At the Scene of “Doc Martin,” Series 7 — Part 6 — Memories and Favorite Photos

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As the week drew to a close, I had collected a treasure chest of memories. First and foremost, I will remember the fleeting, but touching, moments with Martin Clunes — his charisma, patience, sense of humor and thoughtfulness toward this insanely addicted fan.

For example, at the end of my scene (see Part 5), people were moving onto another location. I was standing in the doorway of the shop. Martin came over, called me by name, shook hands, said he had to leave and wanted to say good-by. We chatted for several minutes before he left. A kind and lovely gesture by a very classy gentleman.

Johnny Bamford arranged for a friend, Annabel Yates, professionalIMG_3171 photographer in Cornwall, to take the above photograph. After taking pictures in the morning, she rushed home, printed them, and presented me with large copies at the tea at the farmhouse. (Part 4). I am so very grateful to her for preserving this beautiful moment.

In this final segment, I thought I’d spotlight our motley crew — four Yanks and two Brits — Linda Villelli (California), Joseph Barnett (Maine), Viola Brown (Tennessee), Karen Gilleland (Colorado), and John & Pam Russell (Norwich, England). Except for my niece, Linda, I met all of these great fans via my blog.

We all had a wonderful time in picturesque Port Isaac eating Cornish “pasties,” fish & chips, and clotted cream fudge, not to mention meeting and greeting the people who make “Doc Martin.” I mentioned to Martin that we were hoping for a happier, lighter Series 7. He replied, “We have lots of very funny stuff.”

Here are some of our favorite photographs.

Please click on photo to enlarge. Use back arrow, top of screen left, to return to page.

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I was disappointed not to meet Philippa Braithwaite, Martin’s wife, producer, and the hand and heart behind “Doc Martin.” Fortunately, Viola Brown caught her at the harbor and snapped  this photo.

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Johnny Bamford (L) and Ian McNeice (Bert). Johnny, who, I was interested to learn, hasIMG_2550 lived all around the world, was originally tapped to secure locations for the movie, “Saving Grace,” which eventually spawned “Doc Martin.” He worked on the two prequel “Doc Martin” films and is now in his seventh season as location manager for the “Doc Martin” TV series.

Johnny knows every inch of Cornwall and has a sixth sense when it comes to finding exactly the right place for any given story line. I’m extremely grateful to Johnny for all he did to make our visit unique and memorable.

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IMG_2611IMG_2591(L) Linda voted John Marquez friendliest cast member. He signed the postcard she’s holding.

(R) Warren Tribe with Karen, another friendly guy.

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IMG_2602Tom dog trainerSonia and Tom are the dog trainers who trained Dodger (Buddy). Tom is holding a dog that played Queen Victoria’s dog in a movie.



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Linda and Dodger dog 2015

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(L) Linda, who has three Black Labs at home, fell in love with every dog she met. Filming is going on behind her in “Squeeze Alley.”

(R) Gorgeous dogs of every breed were plentiful. Martin stopped to greet many of them — and their owners.

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(L) Caroline Catz (Louisa) and Pam Russell.

(R) Apparently there was a dog in this purse.


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(L) Joe Absolom (Al). It isn’t the frozen North, but Port Isaac can definitely chill your bones.

(R) Louisa and Martin between takes.

Morwenna 2015

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(L) Katie Moore (Janice), Jessica Ransom (Morwenna) during rehearsal, script in hand.

(R) Martin, in action during scene at harbor.

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(L) I took this photo of a crew member (L) and John Russell because I thought they looked so much alike.

(R) His third visit to Port Isaac proved the charm for Joseph Barnett, who met Martin for the first time.

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unnamedScenic port isaac(L) Viola Brown was camera shy in Port Isaac, so Joseph sent this pix from her visit in Maine.

(R) Linda’s favorite pastime was walking the hill high above Port Isaac and taking photos.

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Two years ago, when I watched the first episode of “Doc Martin,” I never imagined myself entering the world of blogging, writing 27 FanFiction short stories, and winning a charity auction to appear as an “extra” on the set in Cornwall.

