The Daily Telegraph
DOC MARTIN ITV, 9pm
Few would have predicted that this unassuming series would still be going 18 years after its debut, let alone that it might acquire the services of Eileen Atkins and Sigourney Weaver along the way, but Doc Martin has long been making this sort of farce look appealingly easy. This 10th series will be its last, but on the basis of this understated opener this time there will be neither fireworks (all the stuntwork feels cherishably homespun) nor undue tampering with the well-worn formula, the fine cast simply allowed to enjoy themselves with a set of characters who fall just shy of caricature.
We’re back on the beat again with Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes), lost and as grumpily pedantic as ever, pressured into renouncing his position as GP in the picturesque Cornish coastal village of Portwenn by GMC members concerned about his blood phobia. When a newcomer (Fay Ripley) arrives with her son for counselling with Martin’s wife Louise (Caroline Catz), Martin instantly suspects she has a condition which could quickly prove fatal; but will anyone allow him to intervene? Shopkeeper Mrs Tishell (Selina Cadell) has her own plots concerning how to bring him back to the frontline as soon as can be, but events conspire to overtake even her dogged efforts.