Doc Martin

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For the historic Taos, New Mexico, physician, see Thomas "Doc" Martin. For the footwear and clothing brand, see Dr. Martens. For the baseball player, see Doc Martin (baseball).
Doc Martin
Doc Martin logo.png
Created by Dominic Minghella
Theme music composer Colin Towns
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 6
No. of episodes 46 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Philippa Braithwaite
Running time 38× 50mins
1× 92mins
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 576i (2004 - 2009)
1080i (2009 - 2013)
Original run 2 September 2004 – Present
External links

Doc Martin is a British television medical comedy drama series starring Martin Clunes in the title role. It was created by Dominic Minghella[1] after the character of Dr. Martin Bamford in the 2000 comedy film Saving Grace.[2] The show is set in the fictional seaside village of Portwenn and filmed on location in the village of Port Isaac, Cornwall, England, with most interior scenes shot in a converted local barn. Five series aired between 2004 and 2011, together with a feature-length special that aired on Christmas Day 2006. The sixth series began airing on ITV on 2 September 2013 and aired its last episode "Departure" on 21 October 2013. A seventh series has been commissioned.


Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes), a brilliant and successful vascular surgeon at Imperial College London, develops haemophobia (a fear of blood), forcing him to stop practising surgery. He obtains a post as the general practitioner (GP) in the sleepy Cornish village of Portwenn, where he spent childhood holidays with his Aunt Joan (Stephanie Cole). Upon arriving in Portwenn – where, to his frustration, the locals address him as "Doc Martin" – he finds the surgery in disarray. He inherits an incompetent receptionist, Elaine Denham (Lucy Punch). In series 2–4, Pauline Lamb (Katherine Parkinson), a new receptionist and later phlebotomist, replaces Elaine. In 2011, Morwenna Newcross (Jessica Ransom) takes up the post.

The show revolves around Ellingham's interactions with the local Cornish villagers. Despite his medical brilliance, Ellingham is gruff and ill-mannered and lacks social skills. His cold, abrasive manner offends many of the villagers. They perceive him to be short-tempered and lacking in a bedside manner, whereas he feels he is performing his duties in a professional and no-nonsense manner, not wasting time chatting with the villagers. The villagers eventually discover his fear of blood and the frequent and debilitating bouts of nausea and vomiting it causes. Ellingham's aunt, Joan Norton, provides emotional support in the face of the disquiet his abrupt manner causes among the villagers. Ellingham also finds it difficult to express his romantic feelings to primary school teacher Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz), often spoiling a rare tender moment with, for example, a comment about an unpleasant medical condition or requesting a stool sample.

Original character[edit]

Martin Clunes originally played a character called "Dr Martin Bamford" in the 2000 film Saving Grace and its two made-for-TV prequels, Doc Martin and Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie, which were made by British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). The prequels show Bamford, a successful obstetrician rather than surgeon, finding out that his wife has been carrying on extramarital affairs behind his back. After confronting her with the news, he escapes London and heads for Cornwall, which he remembers fondly from his youth. Shortly after he arrives, he is involved in the mystery of the "Jellymaker" and, following the departure of the village's resident GP, decides to stay in Port Isaac and fill the gap. In these three films the village is not known as Portwenn.

The original deal was to produce two such television films per year for three years, but Sky Pictures folded after the first two episodes were made, so Clunes's company tried to sell the franchise to ITV. ITV felt the Martin Bamford character should be portrayed as a "townie", out of his depth and uncomfortable in the country. They also wanted something edgier, so Clunes suggested the doctor be very grumpy and socially inept. The new doctor's surname was to be Ellingham, an anagram of the last name of the new writer, Dominic Minghella, who was brought in to rework the doctor's background and create a new cast of supporting characters.

Along with Clunes, the only actors to appear in both versions of Doc Martin are Tristan Sturrock and Tony Maudsley.


Six series totaling 46 episodes have aired on ITV in the UK between 2004 and 2013. Episodes are 50 minutes, except the 2006 TV film which is 92 minutes. In the US, American Public Television provides the 2006 TV film as a two-part episode with the second episode airing the week after the first.

The first three series were broadcast from 2004-2007; subsequent series have aired only in odd-numbered years.

Series 7[edit]

Clunes has confirmed that the seventh series will be shot in 2015, but because of the difficulty in creating new storylines, the series may be the show's last.[3]


In the UK, Doc Martin has been a ratings success for ITV with the third series achieving ITV's best midweek drama performance in the 9pm Monday slot since December 2004.[4] The final episode of the third series was watched by 10.37 million viewers, which is the programme's highest-ever viewing figure for a single episode.[5]

In 2009, Doc Martin was moved to a 9pm Sunday time slot for the broadcast of Series 4. That change meant that it followed-on from ITV's The X Factor programme. Series 4 ratings were adversely impacted by STV not screening the majority of ITV drama productions in Scotland. The final episode of Series 4 had ratings of 10.29 million[6] viewers. STV went back on its decision not to screen ITV drama in Scotland. Series 4 of Doc Martin was broadcast on Sunday afternoons in August 2011.

