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Doc Martin: Series 8
Score: 98%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: Blu-ray/3
Running Time: 413 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Comedy/TV Series
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English SDH

  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes on the Production Process (70 Mins.)
  • Interviews with Cast & Guest Stars (41 Mins.)

This holiday season, Acorn TV releases Doc Martin: Series 8 in its entertaining collection of the story of an arrogant, but brilliant, London surgeon, Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes, Men Behaving Badly), who seems to suffer from the negative effects of Asperger's syndrome, compounded by a startling phobia of blood. Since this latter condition renders him ineffective as a prominent surgeon, he has moved with his wife, Louisa (Carolyn Catz, Murder in Suburbia) to the quiet, picturesque fishing village of Portwenn to become the town's general practitioner. However, his abrasive and nonchalant attitude quickly alienates him from the town's inhabitants.

Doc Martin: Series 8 opens with Martin rushing through the handlebars of a casual biking group while racing on foot to the port's edge to help one of the local fishermen who has caught his hand in a winch. After handling this emergency, the story takes us back to Martin and wife Louisa as she struggles with handling the demands of motherhood, wife and teacher, while missing out on son James Henry's (played by various child actors) first words, which could be either "duck" or "dog." You might remember the good Doctor's disdain for this dog, which their son could be favoring with his new vocabulary.

After seeking marriage counseling, Martin and Louisa are trying to settle into parenthood by seriously attending to their son's physical and psychological needs, by organizing their work schedules and considering any future career upgrades. Meanwhile, the town is buzzing with the upcoming wedding of awkward bobby PC Penhale (John Marquez, BBC One's Drama In The Club) and new Portwenn fiance Janice (Robyn Addison, Survivors and Casualty) who has recently informed the Ellinghams that she can no longer be a nanny for their son James Henry due to her upcoming marriage -- thus leaving them stranded for their toddler son's care.

Bert (Ian McNeice, Edge of Darkness) and Joe Large (Joe Absolom, EastEnders) plan to handle the wedding party arrangements, but things happen as they always do when Bert is involved -- and the anxiety might increase Joe's blood pressure. Aunt Ruth Ellingham (Dame Eileen Atkins, Cranford) wonders if she's made a poor investment with the two and considers a real estate offer, but she is confronted with truth issues about a past romance. Morwenna's (Jessica Ranson, Horrible Histories) missionary parents surprise her with a visit to Portwenn, and of course, there are many health issues with school children and young bridesmaids for Penhale's wedding. Unfortunately, secrets unfold about the Doc, particularly upsetting the Ellingham comfort zone. The final episode leads up to Series 9 which is expected to be the finale, so you'll just have to watch Doc Martin: Series 8 to know what's coming next.

Doc Martin: Series 8 consists of eight episodes including Mysterious Ways, Sons and Lovers, Farewell, My Lovely, Faith, From the Mouths of Babies, Accidental Hero, Blade on the Feather, and All My Trials. Guest stars include Art Malik (The Jewel in the Crown), Kevin Doyle (Downton Abby), Rebecca Lacey (Monarch of the Glen), Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly), Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Paul Copley (Downton Abby, Anna Burnett (Ripper Street), Richard Lumsden (Sense & Sensibility), Vincent Franklin (The Illusionist), among others.

Bonus material for Series 8 consists of Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes on the Production Process, and Interviews with Cast and Guest Stars including Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice, Joe Absolom, Dame Eileen Atkins, Selina Cadell, and Caroline Quentin. This Blu-Ray series consists of 3 discs which particularly showcased the vistas beautifully.

Doc Martin is a beloved comedy drama. The cast is personable and versatile, and even the worst character can, in some way, be loved. This is a family-oriented show, but due to some graphic medical situations and brief nudity, parents should consider whether the content is right for their young children. Doc Martin's obstinate personality breaks through any social barriers and reveals hidden problems that need to be remedied. This is one of my favorite shows and I really hate to see the series end.

I anxiously waited for Doc Martin: Series 8 as I always do. I don't know what I'm going to do after the finale, and I hope they decide to keep it on for a much longer time. I love Martin Clunes and I've watched several of his shows and I know his career will go on, but this series gives such insight to a condition that many have, and after watching this series, you'll have a greater appreciation for what people have to endure. Asperger's is an isolating problem and confusing complication, and with understanding, perhaps we'll have better experiences and relationships and create a better world.

-Kambur O. Blythe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jan Daniel
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