Martin Clunes first appeared as Dr. Martin Bamford in the film Saving Grace. Creators Craig Ferguson & Mark Crowdy wanted to continue with the character, so they wrote two prequel movies which explained how Doc Martin came to Port Isaac, Cornwall. These two movies are part of the soon-to-be-released two-DVD set, Doc Martin: The Movies. Both movies run for approximately 162 minutes, with subtitles as the only disc extras. The character of Doc Martin later appeared in his own television series, which is still in production, but the character underwent a name and personality change.
In the first film in the DVD set, Doc Martin, obstetrician Dr. Martin Bamford has discovered an unpleasant truth about his relationship with his wife, Petronella (Lynsey Baxter) — he doesn't have much of one, and she has had multiple relationships with at least three of his friends. He has to get away — from her, his job, and his life in London, so he sets out for Cornwall, which he used to visit as a kid. He lands in the village of Port Isaac, and quickly befriends some residents, like the lovely Rita (not a meter maid, and played by Neve McIntosh), and fisherman Harvey (Tristan Sturrock), and annoys others, like professional busybody Justine (Barbara Lott).
He even briefly considers taking up the life of a fisherman, but soon medicine calls. As the only outsider in a small village, Doc is immediately suspected of being the "jelly bandit." Someone has been spying on their neighbors and documenting them in compromising situations. Snapped photos are then delivered to each victim, embedded in jello molds. Almost everyone in the village has been humiliated, much like Doc. Can Doc Martin both clear his name and find out who is delivering the poison pen-like jellies? Will he get back together with Petronella?
In Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie Doc has decided to stay in Cornwall, but he doesn't have a lot of privacy in town, as everyone knows each other's every move. He has found the perfect and private house for himself outside of the village — except for one small problem — someone else has decided that it is perfect too, for them. The Bowden family, two kids, a rifle-wielding husband, and a very pushy wife (Anna Chancellor), have managed to get their bid accepted over his (by bribing the estate agent.)