Foreign adaptations[edit]

Notro Films produced a Spanish version under the title Doctor Mateo for Antena 3 Televisión. It aired in 2009 and was shot in Lastres, Asturias, with the fictional name of San Martín del Sella twinned with Portwenn.

French television producers Ego Productions, in cooperation with TF1, have produced a French version of the series starring Thierry Lhermitte as Dr Martin Le Foll, with the series based in the fictional Breton town of Port-Garrec, twinned with Portwenn.[7][8]

In Germany, Doktor Martin an adaptation of the original series, airs on ZDF with Axel Milberg as Doktor Martin Helling[dead link], a surgeon from Berlin. The counterpart of Portwenn was the real existing village of Neuharlingersiel in East Frisia.

In Austria the equivalent to Doc Martin is Der Bergdoktor which translates to The mountain doctor. The doctor is called Dr Martin Gruber played by Austrian actor Hans Sigl. It is set in the picturesque village of Ellmau in the Tirol region. Like Portwenn this is a rural setting but in mountains rather than on the coast. The series began in 2008.

In Greece, Kliniki Periptosi an adaptation of the original series, was aired in November 2011 on Mega Channel with Yannis Bezos as Markos Staikos, a surgeon from New York.

In the Netherlands Dokter Tinus based on the original series began airing in late August 2012 on SBS6 with the main role being played by actor Thom Hoffman. The series was shot in Woudrichem.

A Russian version is mentioned in the Series 5 bonus material.

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6
Dr. Martin Ellingham Martin Clunes
Louisa Ellingham Caroline Catz
Bert Large Ian McNeice
Al Large Joe Absolom
Sally Tishell Selina Cadell
Caroline Bosman Felicity Montagu Felicity Montagu
Margaret Ellingham Claire Bloom Claire Bloom
PC Joe Penhale John Marquez
Dr. Ruth Ellingham Eileen Atkins
Morwenna Newcross Jessica Ransom
Jennifer Cardew Annabelle Apsion

Past characters[edit]

Character Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6
Elaine Denham Lucy Punch
Adrian Pitts Rupert Young
PC Mark Mylow Stewart Wright
Peter Cronk Kurtis O'Brien
Joy Cronk Mary Woodvine
Mrs. Richards Vicki Pepperdine
Col. Gilbert Spencer Richard Johnson
Ross Finlay Robertson
Chris Parsons Vincent Franklin Vincent Franklin
Roger Fenn Jeff Rawle
Joan Norton Stephanie Cole
Julie Mitchell Angeline Ball
Danny Steel Tristan Sturrock
Pauline Lamb Katherine Parkinson
Mick Mabley Joseph Morgan
Dr. Edith Montgomery Lia Williams
Eleanor Glasson Louise Jameson
Maggie Penhale Julie Graham
Michael Pruddy Felix Scott

Guest stars[edit]

Guest stars have included Amanda Abbington, Celia Imrie, John Alderton, Hugh Lloyd, Doreen Mantle, Margaret Tyzack, Christian Rodska, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Anne Reid, Miriam Margolyes, Stephanie Leonidas, Nick Brimble, Ben Miller, Chris O'Dowd, Robert Daws, Kenneth Cranham, David Bamber, Mathew Horne, Lucy Robinson, Gwen Taylor, Sylvestra la Touzel, Anthony Calf, David Haig, Phyllida Law, Benjamin Whitrow, Louise Delamere, Nicholas Le Prevost, Sophie Thompson, Mathew Baynton, Andrew Lee Potts, John Duttine, Julia St. John and Tony Maudsley.

