Geography—the bane of Americans everywhere. Many U.S. residents don’t even know the lay of their own land, let alone international locations. This can be vexing on a few levels; but from a pop culture perspective, it can make it very hard to know where certain things are meant to take place. As more Americans discover great U.K. shows, it can be difficult to understand exactly where it’s all going down—is Downton Abbey near London? In what part of the city does Peep Show take place? Where the hell is the Doctor going when he’s not on another planet? These are pressing concerns, but now there’s a solution for this problem in the form of a very helpful map.
Tim Ritz designed the map after trying to explain to his wife where certain events were taking place in a TV show. As Ritz explains:
One day, while deep into an episode of Foyle’s War, Kolleen asked me where exactly on the south coast Hastings was in relation to London. And so I drew her a map of the UK—on a Post-It note—with a dot in East Sussex.
I couldn’t help myself—I drew where Downton Abbey was (well, where it is supposed to be set), and then Pride and Prejudice … and soon it was just too much for the tiny sketch.
“You should do this map for real!” she said. So I rummaged through IMDB and Wikipedia, asked a British friend or two, and out came this map.
After all, Americans are notorious for having a feeble grasp of international geography (and if the internet is any evidence, at least some Brits have the same issue with the U.S.). But hopefully this resource helps us all better appreciate the brilliance of these series, from Poldark to Peep Show, by knowing just where exactly they are supposed to be.
The map not only pinpoints where shows are meant to take place, but also where they are shot. It’s a helpful guide to those geographically challenged minds that want to better understand their favorite (favourite?) U.K. shows and the regional charms that they are meant to reflect. Those interested can order a print of the map from Ritz.