Brit, keep me posted on your impressions of Doc Martin..
Will do, Alastair!
Happy Thanksgiving holiday!
Good to hear from you alastair …. we had not heard from ya in a while : )
Looking forward to the new season of the Doc..
To date, I have only watched one episode of the new season. I kind of moved on after that and never got back to it. I will be delving in again shortly with another episode. My first impressions... the Doc is as insufferable as ever, I really do not enjoy watching him anymore. My question, and it is only a rhetorical one, what happened to Louisa? When we first met her she was such a lovely, open-hearted person, you couldn't help but fall in love with her. The Louisa we see on screen today is a different person, she has changed since living with Martin and not in a good way. She has become more like him, I find myself bristling with her as I do him and to be honest I don't like the person she has become. Such a shame, as she use to be such a joy to watch.
The highlight of this season is Al and Morwenna, their storyline is what I am watching for. This whole season would be another downer without them. Eilleen Atkins is looking rather frail to me. She is in her mid eighties now and it is wonderful that we can still enjoy her on screen, but you can't help but worrying a bit. Thank goodness for her character Ruth, if Ms. Atkins decides that the shooting schedule is too much for her and does not come back for next season (no matter what they say now, there will be a S10) there is going to be a big hole left with her departure. She is a grounding force for Martin, without her things would really go amuck. You can't pull another Aunt out of a hat, so I don't know what the writers would do. Then again, S10 should be the last season in my opinion. If she is spry enough to finish it out, it would be best to close the story of Portwenn and its' inhabitants and move on as the series has dried out.
Hello Alastair, good to see you!
Brit, where is Doc Martin season 9 showing? No one has advertised it, that I have heard.
I did just finish the Agatha Raisin Holiday Special that is being aired on Acorn TV. They billed it as a "Halloween" Special at first, but it really has little to do with Halloween, it is a continuation of the story done as a stand alone movie rather than a multi-episode series. They have now rebilled it as a "Holiday" Special.
The series is owned by Acorn at this point - they are funding its' continuation - and they left us knowing that there is more to come... the stage has been set, Agatha is now a full fledge detective with her own agency!
I do get the biggest kick out of the series, I know it can get silly, in fact, I broke my viewing up in to three parts - smaller doses are better for me, but I just so enjoy it. I love to see what she is wearing, the handbags, the shoes - and she is outrageous as they come, but so, so fun! All the main characters have remained (which I am glad of) except for Gemma, she was mentioned so it is possible she could come back, yet they have added a new one (a cousin of hers) and my guess is that she is there to take her place. I looked it up, the actress playing Gemma, Katy Wix, is busy with two other series at the moment, so I think she has moved on.
Sarah Bloxby is helping Agatha with her investigations (as is Roy) and Mrs. Boggle is a prominent member of the cast. Sarah's husband (the Vicar) is still away on sabbatical and we won't be seeing him again. I am glad they cut him loose, he added nothing positive to the story and it is better without him. I wonder if he is going to stay on permanent sabbatical, or if they are going to write him out in a different way. At some point they will have to address it.
You will be happy to know that James Lacey is still in Agatha's life. I will say no more, I don't want to spoil everything!! Hopefully, they will show the Holiday Special on PBS soon. It might appear in the beginning of the new year.
Deedee, Acorn TV has it, it is still exclusive. It won't be shown on PBS until next year, most likely in the spring sometime.
Hello, Brit and Deedee!
Brit, interesting you should say that about Louisa. Didn't Carla feel she was cold toward Martin in the beginning of S7 when she returned with James. Louisa is obviously more sociable than he, but can lack warmth. Looking forward to watching for that. Perhaps is because they both had absentee parents..
Awaiting your full review..
I love Agatha Raisin, but never went beyond the first season here. Will keep a watch out..
Alastair, it is more her general attitude to the people and situations around her than to Martin himself. She is actually good with Martin, which is the crux of it I think, she has become somewhat desensitized to the world around her, much like Martin.