I appreciate the many notes from readers saying they’ve enjoyed sharing the adventure via these reports. In closing this virtual scrapbook, I’d like to extend Bob Hope’s famous line to the cast, crew and other fans that I met during this magical week– “Thanks for the memories.”

To see additional stories and photos from Port Isaac, click on the following:

Part 1 — “The Crew”

Part 2 — “Filming in the Village and Harbor”

Part 3 — “Outside the Surgery”

Part 4 — “Location Sets in Beautiful Port Isaac”

Part 5 — “My Walk-on Part”

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

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At the Scene of “Doc Martin,” Series 7 — Part 5 — My Walk-on Part

by Karen Gilleland  © 2015

Friday dawned cold, wet and windy, but it was my big day for the walk-on part so I was excited. At 8 a.m. my friend drove me to the production offices, where I was treated to breakfast in the trailer with the other extras. I was pleasantly surprised when the two women who’d been so helpful in arranging my visit came down to meet me: Lindsay Sharp and Katie Neal. 

(Note: After the first reference to the actors’ real names, I’ll refer to them by their character names.)

Please click on photo to enlarge. Use back arrow, top of screen left, to return to page.

IMG_2635The morning scenes (mine was in the afternoon) featured Dame Eileen Atkins (Aunt Ruth), Martin and Caroline Catz (Louisa).  I didn’t meet Ruth because she was concentrating on her lines, but I did snap a photo. The action took place inside a shop that the crew had converted into a cafe.

The lady in the hat is Hannah, who seemed to be one of the director’s assistants.

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The shop was located next to The Gallery (you can see it if you click on photo). This young man was always on hand, conveying instructions and handling crowd control. I can still hear his voice: “Quiet, please, everyone. Thank you.”

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Bevy girls 2015After the indoor scene finished, the “Bevy Girls” — or the “Giggly Girls,” as I used to call them — prepared for their scene with Bert in front of the greengrocer’s.

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IMG_2615Linda and I enjoyed meeting  Chloe Carrubba, Lead Bevy Girl (red tights above and left). She also plays on “Poldark.”

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IMG_2636Time for lunch, and cast and crew headed to a nearby, upper room. The caterers served meals we’d chosen that morning. I  chatted with aspiring writer, Ben, who was enjoying his experiences as an extra. He said he and his dad had written a couple of movie screenplays. Best of luck, Ben!

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Lunch over, the time arrived for my scene, which included Martin, Louisa, P.C. Penhale and Archer (Baby James Henry), along with a woman I couldn’t identify. Many other extras were in the scene as well, including youngsters in school uniforms.

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The assistant director said, “Sit here and get your friend.” I grabbed Linda, and we were instructed to “act naturally.” It was cool because during the breaks we had a great view of everyone else.

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Bundled up, James Henry appeared interested in all the goings on.

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“Good job,” calls out Louisa to someone down the way.Louisa 2015

Because of the cold weather, crew members ran over after each shot to bundle up the actors and extras in blankets and coats. Sincere thanks to Shirley for taking such good care of Linda and me.
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Again, cars drove along the roadway. The drivers would be asked to wait if theDoc 2015 scene was about to be filmed.

Martin was generally smiling with someone. It was energizing to be around someone who enjoyed his job so much.

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Penhale n Doc our scene.

When you see P.C. Penhale with two ice cream cones, you’ll know that’s the scene we’re in. I thought the ice cream must be plastic, because the scene was shot numerous times, but later I realized it was real.

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Thanks to Linda Villelli, Joseph Barnett, Viola Brown, John & Pam Russell for supplying photos for this series.

Next up: Memories and Favorite Photos

To see additional stories and photos, click on the following:

Part 1 — “The Crew”

Part 2 — “Filming in the Village and Harbor”

Part 3 — “Outside the Surgery”

Part 4 — “Location Sets in Beautiful Port Isaac”

Part 6 — “Memories and Favorite Photos”

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

At the Scene of “Doc Martin,” Series 7 — Part 3 — Outside the Surgery

by Karen Gilleland  © 2015

Filming was held on the hill near the surgery. I wondered why “Doc Martin” didn’t employ the three-camera technique used for Hollywood sitcoms. In the tight squeeze of some of the locations in Port Isaac, I saw that one camera barely fit, let alone three.

