British Comedy Guide

Ian McNeice

Doc Martin's cast shares the secrets behind new series

As one of TV's most popular dramas returns to our screens, David Stephenson meets the Doc Martin cast on location in Cornwall for its penultimate series.

David Stephenson, The Daily Express, 17th September 2017

Filming starts on Doc Martin Series 8

Martin Clunes is back in Cornwall as filming starts on Series 8 of ITV's hit comedy drama Doc Martin.

British Comedy Guide, 21st March 2017

Few events are considered too unlikely to make it into the storyline of Doc Martin. Thus this penultimate episode sees the kind folk of idyllic Port Wenn harassed by a pair of violent loan sharks who, not content with terrorising Bert Large (Ian McNeice) over an outstanding debt, also try to shake down poor old cat-sanctuary owner Florence Dingle (Anne Reid). Mind you, even that doesn't sound so far-fetched compared with tonight's claim by Louisa's mother Eleanor (Louise Jameson) that she once ran a successful restaurant out in Andalusia. Now that's truly absurd.

Gerald O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 21st October 2011

Another biggish guest star arrives: Julie Graham memorably spent three years as Martin Clunes's screen wife in William and Mary, and here they are again, reunited. Except they're not quite, because in Doc Martin, Graham plays the wife of PC Penhale (John Marquez). That's odd, considering we didn't know he was married. It's even odder that his wife thinks he's only just arrived in Portwenn.

Meanwhile, Cornwall's worst restaurateur Bert Large (Ian McNeice) is deeper in debt than ever, a fisherman keeps fainting, Eileen Atkins desperately deserves more screen time as Aunt Ruth, and Louisa's mother is still causing trouble, above and beyond her annoyingly nomadic accent.

As for the Doc himself, an episode full of the customary, satisfying sight of him being rude to people who fully deserve it has a glimpse of warmth at the end. That it's hard-won makes it all the more affecting - Clunes is brilliant at letting those little flickers shine through.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 10th October 2011

Whilst the rest of Port Wenn gears up for the village fun run, the doc remains as curmudgeonly as ever ("sprains, tendonitis, dehydration, dislodged testicles, cardiac arrest, sounds like a lot of fun"). The event sparks culinary rivalry between local restaurant owners Bert (Ian McNeice) and Mark (Tom Goodman-Hill). Both battle it out to provide bargain meals for spectators. Meanwhile Louisa (Caroline Catz) gets a surprise visit from an unwelcome guest. Her hippyish mother Eleanor (Louise Jameson) turns up at the surgery and announces she's staying.

Toby Dantzic, The Telegraph, 30th September 2011

And difference was the secret of a wonderful weekend of popular drama on BBC One. Jonathan Creek remains indefinably cross-genre. It is a mystery series without detectives, an X-Files saga for sceptics. It is a comedy that can scare you rigid. At its centre is a romance that never happens. I don't know how long it takes David Renwick to devise his meticulous Creek plots but in last night's not a line was wasted. Even the ones apparently there just to be funny had hidden purpose. "They think there might be an early malignancy knocking about there somewhere," said Ian McNeice's hypochondriac priest of his ample body. But he really was ill - although he performed a little resurrection from the pulpit at the end.

The episode was called The Judas Tree and its plot would not have worked without its Bible references or its Roman Catholic dramatis personae. Yet only a very solemn Christian would object to its showing on Easter Day. In any case, from the moment of Creek's first party trick - divining from his maligned sidekick Joey's appearance exactly what she had been doing that day - this was, more than anything, a Sherlock Holmes story.

Andrew Billen, The Times, 6th April 2010