Brit, I know she was growing increasingly unhappy in her position of headmistress. We left off with Louisa taking classes and training to become a child therapist, which would also give her more time to spend with James. Hopefully in the new season she fulfilled her goal and changed her outlook. At same time, Martin needs to be more supportive and caring. Fingers crossed..
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Merry Christmas, Alastair!
Hello, and best wishes, Brit!
Alastair, I finished watching the E1of S9 of Doc Martin ten minutes ago. You will enjoy this one. Overall a good start to the season. I will most likely watch E2 in a few days or so. The episode that I had first jumped in on (this season) was E3. I did this because from the synopsis I thought this would be one I would really enjoy and I just went for it even though it was out of order. I was wrong, it was not a good one for me (except for the Al and Morwenna storyline), it has a different vibe than the first episode. I have a feeling the second episode will be in the same vein as the first, which would be a good thing. I should not have jumped in like that. Oh well.
Quite alright, Brit! It appears from what you're saying is the new season will be uneven, much like S7 and 8 before it. We'll see. Looking forward to your thoughts. I notice Season 9 is now available at Netflix, but with a long wait. Figures! Have added it to my queue..
Oh, our local station just started showing the beginning again. Didn't care for 8, except for the first few episodes. Good to being back when the show was magical!
Alastair, I watched E2, another good one! The start of this season is solid, feels more like the Doc Martin of old. I skipped over a re-watch of E3 and moved on to E4. A special guest star is in this one and you are going to love it!
A few tidbits... the month of May is going to be a big one in Port Wenn and the Doc seems focused on healthy eating, he is the main cook in the family and is making sure that they are getting their vitamins!
Although we have a good start to the season, I checked who the writers are of the various episodes and the one who wrote E3 also wrote E7. It will be interesting to see if I have the same response to this episode as I did to E3. He made both the Doc's and Louisa's personalities much less sympathetic to me, I also found his treatment of Buddy to be unacceptable. I cringe at this. He also wrote two episodes last season (E3 and E6), this in itself is telling. We will see.
Brit, that sounds like positive news - looking forward to watching. I have S9 at the top of my Netflix queue, but still waiting. I know what you mean about the writing. Still say Phillipa as producer should have more say, considering Clunes is a dog and animal lover. To me, the same issue going back to S7..
Also, love it when they feature a special guest actor!
Well, this one is very special. Don't read anything about the season before you watch. Let it be a surprise, it was for me, I didn't read anything past the third episode summary, so I had no idea what was coming after that. Total surprise!
Will look forward - I like surprises!
Oh, did you see the opening episode of Sanditon? They're showing the repeat tonight here. Feel sorry for Miss Lambe - actually for Charlotte as well, the way they are being treated! My favorite scene is when they befriend each other! Also, good to see Kris Marshall :)
Yes, I did! Kris Marshall is great in the role, isn't he! I have gotten to be quite the fan since watching him in "Death in Paradise". It is so nice to be back in Austenland once again. I recently rewatched "Pride and Prejudice", they have been re-airing it on my local PBS, and now we have Andrew Davies bringing Austen's writing back to life. Nothing will ever compare to his "Pride and Prejudice", that is pure perfection, but I intend to enjoy every bit of "Sanditon".
It is going to be interesting to see how Miss Lambe's life plays out, as we see prejudice runs deep even with a 100,000 pounds. Charlotte is such a sweet natured character, this is her first time out in the world, so there will be much for her to learn about human nature, I think. If she and Miss Lambe stick together they will be a formidable duo.
I agree, it's hard to top the P&P adaptation. I notice Sanditon is a bit edgier, less formal. At one point it seemed more like Poldark to me. I love Charlotte's character as well. Clara is sweet, too, but most appear unlikable just as her father had warned. Lady D is another Catherine de'Bourgh, and can't stand Edward's sister. Is there something going on between those two besides their desire for money? Sydney may turn out to be another Darcy. Hang in there Charlotte..
