When Martin advises a patient suffering from migraines to stop cold-water swimming, Mrs. Tishell's attempts to help almost lead to disaster. Martin has his own headaches to deal with when an herbalist sets up shop in the village and then an ex-flame arrives on his doorstep, inviting him to speak at a medical conference in London. Meanwhile, Penhale tries to rekindle his romance with Janice. Guest starring Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) .
Louisa is shocked when her father, Terry, makes an unannounced visit. Terry agrees to let Martin examine him-but that backfires on the Doc, who is now bound by the rules of medical confidentiality. Ruth employs an unconventional method to test Martin's blood phobia, and Bert tries to get a squatter to vacate his trailer park. Guest starring Kenneth Cranham (The Good Karma Hospital).
Martin and Louisa travel to London so he can deliver the keynote address at the Imperial College Obstetrics Conference. All does not go smoothly, however, as Martin is accidentally headbutted while saving a choking woman, and then his ex-flame Sophie causes a scene at the cocktail reception. Back in Portwenn, Penhale proves to be both a hindrance and a help to Janice as she babysits the children. Guest starring Hermione Norris (Cold Feet, Luther).
The news of Martin's invitation to be the dean of Imperial College spreads through Portwenn like wildfire, before Martin and Louisa have even decided whether he will take the job. Mrs. Tishell and Penhale are crushed, while Morwenna questions what she wants to do with her life. Can the villagers cope with the Ellinghams' ultimate choice?
As the Ellinghams prepare to leave for London, Ruth admits to Martin that she's been writing a paper on his blood phobia, and she thinks he's been misdiagnosed. Ruth is also counseling Mrs. Tishell on how to overcome her obsession with the Doc, while Penhale anxiously arranges their goodbye party. But when Chicken the dog escapes, Martin has a life-threatening accident trying to catch him. Guest starring Rupert Graves (Sherlock).
Portwenn is full of festive cheer-until Martin tells Leonard that he needs to stop playing Santa while he awaits the results of his medical tests. Leonard decides to show "Doc the Grinch" the magic of Christmas, with unintended consequences, and Louisa works to arrange a Christmas parade through Portwenn. After a mishap, Martin confronts some of his fears and tries to embrace the holiday spirit
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