Review: The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor), season 4

Rodger Corser in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)

The Heart Guy – called Doctor, Doctor in Australia where it originates – has 4 seasons available now on Acorn.TV in the U.S. This review will talk about season 4. The latest season has the same brilliant, self-destructive, charm that Dr. Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser) has always delivered. There are some minor spoilers ahead.

When season 4 begins, a year has passed. Hugh’s baby girl is a year old. Most of the time Hugh’s mother or the hospital staff are taking care of the little one. For a few episodes, Hugh’s mother-in-law Dinah (Robyn Nevin) shows up wanting a piece of the little girl.

Charlie (Nicole da Silva) has been gone writing and selling books for a year.

Ryan Johnson and Miranda Tapsell in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
Matt and April look happy together, don’t they?

Even though Charlie and Matt (Ryan Johnson) aren’t officially divorced, he’s living with April (Miranda Tapsell) and they are trying to have a baby.

Nicole da Silva in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
Look out, Charlie’s back

Nothing can stay peaceful with this bunch. Charlie shows up acting like she’d like to have Matt back. Will she wriggle her way back into the family?

Kate Jenkinson in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
A new doctor in town

A new doctor named Tara (Kate Jenkinson) arrives. She’s stuck in Whyhope on probation for drugs and drinking. Whyhope is obviously the destination of last resort for doctors on probation.

Hayley McElhinney in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
Really, is having Hugh supervise someone with drug and alcohol problems the best idea?

The boss at the hospital, Penny (Hayley McElhinney), puts Hugh in charge of Tara. The first night Tara and Hugh are in Whyhope together they get roaring drunk, do cocaine and enjoy a threesome with a woman who visits selling medical supplies now and then.

Hugh was so wrecked the next morning he missed an important meeting. They were selling his invention to secure needed new equipment for the hospital. That didn’t work out as planned . . .

Hayley McElhinney, Belinda Bromilow, and Charles Wu in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
Penny, Ken (Charles Wu) and Betty (Belinda Bromilow) still hold the hospital together.

Other than the doctors with their sexual tensions, self-destructive addictions, and inability to commit, the rest of the hospital staff is steady as a rock. Thank goodness for Ken and Betty.

Speaking of sexual tension, Penny and Hugh are in love. You know they are. Everyone knows they are. But they cannot get it to work.

Hayley McElhinney and Dustin Clare in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
Getting married is a terrible idea. Let’s do it!

Penny’s solution to the dilemma is to marry a mining engineer named Jarrod (Dustin Clare). When the season ended, that whole situation was up in the air.

Tina Bursill and Matt Castley in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
Let’s both run for mayor. That makes perfect sense.

In the Knight household, Meryl (Tina Bursill) still wants to be mayor. When she convinces Ajax (Matt Castley) to run against her because she thinks he’s a sure loser, family conflict ensues.

Chloe Bayliss in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)

Hayley (Chloe Bayliss) has to choose between Meryl her mentor and Ajax her husband. She chooses herself and finds a new job that is a total surprise.

Rodger Corser and Kate Jenkinson in The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor)
The doc has PTSD

I enjoyed Kate Jenkinson’s character Tara. She had a complex backstory and PTSD. Some of her story arc was deeply emotional. Everyone in this tale has flaws, but her flaws were particularly interesting and she played the character brilliantly. It was nice to see a couple of my favorite actors from Wentworth show up in the same place.

I’ve reviewed every season of The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor). I’ve found the acting excellent and the story engaging. The characters are well drawn. The pitfalls and mistakes people make are well-written. The series overall has a happy feeling. It’s well-lit and bright with cheerful music most of the time. All 4 seasons have been consistently good. The plot twists and surprises are frequent enough to keep things stirred up and action packed.

There were a couple of women directors in season 4, and the writing staff includes several women.

Poster for The Heart Guy
Don’t you feel the impulse to pin this on Pinterest?

I cannot locate a trailer for season 4 of the series. If you’re already a fan you probably don’t need one to want to watch this series immediately. If you aren’t familiar with the series, start with season 1. You’ll want to keep going.

33 thoughts on “Review: The Heart Guy (Doctor Doctor), season 4”

  1. Sorry, but season 4 was dreadful. To many new characters. Old characters that had chemistry together separated. It’s all getting a bit boring. Jumped the shark.

