This ever-popular, televisual equivalent of a hot water bottle returns for a ninth and final series next year. It's so gentle that it could end by simply nodding off.Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 8th November 2017
Two years Doc Martin's been off our screens and I find, somewhat head-scratchingly, that I've somewhat missed it. A rather welcome fainting lady vicar came to town, and failed to marry dunderhead Joe, and Al's fat dad poisoned everyone, and thus all was back to normal among the usual yahoos and googans of Portwenn.
At heart, despite the clotted-cream fantasies, this still revolves around the Doc and the fact that the problem of living in any paradise, anywhere, will always, surely, simply be people and relationships. At one point, poor Louisa asked her husband, famously filter-free to the point I'm always staggered he passed any GMC screenings, of their son, James Henry: "Do you think he likes me?" Answers the now-peerless Martin Clunes: "Who knows?" A tragedy stuck inside a comedy, as so many fine British comedies have ever been at heart.Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 24th September 2017
Doc Martin (ITV, Wednesday) still is, and at the top of its game. So much so it would put car mechanics out of business. It also has the advantage of only appearing every two years, meaning that the lay off almost makes you forget just how good it was. It's also the only doctor's surgery anyone fancies visiting.
In the opening episode, the Doc was grumpier than ever. For him, this is an "all-life crisis". If he won the lottery, I'm sure he'd throw the ticket in the bin before sticking pins in his eyes.
Does anyone actually behave like this or are they "on the spectrum"? If it is the latter, he's off the scale, but who cares. In real life, you would simply be saying, "Wow, the Doc's hard work. How long do we have to stay?"
To cheer himself up in series eight, he's agreed for wife Louisa (Caroline Catz) to have a dog, which of course, is something else to complain about, and trip over, while banging his head on a low door. If you know a grumpier person than this, please contact a TV company about doing a documentary.
He was ably assisted by PC Penhale (John Marquez) who was told so many times that he was an idiot, I expect an immediate class libel action from the local constabulary to stand up for one of their own.
The village plod was suffering kidney stones: "How often are you passing water?" asked the Doc. He replied: "Bit personal isn't it, Doc?" This prompted the policeman to say, "I'm not an idiot". Oh, yes you are. As the episode closed, Penhale's quest for romance dissolved along with his kidney stones. He seemed more relieved about the latter. Quite right.David Stephenson, The Daily Express, 24th September 2017
Toby Earle goes for a check-up in Portwenn.Toby Earle, Evening Standard, 20th September 2017
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
The actor, 55, on not wanting to break Hollywood, being too big for the set - and missing his cows...The Mirror, 10th September 2017
Viewers said they'd really prefer ITV News at Ten to "car crash", "copycat" television.Ellie Harrison, Radio Times, 28th February 2017
As the much-loved Cornish drama is repeated on Friday nights, explore the real Portwenn...Jade Bremner, Radio Times, 8th July 2016
After a bump on the head Briers' Godfrey Spry believes he has to do exactly what the adverts say - with often disastrous results.George Bass, The Guardian, 9th June 2016
Much like ITV's Doc Martin, this Welsh valleys-based comedy starring Ruth Jones is a reliable source of gentle laughs, U-rated drama and the odd celeb cameo. Indeed, while Martin Clunes and pals were joined by Sigourney Weaver last year, Robert Plant rocked up in the fictional south Wales town of Pontyberry last week. Things are a little less starry tonight, as the winners of forgotten reality contest Last Choir Standing come to Aunty Brenda's aid. Elsewhere, Stella tries to contact on/off flame Rob, and Michael is forced to compromise.Hannah J Davies, The Guardian, 1st March 2016
Doc Martin represents one of my guiltier pleasures, in that I watch it in what I think of as my time "off", freed from doing the serious important note-taking shtick or being asked to struggle professionally to fathom the enduring appeal of Downton. The Big Bang Theory, The Wright Stuff, reruns of Jonathan Creek or Endeavour - all are just-for-me equivalents of warm mismatched socks, a hot-water bottle and burnt bubbling cheap cheese on toast. Bliss.
So I dread the day Martin Ellingham - his surname an anagram of showrunner Dominic Minghella, is this interesting? (No, Ed.) - gets all worthy or political or even relevant, and I have to review it seriously. And, the saints be blessed, that still looks roundly unlikely from this sofa. We're still freely invited, 11 years on and at the close of the latest series, to giggle smugly at Cornwall, and what immense fun that is. Those who have been there know that the inhabitants live in perhaps the most glorious corner of God's green earth, and there should be payback, so we're probably entitled to regard the Cornubian batholith as the Land That Education Forgot. Almost everyone be a moron.
Bert Large is a cunning 20-chinned moron. Son Al is a misunderstood moron. Mrs Tishell is a comedy escapee from The Archers, and a moron in italics. Sexy Morwenna is a trainee moron (yet there's hope, and, left to her own devices, she correctly divines that 100% of those waiting for the absent doctor's curt ministrations are slouchy malingerers or alcoholics). King Captain Moron is, of course, PC Joe, who in this final series episode managed to louse up in every way imaginable short of snagging his own pancreas in a bear-trap. Actor John Marquez deserves great credit: not since Father Dougal has there been on our screens a more credible, human, moron.
In the end, after some relatively serious business involving the Doc's kidnapping, serious mainly because one doesn't ever dick about with Gemma Jones possessed of the "nice" end of a shotgun and a righteous wrath, Louisa and Martin were gently reunited. "I think I've been a little bit obsessed with people having to be normal. But they're not, are they?" You said it, girl from Cornwall. Sweeter, more seriously, "I know you weren't going to let me down," which is very much all a girl wants. But... only sometimes. Hence the clever personal tension underwriting the relationship at the heart of this series, and which, apart from the sweet morons and Martin Clunes's deadpan perfections, lends it its entirely fathomable appeal. More, more.Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 8th November 2015