The Top 10 Martin Clunes Documentaries (Ranked)

Martin Clunes might be best known for the TV hit Doc Martin. But Clunes has also starred in, or narrated, some of the best documentaries on British television.

Here are the top 10 Martin Clunes docs I’ve ranked in order (best at the top).

1) Martin Clunes: Islands of Britain

Martin Clunes: Islands of Britain, a docuseries directed by Dominic Ozanne captivates as it explores some of the 1,000+ British Isles… The host, Martin Clunes, guides us through scenic spots, showcasing local traditions…

A vivid scene unfolds in Isle of Man, with the ancient ceremony of Tynwald…

Clunes meets intriguing locals, unraveling island histories.

In Shetland, he encounters wild ponies, leading to a whimsical moment… The doc, released in 2009, spans 3 episodes, each 46 minutes long, unraveling the charm and legacy of these isles…

Watch Martin Clunes: Islands of Britain for free (with ads) on Freevee at https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/0MRTUQWQV2F4YHQO629JYO14EQ/

2) Martin Clunes: Islands of America

Martin Clunes embarks on a vivid journey across America’s coasts in this doc.

Starting in Hawaii, he witnesses volcanic destruction, ventures to bear-watch in Alaska, and explores California’s Channel Islands.

Engaging encounters include salsa dancing in Puerto Rico, unraveling Roanoke’s mystery, and viewing wild pony swims at Chincoteague.

The 4-episode series (46 minutes a pop) blends diverse landscapes with rich local interactions. It offers a captivating glimpse into America’s island cultures.

Martin’s affable presence, coupled with insightful dialogues, makes this a delightful watch. Dive into this picturesque voyage with Martin, witnessing America’s wonders from sea to shining sea.

Watch Martin Clunes: Islands of America if you subscribe to AcornTV here: https://acorn.tv/islandsofamerica/series1/hawaii–alaska/ or Spectrum here: https://ondemand.spectrum.net/tv/acorn-tv/16496397/martin-clunes-islands-of-america/. You can also rent it on Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. See all the options here: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/martin-clunes-islands-of-america

3) Secret Life of Dogs

“Secret Life of Dogs” is a heartfelt voyage into the canine world, narrated by Martin Clunes. This 60-minute doc from BBC Earth in 2013 unveils the extraordinary abilities of dogs, meshing heartfelt stories with scientific insights.

From a dog detecting cancer by scent to the invaluable role of guide dogs, it’s a celebration of canine capabilities. Remarkable scenes include a puppy opening its eyes for the first time, a narrative that paints innocence and the onset of life’s journey.

“Why do dogs bark?” The doc explores, diving into the instinctual nature of dogs’ communication. It also showcases a dog’s altruistic act, saving an elderly woman, embodying the essence of loyalty and companionship.

The interactions between Martin and the canine stars highlight the profound bond shared between humans and dogs. It’s more than just a doc; it’s a tribute to our furry companions.

The doc enthralls, educates, and evokes emotion, making it a compelling watch for all. The top-notch narration by Clunes enriches the experience, making it resonate on a deeper level.

I can’t find a streaming option for the entire 1-hour “Secret Life of Dogs” doc. But here are 4 clips from it that you can watch for free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL50KW6aT4UgwMXmO_gAAdJAChYSxa9YUA

4) Martin Clunes: Horsepower

“Horsepower With Martin Clunes” explores the enduring bond between man and horse. This two-part doc, aired in 2010, unveils the versatile roles of horses across diverse cultures.

Martin Clunes leads… From Aintree to Siena, Outer Mongolia to the Shetlands, each locale offers a unique narrative.

Key scenes include wild Mustangs in Nevada, showcasing the untamed beauty, and thrilling rodeo events in Las Vegas, underlining the adventurous essence.

Historical roles… Horses as symbols of power, wealth, conquest unravel as the doc traverses through time. The symbolic significance is highlighted, intertwining with human civilization’s progress.

Engaging interactions… Martin’s dialogues with the locals reveal the indispensable partnership. His narrative, coupled with stunning visuals, makes this doc resonate with equine enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Watch Martin Clunes Horsepower (with ads) on Freevee at https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/0PHMXUJIQHVXP37OHFN8UHJSGI/

5) Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia (aka Islands of Oz)

“Australian Odyssey.” Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia (aka Islands of Oz) is a captivating expedition into Australia’s enchanting isles.

This three-part doc, released in 2016, unveils the diverse landscapes and unique cultures nestled in the heart of Australia.

Martin leads… His journey spans from the picturesque King Island to the culturally rich Tiwi Islands. Each island unveils a new narrative, painting a vivid tableau of Australia’s coastal beauty and indigenous cultures.

Nature unfolds… From the lush wilderness of King Island to the pristine beaches of the Great Barrier Reef, the doc showcases Australia’s natural splendors. The visual treat of sweeping vistas is complemented by the in-depth exploration of native wildlife.

Local interactions… Martin’s dialogues with the islanders offer a glimpse into their lives. His affable demeanor brings out heartfelt stories, making the doc resonate on a personal level.

Indigenous cultures… The doc delves into the rich Aboriginal traditions, offering a unique learning experience. Martin’s respectful approach towards the indigenous communities amplifies the doc’s educational value.

