Dr Martin Ellingham's practice is officially open for business. Despite his disastrous introduction to life in the sleepy village of Portwenn, the former surgeon has decided to stay and give it a go. The waiting room is full with patients enjoying t... (more)ea and biscuits served by Elaine, who is busy with a personal call on the phone. It seems the previous GP allowed his patients to treat the surgery as a drop-in cafÃ© to share their ailments, but not necessarily to seek medical treatment. Martin announces to the packed waiting room that unless they have a genuine ailment they should all leave. Stunned and embarrassed, everyone shuffles out, leaving just one man, sour-faced former teacher Roger Fenn who has a nasty cough. Martin tells Fenn he must be referred to a specialist for a biopsy on a lump on his neck. But Fenn accuses the doctor of time-wasting and storms out. Elaine's inefficiency pushes Martin over the edge when she gives him an unreadable message about a sick child, with no name or phone number for him to contact. Angry at Elaine's consistent complacency, Martin sacks her on the spot. News of the sacking spreads around the village like wildfire, and Martin becomes universally disliked. The cafÃ© won't serve him, and patients are cancelling appointments. Martin takes a call from the hospital about the results of Roger Fenn's biopsy. It's not good news, and Martin decides he must tell Fenn face to face.