Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes Doing Five Very Un-'Doc Martin'-like Things

As you probably already know, Martin Clunes will be coming back to PBS next month! Hold on, the broadcast of Doc Martin Series 7 is unfortunately still some time off in the future. But beginning Sunday, September 6, Clunes will be starring as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the three-part mini-series Arthur & George.

And while true Clunatics are well acquainted with the varied roles Martin has embodied over the years, I thought it would be good preparation (and entertaining as well) to look at Mr. Clunes through a decidedly less Dr. Ellingham-ish prism. The following are states of being and actions that would be quite contradictory to the persona of the Port Wenn GP we’ve come to know and love despite his prickly manner.

Martin Clunes Drama ‘Arthur & George’ Set for Masterpiece Airing in 2015

Rejoice, Doc Martin fans! We may not have a new season of the uber popular Britcom to look forward to just yet, but you’ll still be able to get your Martin Clunes fix on public television this year. And, if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes as well, then this is probably your version of Christmas.

During its bi-annual spin through upcoming programmng known as the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS and Masterpiece announced a few new titles coming our way later this year, one of which happens to be the intriguing period mystery series called Arthur and George. Clunes, as it happens, plays the titular Arthur, otherwise known to the masses as Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Martin Clues to Play Sherlock Holmes Creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Worlds colliding! Well, sort of, at least. Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has signed up to play Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in an upcoming drama for British network ITV. Whilst it’s not exactly Clunes scoring a guest spot on popular mystery series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it’s close enough for me.

The three-part series, called Arthur and George, will adapt Julian Barnes’ novel of the same name, which is loosely based on an intriguing series of genuine events in the life of Conan Doyle.

Set in 1903, the story focuses on Conan Doyle’s real-life attempts to clear George Edaliji, an Anglo-Indian solicitor who is serving time in Pentonville Prison after being (falsely) accused of a series of attacks on livestock in Staffordshire that have become known as the The Great Wyrley Rippings.

Doc Martin Willing to Make a House Call at Downton Abbey?

Since what feels like good seventy percent of actors working today have admitted that they’re secretly dying to get the chance to appear on megahit costume drama Downton Abbey, perhaps this moment was inevitable.

Doc Martin star Martin Clunes apparently recently told the Sun that he’d love to be part of Julian Fellowes’ Edwardian epic and revealed that he’s pestered Fellowes about writing him a role, though obviously his powers of persuasion have yet to be effective.

“Julian is my neighbour. He lives just around the corner and I keep lobbying him but he won’t,” Clunes said. “He knows where I am and what my measurements are, so it wouldn’t be difficult.”

Clunes’ most recent TV role has been as a troubled mayor on ITV’s three-part drama The Town alongside Sherlock’s Andrew Scott. (A project I wish someone would find a way to import to the States!) Filming on the next series of Doc Martin gets underway this spring, so it’s unlikely he’d have time to fit something like Downton Abbey in his schedule anyway – but it’s the sort of wishful thinking/stunt casting that is always fun for fans to speculate about.

In that vein – if you could cast Clunes (or any other popular Brit you prefer) in Downton, where would you put them? If we’re talking about a role for Clunes, specifically, it might be nice to see Mrs. Padmore or Mrs. Hughes finally get themselves a romance in Series 4. As most of you all are probably already tired of hearing deeply aware, I’m avowedly partisan toward Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch, but given his somewhat crowded professional schedule and the media kerfuffle surrounding his comments about Downton Series 2 earlier this year, I doubt I’ll be experiencing that sort of wish fulfillment any time soon (even if he would be the best posh neighbor ever).

Who would be your dream addition to the Downton Abbey cast? And what sort of character would you cast them as?

Preview Martin Clunes’ New Project: ITV’s “A Mother’s Son”

ITV has released the first teaser for upcoming drama A Mother’s Son. The two part effort stars MI-5’s Hermione Norris, Doc Martin’s Martin Clunes and Doctor Who’s Paul McGann.

Norris plays Rosie Haleton, a mother who comes to suspect that her son Jamie may be involved in a murder after a young girl is found dead in their small community. Rosie is tormented by the thought that her son may be guilty, and wrestles with the question of whether to tell the police about her suspicions. Clunes plays her new husband Ben, and McGann her ex David, and everyone’s relationships grow increasingly strained as Rosie’s suspicions grow and evidence stacks up. Did Jamie commit this terrible crime? It’s impossible to make a solid guess based on what we’re given in the press release, but this certainly sounds like a solid psychological drama to me. (I love watching people freak themselves out by going round and round about some central uncertainty. I think I may be strange.)

