Perhaps the best news in the autumn TV schedules is the return of 'Doc Martin' for its third series. It is a comedy drama set in the fictitious fishing village of Portwenn, in reality Port Isaac on the craggy North Cornwall coast. In the first episode yesterday evening Dr Martin Ellingham, played to perfection by Martin Clunes, is as grumpy and lacking in bedside manner as ever. The stories seem to get that balance between comedy and drama just right and with the stunning backdrop of North Cornwall's scenery what more could one wish for.
I have always loved Port Isaac and like most small Cornish fishing villages there is something very special about the way they are crammed into the narrow clefts of the towering cliffs. With the advent of 'Doc Martin' it is more popular than ever. However there is a downside to this - the village being so compact enables the TV viewer to quickly figure out the geography on the ground so to speak which has led some people to infringe the privacy of certain residents. I'm thinking specifically of the cottage the outside of which is the surgery in the show. I would appeal to people not to go peering in the window etc, in reality it is a private home after all!
Apart from that minor gripe the attention received by the village has to be good economically.
Aided and abetted by good scenery and well developed if quirky characters, series such as this and 'Heartbeat' another good example typify British TV at its very best. Long may they continue to entertain us.