Did you know that before Martin Clunes played Martin Ellingham in the series Doc Martin, he actually starred in a made-for-television movie of the same name? (This was news to me when I found out a couple months back, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t.)
Doc Martin: The Movie was conceived as a prequel to the 2000 film Saving Grace with Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson, in which Clunes also appears. In the TV film, he plays the successful but unhappy Dr. Martin Bamford, who discovers that his wife has been sleeping with three of his friends. His world in tatters, Bamford flees London and heads for the small fishing village of Port Isaac, on the north coast of Cornwall, to try and work out the big questions in his life.
Some of that probably sounds pretty familiar, though some of the names and particulars have changed from this early version of the story to the series that we know. Obviously Martin’s last name is different, and the village he ends up in isn’t the same (though, oddly enough “Port Isaac” is the actual name of the real village that stands in for Portwenn in the seires!). This early version of Martin is also not nearly as curmudgeonly or grumpy as the man we’re used to seeing every week, those character traits were added in at Clunes’ suggestion to help sell the series to ITV.
Click through for a brief preview, airdate details for this Saturday and another (kiiiind of hilarious) promo photo.