A Very Peculiar Practice

Season 1 Episode 1

A Very Long Way From Anywhere

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 21, 1986 on BBC Two
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A Very Long Way From Anywhere
With a new job and a fresh start in life, Dr Stephen Daker's enthusiasm knows no bounds until he meets his new colleagues at the University Medical Practice.

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  • Lowlands University Medical Center gets just what it doesn't need when Steven Daker joins the team - a doctor who cares more about patients than whisky, status, or political ideals. Steven's just a little lost at first, and needs all the help he can get.moreless

    This episode (the pilot for the series) deals with the usual problems pretty well. Like all pilots, it has to a) introduce the characters, b) make you want to watch the second episode to see what happens, and c) be at least mildly interesting in it\'s own right. A Long Way From Anywhere succeeds in these admirably.

    For a start, the characters are extreme enough to be obvious right from the off. Jock McCannon is the old, alcoholic journeyman doctor, now more concerned with writing his book that effectively treating his patients. Bob Buzzard is the hard-nosed, typically-80\'s go-getter who blames life for dumping him in this back-water. Rose Marie is the feminist, bisexual activist for whom all of life is a battle for the supremacy of women over the old aggressor, Man. Into this comes Steven Daker, a young, idealistic doctor whose marriage breakdown leads him to find a new life and a new challenge, for which you know he is not quite prepared. Maybe the attractive pool attendant Lyn will help him adjust....?

    Lowlands University is just as it sounds - a \'new\' campus of concrete and steel, completely depressing, and populated with students, staff, and nuns (yes, nuns) who never quite act as you would expect.

    This first episode reveals the characters of each of the key players very well - Rose Marie keeps files on all her colleagues, Bob Buzzard is just rude and arrogant to all, and Jock\'s drinking leads him to mis-diagnose a potentially fatal illness. It\'s only when Steven steps in and saves the patient that all comes right. But from then on, you know what each character will do, and they are instantly familiar to you.

    Further character development takes place through the series, but I\'ll tell you about that in the relevant episode reviews I\'m planning!moreless

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