Filming for the ninth season of the drama, which airs on ITV in the UK and Acorn TV in the U.S., has begun with Clunes returning as Dr. Martin Ellingham, the GP with a brusque bedside manner and a phobia of blood.
Set in the idyllic hamlet of Portwenn in Cornwall, the show has been commissioned for an eight-episode run.
The regular cast returns with Caroline Catz playing 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. 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.
Nigel Cole and Charlie Palmer direct.
In season nine, 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. It’s not clear whether season nine is the final season of the Buffalo Pictures-produced drama but Clunes has hinted that he hopes to return for more episodes
Clunes said, “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.”
Doc Martin brings thousands of tourists to Port Isaac every year and this boost was recognized by Cornwall Tourism at a ceremony at Truro Cathedral.
Producer Philippa Braithwaite added that the show has contributed a fund for the village and has raised £134,000 so far. “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.”