Stream it on AcornTV or Spectrum or buy it on Apple TV. See here for details; https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/martin-clunes-islands-of-australia

6) Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs

Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs embarks on a heartwarming exploration into the deep-rooted bond between humans and dogs.

In this two-part doc aired in 2008, Martin Clunes, with his affable persona, delves into the historical, scientific, and emotional aspects of this enduring relationship.

rom ancient wolf companions to modern-day breeds, the doc offers a rich historical narrative.

Martin uncovers the innate behaviors of dogs. His encounters with various breeds offer a peek into the diverse canine world. Watch how border collies respond to verbal commands and whistles. Will “Drift” the border collie respond better to the new commands Martin just learned than his own pet Labrador?

The doc taps into the emotional core of the human-dog bond. Scenes of rescue dogs showcasing loyalty and service highlight the profound companionship.

Scientific Endeavors… Martin dives into the scientific aspects, exploring dogs’ remarkable sensory and cognitive abilities. His visit to dog behavior experts adds a layer of educational insight.

Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs is a delightful blend of education, emotion, and entertainment.

Watch Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs (with ads) on Roku, FilmRise and Freevee. More details are here: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/martin-clunes-a-man-and-his-dogs

7) The Secret Life of Cats

Dive into the enigmatic world of cats with “Secret Life of Cats”. This 47-minute doc, aired in 2014, unveils feline mysteries.

If you want to see more cat documentaries, check out my 13 Best Cat Documentaries list.

Martin’s affable style unveils the evolutionary journey of cats. From wild predators to cherished companions, it’s a captivating narrative.

The doc explores diverse feline behaviors. Hunting instincts, social interactions, each aspect is thoroughly examined.

Domestication… How did cats become household companions? This doc delves into this heartwarming transition, showcasing the mutual benefits.

Cats, revered and feared across cultures, hold a mystical aura. The doc touches on this, adding a layer of intrigue.

Delving into the scientific, it uncovers exceptional feline sensory abilities. A rich educational dive into the feline world.

I don’t see any streaming options for The Secret Life of Cats right now. Check back at https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/the-secret-life-of-cats to see if any get added.

8) Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific

“Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific” is a captivating voyage across the Pacific’s diverse islands, aired in 2022-2023.

This three-episode doc, each 47 minutes long, sails from French Polynesia to the Galapagos (narrated by, who else, but the engaging Martin Clunes!).

Episode Themes…

  • S1.E1 “French Polynesia”: Delve into the ethereal beauty of French Polynesia, exploring its cultural and natural splendors.
  • S1.E2 “South-West Pacific”: Martin ventures into the diverse cultures and mesmerizing landscapes of the South-West Pacific.
  • S1.E3 “Galapagos Islands”: The voyage culminates in the Galapagos, a pristine haven of unique wildlife and evolutionary tales.

Inspired by Kon-Tiki, Martin rekindles the spirit of exploration. Each island holds a chapter of the Pacific’s rich history.

Cultural Spectrum… Martin dives into the vibrant island cultures. Encounters range from coral wine tasting to meeting Marquesas’ horse whisperers.

Nature’s Wonders… From swimming with sharks to climbing volcanoes, the Pacific’s natural splendors unfold. It’s a visual feast.

Watch Islands of the Pacific on AcornTV or Spectrum. Here are details on the options: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/martin-clunes-islands-of-the-pacific

9) Carry on Forever

The video above is for just Part 1 (coudn’t find a trailer)

“Carry on Forever” is a nostalgic cruise down Britain’s comedic lane, aired in 2015. It’s narrated by Martin Clunes.

This three-episode doc, each around 45 minutes long, narrated by the delightful Martin Clunes, celebrates the enduring “Carry On” film series.

The doc revisits the roots of the “Carry On” films, a British comedy institution, dating back to the 1950s.

Episodes:

  • S1.E1 “Episode #1.1”: A dive into the birth of the “Carry On” brand, reliving iconic moments, narrated on April 3, 2015.
  • S1.E2 “Episode #1.2”: Unveiling behind-the-scenes tales, aired on April 10, 2015.
  • S1.E3 “Episode #1.3”: More backstage stories enrich the legacy, broadcasted on April 17, 2015.
  • Cinematic Tapestry… The doc uncovers the comedic genius of legends like Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, and Kenneth Williams.

Watch Carry on Forever Episode 1 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWCnpNNxHmY. I couldn’t find Episodes 2 or 3 anywhere.

10) Rising Damp Forever

“Rising Damp Forever” is a nostalgic ode to British sitcom history, aired in 2016. It’s narrated by, yep, Martin Clunes.

This two-part doc, each episode being around 1 hour long, invites viewers into the comedic realm of the iconic sitcom “Rising Damp.”

The documentary explores how Eric Chappell’s play “The Banana Box” metamorphosed into one of ITV’s most celebrated sitcoms, “Rising Damp,” making stars out of its cast.

Episode Dive…

  • S1.E1: Unveils the origins and iconic moments of “Rising Damp,” bringing to life the sitcom’s comedic essence.
  • S1.E2: Dives deeper into backstage tales and the series’ continuation, even leading to a feature-length film, “Rising Damp: The Movie.”

The doc weaves together interviews, unknown facts, reunions, and location visits from March 26 and 27, 2016.

Watch Rising Damp Forever for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLGAUmqpeak

Thanks for reading!

-Rob Kelly