There is light at the end of the proverbial Portwenn tunnel for American audiences that have had to endure an agonizingly long blackout period since series 8 of Doc Martin premiered on ITV in the UK almost a year ago in September 2017. Everyone’s favorite village physician who apparently skipped the Bedside Manner 101 class in medical school and has an ill-timed phobia for blood will be back on public television stations in the U.S. for another set of eight programs beginning in January 2019 in a joint announcement from American Public Television (APT) and Acorn TV.
In addition to stating the obvious regarding the return of Martin Clunes as Dr. Martin Ellingham, all regular cast members are returning headed by Caroline Catz who plays the Doc’s wife and local school headmistress, Louisa Ellingham. After having therapy to save their marriage in series 7, the Doc and Louisa face the challenge of living happily together with their baby James Henry.
Also returning are Dame Eileen Atkins who plays Martin’s Aunt Ruth, who is beginning to doubt the wisdom of going into business with Bert Large and his son Al, played by Ian McNeice and Joe Absolom. Selina Cadell also returns as Portwenn pharmacist Mrs. Tishell, whose husband Clive, played by Malcolm Storry, is keen for her to join him on his keep fit regime.
Without divulging too much more of the new series eight storyline, Bert is desperate to make his home distilled whisky a success, but there’s a shortage of customers willing to buy. Meanwhile guests are not exactly flocking to Al’s bed and breakfast, and he fears he will have to close the doors for good. Other story lines, according to producers, will see wedding bells ringing for unlucky in love PC Joe Penhale , played by John Marquez, and the Doc’s nanny Janice Bone, played by Robyn Addison. Even though it seems like decades since the end of series 7, you might remember that he popped the question in the last series and is now looking forward to marital bliss.
There’s romance too for the doctor’s receptionist, Morwenna Newcross, played by Jessica Ransom. Morwenna and Al have become an item. But there’s devastating news for Morwenna when her parents Jack and Tara Newcross return to Portwenn unexpectedly.
Look for S8 of Doc Martin beginning in January 2019 on public television stations in the U.S.