Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Martin Clunes returns as Britain’s favourite grumpy medic in a new series of Doc Martin for ITV (SPOILERS)
Martin Clunes reprises his role as Dr. Martin Ellingham, the GP with a brusque bedside manner and a phobia of blood, in eight new episodes of the ratings winning drama produced by Buffalo Pictures, and set in the idyllic, sleepy hamlet of Portwenn in Cornwall.
Picturesque Port Isaac on the North Cornwall coast is the setting for this popular series. Caroline Catz plays Doc Martin’s wife Louisa. The couple married in the last series, but their marital harmony was short lived. After a life-threatening incident, Louisa decided to take their son James Henry to stay with her mother in Spain while they try to work out their problems.
The Doc is heartbroken by their departure, and realises he has got to make changes if he wants to win them back, and be a family again.
Martin Clunes says: “It was great to be back on the beautiful North Cornish coast to shoot series seven of Doc Martin. The Doc has some serious work to do if he is going to persuade Louisa to come back.”
Audience figures since the series was introduced in 2004 have averaged in excess of 9 million viewers.
Returning to the series, Dame Eileen Atkins plays Doc Martin’s formidable Aunt Ruth. She doesn’t suffer fools, just like her nephew. In the new series Aunt Ruth faces a medical emergency, which she tries to ignore, but the Doc won’t let her.
Ian McNeice returns as local restaurateur Bert Large, with Joe Absolom as his tolerant son Al. With the restaurant struggling to stay afloat Bert dreams up another moneymaking scheme.
Meanwhile Al is setting up in business with Ruth. He’s renovated her farmhouse, and is opening a bed and breakfast to attract tourists for fishing holidays. The first guests are, however, far from impressed.
John Marquez will also reprise his role as eccentric local police officer PC Joe Penhale, who often creates more problems than he solves as he attempts to instill law and order into the community. In the new series he is getting to grips with a newly issued Taser gun, with disastrous consequences.
Jessica Ransom is back as receptionist, Morwenna Newcross, who is looking for a pay rise for trying to keep the doctor in line. Selina Cadell returns as Mrs Tishell, the pharmacist.
Joining the series is Robyn Addison, who plays Janice the new nanny employed to look after James Henry, and Emily Bevan, as Dr Rachel Timoney, the psychotherapist who tries to help the Doc to save his marriage.
The series has a host of guest stars including Caroline Quentin, Gemma Jones, Finty Williams, Daniel Ryan, and Rosie Cavaliero. Sigourney Weaver has a cameo role in one episode.
More than 800 local people turned up for auditions in Port Isaac for extras roles in the new series. As the doors of the church hall opened for the auditions there was a queue of 150 babies in prams and pushchairs hoping to be selected for the role of 11-month-old James Henry. Archer Langridge, Harry Rossi Collins, Maverick Bentley and Olly Gard took turns to toddle into the role.
Following its launch in 2004 Doc Martin was an instant success, winning a place in the hearts of the audience despite the Doc’s lack of social skills.
Philippa Braithwaite produced the series, Mark Crowdy is executive producer and the directors are Nigel Cole, Charles Palmer and Ben Gregor. The writers are Jack Lothian, Richard Stoneman and Julian Unthank.
Doc Martin was recommissioned for ITV by Steve November and Victoria Fea. Steve says: “We are delighted Doc Martin is back on ITV. Martin has created a unique and very watchable character who for all his faults is hugely appreciated by the audience.” Doc Martin is screened worldwide including in America, Africa, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Russia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, Uruguay and Venezuela.