British Comedy Guide

Doc Martin. Image shows from L to R: Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz), Dr Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes).

Doc Martin (2004)

ITV comedy drama about village life. 62 episodes (8 series), 2004 - 2017. Stars Martin Clunes, Buffy Davis, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice and others.

Doc Martin. Image shows from L to R: Al Large (Joe Absolom), PC Penhale (John Marquez), Janice (Robyn Addison), Morwenna Newcross (Jessica Ransom).

Series 8, Episode 1 - Mysterious Ways

After having therapy to save their marriage in the last series, Martin and Louisa face the challenge of living happily together with their baby James Henry. Meanwhile wedding bells are ringing for Portwenn's police constable, Joe Penhale and the Doc's nanny, Janice Bone.

Full synopsis

After having therapy to save their marriage in the last series, Martin and Louisa face the challenge of living happily together with their baby James Henry.

Meanwhile wedding bells are ringing for Portwenn's police constable, Joe Penhale and the Doc's nanny, Janice Bone.

Al Large is struggling with the demands of being best man: trying to keep everyone happy, especially with his dad Bert's new 'Large Whisky' marketing antics of offering only whisky at the pre-wedding party.

The party doesn't get off to a great start when some of the guests start collapsing with mystery health problems. Martin quickly works out what the problem is.

Penhale has his own medical issue to deal with too, which could prevent him from making it down the aisle. The Doc diagnoses him with kidney stones and recommends pain killers, which Penhale refuses to take, worrying that he doesn't want to be 'drugged up' on his wedding day.

When the curate, Rosie Edwards, also raises her own concerns about the couple, Penhale and Janice start to wonder if this wedding is meant to be.

Louisa misses her son James Henry speaking his first word and she starts to think that she may be trying to juggle too many things. She fears her home-life is suffering, with all the things she has to deal with at school, and not having a nanny for the baby. Though she does manage to convince Martin that they should add to their household, as James Henry clearly loves Buddy the dog, and it would benefit him to have a pet.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 20th September 2017
60 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Martin Clunes Dr Martin Ellingham
Buffy Davis Pippa Woodley
Caroline Catz Louisa Glasson
Ian McNeice Bert Large
Joe Absolom Al Large
Selina Cadell Mrs Tishell
John Marquez PC Penhale
Eileen Atkins Aunt Ruth Ellingham
Jessica Ransom Morwenna Newcross
Robyn Addison Janice
Ella Ainsworth Becky Trevean
Noah Frucella-Tildesley James Henry
Luca Frucella-Tildesley James Henry
Guest cast
Malcolm Storry Clive Tishell
Jason Baughan Fisherman Gus
Lucy Briggs-Owen Rosie Edwards
Emma Handy Samantha Trappett
Olivia Elsden Ellie
Tipper Seifert-Cleveland Astrid Trappett
Writing team
Jack Lothian Writer
Lindsay Sharp Script Editor
Production team
Nigel Cole Director
Philippa Braithwaite Producer
Mark Crowdy Executive Producer
Nick McPhee Editor
Anthony Ainsworth Production Designer
Jane Broomfield Production Designer
Colin Towns Composer


The summer holidays are over, but the sun almost always shines in Portwenn, albeit sometimes on bittersweet scenes. Here, in a new series, we find reconciled Martin and Louisa raising baby James Henry. Louisa: "Do you think he likes me?" Martin: "Who knows? I didn't like my mother; does it matter?" Elsewhere, daft constable Joe prepares to marry flighty Janice, in a ceremony to be conducted by "a vicar with learner plates on".

Jonathan Wright, The Guardian, 20th September 2017

Doc Martin: series 8 is just what the doctor ordered

Toby Earle goes for a check-up in Portwenn.

Toby Earle, Evening Standard, 20th 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

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

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