Where Are They Now: 'Doc Martin'

The Doc Martin series finale

Portwenn at Christmas 

(Photo: Acorn TV)

When Doc Martin was initially introduced in the Nigel Cole comedy Saving Grace in 2000, no one expected the character to still be going in the 2020s, let alone have his own show that had been on the air for nearly 20 years. But the decision to take actor Martin Clunes from Dr Martin Bamford, a successful London surgeon, and refashion him as Dr. Martin Ellingham, a miserable GP terrified of blood in the seaside village of Portwenn, turned out to be a winning concept.

It helped that creator Dominic Minghella was willing to let the show grow and change as it went on. The series, first and foremost, was a fish-out-of-water comedy about a doctor with a terrible bedside manner. But it became much more than that over the years. It was a love story about a man who could express his feelings, an oddball crime solver story between a policeman and a doctor, and then, over time, an ensemble comedy about the village itself, where the people who surrounded Doc Martin were just as crucial as the GP's family.

By the time the show had run ten seasons and ended with a Christmas special in December 2022, fans were sad to see their longtime friends go. So, a year on, we're looking them all up to find out where they are now. What shows have they been in, and what can we look forward to seeing them in soon? Check out what your favorite Pertwenn actors have been up to, and where you can stream their latest projects.

Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes has hung up his togs as Martin Ellingham, village GP Doc Martin, but even before the series concluded, he was already moving on to Manhunt, where he starred as DCI Colin Sutton for two seasons. Since then, he's been doing travelogue specials, including Martin Clunes: Islands of America, Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific, and teaming up with everyone's favorite original The Great British Baking Show presenter for Mel Giedroyc & Martin Clunes Explore Britain by the Book.

For 2024, Clunes will be starring in a new drama series thriller called Out There alongside Louis Ashbourne Serkis (The Queen's Gambit, though as you can guess from the last name, he is indeed the son of Andy Serkis and Lorraine Ashbourne). Clunes stars as a rural farmer confronted with the ongoing failed war on drugs in the U.K., so crackdown in urban areas merely pushes dealers out into the countryside. Clunes said at the time, "I’m very happy to be working with Marc Evans and Ed Whitmore again after the success of Manhunt. Out There couldn’t be more different from Doc Martin. It’s pretty dark, but definitely a story worth telling.”

Martin Clunes: Islands of America, Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific, and both seasons of Manhunt are streaming on Acorn TV. The Giedroyc & Clunes special has not yet come to America. Out There is expected out on ITV in 2024 and hopefully will reach America soon after.

Caroline Catz

Caroline Catz has always kept a second career going outside of Doc Martin, most notably as DI Helen Morton on DCI Banks, a far cry from her role as school headmistress Louisa Ellingham on the series. As Doc Martin wrapped up filming in 2021, she starred as Lucy Otis in the BBC co-production of Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost, which was done in conjunction with America's BYUtv and streamed on the niche service as part of their holiday fare from October to November that year.

Since the show ended, Catz's significant role has been in the National Geographic miniseries A Small Light, which streamed on Disney+ and Hulu, where she played Auguste van Pels. The new take on the Anne Frank story won critical acclaim and is currently nominated for the 2024 Award season, including the Primetime Creative Emmys and Independent Spirit Awards.

A Small Light is currently streaming on Disney+ and Hulu and is highly recommended to be watched with a box of tissues.

Ian McNeice

Outside of Clunes and Catz, only a few cast members made it the whole 18-year run of Doc Martin, from 2004-2022, without missing a season, but Ian McNiece was one of those special few. His role as Bert Large, plumber and local entrepreneurial businessman, was a constant presence in Portwenn, and fans could not imagine the village (or its adventures) without him.  

McNiece did guess spots outside of Doc Martin during the show's run, a four-episode arc as Churchill in Doctor Who here, a role as the Newsreader in HBO's Rome there. But his first significant part was taking a role in Apple TV+'s Foundation in 2021 as Master Statistician Tivole and a guest slot in Neil Gaiman's star-studded first season of The Sandman in 2022. His latest roles have been playing real-life people, Louis XVIII in Ridley Scott's Napoleon and Alfred Hitchcock in BritBox's new series Archie. In 2024, fans will see him in the new film The 9th Heresay and the comedy romance Fairytale, both planned for theatrical release.

Napoleon is still in theaters but is expected to stream on Apple TV+ in early 2024 alongside Foundation. The Sandman is on Netflix, and all four episodes of Archie are on BritBox.

