Doc Martin Christmas special is coming: Here's all you need to know

Virgin Radio

18 Nov 2022, 10:34

Doc Martin

Credit: ITV

SPOILER ALERT: How's this for an early festive present? A Doc Martin Christmas special 2022 is jingling onto our screens soon, but get the hankies ready. The much-loved ITV show has come to an end after 18 years and this will be the last fix of Dr Martin Ellingham and the Portwenn gang. 

Martin Clunes will be back as the nation’s favourite grumpy medic, with Louisa (Caroline Catz), their family and all the familiar faces for the final yuletide offering.

Nearly six million viewers tuned in to find out whether the Doc would fly the Portwenn nest and accept the offer of a swanky new post in London. As fate would have it, a near fatal accident swayed the Doc to put his family first and he decided they should all stay in picturesque Port Isaac.

Dame Eileen Atkins is back as Doc Martin’s formidable Aunt Ruth. Ian McNeice as Bert Large, with Joe Absolom as his son, Al. John Marquez as PC Joe Penhale, Jessica Ransom as the Doc’s receptionist, and Al’s wife, Morwenna, and Selina Cadell as pharmacist Mrs Tishell, with guest stars Ron Cook, Claire Bloom and Emma Amos.

The festive special is set to be stuffed with festive fun, games and medical trauma. Martin Clunes said about the final series going out on a high: "It is lovely so many people tuned in and enjoyed this last series.

"The audience figures are very gratifying. If you were looking for another commission you’d punch the air, but even though we are not looking for another commission, we can still punch the air because it is nice to go out on a high.

Doc Martin

Credit: ITV

"When I went to have my flu jab at my local medical centre the day after the final episode went out one of the doctors said to me ‘that was a fantastic episode last night’. That was really nice from a doctor, and the nurse who’d given my me jab said ‘shut up I haven’t watched it yet’. That was gratifying. We hope all those loyal viewers will enjoy the Christmas special."

On the heart-warming end to the prolific series, he said: "It felt like it was the right way to say goodbye to Cornwall.

"It was emotional but I didn’t see anyone crying. It was more elation to have got to the end of nearly six months of filming."

Talking about what's to come in the Christmas episode, he shared: "Snow, Christmas lights, the lovely Claire Bloom came back to play the character of the Doc’s mother, and Ron Cook as Santa.

"You can imagine the doctor isn’t too keen on Christmas for his own tortured reasons. It’s never stopped making me laugh, I don’t know why because if it was a real person who had had such an awful upbringing you’d feel nothing but pity for them, but because it is him it just makes me laugh.

"His parents abandoned him on Christmas Day, leaving him with a pencil set and an orange in his Christmas stocking.

"It has just slightly scarred him, and also with his cynical view of everything, he thinks it is all a lot of nonsense and was an invention to hide a Pagan festival.

Doc Martin

Credit: ITV

"His son James is trying to get into the spirit of Christmas and Louisa is trying to engage with James’ engagement so there’s a sort of impasse between Louisa, James and the Doc.

"Then there’s Leonard played by Ron Cook, who has his own personal problems with Christmas - his wife, who loved Christmas, died five years ago just two days before Christmas - although he is solving it by entering into the celebration and playing Santa."

In the special, the Doc manages to upset the children of Portwenn by closing down Santa’s Grotto. Martin said: "He thinks Santa may have something contagious because he is itching and scratching, and the children can’t be put at risk, even though it is upsetting for them.

"His son James is so upset at not meeting Santa he tries to run away to the North Pole in search of him. James doesn’t want to speak to his father, nobody wants to speak to him - but he’s been there before."

So what's next for Mr Clunes? He said: I start working on a new drama for ITV next year about county lines crime."

Watch this space.