The “Doc Martin: Seven Grumpy Seasons” special captures the fun that goes on behind the scenes at “Doc Martin.” And fun it is – according to stories told by the people who have visited the filming.
This latest special, the third developed by American Public Television (APT), in conjunction with Acorn Media Group, is richer than in the past because the behind-the-scenes crew spent more time in Port Isaac and had access to much more material.
“Martin Clunes, Philippa Braithwaite (Producer) and Mark Crowdy (Executive Producer) were so genuinely open and warm in welcoming us,” says Eric Luskin, Vice President of Syndication for American Public Television. “They even invited us to the private 50th episode celebration.”
The crew took in all the nuts and bolts of the filming. It’s hard to imagine that a scene that flashes by on the TV screen in seconds takes so long to shoot. “One short scene in Squeeze Belly Alley, near where Aunt Ruth lives, took two hours,” he says.
Along with filming in the harbor and village, the crew visited the “Farm,” where the interior scenes, like the Doc’s office, kitchen, and bedroom, are shot. They also traveled to remote locations, where scenes made specifically for Season 7 took place.
“We were in a pressure situation, with five days to complete our work, which wasn’t easy,” says Eric. “The Doc Martin cast and crew allowed us to really be among them while doing their job, and it was amazing to watch these people at work. Since we had more time and picked up more diverse locations, we were able to include more visual material and show the fans things they haven’t seen before.”
Eric’s team also worked with Buffalo Pictures to use clips from previous seasons. “The clips add depth to the program,” he says, “and provide a richer experience for the fans. Our director, Dennis Allen, did a great job integrating the material we shot with illustrative program footage.”
Doc Martin specials are shown during fund-raising drives to help support public television programming. Look for “Seven Grumpy Seasons” on public television stations over Thanksgiving weekend. As always – check your local listings!