This week saw the return of the successful ITV series Doc Martin. But Martin Clunes originally played the character Doc Martin when the character was called “Dr Martin Bamford” in the film Saving Grace and in a further two TV films Doc Martin and Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie made by Sky Pictures. But later when Sky Pictures folded before any further films could be made – Martin Clunes production company looking for a new home for the format took the stories to ITV.
For the ITV series – the doctor’s surname was changed to Ellingham, an anagram of the last name of the new writer, Dominic Minghella.
Saving Grace tells the story of a green-fingered widow Grace Trevethen (Brenda Blethyn) is faced with a cash-flow problem and wonders how she will be able to pay for the upkeep on her Cornish manor. The solution comes from the manor caretaker (Craig Ferguson): why not start growing and selling marijuana? That’s exactly what Grace does, with hilarious and unforseen consequences.
Some of the marijuana plants used in the shooting were real. The British government gave permission to the filming crew the use of 150 marijuana plants, under supervision of the authorities. This meant that the plants had someone guarding them on the set, and watching over its transportation to a nearby storage facility for its safekeeping at night.