It's official: Doc Martin is over. Or at least, it's about to be. After nearly two decades on air, ten seasons of television, over seventy-five episodes, and two made-for-TV films, Martin Ellingham is finally hanging up his proverbial stethoscope. Streamer Acorn TV has announced that Season 10 will premiere exclusively on the platform this October, closing the book on one of its most successful series to date.
The series stars Martin Clunes as the irascible titular GP, who has a frequently rude bedside manner and a fear of blood as he moves to the quirky seaside town of Portwenn after being fired and tries to survive life alongside his charmingly weird new neighbors. The series initially premiered in 2004. It has won legions of fans worldwide with its biting humor, memorable characters, and on-again-off-again romance between the doctor and local schoolteacher Louisa (Caroline Catz). It's become an institution in the U.K. on ITV and here in America, thanks to a longstanding tradition of public television stations broadcasting its earlier seasons. But, at long last, the story is set to wrap things up.
After stepping down as GP at the end of last season, Martin is beginning to question whether he made the right decision about resigning. With Louisa happily pursuing her new career as a child counselor in his old surgery, the Doc is left literally holding the baby and indulging his hobby of repairing clocks on the kitchen table. But does he want his old job back?
Alongside Clunes and Catz, most other Portwenn fan favorites will be back for the series' last hurrah, including Dame Eileen Atkins as Doc Martin's formidable Aunt Ruth, Ian McNeice as town plumber turned restauranter Bert Large, and Joe Absolom as Bert's son, Al. John Marquez is also back as PC Joe Penhale, Jessica Ransom as receptionist Morwenna Newcross and Selina Cadell as local pharmacist and neighborhood gossip Mrs. Tishell.
A handful of intriguing guest stars have been confirmed for the show's final season, including Fay Ripley (Cold Feet), David Hayman (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas), Ben Miller (Professor T), Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey), Hermione Norris (MI-5), Kenneth Cranham (Finding Alice), and Rupert Graves (Sherlock).
Acorn TV confirmed earlier this year that Season 10 would premiere in the U.S. this Fall, but we now have an exact date: October 17, which means the U.S. broadcast should begin just as the U.K. one is about to conclude. (Save for the long-anticipated Doc Martin Christmas special, which will serve as the actual series finale and will all have to wait until the holidays to see.)
"We have some great storylines and amazing guest actors for the new series," Clunes said in a statement earlier this summer. "We're going to miss the place and all the people we have made the series with, but it's a perfect time to say thank you very much, put the back cover on the book of Doc Martin, and go and try something new. Oh, and then there's a Christmas special which really is special and a great collector's item for our fans."
Season 10 will premiere on Acorn TV beginning Monday, October 17, and will drop two episodes weekly through November 7.