Filming begins this week with Martin Clunes starring as Dr. Martin Ellingham, the GP with a brusque bedside manner and a phobia of blood, in eight new episodes of the hugely successful drama produced by Buffalo Pictures, and set in the idyllic hamlet of Portwenn in Cornwall.
Picturesque Port Isaac provides the beautiful backdrop for the popular series, with all regular members of the cast reprising their roles.
Caroline Catz plays Doc Martin’s wife, Louisa Ellingham, who has resigned from her job as headmistress at the local school to pursue a new career in child counselling.
Returning to this ninth series, Dame Eileen Atkins plays Doc Martin’s formidable Aunt Ruth. Ian McNeice is back to play Bert Large, with Joe Absolom as his son Al. John Marquez is PC Joe Penhale, Jessica Ransom is the doctor’s receptionist Morwenna Newcross and Selina Cadell is pharmacist Mrs Tishell.
“We love going to Cornwall to make Doc Martin, and we miss it when we are not there. The county is so beautiful, and the people have been so warm and welcoming to us. It is the best job in television.”
In this new series the Doc’s career is hanging in the balance. His future as a GP is under scrutiny from the General Medical Council following complaints about his irascible approach to patients.
Doc Martin has been filming in picturesque Port Isaac, and the surrounding areas of the north coast of Cornwall since 2004. The huge popularity of the ITV drama has brought thousands more tourists to the pretty hamlet. This boost to tourism was recognised by Cornwall Tourism which presented a special award for outstanding contribution to tourism to the Doc Martin team at a grand ceremony held at Truro Cathedral.
Producer Philippa Braithwaite says the Doc Martin team was delighted to receive such a prestigious award.
“The people of Cornwall, and Port Isaac in particular, have always been so helpful to us when we are making Doc Martin. We are thrilled that we have been able to give something back, and to be recognised in this way is the icing on the cake.
“We also contribute to a fund for the village and have raised £134,000 so far. The people of Port Isaac decide how the funds should be used.”
The funding has helped to support the Port Isaac Village School and it’s nursery, with transport for swimming and after school clubs. It has supported the Village Hall, provided disabled access to the hall, and helped to arrange transport for outings, speakers and meals for local pensioners. Funds have also been used for the Christmas lights in Port Isaac, and to set up an arts group.
Head of Visit Cornwall, Malcolm Bell, said, as he presented the outstanding contribution award to Mark Crowdy, Doc Martin’s Executive Producer:
“The Doc Martin team has projected the beauty and unique quality of Cornwall in the UK and around the world. At trade events in the overseas markets they are frequently mentioned, and resulted in generating interest in and considerable visits to Cornwall.
“Their output showcases our stunning coast and Cornwall. In our research our visitors cited it influenced around 10% of our visitors to return or visit for the first time.”
The first seven series of Doc Martin have been produced locally in seven territories: UK, Germany, France, Greece, Netherlands, Czech Republic/Slovakia and Spain and sold in 138 countries.
The directors of this ninth series of Doc Martin are Nigel Cole and Charlie Palmer.