Doc Martin characters played by famous faces
Doc Martin has been a staple of British television for the best part of 17 years.
The series, which sees Martin Clunes star as the iconic surgeon-turned-GP in the remote fictional village of Portwenn in Cornwall, has won the hearts of many across the globe.
Now, as the programme is set to release its 10th and final series in 2021, CornwallLive looks back at some of the famous faces that have made an appearance in the ITV series over the years – and there have been plenty.
From the cast of Harry Potter to the beloved stars of The IT Crowd, Bridget Jones’ mum, a Game of Thrones Actor and even an actress right from the Hollywood red carpet.
Can you remember spotting these famous faces? Can you think of any more we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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1. Katherine Parkinson
If you cast your mind right back to the second series of the show, you may remember the Doc’s second surgery receptionist, Pauline Lamb.
Pauline was played by none other than Katherine Parkinson, who’s probably best known for playing Jen Barber in Channel 4’s ‘The IT Crowd’.
Katherine played the role of Pauline from 2005 until 2009 and the character had a relationship with Al Large (played by Joe Absolom) as all the receptionists on the show seem to do.
2. Chris O’Dowd
Another member of The IT Crowd appeared on Doc Martin, too, you know.
Katherine Parkinson’s friend, Chris O’Dowd (who played Roy Trenneman in The IT Crowd) made an appearance in season two of Doc Martin, where he played Jonathan.
In episode nine of the season (titled ‘On the Edge’) Jonathan is introduced to viewers as a friend of Louisa’s father, Terry, and as someone who had been diagnosed as bi-polar.
When he stops taking his medication during his visit, he has a pretty major breakdown and ends up taking Martin, Louisa and even Katherine Parkinson’s character, prisoner.
3. Gemma Jones
One for all you Harry Potter and Bridget Jones fans now.
In the eighth episode of season seven, we were treated to the guest appearance of Gemma Jones, who plays the devoted albeit slightly scary Annie Winton.
Annie is another of the characters in this list to take the Doc prisoner – wielding a gun, Jones’ character wants Martin to save her terminally ill husband, Jim.
Of course, Gemma’s other roles include Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter franchise, as well as mum to Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones – both quite stern, yet ultimately caring characters.
4. Miriam Margoyles
Gemma Jones isn’t the only Hogwarts alumni to feature in this list either – Miriam Margoyles is now probably best known for her role as Madam Sprout in the franchise. She also played Mother Mildred in ‘Call the Midwife’.
In episode three of season five of Doc Martin, however, Margoyles isn’t pulling up Mandrakes or delivering babies, but is introduced to the Doc by his Aunt Ruth.
Miriam’s character, Shirley Dunwich, is a reclusive neighbour of Ruth’s who believes her son is poisoning her.
5. Peter Vaughan
Appearing in the same episode, Peter Vaughan (who’s probably best known nowadays for his role as Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones) plays the grandfather of the Doc’s new receptionist Morwenna.
On her first day, Morwenna doesn’t impress the Doc with her hyperactive attitude and, when it’s revealed she’s actually been taking her grandfather’s pep pills, Martin certainly isn’t too impressed.
6. Lucy Punch
Before the days of Morwenna and even Pauline, Lucy Punch played the role of the Doc’s very first surgery receptionist, Elaine Denham.
She was only in the role for one series, but is still remembered today thanks to Elaine’s standout hairdo.
Lucy’s probably best known for starring in films such as Ella Enchanted and Hot Fuzz, but we’d love to see Elaine come back for the Doc’s final episode.
7. Amanda Abbington
You may recognise Amanda Abbington. She starred as Mary Watson in Sherlock and Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge.
She appeared in season three of Doc Martin, in a wedding episode titled ‘Happily Ever After’, where she played Isobel.
It’s ironic as Amanda’s roles seem to often give her a bit of bad luck at weddings and in this Doc Martin episode, her character calls the Doc away from his own wedding day plans when she goes into early labour.
8. Christopher Fairbank
Episode six of season six (titled ‘Hazardous Exposure’) sees Christopher Fairbank in the role of local builder Malcolm Raynar, who seems to be a bit of a hypochondriac.
It may just be that he’s missing a major piece of his usual filming attire, however.
Christopher’s roles usually feature a lot of prosthetics – he played LeeLoo’s doctor Mactilburgh in The Fifth Element and the artefact seller in Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy.
9. Andrea Riseborough
Before she was playing roles in the likes of ‘Oblivion’ (with Tom Cruise), ‘Birdman’, ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Mandy’ (alongside Nicholas Cage) Andrea Riseborough guest-starred in an episode of Doc Martin.
Back in season two, episode six (‘The Family Way’) Riseborough played the role of Samantha – a teenager who told the Doc to “chill out”.
10. Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom has probably one of the most notable cameo appearances on the show. She plays the Doc’s mother, Margaret Ellingham.
Claire Bloom, of course, is known for portraying Queen Mary in ‘The King’s Speech’, so it’s no wonder she shone as Martin’s quite cold and moody mum.
It should be said, however, that Claire Bloom is far from cold and grumpy in real life – her breakout role was in one of Charlie Chaplin’s final films, ‘Limelight’, in which she played the role of ballerina Thereza.
11. Sigourney Weaver
No, you haven’t dreamt it.
Sigourney Weaver – of ‘Alien’, ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Avatar’ fame – played the role of Beth Traywick in episode seven of season seven.
Beth is an American tourist who doesn’t see eye to eye with the Doc, as she seems to think she has all the answers herself.
It’s reported that Sigourney Weaver said that the reason for her appearance was because she had a 40 year-long friendship with Selina Cadell, who plays Mrs Tishell in the show.
You know, the eccentric pharmacist with the neck brace.
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