Doctor Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes) has given up his career as an eminent London surgeon and retrained as a GP. A vacancy arises in the Cornish village of Portwenn following the death of the local doctor. Martin has fond memories of the little fishing port where he spent happy childhood holidays with his Aunt Joan, and makes the move south-west some 30 years since his last visit.
Flying down to interview for the post, Martin takes a close interest in a woman whom he is sitting opposite. His intense scrutiny unsettles the woman and she moves down the cabin, after a few annoyed words.
When he arrives to be interviewed, he finds the woman is schoolteacher Louisa Glasson, the lay member of the interviewing panel. Louisa is particularly tough in her questioning of Martin. As he leaves the interview Louisa begins to offer a stern warning on his conduct in the village – and Martin advises Louisa to see an eye specialist as he has detected acute glaucoma.
However, Martin quickly finds that the idyllic seaside life he had imagined is not forthcoming: the interview was the easy part. He is faced with hostile locals unwilling to play by his rules, a surgery out of the 1850s, crazed drivers, a stray dog, annoying youths – and a curious case of local men growing breasts. All before helping to wreck the marriage of two pillars of the community.
He’s not even formally opened his practice yet, and Doctor Ellingham has already had more than he can take of Portwenn…
Source: British Comedy Guide