Yes, Charlotte and Georgiana (Austen liked those names) would make a good team together..
Anne Reid looked so familiar as Lady D, then it dawned on me she was the cat lady in the loan shark episode of Doc Martin. Remember when his son Norman threatened repercussions. Poor Al and Bert..
Ah oh, not so sure now.
Sydney to me is still unlikable. Rooting for Stricker to win Charlotte's heart (remember him in Victoria?)
Edward and Esther are just plain creepy!
Clara turns out to be no angel either, it seems.
Onward and Upward..
Oops, make that 'Stringer'
I am totally with you on this, Alastair. I thought I was warming up to Sydney, but no, I find him unlikable and that is not going to change even if he is we come to understand the situation with Miss Lambe better. In the end, I am sure they will make him honorable (this is Jane Austen, so it is to be expected) but he is not the person I think Charotte will flourish with. Mr. Stringer is best suited for Charotte and I think she would have a very happy life with him. For once, I wish Jane Austen would take a spin from her usual (Elizabeth and Darcy for example - a man with a title and oodles of money) and choose the enterprising, talented, good natured man.
Yes, I wonder if Austen had lived to finish her novel, how she would have developed and concluded the story. Meanwhile, I guess we have to thank Davies for his interpretation. Oh, from time to time I can hear Ruth Barrett's Victoria like chords in the music score. Glad she was chosen to do Sanditon as well..
Brit, heads up on a new series this coming Sunday. Our friend Lucy Worsley is back with 'A Very British Romance', exploring love starting with the Georgian era and Jane Austen. Can't wait!
Thanks Alastair, I will make sure to DVR it.
She is as funny as ever!
Are you ready for the upcoming season finale?
Yeh, Netflix has just shipped DM S9 Disc one to me.
I just got caught up last night, Alastair. For me, this was the best episode (of Sandition) of the season. I am still team Stringer, I would chose him over Sydney for Charlotte in a heartbeat. I also stand by my first prediction that Arthur Parker would be a good choice for Miss Lambe. I know it may not look that way on the surface, his hydrocondria does make him a little delicate :), but he is kind, funny and loves to enjoy life... as we have seen Miss Lambe must be very careful if she chooses to marry. I would not rule him out. How much, if anything, will be resolved in the finale is questionable. From what I have read, it seems Andrew Davies was hoping for another season.
Hooray for you! Enjoy Alastair! I have not watched beyond E4 (I can't wait until you get to that one). I will move on to E5 shortly, maybe tonight.
I am totally with you Brit! I was actually thinking while watching the previous episode I wonder what Brit is thinking?! I still say Sydney is no Darcy, even if he was heartbroken earlier. Darcy would have never considered humiliating anyone, let alone Charlotte.
Hoping she chooses sense over sensibility..
Alastair, I watched E5 of 'The Doc and it is another good one! Very reminiscent of the older episodes, I thought. This is a new writer to the series, Alastair Galbraith... his first episode really captured the essence of what makes the series so endearing very well. So nice to feel this, between this one and the last episode we are certainly getting a taste of the series heyday once again. I hope they have him write more next season.
Good news indeed Brit! Now I know why there was such a long wait. However, still checking my mailbox - must have shipped outside our region, which happens from time to time..
No, no, no ... terrible way to end it - with a heartbroken Charlotte? No way! :(
Oh well, so much for Sanditon. Hoping Charlotte will find happiness and fulfillment back home. Disappointed she wasn't in love with young Stringer..
Now, on to the Doc. I agree with all your thoughts so far. I liked 2 better than 1, however...skipped 3 but will come back to it. And yes, good to see Mark again in 4!! Wish he had never left, but I recall was jilted in love and wanted to get away back then.
Good to see Clunes looking healthy again. He had lost weight in earlier seasons. Also, I see what you mean about Ruth. Would hate to see Atkins retire from the series..
