Filming for series seven of Doc Martin begins today, and it seems Port Isaac residents are as excited about the next dose of the drama as Martin Clunes who plays the titular curmudgeonly GP.
Last month, around 800 locals auditioned to be extras and a further 150 turned up with babies, hoping to have their child picked to play 11-month-old James Henry, the son of Dr Martin Ellingham – better known as Doc Martin – and his wife Louisa.
Series six finished with Louisa deciding to leave and live with her mother in Spain, taking their toddler son with her, while the couple try to work out their marital problems. Martin Clunes has revealed that his character will be looking to win her back when the drama returns to ITV later this year.
“I’m thrilled to be back on the beautiful North Cornish coast to shoot series seven of Doc Martin,” said Clunes. “The Doc has some serious work to do if he is going to persuade Louisa to come back.”
Port Isaac will yet again double for the pretty seaside town of Port Quin in the series, where Clunes likes to walk his dog along the cliff overlooking the bay during filming. The doctor’s house is actually Fern Cottage on Roscarrock Hill, and at the end of filming the production has been known to descend on The Edge café, overlooking Port Isaac Bay and Port Gavern.
Returning to the series will be Dame Eileen Atkins, who plays Doc Martin’s formidable Aunt Ruth, Ian McNeice, as local restaurateur Bert Large, and Joe Absolom as his tolerant son Al. Plus, Jessica Ransom returns as the Doc's receptionist, Morwenna Newcross, and John Marquez is set to come back as eccentric local police officer PC Joe Penhale – in the new series he'll be experimenting with a newly-issued Taser gun.
Doc Martin series seven is set to air in autumn.