You’ll normally find piles of complaints from middle-class citizens grumping against this or that in the letters page of the Malvern Gazette so, having joined millions of others in watching the BBC series Shetland, we decided to write a stiff letter to the Malvern Mashal!
Like many, we had been eagerly looking forward to watching the drama Shetland, but we must admit to being somewhat disappointed on various fronts. We fully understand why filming had to take place in mid summer even though it was supposed to be set in darkest January, and we realise that almost nobody down south would have understood the full blown Shetland dialect. All the same we missed it and found hearing Scottish accents (from their studio in Glasgow!) somewhat intrusive.
It was a drama, of course, so it would have been too much to hope that it could capture the unique and extraordinary beauty of Shetland families in the way that has touched Ros and I so deeply. At the same time we have always been very aware of a ‘dark side’ to life in the islands – something that manifests itself in all sorts of ways.
People who have read the books rate them a great deal more highly; all the same it would be interesting if the drama develops into a series – a sort of northern equivalent of Bergerac perhaps? Perhaps it will gradually involve more ‘real’ Shetland people and places as it develops!
Although much of the dialogue and plot were less concise than we would have liked, we did enjoy certain lines, such as the teenage girl who said that if she had been a tomboy she would have gone and climbed trees – except that she couldn’t as there weren’t any up there!