This scene features Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz (Louisa) and the dog actor, Dodger (Buddy).

(Note: After the first reference to the actors’ real names, I’ll refer to them by their character names.)

Please click on photo to enlarge. Use back arrow, top of screen left, to return to page.

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Martin and Louisa are shown where to take their positions.

After the scene was filmed in one direction, the cameras moved to the opposite end of the roadway. What flashes by in a couple minutes on the screen takes a couple hours to film.
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unnamed unnamed unnamed unnamed unnamed unnamedThe filming schedule generally runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  I admire the cast and crew for their stamina. Along with the film work itself, going up and down the steep hills of Port Isaac takes a great deal of endurance.

No filming on Saturday or Sunday, giving cast and crew a well earned rest.

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(Above left) You can tell they are still rehearsing because Louisa has the script in her hand.

(Above right) It requires skilled acting for dog-lover Martin to convince people that he’s annoyed with Buddy.

(Left) Louisa is as pleasant as she is beautiful.

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It looks here as if the director may be discussing a change in the scene.

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I had brought along the photos I took at last year’s Buckham Fair for Martin to sign, which he graciously did. He joked that he’d probably see them on eBay. Not a chance!

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Breathe in and watch your toes!

We called this maneuver the “auto shuffle.” Regardless of filming, cars occasionally drove down the road.

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Buddy was quite the crowd pleaser.

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unnamedunnamed(Above left) Spectators were asked not to take photos after the director called “Action!” because the camera lens reflected the light and the sound of the click would be picked up by the microphones.

(Above right) Martin and Buddy in a discussion about the scene. (I think Martin might be pulling out a doggie treat.) Notice how picturesque the background is.

Thanks to Linda Villelli, Joseph Barnett, Viola Brown, John & Pam Russell for supplying photos for this series.

Next up: Location sets in beautiful Port Isaac.

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To see additional photos, click on the following:

Part 1 — “The Crew”

Part 2 — “Filming in the Village and Harbor”

Part 4 — “Location Sets in Beautiful Port Isaac”

Part 5 — “My Walk-on Part”

Part 6 — “Memories and Favorite Photos”

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

At the Scene of “Doc Martin,” Series 7 — Part 2 — Filming in the Village and Harbor

by Karen Gilleland  © 2015

I walked down to the village about 9:30 a.m. on my first day in “Portwenn.” Filming was under way for a scene featuring Joe Absolom (Al) and Jessica Ransom (Morwenna) at the Life Boat Station. The scene took several hours, as cameras moved around inside and outside the building.

(Note: After the first reference to the actors’ real names, I’ll refer to them by their character names.)

Please click on photo to enlarge. Use back arrow, top of screen left, to return to page.

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Between takes, cast members were very obliging, smiling for photos, shaking hands, autographing pictures and postcards. Here’s Al, of the beautiful blue eyes!

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Morwenna holds still for a make-up retouch.
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Make-up finished and looking stunning, Morwenna poses for fan photos.

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Scripts in hand, the actors gather with the director for instructions. I believe the blond woman is Katie Moore, who played Morwenna’s friend, Janice, in Series 6, Episode 8.

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The crew moved across to the harbor in the afternoon for a scene featuring Martin Clunes. 

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Martin talks to Al while waiting for his scene to begin. I heard several crew members call out to Martin as “M.C.”

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Martin confers with director, Nigel Cole.

(Doesn’t Martin have great posture!)

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John Marquez (P.C. Penhale) with Martin.

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Linda and Bert 2015

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Ian McNeice (Bert) greeted people at the harbor. Here, he has photo taken with my niece, Linda.

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Tricky shot.

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Al with me and Joseph Barnett.

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Thanks to Linda Villelli, Joseph Barnett, Viola Brown, John & Pam Russell for supplying photos for this series.

Next up: Filming up at the surgery, with great photos of the “Doc” and Louisa.

