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Portwenn Online
A Magical Cornish Village
Doc Martin is
IN
Porch/Door/Vestibule
Interior Hall
Two additional areas of the Surgery are the Porch/Front Door/Vestibule area and the Interior Hall that
connects the Kitchen with the Consulting Room and Waiting Room.  There aren't a lot of changes in
these areas from series to series, with the exception of changes to the front door and changes in the
hall that include different pictures and mirrors on the wall and a bookcase that was there for several
series.  In three different series we see a small room off the hallway that is used for drawing blood.
Click photos to enlarge - click again to close
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Porch/Door/Vestibule
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Partway through this series (E5), a wooden bench appeared on the left side of the
porch.  The door this year is painted black with an etched pattern in the opaque
windows - the pattern is not always apparent, but I've included one shot where it is
visible.  This is the only series where there is a sheer curtain on the inside of the
door.  The door has a traditional brass knocker, brass mail slot, and brass keyhole
plate with a lever handle.  The door used on the set is an exact match.
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Series 1
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Porch/Door/Vestibule
Overview
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This is the entrance to the Surgery.  The front door leads to a small vestibule that allows patients to enter the
Waiting Room to the right or Martin's personal space - the Living Room - on the left.  In practice, this door is
mainly used by the patients, and Martin & Louisa typically enter through the Kitchen door at the back of the
house.  See below for details on all three areas.

This porch, door, and vestibule are the only areas used for filming at the cottage in Port Isaac called "Fern
Cottage", which is actually a holiday let (with a couple of rare exceptions: a few Living Room scenes in S1
and a couple of times Martin or his mother look out of upstairs windows).  We can see the real vestibule
behind Martin when he opens the door (although slightly altered - see the vestibule area below).  Once
someone enters the building, the filming is done on the set inside a barn just outside Port Isaac.  The set
has a duplicate of the vestibule that is used when filming from inside the building, so there is lots of
planning involved in deciding what part of a scene needs to be scheduled on the days that they use this
cottage.  Then, there is editing magic involved in piecing these scenes together.
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Porch
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I took these 3 pictures of the porch on a visit to Port Isaac.  The red circles are the 1 step in the middle of the
porch.  The yellow is the area that is level with the road.
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Front Door
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This door is a wooden panel door with dual windows on the upper half.  There have been a few changes in
color and window type, and in S1 there was a patterned sheer curtain on the inside.  Most of the time the door
used on the set matches the one on Fern Cottage - I'll point out later the one series where there was an
anomaly.  Here are pictures of the doors (the one on the real cottage and the one on the set) from each
series - there will be more info in the next section.
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Vestibule
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When the camera angle is from outside the building, the vestibule is often visible.  The crew uses a false wall
with an attached coat rack to cover the stairwell that is on the right side.  The left side is left alone and looks
like a closet, but is actually a very small bathroom (a delivery guy uses it in S1E2).  
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These two screenshots are from the
scene when the delivery guy used this
bathroom.
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The porch runs across the entire front of the building and wraps around the left side to form a wide patio on
the side.  The surface is a mosaic of flagstones and there is a slight step up at the left edge of the building.  
There are 3 different access points to the porch from the road.  Because the road has such a steep grade
going up the hill, the first access is a steep stone stairway with 4 steps.  Next, right in front of the door, is a
large stone step, so this requires just 2 steps up.  Just past that, the road actually meets the level of the
porch and provides a wide area to walk onto the porch with no steps.  Surprisingly, Martin and most of his
patients use the steep 4 step staircase instead of walking just a few additional feet for easier access.

The patio around the side leads to the back of the building and a staircase with a white wooden handrail that
ascends the hill behind to a small shed and gardens.  We see Martin walking up to that shed in just one
episode (S4E6) when he hides in there to practice techniques seeking to cure his blood phobia.
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Here is a screenshot of Dr Dibbs running from the back of
the building down the side patio.  You can see the stone
steps with the white railing heading up to the shed and
gardens.

On the right is my photo of that area.
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Here are 4 screenshots of Martin going into the shed.
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From the video referenced above, here are a couple of
pictures of the shed and the side/back of the cottage.  
You can see a bit of the white handrail in the lower
left corner of the photo below.
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There is a video online showing the interior of
Fern Cottage and the shed up the hill behind
the building.  I've used a couple of screenshots
from the video on this page.

