When the character of "Doc Martin" was initially introduced as Dr. Martin Bamford in the 2000 film Saving Grace, it is highly doubtful that actor Martin Clunes thought he'd be playing the character nearly a quarter century on, let alone that his role would have become a beloved one on both sides of the pond. However, all good things must come to an end, and in 2022, Clunes hung up the stethoscope and cranky pants and retired the series Doc Martin with the series' tenth season, having been on and off the air nearly two decades since 2004.
It always takes a minute for British series to make their way to American TV, but with streaming, that's been upended a bit in the last few years. (Nowadays, Call the Midwife and Doctor Who even have day-and-date broadcasts!) In the case of Doc Martin, the rights had been snapped up by AMC Network's Acorn TV, a streaming service with a small but fiercely loyal audience. (It's famous among streaming services as having the least amount of monthly turnover in the business.) However, there's a key factor here: Small. That means, for many Doc Martin fans, that final season might as well never have made it to American shores.
Luckily, PBS has always been a second-run receiver of Doc Martin episodes, and that hasn't changed, even with streaming. Now, it just comes to PBS Passport as well as PBS stations. Doc Martin Season 10, the show's last, will debut on PBS Passport on November 1, 2023.
Here's the trailer:
Here's the final season's synopsis:
A bittersweet ending of the popular series that spans countries and almost two decades worth of television, Season 10 picks up in the fictional Cornish village of Portwenn, a year after Dr. Martin Ellingham, a.k.a Doc Martin, resigns his medical license. Louisa Ellingham, Martin’s wife, is now the one seeing patients in her new career as a child counselor while he looks after their two young children. But does the Doc truly never want to practice medicine again? The final season shows the Doc making efforts to confront his phobia and questioning his decision of resigning as Portwenn’s general practitioner, all with the addition of baby daughter Mary Elizabeth to the family and all the excitement a newborn brings.
All regular cast members reprise their roles, including Dame Eileen Atkins (Cranford) returns as the formidable Aunt Ruth, and Ian McNeice (Archie) is back as Bert Large, with Joe Absolom (A Confession) as his son Al. Guest stars making special appearances to send off the series include Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) and Rupert Graves (Sherlock). The final season runs nine episodes, eight regular season episodes, and a Christmas special series finale.
PBS Passport will also bring the behind-the-scenes special Farewell Doc Martin, which will begin streaming on Thanksgiving weekend, Thursday, November 23, 2023.
Here's the special for the synopsis:
Farewell Doc Martin is a stand-alone special celebrating ten seasons of the series across 18 years that goes behind-the-scenes to share secrets of the beloved dramedy. From the show’s inception to its final days of filming, learn details about Doc and Louisa’s romantic journey, the inspirations for the medical cases, and the filming locations in Cornwall, England, through on-site footage and in-depth cast and crew interviews. Narrated by Caroline Catz, who played Doc’s wife, Louisa, Farewell Doc Martin shares an intimate view into the makings of the world of Doc Martin, his family, and the community of Portwenn. The program not only shows the regular characters who live in the fictional Cornish town but the residents of Port Isaac, the very real village in North Cornwall which has become a must-visit destination for Doc Martin fans. Uncover the fantastic journey for all involved in the production and the lasting legacy of this series as the cast and crew prepare to say goodbye.
The tenth and final season of Doc Martin will be available to stream on some PBS Passports beginning November 1, 2023, and will start broadcasting on select PBS stations nationwide beginning December 11, 2023. Farewell Doc Martin will only be available on PBS Passport. As always, check your local PBS Passports and TV listings for exact dates and times.