Distant Shores ITV1

by | Jan 5, 2005 | All, Reviews

What is it?

A new comedy-drama about a stuffy surgeon whose family force him to leave London for life on a remote island off the Northumbrian coast.

What to say if you liked it

A sharp and witty take on the gulf between urban and rural life.

What to say if you didn’t like it

Doc Martin meets 2000 Acres of Sky, rehashed with Geordie accents.

What was good about it?

• Two fine actors playing well against type – Peter Davidson (the bumbling Last Detective) as the cold, arrogant Bill Shore, and Samantha Bond (various smug metropolitan bitches) as his warm, nurturing wife.

• It’s subtle and rounded – Shore avoids caricature by showing signs of humanity alongside his coldness (and apparently is “fantastic in bed”). Even the Goth daughter is un-Gothicly articulate.

• It’s sexy – somehow they manage to get believable tensions going, even in a force 9 gale.

• There are plenty of comic touches, such as the surgery in the back room of the pub (complete with serving hatch), and Bill wearing tights to ward off seasickness (does that really work, we wonder?).

What was bad about it?

• It really is a lot like Doc Martin meets 2000 Acres of Sky, with the same standoff of bluff-but-knowing locals vs sophisticated-but-ignorant incomers.

• While saying he hates the place, Shore actually adapts so quickly to things like performing a caesarian on a cow that it seems more like a continuity error than character development.

• The islanders are mostly played by the usual Central Casting suspects, which dents their credibility just a bit. However newcomer Emma Fildes (the island’s nurse) looks like a young Jenny Agutter, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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