Long-awaited fourth season of hit British series Doc Martin makes Canadian
premiere on VisionTV Jan. 13

TORONTO, Dec. 22 /CNW/ - Living in the beautiful seaside village of Portwenn has done wonders for Dr. Martin Ellingham's disposition. The once curmudgeonly "Doc Martin" treats his patients with kindness and loving care, and has a sunny smile for everyone he meets. He's even learned to like dogs.

Yeah, right.

Fans of the acclaimed British comedy-drama series Doc Martin will be relieved to learn that the foul-tempered physician (played with exquisite truculence by star Martin Clunes) hasn't mellowed in the slightest. In fact, having been left at the altar by fetching schoolteacher Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz) at the end of last season, he's more hostile than ever - if that's possible.

And his life is about to get even more complicated, as viewers will discover when the long-awaited fourth season of Doc Martin makes its Canadian television premiere on VisionTV. New episodes will air on Wednesday nights, starting Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

Doc Martin has proved a smash success for UK broadcaster ITV1. Viewership for the fourth season topped 10 million in November, making it Great Britain's top-rated non-soap drama for the year.

As the new season begins, Martin is thinking about leaving Portwenn in the wake of his failed romance with Louisa. Of course, that means finding some way to conquer the blood phobia that forced him to abandon his surgical practice in London and take up the posting of GP for this tiny village on the North Cornwall coast.

Just as Martin is planning his escape, a new woman walks into his life: Dr. Edith Montgomery (Lia Williams), an ambitious consultant who runs the fertility clinic at the local hospital. Martin and Edith have a history, and her presence stirs the powerful feelings that lurk beneath his brusque exterior. But this is nothing compared to the emotional turmoil that's unleashed when Louisa arrives at Martin's door with some shocking news.

Stephanie Cole (Waiting for God) also stars as Martin's good-hearted Aunt Joan, while Ian McNeice (Rome) and Joe Absolom (EastEnders) play Bert and Al Large, father-son proprietors of Portwenn's seaside restaurant. Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) returns as Martin's hot-headed receptionist Pauline, and John Marquez is the hapless Police Constable Joe Penhale.

Doc Martin was written by Ben Bolt, Jack Lothian and Richard Stoneman. Ben Bolt directed. Philippa Braithwaite is the producer, and Mark Crowdy is executive producer. The series is a Buffalo Pictures production in association with Homerun Productions for ITV1.

Fans of Martin Clunes will enjoy a special bonus in January, as VisionTV also presents the original Doc Martin TV movies that served as the inspiration for the hit series.

The movies, which were spun off from the Golden Globe Award-nominated feature film Saving Grace, follow the misadventures of London obstetrician Dr. Martin Bamford (Clunes), who retreats to a fishing village in Cornwall after his marriage cracks up.

Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie airs on Monday, Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, followed by Doc Martin: The Movie on Monday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

Just to round out January's Doc Martin extravaganza, VisionTV will also broadcast an encore presentation of the special two-hour Doc Martin Christmas episode "On the Edge," airing on Monday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

For more information on VisionTV programming, please visit: www.visiontv.ca.

* To see full programs and exclusive clips, check out http://video.visiontv.ca/

* Follow VisionTV on Twitter: www.twitter.com/visiontv

* Check out VisionTV on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/VisionTV2

SOURCE VISIONTV

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: David Todd, Media Relations Manager, VisionTV, Phone: (416) 368-3194, ext. 207, Email: dtodd@s-vox.com

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