­thing com­fort­ing that this was go­ing to be a bet­ter ef­fort than I’d ex­pected.

She’s like, I can’t be­lieve Joan’s dead, and about those pills you gave me . . .

Be­tween the pall bear­ers, Martin’s eu­logy and the in­tro­duc­tion of the new sea­son re­place­ment aunty Ruth, a psy­chi­a­trist who un­furls her own self-anal­y­sis – in­clud­ing the im­pact of ‘‘ early qua­si­sex­ual en­coun­ters’’ – to Louisa as they wait for the cof­fin, tonight’s episode is un­likely to dis­ap­point you.

There are some very droll mo­ments, in a show I’ve of­ten found a bit broad and overly re­liant on the al­leged quirk­i­ness of its char­ac­ters.

No, Martin hasn’t cleared out for Lon­don, yet. He’s even in­ter­view­ing for a new re­cep­tion­ist, a girl called Mor­wenna. Or Louisa’s in­ter­view­ing; he walks in as she’s show­ing Mor­wenna the fil­ing sys­tem.

He asks if she’s qual­i­fied. ‘‘ I used to work in a bak­ery.’’ Is that rel­e­vant? ‘‘ I still get dis­counts on pas­tries.’’ Doc Martin ABC1, 7.30pm

What’s up, Doc? Martin Clunes

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