Doc Martin fans have been waiting what feels like forever for the tiniest scrap of news about when the latest season of the popular British comedy would finally be available in America on public television.
Season 8 originally aired in the UK back in September of 2017, two years from the series’ seventh season outing. That means US fans are into their third year of waiting for new episodes. And there’s good news and bad news on that front.
The eighth season originally came to the U.S. via streaming service Acorn last fall, just a day after its UK premiere. Unfortunately for those who aren’t subscribers, the online service had exclusive rights to the new season, meaning that no local PBS station in the country was able to air the show.
At least, that appears to be changing. According to public media news magazine Current, Acorn will make the broadcast rights to Season 8 available to public television stations beginning in January of 2019. Rhode Island PBS will premiere Season 8 on Saturday, February 2 at 9 p.m.
Martin Clunes is, of course, back as everyone’s favorite grumpy medic, along the rest of the regular cast, including Caroline Catz as his Martin’s long-suffering love interest Louisa, and Dame Eileen Atkins as his acerbic Aunt Ruth.
Season 8 is widely expected to be the penultimate outing for the series, with the comedy’s ninth season – expected to air at some point in 2019 or 2020. So there’s a lot of emotion for fans surrounding this season’s premiere. (It’s also probably why we don’t actually know much about what to expect from the new episodes.)
What we do know so far is that Season 8 will find Martin and Louisa, after having had therapy to save their marriage last season, facing up to the challenge of living happy together with their (now toddler) son James. Elsewhere, PC Joe Penhale is looking forward to married life with Martin’s nanny Janice, Bert Large is struggling to make his whisky business successful, and Martin’s receptionist Morwenna gets some devastating news when her parents arrive in Portwenn unexpectedly.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) programming over the air on digital 36.1; on RI cable: Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, and Full Channel 08; on MA cable: Comcast 819HD and Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD; on satellite: DirecTV 36, Dish Network 36.