Borders lands starring role in new TV drama series

A scene from One of Us.
A scene from One of Us.
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The Borders has landed a starring role in a prime-time TV drama being broadcast later this month.

It might be more backdrop than leading light, but the region’s landscape is certain to impress viewers of One of Us, a four-part BBC One series beginning on Tuesday, August 23, and might well yield a tourism boost too.

Numerous scenes for the show, starring Laura Fraser and Juliet Stevenson, were filmed in and around Peebles last autumn.

Arrangements for the use of the region as a location were made by Film Edinburgh on behalf of Scottish Borders Council.

Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell, the authority’s executive member for economic development, said: “The Scottish Borders has been, and continues to be, a fantastic location for a wide range of film and TV productions, and hopefully this latest one will not only help to attract more media productions to the area but also encourage more visitors to Peebles.”

Stevenson, cast as Louise Elliot in One of Us, said: “Where we shot was so beautiful.

“My mum’s family come from the Borders, and it was a real joy to be there.

“Some parts have an amazingly bleak landscape, but others are very soft and gentle with rolling streams.”

The Essex-born 59-year-old has previously been seen in films including 1990’s Truly Madly Deeply, 1996’s Emma 2002’s Bend It Like Beckham and 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile.

Fellow cast member Joe Dempsie, playing Rob Elliot, said: “Peebles and the Scottish Borders are beautiful, and when you are used to living in London, there are times when it’s too frantic, whereas life certainly stops in Peebles, if you want it to.”

The 29-year-old Merseysider is best known as Gendry in the Sky Atlantic drama Game of Thrones but has also had parts in the E4 drama series Skins and films such as 2009’s The Damned United and 2011’s Blitz.

Glasgow-born Fraser, 40, has previously been seen in the US TV series Breaking Bad, the BBC Three drama Lip Service and films including 2001’s A Knight’s Tale and Vanilla Sky.

One of Us tells the story of the aftermath of the murder of childhood sweethearts Adam Elliot and Grace Douglas upon their return from their honeymoon to the fictional Scottish Highlands village of Braeston.

It was written by Harry and Jack Williams, also responsible for the 2014 BBC One drama The Missing, starring James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor, and directed by William McGregor.

Its cast also includes Joanna Vanderham, John Lynch, Adrian Edmondson, Georgina Campbell, Julie Graham, Gary Lewis, Steve Evets and Kate Dickie.

Perth-born Vanderham, 25, playing Claire Elliot and previously cast in the 2011 Sky 1 drama The Runaway and the BBC One series The Paradise in 2012 and 2013, added: “The arresting Scottish landscape is the perfect setting for Jack and Harry’s clever and brave script.”

Previous TV shows to have used the Borders as a location include the 2016 BBC Two series Murder, shot partly at Drumelzier, Peebles and West Linton; the second of BBC One’s Case Histories, screened in 2013 and filmed partly at West Linton; and the 2004 BBC One period drama North and South, featuring scenes created in Selkirk.

Films featuring scenes shot here include 1984’s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, starring Christopher Lambert and Ralph Richardson, with Floors Castle, near Kelso, doubling for the stately home of the title.

Another Borders stronghold, Hermitage Castle, between Hawick and Newcastleton, was used as a location for the 1971 film Mary, Queen of Scots, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson.

Further east, Duns Castle has played host to the makers of the 1997 film Mrs Brown, starring Judi Dench and Billy Connoly, and the 2010 TV miniseries Shades of Love, starring Charles Dance.

Peebles has also hosted film crews making two movies, the 2006 Canadian-funded romantic comedy Almost Heaven, starring Julie Cox and Kirsty Mitchell, and the 2010 French flick Imogène McCarthery.