Joe Absolom

Joe Absolom was all of 25 when he was cast in Doc Martin as Bert's son, Al Large, in 2004. Like McNiece, his character is one of the very few mainstays of the series over the years, and he basically grew up on it, leaving the show in his forties when it ended in 2022. However, other than Vincent, which he was cast in right after the original Doc Martin first season, he hasn't done much other than guest turns here and there, making this his real debut outside of Portwenn now the show is over.

His first turn was in A Confession, the Martin Freeman starrer, where he played Christopher Halliwell, followed by a season-long arc as Andy Warren in the sleeper hit The Bay in 2021. He's currently using his newfound free time to tread the boards in the Olivier-nominated 2:22: A Ghost Story, and will hopefully be heading back to TV in 2024 when the tour is finished.

A Confession and The Bay are streaming on BritBox.

Selina Cadell

Whether or not you liked Sally Tishell as a character, Selina Cadell always made her memorable, and as one of the few running figures in Portwenn who made it to the end of the show (with a few absences here and there), she grew on people, a bit like fungus. Since Doc Martin started winding down, she's gone from medical drama to mysteries, first appearing in the popular series The Queens of Mystery, then returning to one of the shows she guested in multiple times over the years, Midsomer Murders.

Cadell's other major role since Doc Martin ended was in the four-part series Litvinenko as Louise Christiansen. The David Tennant-starter about the hunt to prove the Russian dissident was poisoned was critically acclaimed in the U.K. but sadly undermarketed in the U.S. For those who missed it when it streamed on AMC+/Sundance, it is worth your time. She, too, is currently doing theater in London right now, in a production of The Turn of the Screw.

All episodes of Litvinenko are streaming on AMC+ and Sundance Now.

John Marquez

John Marquez arrived in Portwenn in Season 3, but arguably, his role as PC Joe Penhale was the turning point that turned Doc Martin from a series that could run for a few more years into the monster show it became because it added the mystery element and the odd couple friendship outside of the Martin-Louisa love affair needed to sustain the show. Unsurprisingly, Marquez has stuck close to Portwenn since arriving, with his only major turns outside of it being In The Club in 2014 and a two-episode arc in Death in Paradise in 2017.

However, since Doc Martin ended, Marquez has landed one major banger on TV and another on stage. The first, Showtrial, was one of the most watched shows on the BBC in 2022, and though the anthology format probably means Marquez won't return for Season 2, it was still a major moment. The other is the new Pygmalion at the Old Vic, with Patsy Ferran (Miss Austen) and Bertie Carvel (The Crown). We expect to see Marquez cast in a new series come early 2024 once his stage run allows.

Showtrial Season 1 is streaming on Sundance Now.

Jessica Ransom

During Doc Martin's first four seasons, the series had trouble finding an actor who gelled with the cast in the role of Martin's secretary. First, there was Lucy Punch as Elaine, who only lasted the first season, followed by Katherine Parkinson as Pauline, who managed to go three rounds before striking out at the end of Season 4. It wasn't until Season 5 that Jessica Ransom came on as Morwenna, eventually marrying into the Large family that the office settled down. 

Ransom was already established with Horrible Histories when she started on Doc Martin and stayed as a cast member/writer on and off through the entire run. It made launching back into comedy when Doc Martin ended quite easy for her, with a role in Love at First Sight as "Bridesmaid Bertie" right out of the gate.  For 2024, she'll continue with Horrible Histories and probably jump on whatever next new project they come up with now that the BBC Ghosts series (which the team produced) is over.

The UK version of Horrible Histories is streaming on Hulu. Love at First Sight is on Netflix.

Dame Eileen Atkins

When Stephanie Cole retired from Doc Martin in 2009 as Martin's aunt Joan Norton, it was unclear who the show would get to replace the grand dame of comedy. However, Dame Eileen Atkins was available, and all was well. A convenient extra aunt who had been found for the occasion, Ruth Ellingham was a retired forensic psychiatrist, perfect for the show's slow turn towards having mysteries to solve sometimes, along with medical emergencies.

One might think that after a decade with Doc Martin, Atkins might be ready to retire. One would be wrong. Atkins is already slated to return to the world of Paddington after her turn in Paddington 2 in 2017. (Paddington 3 is due out in 2025.) She just walked the red carpet for The Crown's final season. (She played Queen Mary back in Season 1 and in flashbacks in the final two seasons.) And she'll be in the Olivia Colman-Jessie Buckley period comedy Wicked Little Letters in theaters in February 2024.

Paddington and Paddington 2 are streaming on Netflix, as are all seasons of The Crown. Wicked Little Letters will be in theaters on Friday, February 23, 2024.

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Doc Martin

Surgeon Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes) makes a life changing choice to retrain as a GP.
Doc Martin: show-poster2x3


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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