A huge TOH to the folks over at Radio Times who dug deep and found what appears to be the most brilliant British Telly map ever. This is better than sliced bread! For TV fans residing in the UK, the fact that the setting for both Doc Martin and Poldark take full advantage of the gorgeous Cornwall coastline or that Happy Valley is found in West Yorkshire is an important part of the show.
The fact that Vera is set and shot in Newcastle and Northumberland is crucial to the series. Fans of Life on Mars will immediately recognize Manchester while, in addition to the accent, Case Histories is pretty synonymous with Edinburgh. And, knowing that Fawlty Towers is based in Torquay and Sherlock in Marylebone is crucial stuff…and, easy stuff for UK residents.
But how do Americans, who are fans of these series but might have less knowledge of UK geography, wrap their heads around where they’re set in order to get a better understanding of plot lines? Well, enter American designer Tim Ritz with, perhaps, the best (if not only) British Television Map ever that maps out a number of on-screen locations of some of the best British telly set in the UK and Ireland (let’s definitely not forget Moone Boy or Father Ted).
Just how did this labor of love come about, you ask. Well, according to Ritz, a self-professed “anglophile” who lives in Washington, the idea came to him when he was watching an episode of 1940s drama Foyle’s War with his wife Kolleen and she asked where exactly on the south coast Hastings was in relation to London. So, as legend would have it, he drew her a map of the UK, on a Post-It note, with a dot in East Sussex. He then drew where Downton Abbey was supposed to be and Pride and Prejudice with a dot in Derbyshire and, suddenly, it outgrew the Post-It note. “You should do this map for real!” she said, and the rest, as they say, is history.
As well as locating The Office in Slough and Poldark in Cornwall, Ritz has also added some of the filming locations for shows like Doctor Who, which is, of course, set in “All Of Time And Space”, a.k.a. Cardiff….
There’s also a separate section for shows set in Greater London, like Call the Midwife, Luther and The Thick of It. So, next time you’re watching Downton Abbey and Lady Mary and Anna need to head off to London in the dead of night, you’ll immediately know just how far they have to go. Click here for a larger version of the genius map, and to find out how to get your hands on a copy of your very own. Well done, Mr. Ritz, well done.