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The last season of 'Doc Martin' arrives | Arts & Entertainment

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Acorn streams the 10th and final season of “Doc Martin,” a long-running UK comedy that has been embraced all over the globe. While set in the picturesque Yorkshire seaside tourist town of Portwenn, its enduring success owes much to comedy conventions that American broadcasters long since have abandoned.

For the uninitiated, Martin Clunes stars as Dr. Martin Ellingham, a renowned London surgeon afflicted with a neurotic phobia — he can’t stand the sight of blood. This ends his career and his perch among the medical elite and sends him back to Portwenn, the scene of his miserable boyhood. There he takes over for the local general practitioner, treating the everyday ailments of the townsfolk, from farmers and workers to a recurring cast of oddballs, misfits and dimwits. The townsfolk know of “the Doc’s” affliction but recognize a great practitioner when they see one. Nearly every episode consists of Doc Martin MacGyvering a medical procedure under dire circumstances, saving a local who otherwise might have died with more conventional treatment.

The notion of placing a sitcom character amongst oddballs in a provincial setting is hardly new. It was the formula that made “The Andy Griffith Show” among the most beloved series ever. And it also worked for “Newhart,” set in a Vermont bed and breakfast. There’s also a lot of Mayberry in Portwenn. During the seasons, Martin has been cared for by at least two kindly aunts. And similar to Don Knotts’ Barney Fife, Portwenn constable Joe Penhale (John Marquez) exudes a dithering incompetence that long has departed from American TV’s depiction of police.