1 February 2005 | Paul Shrimpton
A Very Peculiar - But Very Enjoyable - Experience
The early morning light struggles to penetrate the dark, litter-strewn walkways of the University Campus - no trees here, just concrete, tarmac, and murky glass windows that only reflect grime and misery.
Not the most obvious setting for a comedy, but it's fitting that the dark, forbidding structures of Lowlands University match the richly dark humour of A Very Peculiar Practice. We see the Medical Practice, with it's share of social outcasts (dour, drunken Scot Jock McCannon, self-centred, self-obsessed Bob Buzzard, and scheming, feminist man (and woman) trap, Dr Rose Marie). We see the University Chancellor, the inappropriately named Ernest Hemingway. We see the students, scared, drunk, clever, confused, horny - all finding their own way. And into all this, we see cast the misplaced and well-intentioned Dr Steven Daker, who is wonderfully played by Peter Davison. Daker is so out of his depth to start with, but slowly he managed to learn the way of survival, then life, then enjoyment, as he learns from his colleagues, his friends, and the lovely Lyn Turtle.
As has been said before, this is a story about life - as we all have to live it. It's superbly written, excellently played, and delightfully spiced.
Come on, BBC - release Series 2 on DVD!!!