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George’s Gentle Geordie Geography

The Geordie geography of TV’s George Gently (which has been on for years) is quite amazing…I watch it because it’s filmed in the land of my birth. But, Scene 1 might be in a children’s home in Teesside (which they spell Teeside), next scene is Gently, who’s based in Durham, which is on the Wear, nipping down to said kids’ home with sidekick mod copper John, then they’re back in time for Gently to quickly get to South Shields only it isn’t South Shields (on the Tyne), which they call “Shields”, it’s Seaton Sluice, which is back over the Tyne and further North. Then they’re driving into somewhere they said was Whitley Bay, but there are grassy sand dunes and it’s so obviously Druridge Bay (where they didn’t build a nuclear power station, I was at the punk protest gig in 1977!).

Next, they’re in Cullercoasts, where I grew up, but it’s not, it’s somewhere near Roker, and so on and so forth, until Gently, case solved is standing knee deep in his waders flyfishing on a wear (against fishing rules, I think) in the shadow of Durham Cathedral (his favourite building).

Somehow they span three counties, three rivers, and at least a hundred different attempts at an authentic Geordie accent and all the while not once mentioning The Toon, Mac’ems, or the name of the place they’re actually meant to be stationed in. Oh, and they never have scenes where they are driving for more than a few seconds, presumably for fear of framing modern street furniture, like that enormous CCTV pole outside the Spanish City in S02E03.

It is good though…I love the authenticity of the interiors, all that bevelled glass and kitsch ornaments…and it certainly beats Heartbeat. Next week, Sciencebase dissect’s Vera’s “Geordie accent” and her eternal penchant for the Rendezvous Cafe…

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