Click through and take a look at the teaser for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments. Is this the sort of thing you'd like to see more of from Clunes in the future?

Andrew Scott, Martin Clunes and More to Star in ITV’s New Drama The Town

Sherlock star Andrew Scott is set to headline a new three-part contemporary drama for ITV called The Town. Scott will star alongside what looks to be a truly outstanding ensemble cast, which includes many names you’ll recognize, including Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Julia McKenzie (Miss Marple), Charlotte Riley (DCI Banks), Gerard Kearns (Shameless) and Kelly Adams (Holby City).

Scott, who recently won a BAFTA for his portrayal of Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty, will play Mark Nicholas, a man who returns to his hometown after ten years away and struggles to reconnect with those he left behind – including his family, friends and former sweetheart, who is now married with a child. MacKenzie plays his grandmother Betty, Riley is his first love Alice, and Clunes is the town’s alcohol-soaked mayor, Len.

The Town is being written by Laurence Olivier award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett and produced by Big Talk Productions, the company behind Rev, Friday Night Dinner and Him & Her. (All of which are outstanding programs, so this bodes well!)

“We’re thrilled to be making our first original drama series for the fantastic team at ITV. At the heart of The Town will be a family struggling to come to terms with change,” said Big Talk’s CEO and The Town’s co-executive producer Kenton Allen. “It’s also our hope to paint a picture of contemporary Britain through the magnifying glass of an ordinary market town.”

“These communities are desperate for a sense of purpose and direction. They face the same challenges we all do. A shrinking economy, under-employment, crime and a struggle to educate our children. Mike's real skill is to craft a compelling and entertaining drama at the heart of such a world,” added co-executive producer Simon Curtis.

Filming on the three-part series began this week. No word yet on possible screening dates in the UK, nor whether this series will be broadcast internationally. Here’s hoping that US Sherlock-mania will help bring this drama across the pond!

William and Mary: Watch the Full Series in Order Starting Sunday, January 15

Time for a quick programming update that's sure to make a lot of you smile!

Charming romantic drama William and Mary, starring Doc Martin’s Martin Clunes and Survivors' Julie Graham, is moving to Sundays at 4pm on WETA starting this weekend on January 15th. The series will be part of a new block of British programming on Sunday afternoons, which will also feature Sherlock Holmes and Prime Suspect.

WETA will be starting William & Mary over from the very first episode this Sunday, so now’s the perfect time to jump in if you’ve been thinking about trying it out. In additional great news, the entirety of the series will now air in order during this Sunday timeslot! We’ve got all three seasons - 18 episodes - so you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything!

 

Happy Birthday Martin Clunes!

Happy birthday to Doc Martin star Martin Clunes, who turns 50 today! Best known for his portrayal of the curmudgeonly, cranky Doctor Martin Ellingham in the ITV comedy/drama, Clunes has also starred in Men Behaving Badly, William and Mary, and Reggin Perrin, among other things. He was seen most recently in the fifth series of Doc Martin, which just wrapped up its run across the pond a few weeks ago and will be airing here in the States in 2012 – most likely in the spring. (WETA viewers who love this show to pieces: the minute we know a confirmed airdate, we’ll share it. Pinky swear. But it’s coming, promise!)

Clunes is one of the few British television actors where virtually everyone seems to absolutely love him to bits – so he must be doing something right. We’ll be doing our best here at Telly Visions to make the wait for new episodes interesting for you – join me in the coming weeks as I confront a rather significant personal lapse (embarrassing Anglophile confession alert), namely that I’ve never really seen Doc Martin. Well, an episode or two, here or there. But, still. Most of the series = complete, unforgiveable gap in my British TV knowledge base. Obviously, this means it’s time for a viewing party.

So, whether you’d like to take a walk down memory lane in Portwenn with me while we’re waiting for the new series, or just laugh at my reaction to a surprise character or storyline that everyone knows about except yours truly – stick around! Feel free to leave a rundown of your favorite episodes in the comments, just to give a sense of which you all might have the most interest in revisiting.

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10:30pm!

Heads-up for all our fans of William & Mary - tonight's episode will be starting a little later than the past few weeks, so make sure you've updated your calendars accordingly.

Due to the slightly extended run time of the special Mark Twain Prize ceremony broadcast, there'll only be one episode of William & Mary tonight, and it'll be starting at 10:30pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. Wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of this slight shift and didn't miss anything - and don't worry, we'll be back to showing two episodes of the series on Monday nights next week!

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