At one time or another I'm sure all of us have entertained thoughts of leaving big city life behind for the bucolic pleasures of living in the country. What could be better than to live in a small village - or even better, a small village by the sea shore. It wouldn't take you long before you knew everybody, and while you might not like everyone, at least you'll know everybody well enough to know who to avoid. Of course if you ever get sick you'll be able to rely on the local general practitioner (GP) to take care of you.
Ah yes, the country doctor. An older man of the old school who is loved by all and has been present at the birth of everyone for the last three generations. A real country gentleman, he not only sets a broken arm and stitches up little Johnny's lacerated forearm when he tumbles down the cliff face, he'll find time in his busy schedule to sit and share a cup of tea with the lonely pensioner whose family has forgotten her. He can even be counted on to help out in lambing season when the local vet can't be everywhere at once and somebody has to reach up inside the mother sheep and turn the lamb so it comes out the right way.
Well, if you end up in the small fishing village of Portwenn in Cormwall you'll soon discover that nobody bothered filling in local GP Dr. Martin Ellingham about what's required of him in the role of that idealized country doctor. In fact, if you tried he would probably give them a blank stare, ask them what the hell they're prattling on about, and then promptly proceed to ignore them. Dr. Ellingham is the antithesis of the stereotype country doctor image we carry around in our heads. Brusque to the point of rude, honest to the point of - well, rude again, and completely lacking in tact, he's also a brilliant and dedicated doctor. He not only deals with all the run of the mill illnesses a GP is expected to, he's able to handle anything the little fishing and farming community can throw at him — and they throw him some strange curve balls.