Alastair, I've been a bit under the weather so I am behind on Sanditon. I haven't watched the finale as yet, but I was well aware from early on that the story did not end as one would expect from Austen. As I commented above, Davies expected another season, which did not happen. From the outrage I have read he made a big mistake in assuming that he had more time in which to develop the story. He should have written the project as stand alone with an Austen ending in mind. He could have then expanded on it, if called upon to do so, for a second series. Everyone would have been happier in the end.
Masterpiece (PBS) issued a statement today saying that at this point in time there are no plans for another season, so it looks like they are not interesting in funding a S2. Of course funds could come from one of the streaming services, it has happened.
You know I am totally team Stringer, although I had little hope that Charlotte would choose him.
I will get back with my thoughts of the episode shortly!
Glad we are in agreement on this season of The Doc. I would hate to lead you astray! It has been a solid season so far. I am looking forward to E6.
Wasn't it great to see Mark again! I am with you, I wish he never left. Penhale makes me crazy, I roll my eyes whenever he comes on the screen.
Oh my goodness, could that finale have been anymore joyless! I am surprised at Davies, what was he thinking, even if he had a contract in hand for three seasons, that is no way to end an Austen saga. That was not a cliffhanger of an episode, that was a complete downer. Who is going to want to rewatch the series after seeing that ending. It is like shooting yourself in the foot. This is going to be a one and done for most viewers. I find it highly unlikely that people will be watching it over and over through the years as they have past Austen productions.
Other than Esther and Lord Babington, what resolution or growth came for any of the characters. Even that relationship lacked warmth, it was a cold interaction between the characters. Actually, where was the soul in this story? Nowhere to be found. Austen is all about soul, passion and most of all hope. Marianne went through such disappointment and darkness with her loss of Willoughby, but she was able to grow and rise above it to build a stronger and more fullfilling life with Colonel Brandon.
We have had the passion of her sister Elinor and Edward, who quietly endured their fates until life gave them a second chance. Yes, Edward lost his inheritence, but that was not what their relationship was about. Speaking about love conquering all and second chances, there is Austen's most passionate story of all... that of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. This is what Jane Austen is about. Not everything is perfect in Jane Austen's world, but at the end of her stories we can see the light.
There was very little light to be found in Sanditon. Now, all that being said, in all honesty, as a whole, the Parker family was not good for Charlotte.
I don't ultimately see happiness for her with them. Sydney was not a good match for her, watching them together, he seemed much too "seasoned" for her. The chemistry was off for me. I know Colonel Brandon was much older than Marianne, but that was a relationship which blossomed out of loss and empathy. We watched that relationship grow and develop over time. Not the same for Charlotte and Sydney. This was Charlotte's first time away from her protected environment at home. She is young and impressionable. There was a lack of understanding and life experience there.
Miss Lambe was not incorrect about her assessment of him when Charlotte told her she was in love with him. Yes, he was at his best with her, but what was she to endure with him when he wasn't "at his best", as no one can be all the time. He was not a likeable character and just because she loved him, this did not change. I will not say he was unhonorable, because he was an honorable man, but this in itself is not enough.
Tom Parker is an egotist who will remain unresponsible given the fact that his brother will continually bail him out of his predicaments. The Parker family will always live on the edge of disaster with him. No insurance! Please... Charlotte is better off without them although at her young age she does not understand this.
I felt bad for Mr. Stringer, who was the best of all the characters. He gave up his dream, which was so close. No light at the end of the tunnel for him either. Now, if I was Davies, I would have sent him off to his apprenticeship, had him become a renowned architect and meet Charlotte again later in life. A Charlotte who was a little older and wiser to the ways of the world.
Amen, well said Brit !
Alastair, I am just checking in to see how you are. I hope you are doing as well as you can be given the present state of the world. You are much in all our thoughts.
Thank you, my dear! Same to you and yours, and everyone at our Forum!
Take care and all the best. Keep healthy and stay safe!!
Good to hear from you Alastair!