Based on the popular and critically acclaimed novels by Kate Atkinson, this mini-series was shot on location in Edinburgh and was quickly followed by a second season.
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Have we ever discussed why they decided to set the whole thing to Edinburgh? I googled to check something niggling at the back of my mind and found this link from 2008 The Independent
[BBC's Director of Vision, Jana Bennett] set out the corporation's "Out of London" strategy, which is designed to ensure that half of all BBC programming is made outside the capital by 2016.
The BBC wants to increase the proportion of the programming budget spent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales from six per cent to 17 per cent by 2016, and raise the money spent in the English regions from 26 per cent to 33 per cent. The idea, said Ms Bennett, was to ensure that "people in every part of the country have a sense of themselves on screen".
But Cambridge is also outside the capital.
(Sorry, just passing time while I wait for the dvd to be released and then mailed to me.
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ARGH! Just wrote most of this and deleted it by mistake. Ho hum.
You are right that they are trying to move a lot of production out of London (ie to Manchester and Scotland) but I don't imagine that was the main reason with this.
The majority of the story lines in the second and third books take place in Edinburgh. For financial and logistical reasons it would have been unfeasible to film in more than one main location. I suppose they chose the place which applied best to most of the stories.
It is a shame to have lost the first setting of Cambridge (during a heat wave at that! Edinburgh in December ain't quite the same thing!) but Edinburgh, despite being a capital, has a very intimate and individual feel to it - an amazing city. It also has a great university if they want to tell the story of Victor Ladd accurately. Apart from that, I don't suppose there is anything absolutely necessary about maintaining the setting of Cambridge.
It clearly was going to be set in Cambridge originally (according to one of Jason's interviews) but I don't think Cambridge would have worked as a location for the later two stories. It is a very unique place, completely dominated by the university. You very much feel as if it is a university with a bit of town dotted around (as opposed to Oxford which is very much a large, and often troubled, city with a glorious university spread through it). That particular and rather dominant quality of Cambridge would not have worked with the other two stories, I don't think. Edinburgh, while retaining a very compelling identity, can also be all things to all people.
Also, if it had been set exclusively in Cambridge it would inevitably have led to comparisons with 'Inspector Morse' as well (although that was Oxford, admittedly). Morse and Jackson Brodie are about as far removed from each other as it is possible to be, but if people had read 'University town' and 'detective' in the same sentence, comparisons would have happened.