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Jessica Ransom on Morwenna's Newfound Confidence on Latest Season of 'Doc Martin'

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The following profile is courtesy of ITV. Catch a new season of "Doc Martin" on KCET starting Jan. 24.

jessica ransom
Jessica Ransom

Jessica Ransom’s life took a dramatic change after the last season of "Doc Martin" when she discovered she was expecting her first baby. 

Her son, Frank, was born last year, and was introduced to the delights of life in Cornwall when Jessica took him with her to film the new series. 

“It has been quite different being here with a small person. I’ve seen so many new things and bits of Cornwall I wouldn’t otherwise have seen because I’ve had to entertain a one year old.”  

‘It’s not been a case of going surfing and going to the pub any more. We’ve gone to soft play, swimming, on a Gruffalo trail through the woods and baby groups. It’s been lovely to explore a different side of Cornwall, and Frank has loved it.”  

“I think we will both have to reacclimatize when we go back to London. I’ve had a nanny to look after him while I was working. My husband Ben and my parents have come down to help too. It’s given me the security to go off to work, knowing the baby is safe and happy.”

“Frank has been to set a couple of times. I think he is a bit gobsmacked by how much make up I have to wear. At the beginning he wasn’t talking much, but now he says ‘mummy, mummy, mummy’ when he sees me. He certainly looks at me in my Morwenna costume as if there’s something not quite right, it’s probably all the jewellery I have to wear.” 

Jessica is adamant she doesn’t want to put her son into the show, even though he was the right age for the Doc’s baby. 

“If when he is older he wanted to act, then that’s fine. At this point he’d rather be crawling on the beach eating sand.” 

Jessica’s character, doctor’s receptionist Morwenna Newcross, is also seeing changes in her life in the new series. The gift of a book on assertiveness from an American tourist, played by Sigourney Weaver in the last season, has altered her outlook. 

“After getting a book about assertiveness from the American tourist she asked the Doc for a pay rise, and asked Al out for a drink. At the beginning of this series we find Morwenna happily, confidently working for the Doc, and now going out with Al. 

“She is less scatty and more together. She’s even helping the Doc with some medical matters, and supporting Al in his new business venture at the local pub.”  

The new season also sees Morwenna stepping out from the receptionist desk more to go on adventures. 

“Last series I got to do lifeboat rescuing which was amazing and riding a bike around the village. This time there’s a lot of activity. It’s good to get to go to differentlocations in Cornwall as well.”   

“Previously people would go off for a few days on location and come back looking like they’d been on some exotic foreign holiday because you get a tan very quickly in Cornwall. Now I get to go on those adventures too.”  

“One of those adventures was a gig race.I did some gig rowing when I was in Port Isaac four years ago, just for a laugh, in my spare time. The Port Isaac rowing club arranged it for me.”   

“The boats are big heavy wooden boats, 32 feet long. There’s six rowers and a cox, and it’s hard work.  There was a special amateurs’ race which I took part in four years ago and again this time.”   

“Then I discovered a gig race had been written into the scripts. Fortunately Port Isaac rowing club have given us brilliant lessons So I did feel confident enough to give it a go.”   

“When we filmed the scenes, it was glorious, such a nice way to spend a day. The way you see the village is totally different. You are really concentrating on keeping in time and not messing it up for everyone else when you are rowing. When they told us to stop rowing we could put our paddles down and just look back at the village.”   

“It feels like I have had the best of both worlds this time. I love doing all the surgery scenes with Martin, and I feel really pleased because most of our guest artists come to the surgery at some stage during an episode so I get to meet all the guests. This year I have the extra special treat of more outings.” 

There’s devastating news for Morwenna when her parents return to Portwenn unexpectedly. 

“In episode four Morwenna’s parents turn up on her doorstep completely unannounced having been away for a couple of years, working as missionaries in Kenya, building a school. She has never really talked about them.”  

“It transpires they have come back because her mum is not very well. Kevin Doyle and Rebecca Lacey, who played Morwenna’s parents were fantastic. It was much more emotional stuff than we are used to seeing from Morwenna.”  

“They didn’t know anything about her getting together with Al until he opens the door to them wearing my floral dressing gown. They know the Large family, and there is a certain amount of ‘Al is a good for nothing’, but Morwenna is very defensive of him. and through all of this with her parents, Al is very supportive.” 

When she has spare time Jessica loves to keep fit by running, and has taken part in four London marathons in 2012, 2014, 2015 and in April this year. 

“As I had recently had a baby I was just determined to get round rather than try to beat a previous time. It was not my fastest, but definitely the one I enjoyed the most. Seeing Frank on my round was lovely. I was in tears and Ben, my husband, just shouted ‘ keep running’. I’m a big fan of running and it is the thing which keeps my brain calm.  “After completing the marathon I had to get straight on a plane to Cornwall, as I was working the next day. Thankfully there were a lot of scenes where I could sit down behind the reception desk.”

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