As Scotland marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of the Scottish “pioneer of television”, the national tourism organisation has launched a guide aimed at set-jetting TV fans.
TV Set in Scotland, produced by VisitScotland, contains details of more than 60 television programmes, which have either been filmed in Scotland or have Scottish links.
The 36-page book is dedicated to inventor and engineer John Logie Baird who was born in Helensburgh on 13 August, 1888 and is considered one of the fathers of television and the first to show TV pictures to the world.
TV Set in Scotland will be available free of charge in attractions and VisitScotland iCentres throughout the country and for download at visitscotland.com from today (29 August 2018).
From milestone documentary, Night Mail, to Agatha Christie adaptation, Ordeal by Innocence, the guide delves into the animations, documentaries, dramas, sitcoms and soap operas which have been filmed in or inspired by Scotland over the past 80 years.
In keeping with the ‘TV guide’ format, it also has a selection of film highlights and contains special sections on Outlander, Doctor Who and famous Scottish small-screen characters, including Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales and Scotty from Star Trek.
• Victoria (Perthshire) - Starring Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who), ITV series Victoria focuses on the early years of the Queen’s reign, during which time she visited Highland Perthshire on a number of occasions. Filming took place at Blair Castle to tell the story of one of those visits, with two of the estate’s native Highland ponies used as Victoria and Prince Albert’s own ponies.
• Taggart (Glasgow) - Fondly remembered for its catchphrase “There’s been a murder”, the UK’s longest-running TV crime drama filming took place across Glasgow with the original title card of the show using a panoramic shot taken from the summit of the Cathkin Braes to the south of the city. In later years, a shot of the city centre was taken from The Lighthouse – Scotland’s national centre for design and architecture – on Mitchell Lane.
• Shetland (Shetland) - Taking its title from its archipelago setting, crime drama, Shetland, stars Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. Based on the books by Ann Cleeves, filming took place in various locations around the Isles, including Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, the Lodberries area and on the Fair Isle (which lies 24 miles from the Shetland mainland).
• Downton Abbey (Argyll) - The historical period drama television series, created by Julian Fellowes, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants during the post-Edwardian era at their Yorkshire country house, Downton Abbey. For the 2012 Christmas special, the Crawley family head north to the fictional Duneagle Castle, filmed on location at Inveraray Castle.
• Hamish Macbeth (Highlands) - Loosely based on the novels by M. C. Beaton, the series revolves around Constable Hamish Macbeth (Robert Carlyle), a local police officer of the fictitious town of Lochdubh on the west coast of Scotland, and his trusty fourlegged friend, Jock. Filming took place in the villages of Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh and the surrounding area.
• Two Thousand Acres of Sky (Dumfries and Galloway) - Set on the fictional island of Ronansay off the coast of the Isle of Skye, filming for this TV drama starring Michelle Collins actually took place in the seaside village of Port Logan, just north of the Mull of Galloway – the most southerly point in Scotland.
In a specially written foreword, Peter May, author and co-creator of Gaelic soap opera Machair, says Scotland’s “breath-taking scenery” makes it the “envy of the world”.
He writes: “Filmmakers and TV companies from far and wide make the annual pilgrimage to Scotland to fill their viewers’ screens with stunning images of snow-peaked mountains, silver beaches and turquoise seas. Scotland presents a unique landscape and culture for those film and TV companies as settings not only for documentaries, but for top-rated timeless dramas.”
TV Set in Scotland aims to capitalise on the growing trend of set-jetting. Research shows that one in five visitors to Scotland have been inspired to visit the country after seeing locations on the big and small screen.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “Scotland’s scenery and built heritage, together with our diverse and rich culture have attracted countless filmmakers over the years.
“I welcome this new guide which maps out the locations of some of the great television shows that have been filmed in Scotland and will encourage TV fans of all ages to come and explore our fantastic on-screen locations in real life.”
Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “The list of television shows and locations featured in TV Set in Scotland is not exhaustive, but this fun and informative guide, which contains firm fan favourites alongside little-known gems, serves as a starting point for visitors wishing to explore the many on-screen locations and nearby attractions.
“The impact of filmmaking in Scotland goes far beyond production spend. Scotland’s appearances on TV have the potential to reach huge global audiences and, with research finding that one in five visitors are inspired to visit after seeing it on-screen, the opportunities for the tourism industry are immense.”
The latest figures show that spend on film and TV in Scotland in 2017 reached £95 million – the highest level since records began – and a £26 million increase on the previous year. Over the past decade, spend has increased by more than 300%.
VisitScotland previously published, Set in Scotland: A Film Fan’s Odyssey, which focused on the many films shot across the country.
For more on TV and film productions shot in Scotland and to download TV Set in Scotland go to: www.visitscotland.com/film