Click on the button at right to watch the video.
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Series 1
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Series 2
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Series 2
Christmas Sp
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Series 3
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Series 4
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Series 5
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Series 6
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Series 7
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Series 8
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This is the real vestibule
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This is the TV version
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The vestibule on the set is usually
shot from an angle that only shows
the door and the piece of wall with
the covered radiator.  But the
coatrack on the back wall is
occasionally seen.
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This scene was actually filmed in
Fern Cottage.  You can see how far the
false wall has to come out to cover the
end of the stairwell banister.  There is
also a good look at the double doors
into the small bathroom.
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The door has been painted a sage green this series.  I suspect the same door has
been used throughout but occasionally painted a different color.  Several other
changes to the door:  A new brass doorknob has been added to the center of the
door with a brass covered keyhole on the right side, the brass mail slot remains,
and a black metal fish door knocker has replaced the traditional style one.  The
sheer curtain is gone from the inside of the door, which makes the etching in the
opaque glass much more visible.

In the Chistmas Special, the door has been painted black again, there is a different
doorknob in the middle of the door, and the door knocker has been removed.
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Series 2
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Changes in the door
for the Christmas
Special.
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The door has been painted a sage green this series.  I suspect the same door has
been used throughout but occasionally painted a different color.  Several other
changes to the door:  A new brass doorknob has been added to the center of the
door with a brass covered keyhole on the right side, the brass mail slot remains,
and a black metal fish door knocker has replaced the traditional style one.  The
sheer curtain is gone from the inside of the door, which makes the etching in the
opaque glass much more visible.

In the Christmas Special, the door has been painted black again, there is a
different doorknob in the middle of the door, and the door knocker has been
removed.  Also, the glass panels with the etched design have been replaced
with plain opaque glass.
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Series 2
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Changes in the door
for the Christmas
Special.
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There have been a couple of potted plants added to the side patio.  The door is
unchanged since the Christmas Special, except that the center doorknob has
reverted back to the one there for most of Series 2.
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Series 3
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The wooden bench that was seen in S1 was on the side patio this series.  We also
saw the shed in E6 when Martin used it to practice techniques to cure his blood
phobia.  The door is still black, and the only change is the addition of a brass lock
and pull higher up on the right side of the door.
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Series 4
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There is a different (wooden and metal) bench on the side patio this series.  The
door has been repainted the same sage green as from S2.  There is also a new
brass door lever and backplate.  Interestingly, this is the only series where the door
they are using in the vestibule on the set doesn't match the outside door on Fern
Cottage.  They are identical except that the door on the set is still black.  Oops!  
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Series 5
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Fern Cottage
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Set
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The bench isn't visible on the side patio this series.  The door is exactly the same
as the last series, but this time the door on the set has been painted green to
match the Fern Cottage door.
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Series 6
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In this series there are a couple of shots of the French Doors on the left of the
building.  The door is unchanged.
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Series 7
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The door itself is unchanged this series, but the opaque glass panes have been
replaced by textured glass.
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Series 8
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Interior Hall
Overview
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The hallway starts at the Kitchen (the Kitchen is one step up) and runs to the right side of the building ending
at a door with a textured glass window.  In reality, Fern Cottage is only one room deep and has no interior hall,
plus, the right side of the building is right up against the hill so there is no possibility of a door there.  We've
seen people come in through that door three times - Martin in S1E3, Aunt Ruth in S6E3, and Mrs Tishell in
S8E6.  Near the door is a large old multi pane window that looks into the Waiting Room.  Right in the middle of
the hallway are two doors facing each other - one to the Waiting Room and one to the Consulting Room.  Just
before reaching the kitchen there is an angled part of the ceiling to accommodate the staircase and Martin
always has to duck to clear it.  Right near that spot (between the Kitchen and Consulting Room) is a very small
room that is used for drawing blood starting in S3.

