Preserve the Romance

Series 5 - Episode 1 Preserve the Romance



The charmless, socially inept, emotionally disconnected, rude and unpleasant Dr Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes) returns as a new dad for a fifth series of this much-loved chunk of escapism.

His dim schoolteacher lover Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz) has just given birth to a baby boy (we pick up exactly where we left off at the end of the previous series), temporarily halting the Doc’s escape to a new job in London. Cradling the mite as if it’s a missile that could go off at any moment, Martin finds he can’t let go of Portwenn and his old job, particularly as his replacement, Dr Dibbs (The Thick of It’s Joanna Scanlan) is nervous and her overbearing husband (Robert Dawes) is insufferable.

I suppose part of Doc Martin’s charm is its predictability, so you’ll be able to see exactly where all this is heading, as the episode, eschewing all the rules of drama (a plot, an engaging lead character), potters along in the Cornish sunshine.


The curmudgeonly GP struggles to come to terms with his new role as a father, having planned to resume his career as a consultant in London before the arrival of his and Louisa's as-yet unnamed son. To make matters worse, he begins to have serious doubts about the competency of his replacement Dr Di Dibbs when she misdiagnoses a patient as well as herself. Martin is then dealt a devastating personal blow after hearing his aunt Joan has died. Starring Martin Clunes, Joanna Scanlan and Caroline Catz.

Cast & Crew

Dr Martin Ellingham Martin Clunes
Louisa Glasson Caroline Catz
Bert Large Ian McNeice
Al Large Joe Absolom
Mrs Tishell Selina Cadell
Dr Diana Dibbs Joanna Scanlan
Gavin Dibbs Robert Daws
Mike Chubb Anthony O'Donnell
PC Penhale John Marquez
Mr Hubble Rory Wilton
Mrs Bollard Christabel Muir
Mr Gill Steve Bennett
Mrs Mabyn Jill Greenacre
Mrs Pike Maggie Tagney
Doctor Kyla Goodey
Shopkeeper Sarah Buckland
Director Ben Bolt
Executive Producer Mark Crowdy
Producer Philippa Braithwaite
Writer Ben Bolt
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Drama Comedy