    1. Sometimes after a year or 18 months of waiting for a new season of a favorite show, it’s hard to get back into it. I don’t feel that way about The Heart Guy, but it does happen with me, too.

      1. Michael Goffredo

        That must have been while I was blinking, because I missed it. The truth is, the writers didn’t want the character in the show anymore, and just pretended he never existed — a mistake, because he was an interesting character, and had a developing relationship with Hugh.

    1. I agree. He brought out the best of Hugh….but I’m sure Hugh’s baby daughter would have created one subplot too many for the children to mix…..oh well.

  2. I’m actually finding myself not liking most of the characters during season 4. Is it supposed to be ok that Hugh is drinking and doing drugs while parenting a baby? I keep hoping for an epiphany but i feel disappointed in all the characters except maybe Ajax.

  3. I agree with Amy above. I thought in season 3 Hugh was improving becoming more responsible and trying to mature. He seems to have regressed in this season and the cocaine usage in this season with doctors using and then treating patients the next day and not bat a eye at it. Thats crazy! So unrealistic. And so irresponsible of the writers to act like one can be a “recreational” drug user and it is fine. I am not liking this season at all. Also there is more relationship drama and not as much medical drama which made it so interesting. I hope season 5 improves

  4. I agree with those whose opinion on Hugh getting drunk and using cocaine is not really something we all want to see, but I think the writers were trying to make a point because he was miserable when Penny and Jarrod became an item. Sure the writers could have done other things to show his pining and yes, very unrealistic about binging one night and performing brilliant surgery the next. HOWEVER, this is TV not real life and this show is not real life. The best part of the show is the love conflict between Penny and Hugh and for that alone it makes me excited and hopeful that there is another season. I absolutely love this show, even with all it’s faults.

  5. I hated season 4. The lightness and humour was gone. Bitterness and anger replaced it. We are all interested in the relationship between Penny and Hugh, and want them to be together. At the end of season 3, he tells her he loves her. Never done that before. She wants to get back together but wants him to stay in Whyhope. He wants to go back to Sydney. However, that very night Harriet leaves the baby for him and leaves town. Problem solved by the previous writers. He now has to stay in Whyhope.
    So high hopes for season 4, right. But no, a whole year has gone by as episode 1 begins and nothing at all has happened. Has she forgotten what he said. She seems to have, when he tells her again after his birthday party. Is he not pursuing her. When I saw Tara my blood pressure rose because it was obvious what drugs she could entice him with. Penny seems not to realize this, as she would have before. Instead she lets it all happen. Jarrod on the other hand is corrupt, and the audience is shown this. Penny is oblivious, when she wouldn’t have been previously. It’s so apparent that they intend to reverse all this in season 5, but we are all so unhappy with this season that it may not happen. I want the old writers back.
    These aren’t the same people, the characters we all loved.

  6. Season 4 is a bit absurd. Physician’s treating while actively using? Emotional regression? Cultural “education”? Miss the old writers.

  7. Would have appreciated the referral to Penny’s son mentioned during important decision making seeing as he was basically written out.

    Think this last season had a lot of gaps too. Jumped a bit no gradual lead ups to changes in some circumstances.

    What happened to Hugh’s daughter throughout too hardly visible or mentioned for a single Dad?

    Anyway still enjoy the show.

  8. From the start two things about this show seemed strange to me as an American. First, the relations between men and women are about twenty years behind what American PC television would allow. And most strange was that the Australian equivalent of the AMA would permit the show to portray actively practicing doctors as both positive leading characters and also drug users and alcoholics. If I got sick in Australia I’d never see a doctor there. As a series the show had a certain quirky charm at the start, but they’ve run out of plots and it’s become a bore.

    1. I’ve never taken the series seriously enough to worry about Australian medical care. I look at it as comedy. Now you’ve got me wondering how they did get away with doctors acting this way on television.

      1. I might also say that at almost 50 Rodger Corser is getting too old for the part. Any professional person as out of control as he is at his age risks being viewed not as troubled, but degenerate. (Too bad nothing at all was done in the plot to develop a father-son relationship with Ajax. That would have helped with his character — although he still goes off the deep end after Eliza.)