There are 4 areas that typically have some kind of decoration.  Looking from the middle of the hall toward the
Kitchen, there is sometimes a small framed picture on the left wall just before the Kitchen.  Looking the other
way toward the door, there is always a wooden framed mirror on the right wall just after the door to the
Waiting Room.  There have been two different mirrors, the one in S1 & S2 was an oval shaped mirror with a
wooden frame hanging from a metal chain.  Starting in S3, it was replaced by a long octagon mirror with a
wooden frame.  This mirror was usually hanging vertically, but occasionally it was hung horizontally.  Directly
across from the mirror, to the right of the Consulting Room door, there was a wooden bookcase there in
S1-S3.  In S4, a radiator was there in its place, but gone in S5.  Starting in S5 a small shelf was installed on the
wall and always held a variety of objects.  Above the bookcase, and then the shelf, was a wall mounted
telephone for all but S3 & S4.  There was also often a painting or clock there.  And on the same side, down
closer to the door, there was sometimes a framed painting, but there was never a good view.
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Looking from the
Waiting Room,
through the Hall and
into the Consulting
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This is a shot in S1 looking toward the Kitchen.  There
was no set for the Kitchen that series, so the Kitchen
is assumed to be off to the right.
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Now that there is a set for the Kitchen, this is the view
every time looking down the hall.
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Looking the other way down the hall from the kitchen.
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The small room off the hallway where
Pauline drew blood.
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Interior Hall
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On the front wall, there is a small, unidentifiable picture hanging near the entrance
to the kitchen, and the oval mirror next to the door.  On the back wall in E1 is the
bookcase (we can't see if anything is on it) and an old B&W picture of what appears
to be Port Isaac.  Note that the phone was not there in E1.  Starting in E2, the
phone is there but we cannot see if there is anything next to it. The bookcase is
full with a plant on the top shelf.  A glimpse through the windows from the Waiting
Room reveal something round or oval hanging on the back wall near the side door.
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Series 1
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The only time
Martin has
used this
entrance.
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Episode 1
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Martin entering
through the side
door in E3.
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In this series, on the front wall is a small picture in a white frame hanging near the
kitchen.  In the Christmas Special there seems to be a different one - its not
possible to make out either one, but they appear to be different.  The oval mirror
remains next to the door.  The back wall next to the door is pretty much unchanged
except that the plant is gone from the bookshelf and we can just see a bit of the
frame of a picture hanging next to the telephone.  There is a glimpse through the
windows showing some type of print in a gold frame with a large mat hanging next
to the side door.
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Series 2
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On the front wall near the kitchen there is a framed print, but it's not really visible.  
The mirror next to the door has been changed - it's now a long octagon shape with
a wooden frame.  This series it is hanging horizontally.  On the back wall, the
bookcase remains, but the wall telephone is gone, and there is a framed print
right next to where the phone would be.  There is also another print over by the
side door - it might be a B&W print.

We see the small room off this hallway for the first time this series.  It has one
window, a sink below the window, wainscoting all around the room, and green &
purple wallpaper on the back wall.  The door appears to have glass panes on at
least the top half of the door, and a sheer curtain on the inside of the door -
although we don't ever really see a door like that when looking down the hall.
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Series 3
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There isn't anything hanging on the front wall by the kitchen in this series - in fact,
they don't have anything on that part of the wall in future series.  By the door, the
mirror is still hanging horizontally.  On the back wall is a big change by the door -
the bookcase is gone and the phone is still missing.  There is a good look at the
small framed painting there - it was in the Consulting Room in S2.  And there is a
radiator sitting just to the right of where the bookcase sat.  In S4 there are several
matching radiators in different areas of the surgery - and all are gone again in S5.  
Over by the side door is the same B&W print from S3 and it's more recognizable
now - it's an old photo of the lifeboat coming down Fore Street and was in the
Living Room in S2.

There are a few scenes shot this series in the small room off the hallway.
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Series 4
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On the front wall, the mirror is now hanging vertically.  On the back wall next to the
door, the phone is back and there is a square clock hanging next to it.  Below the
phone is a small wooden shelf with several items on top including a carved
wooden bird that has been in the Waiting Room the previous 3 series.  The
radiator that appeared in S4 is now gone.
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Series 5
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Very few changes this series.  The mirror is still hanging vertically.  The carved
bird from the shelf has moved back into the Waiting Room and there are now
some small covered boxes and a small vase on the shelf.  The clock is gone and
replaced by an unusual framed print.
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Series 6
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Again, very few changes this series.  The mirror is seen hanging vertically in E5,
but then hanging horizontally in E6.  The items on the shelf have changed and
there is a new carved bird there.  You can see the shadow of a frame to the right
of the phone, but it can't be the one that was there last series because that one is
in the Living Room in this series.  They filmed one shot of the Waiting Room
through the hall windows - the first time for that type of shot.

There is one scene in the little room off the hall this series. The framed print that
was in the Consulting Room in S2 and the Hallway in S4 is spotted in this scene.  It
appears that there is a glass paneled door in the background with a mirror in one
of the panes.
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Series 7
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Still very few changes in S8.  The mirror looks to be hanging horizontally.  The
carved bird on the shelf has been moved to the Waiting Room and there are a
couple of miscellaneous items on the shelf, including a covered wooden box and
a rubber ducky.  There is a shot of the picture hanging next to the phone, but
because of a reflection it's not identifiable.  
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Series 8
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