Two hour 'specials' often struggle to make the grade & for a while,as this episode meanders along,almost descending into farce at times,one can see why.However,there are enough positives to just outweigh the negatives making 'On The Edge' eminently watchable for the most part.
Strong guest performances from Chris O'Dowd (The Boat That Rocked & The IT Crowd) and Kenneth Cranham together with the long overdue return of Richard Johnson as The Colonel combine with the regular cast to weave a tale of intrigue,mystery,romance & medical emergency.
Throw in the annoying man who has come along to investigate the good doctor's bedside manner & you have all the ingredients for your typical holiday special.Martin Clunes continues to be perfectly cast as the abrupt GP who has made himself indispensable to the local community by virtue of his superior skills as a medical practitioner.And Katherine Parkinson has made the role of Pauline Lamb uniquely hers with a laconic sense of humour & quirky turn of phrase.
While there may be some weaknesses in the script & plot development,the character portrayals are so strong that any lapses in the quality one usually associates with Doc Martin can be forgiven,hence my overall rating of 9.
Resist the temptation to tune out as this episode's climax will keep you 'On The Edge'!