Starting with the arrival of Doctor Martin Ellingham, a respected surgeon from London, in the small fishing village of Portwenn in Cornwall, this fish out of water soon discovers that small village life can present some very big problems. Get on the wrong side of your receptionist and the world can turn against you. Let that same world know your greatest weakness and it'll soon be used by those who love you and those who feel less inclined. None of these life lessons are easily learned by a man who is best known for his brusque bedside manner and his absolute lack of interpersonal skills. Portwenn itself is brought to life by its rich array of characters including the formidable Sally Tishell who runs the local chemist, Bert Large and his son Al, local policemen Mark Mylow and Joe Penhale, Doc Martin's aunt Dr Ruth Ellingham and, of course, the primary school teacher who fell for the man they thought had no heart, but she found it; Louisa Glasson who would become Louisa Ellingham.