International broadcasters[edit]

  • In Argentina, Doc Martin airs on Film & Arts channel.
  • In Australia, series 1-5 were broadcast on ABC1. It was shown on Australian PayTV channel, UKTV. Repeat episodes from series one to three have been shown on 7Two from 5 May 2011.
  • In Belarus, Doc Martin (Doktar Marcin) airs on Belsat TV channel.
  • In Belgium, Doc Martin airs on the public channel Eén.
  • In Brazil, Doc Martin airs on Film & Arts channel.
  • In Bulgaria, all Doc Martin series aired on the Hallmark channel.
  • In Canada, Doc Martin airs on VisionTV and Knowledge in British Columbia. All of Series 1-6 can also be viewed on Acorn TV.
  • In Chile, Doc Martin airs on Film & Arts channel.
  • In Colombia, Doc Martin airs on Film & Arts channel.
  • In Czech Republic, Doc Martin (Doktor Martin) airs on the CT1 since 1 October 2009.
  • In Denmark, Doc Martin airs on the public commercial channel TV2 Charlie.
  • In Estonia, Doc Martin (Doktor Martin) airs on ETV
  • In Finland, Doc Martin has been aired on the public commercial channel MTV3. Starting 8 January 2015 seasons 1-6 will be aired on YLE.
  • In France, the adaptation Doc Martin airs on TF1.
  • In Hungary, Doc Martin airs on Duna TV.
  • In Iceland, Doc Martin airs as 'Martin læknir' on Sjónvarpið.
  • In Ireland, Doc Martin airs on TV3.
  • In Italy, Doc Martin also airs on the public channel RAI.
  • In Italy, Hungary, Russia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and other countries where available, Doc Martin airs on the Hallmark Channel.
  • In Mexico, Doc Martin airs on Film & Arts channel.
  • In Netherlands, the adaptation Dokter Tinus airs on SBS6.
  • In New Zealand, Doc Martin aired on TV One. It was also shown on New Zealand PayTV channel, UKTV
  • In Norway, the first season of Doc Martin aired on the public channel NRK1 with reruns on VOX in 2012.
  • In Poland, Doc Martin (Doktor Martin) airs on the public channel TVP2 since 4 November 2009 and a portal IPLEX since 2010.
  • In Romania, all Doc Martin series aired on the Hallmark channel.
  • In Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the Middle East, Doc Martin airs on the Orbit Showtime Network OSN.
  • In Serbia, Doc Martin (Doktor Martin) airs on TV Avala channel.
  • In Slovenia, Doc Martin series 4 airs on the SLO1 (Slovenia 1) channel.
  • In South Africa, Doc Martin airs on the Hallmark Channel on DSTV.
  • In Spain, the adaptation Doctor Mateo (Doctor Mateo in Spanish) airs on Antena 3 TV channel.
  • In Sweden, Doc Martin aired on commercial broadcaster Kanal 9 from late 2008 through 2012.
  • In Turkey, Doc Martin airs on Dizimax Enteriantment
  • In Uruguay, Doc Martin airs on Film & Arts channel.
  • In the United States, Doc Martin is distributed by APT to subscribing local stations. The show can also be viewed in the US on Netflix, Amazon streaming and Hulu. And series 1-6 can be viewed on Acorn TV.
  • In Venezuela, Doc Martin airs on People & Arts.

DVD releases[edit]

Series 1, 2 and 3 and "On the Edge" were released separately on Region 1 and 2 and in the "complete Series 1 to 3" box set. Series 3 was released on 2 February 2010 and Series 4 was released for region 1 and 2 on 6 July 2010. Series 5 was released in Region 1 on 5 June 2012 and region 2 on 5 March 2012. A complete boxset of series 1-5 is also available for region 2. Series 6 of Doc Martin was released in he Region 1 in December 2013 and in the UK (Region 2) on 24 March 2014.

In region 4, Series 1, 2, 4, and "On the Edge" were released separately and in a nine-disc boxset entitled "Doc Martin: Comedy Cure", as well as an earlier seven-disc boxset not including Series 4. The two Sky Pictures telefilms were individually released in Region 4 (as 'Doc Martin: volume 1' and 'Doc Martin: volume 2, the Legend of the Cloutie') on the Magna Pacific label, but are now out-of-print. The show is available on Netflix.


In 2013 it was announced that two novels were to be released to coincide with the 6th series.[9]


In 2004 Doc Martin won the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Drama, having also been nominated as Best New TV Comedy. In the same year, Martin Clunes won the Best TV Comedy Actor award, primarily for his portrayal of Doc Martin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deans, Jason (11 November 2005). "ITV's Doc Martin kicks Spooks into touch". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  2. ^ "'Doc Martin' star Martin Clunes on the making of the British series". Los Angeles Times. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  3. ^ Jensen, Elizabeth (24 January 2014). "The British Series ‘Doc Martin’ Takes Off in U.S.". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Dowell, Ben (30 October 2007). "Doc Martin breaks 9m barrier". London: Media Guardian. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  5. ^ "Weekly viewing summary". BARB. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". 20 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  7. ^ "Thierry Lhermitte est "Doc Martin"". TF1. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Episode 1.
  9. ^ "New 'Doc Martin' books". Retrieved 24 November 2013. 

External links[edit]