Ian McNeice of 'Doc Martin' dishes on what could be the show's final season
British TV legend Ian McNeice spoke to MEAWW about the worldwide appeal of ‘Doc Martin’ and what to expect from what could be the show’s last season
British TV and film legend Ian McNeice is most well known for the role of "Bert Large” on the long-running series 'Doc Martin', which airs on KCET in Southern California. MEAWW spoke with McNeice and got the inside scoop on whether the upcoming eighth season of the British sitcom would be its last.
"I have heard the rumor of the show ending after this next season. Although we are dreading it, I think we have to start season nine with us thinking that will probably be the case. ITV had a dinner for us two years ago where we thought they were going to tell us it would be the end. But then the head of ITV got up and said they wanted it for two more seasons. But with that, we also assumed that after those two seasons it would likely be the end of the series. I think Martin Clunes would like to see it end on a high so I think it will probably be the final season."
While many will be sad to see the series go, it has been wildly successful for over fourteen years. Even though the series is just now going into its ninth season, there is typically a two to three-year hiatus in between seasons. While viewers miss the show during its off years, it is because of this shooting schedule that the show has been able to keep most of its cast intact and turn out great, original content. McNeice expanded on this and spoke on why he thinks the show has been such a long-lasting success.
“One of the things that makes the show so successful is the picturesque place where it’s set. There are groups now that come over from all over the world to see the set. It is a pilgrimage and that is one of the reasons why I think it’s so successful. But the other reason obviously is the separate performances and the other part of that is this ensemble group of very good actors and of course the scripts. The great thing about the scripts specifically is that the writers get two years to write them.”
As far as what to expect from his character Bert, McNeice says while some things have changed, things have mostly stayed the same in terms of his story and character development. When a character like Bert resonates so much with audiences, there has been no reasons to drastically change the character.
“Not a lot has changed with my character, he is still getting into an awful lot of trouble, he is still an entrepreneur with great ideas. And in this new season, there will be a little twinkle in his eyes because there is going to be someone on the horizon that is going to be of interest to him. But not a lot has changed for Bert but his bank balance which gets lower and lower.”
The possible final season of 'Doc Martin' is one that audiences will not want to miss. Make sure to watch season eight's premiere on KCET on January 24.