Bohdan Zachary, broadcasting and program development v.p. at KCET in Los Angeles, recently got the chance to visit the set of Doc Martin, the station’s highest-rated show, in the picturesque fishing village of Port Isaac, North Cornwall, U.K. “One of the great joys of my visit was the chance to interview each one of the series’ actors,” Zachary reports. “As busy as they were with filming, they were eager to talk about how many American tourists are suddenly popping up in Port Isaac — a sign of the series’ success on public television.”
Star Martin Clunes told Zachary that several Hollywood producers are negotiating for an American version of the show, similar to the new version of the Helen Mirren-led BBC classic Prime Suspect premiering on NBC this fall. Doc Martin already plays in Germany and Spain with native casts.
The American version of “Doc Martin” could be about a prominent Johns Hopkins faculty surgeon, originally from the upper crust of a Major metropolitan city (NYC, Boston, Chicago), Dr. Martin Ellis (played by Oliver Platt) setting up a country practice in a North Carolina Outer Banks fishing and resort village to escape his hemophilia/social meltdown. His encounters with the townsfolk, vacationers, and overall coastal Southern way of life, would reflect Dr. Ellingham’s approach to Cornish culture and social mores. Add subthemes of implementing a small practice in today’s economy witht he Healthcare overhaul and ensuing debates and you have a potential hit.