To see other photos, click on the following:

Part 1 — “The Crew”

Part 2 — “Filming in the Village and Harbor”

Part 3 — “Outside the Surgery”

Part 4 — “Location Sets in Beautiful Port Isaac”

Part 5 — “My Walk-on Part”

Part 6 — “Memories and Favorite Photos”

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

At the Scene of “Doc Martin,” Series 7: Part 1 — The Crew

by Karen Gilleland  © 2015

I just returned from Port Isaac and the exciting experience of being an “extra” in an episode of “Doc Martin.” I came away with lots of photos and insights into what goes into the filming of this amazing show.

Watching the production, I’d describe the scene as “controlled chaos.” So much happens at one time, not to mention dealing with quick changing weather — sunny and warm one minute; cold, windy and rainy the next. Umbrellas, parkas, hats and gloves were always at hand.

In Part 1, I’ve selected photos showing activities that take place before filming begins. Stay tuned for updates and photos of Martin Clunes, Carolyn Catz and the rest of the cast.

Thanks to Linda Villelli, Joseph Barnett, Viola Brown, John & Pam Russell for supplying photographs for this series of posts.

Click on photo to enlarge image. Use back arrow, top of screen left, to return to page.

(To see additional stories about the trip, go to  Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5, or the front page at karengilleland.wordpress.com)

Debbie and Karen 2015Debbie Burdon, talking with me, takes charge of all the extras (hundreds throughout the production). She is tireless, running up and down the hills constantly. I am extremely grateful to Debbie, who was so gracious and solicitous toward me  the entire week.

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Simon Hayter, sound recordist for all seven series.

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Construction and props, building and changing camera fixtures require lots of people and take lots of time. Each scene is shot from various angles. The director watches on a display and can ask for additional takes if he sees something he’d like changed.

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Nigel Cole, man with white paper in his hands, is director for this episode. The man in the white hat is assistant director and calls out the instructions to the rest of the crew and cast.

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IMG_2556 IMG_2587 IMG_2589Nigel Cole, left, checking a shot.

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You can see Martin talking with crew member toward the right of photo.

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This apparatus is used to hoist the camera for a long view.

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Warren Tribe, standby rigger, was one of my favorite people.

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The crew lays camera railings for a tight shot just below the surgery.

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Other crew controlled the crowds (always politely), were responsible for getting the right lens to the cameraman, and handled myriad other assignments. Here are random shots of these folks and equipment.  

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Martin Clunes Talking New Series: “Conan Doyle Investigates”

imagesAccording to RadioTimes, Martin Clunes has expressed an interest in extending his role as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for a full series, with the Sherlock Holmes’ creator continuing as a detective in his own right.

Philippa Braithwaite said the series could combine real events with fictional elements:

“We have only told a few months of Conan Doyle’s life in Arthur & George so there’s so much more there.”

According to the story, ITV will wait to see the success of the current production before giving the green light to the new series.

Read the complete article at: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-02-16/conan-doyle-investigates-martin-clunes-wants-a-full-series-as-the-sleuthing-sherlock-holmes-creator

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

First Trailer: “Arthur & George” Starring Martin Clunes

ITV has released the first trailer for “Arthur & George,” a three-part drama toplined by Martin Clunes and Arsher Ali. Based on the book by Julian Barnes, “Arthur & George” tells the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who, following the death of his first wife, recaptures his zest for life by attempting to free George Edaji, wrongly imprisoned for animal cruelty.

No air date yet, but, in the United States, the drama will be broadcast in 2015 as part of PBS’ “Masterpiece Theater.”

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Read complete article and see trailer at this link:  http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2015/02/itv-releases-first-trailer-three-part-conan-doyle-drama-arthur-george/

In a related story in “Telly Visions,” Lacy Baugher writes:

“Rejoice, Doc Martin fans! We may not have a new season of the uber popular Britcom to look forward to just yet, but you’ll still be able to get your Martin Clunes fix on public television this year. And, if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes as well, then this is probably your version of Christmas. . . .

“’How perfect that Arthur & George will air on PBS, as public television has been such a wonderful home to Doc Martin,’” said Clunes. “’I’m sure that our new series will be a treat for Doc Martin fans, and for everyone who enjoys a terrific drama.'”

Read complete article at: http://blogs.weta.org/tellyvisions/2015/01/21/martin-clunes-drama-arthur-george-set-masterpiece-airing-2015

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com