  9. Geez, what a dumb season! April, “being so much in love with Matt” resorted to hating him and foul mouthing him only because he said he couldn’t pick her? Talk about showing her true colors! What if they had had a baby? The relationship would have been an entire fake, too. And Hugh being accused of being bad and responsible for all kinds of crap all the time! Like when Tara said, after he had rescued her, that she had “really needed him” that night. For freaks’ sake: At the brewery he had offered to come with her, and she had rejected him! And him “insulting” everyone at his birthday and then having to apologize? He was drunk when he arrived there, and even though it was a surprise party, nobody even got up when he entered! And don’t get me started on Penny! She made super dumb decisions and wasn’t mature at all! And then it’s always Hugh who is at fault? What about corrupt Darren? Where did he go? And to not even mention Penny’s son at all anymore, what sloppy writing. Plus … the little baby Eliza was without mom or dad or grandma most of the time, but in the care of the lunatic Ajax? He was portrayed at being slowwitted most of the them – geez! I was rolling my eyes the entire time! Why was I watching it? Because I liked Meryl. There. And because I’m also grieving and needed to drown my thoughts in something too meaningless to care. The above is catharsis, thank you very much.

  10. I’m really disappointed that the writers of this show saw fit to have Hugh start back with his drug use. The whole point of this show seemed to be how his time in the small town made him a better, more responsible man. Hopefully series 5 will make him more of a grown up.

  11. I just finished Season 4 last night and am on this page because I googled “What happened to Penny’s son?” Glad I am not alone in wondering. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where he was. I must have missed the quick reference that he was in boarding school. He was central to Penny’s life and the main reason she needed to stay in Whyhope. So, at the end of this season, she decides to leave her job at the hospital almost immediately after a car accident and run off to another part of Australia with her new husband whose relationship with her is a bit dicey? And no mention of her son? Wouldn’t he come back for visits from time to time? Does he even know she left or where she went? She was more interested in the young accident patients than him! You can’t just ignore/erase a character like that.

    I agree with the others here that Hugh needs to grow up. His self destructiveness is getting very old. If the overdoses of women close to him, the single parenthood of his baby, the destruction of his relationship with backers of his medical invention, or Penny’s love are not enough, what is?

    I didn’t know at the time I watched Season 4 that there will be another season, so I found the ending very unsatisfying. I also find it ridiculous that he can go on binge after nightly binge and treat patients the next day. And why oh why would he supervise Tara?

    Hoping Season 5 gives some clarity and hope to Whyhope, Hugh and Penny.

  12. show is entertaining and sometimes uncomfortable – but keeps me coming back. i like the show – it’s not a “hallmark special” – no one is asking me (anyone) to “approve” of all the characters’ actions – everyone needs to lighten up a bit. – omg people , it’s a “tv show” – all the judgement and emotional involvement to point of “being disappointed”, etc is insane. I’m a american- we’ve been binge-watching – it’s a soap opera for goodness sake – if it was “reality” it wouldn’t be on tv, it would be next-door. It’s fun-ish, and i particularly like the kind-of more traditional values people have. So, no real need to be “prudish” – its just “entertainment”. Sorry to be hard, but what the heck is going on with everyone? He’s the exact opposite of Doc Martin… difficult to be “just right” isn’t it?

  13. I’ve just discovered season 5 on Acorn TV via Amazon Prime; I’m glad I’m not the only one to wonder where Penny’s son went. I remember him going to boarding school but my goodness he wouldn’t be there that long. Spoiler alert<—-☆if you haven't started season 5 read no further.
    I'm happy to see that Hugh has changed but I think him& Penny swapped lifestyles. I'm just on Ep.3 so we'll see. I'm eager to watch but I know once I finish it's a wrap. No more The Heart Guy .

  14. Pingback: The Heart Guy (Doctor, Doctor) season 5: so long, Whyhope - Old Ain't Dead

  15. Just started Season 5. I was looking up what happened to Penny’s son too. So weird. It’s like he never existed. I saw mentions that Season 4 had new writers. Definitely wasn’t as good a Season. Not sure this will be any better. I miss the humor that plays out as each fallible character encounters some conflict. It just seems to be trying too hard. I do, however, appreciate their handling of the death of a character, Kassie, from cancer. Not sure if she was in previous episodes, but I do like how they have made “death” a part of life in Wyhope and show that “medicine” isn’t always the best answer at the end. I am curious, though, how it will all turn out.

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