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Programme Archive Tasglann Phrògraman

Sàr-Sgèoil: Lewis Trilogy

BBC ALBA – Tuesday 23 December at 9.00pm

Sàr-Sgèoil: Lewis Trilogy

BBC ALBA - Dimàirt 23 Dùbhlachd aig 9.00f

Cathy & Peter May

BBC ALBA ON THE TRAIL OF THE POPULAR ‘LEWIS TRILOGY’ NOVELS

A new BBC ALBA programme is to follow the path taken by the central character in one of the most popular series of crime novels of recent years.

Sàr-Sgèoil examines Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy in an hour long programme presented by Cathy MacDonald.

The first novel in the series, The Blackhouse, has made the austere landscape of Lewis familiar to an international audience of crime-fiction fans. The widely translated book has won awards in France, the United States of America and China. Its follow-up, The Lewis Man, topped the UK hardback bestseller list for 18 weeks and including the third and final instalment, The Chessmen, the trilogy has sold more than one million copies.

The programme sees Cathy travels in the footsteps of Detective Fin MacLeod, the central character of the books. Her travels take her from her native Lewis to Eriskay in the south. En route, she visits the dramatic locations and meets the real life characters who inspired Peter May in his writing of The Lewis Trilogy.

In Ness, Cathy visits the boat shed that inspired the gruesome opening scene of The Blackhouse. It was here that Angel MacRitchie’s body was discovered. Once there, Cathy meets guga hunter Dods MacFarlane, whose personality and stories inspired the character of Gigs MacAulay. MacAulay is described by May in the book: “Physically he was not a big man but he was a huge presence… he had been out to the rock more often than anyone else on the team.”

It was during a conversation with Dods and his fellow guga hunters that Peter developed the storyline for some of the key scenes in The Blackhouse. Through this meeting, Lewis and the ‘guga isle’ of Sula Sgeir are now as familiar to crime fans around the world as the bleak Sweden of Wallander or the Denmark of The Killing.

In Stornoway, Cathy calls in on Stornoway police station where she conducts an interview with local policeman George Murray, who is more used to being the interviewer than the interviewee. George inspired Peter May in his creation of the character DS Gunn, who appears in all three novels as sidekick to Fin MacLeod. The real life George noted his resemblance to the fictional George immediately and thought, “Oh good grief, I hope that’s not me!”

From there, Cathy makes her way to South Uist and Eriskay where the second novel in the trilogy is partly set. While there, she travels in style in Mary Alex Kirkpatrick’s distinctive pink sports car. She ascertains whether Mary Alex’s driving bears any resemblance to that of character Morag’s - did she “crunch the car into first gear” and “kangaroo towards the gate, narrowly missing the gate posts”? Back at the house, Cathy and Mary Alex sit in the lounge in which the second novel’s dramatic and bloody dénouement occurs.

Cathy also meets author Peter May – creator of pioneering Gaelic TV drama series Machair. He explains that his years of working on the soap gave him a wide knowledge of the Lewis landscape, people and culture. He now lives in France, but says the memory of Lewis never left him and inspired his acclaimed trilogy.

Sàr-Sgèoil: Lewis Trilogy, produced by Caledonia TV for BBC ALBA, will be shown on Tuesday 23 December from 9.00 until 10.00pm.

Cathy & Peter May

Tha fèill mhòr air na trì leabhraichean a stèidhich Peter May ann an Leòdhas, am measg nan leabhraichean “rannsachadh eucoir’ a nochd o chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean. Thug a’ chiad nobhail san t-sreath, The Blackhouse, eòlas do leughadairean air feadh an t-saoghail air seallaidhean corrach Eilein Leòdhais. Chaidh an leabhar eadar-theangachadh do dh’iomadh cànan agus ghlèidh e duaisean anns an Fhraing, ann an Sìna agus sna Stàitean Aonaichte. Bha an dara leabhar, The Lewis Man, sa phrìomh àite ann an clàr nan leabhar as fheàrr a reic ann am Breatainn, fad ochd seachdainean deug.

Anns a’ phrògram, tha Cathy NicDhòmhnaill a’ leantainn gach ceum a ghabh an detective Fin MacLeòid, prìomh charactar nan trì nobhailean. Tha i a’ siubhal a Leòdhas, an t-eilean dham buin i, gu Èirisgeigh mu dheas. Air an t-slighe tha i a’ tadhal air na làraich agus a’ tachairt ri na daoine a ghluais mac-meanmna an ùghdair gu na leabhraichean a sgrìobhadh.

Tha i a’ tadhal air sead nan eathraichean ann an Nis, làrach fosgladh goireasachail a’ chiad leabhair, ‘The Black House’. Aig an t-sead tha Cathy a’ coinneachadh ri Dods MhicPhàrlain, fear de shealgairean a’ ghuga – ’s ann air a shamhla-san a dhealbh May an caractar Gigs MacAmhlaidh. “Cha robh e mòr na bhodhaig ach bha na làthaireachd... bha esan air a bhith a-muigh air an sgeir nas trice na duin’ eile san sgioba.” ’S ann às dèidh dha a bhith seanchas ri Dods agus na sealgairean eile, a chuir Peter May ri chèile pàirtean chudromach dhen sgeulachd anns an nobhail “The Black House”. Sin a dh’fhàg gu bheil leughadairean sgeulachdan “eucoir” a cheart cho eòlach air Leòdhas, agus sealg a’ ghuga air Sùlasgeir, ’s a tha iad air an t-Suain aig Wallander no an Danmhairg aig The Killing.

Ann an Steòrnabhagh tha Cathy a’ tadhal air stèisean a’ pholais agus a’ dèanamh agallamh leis an oifigear polais ionadail, Seòras Moireach: tha esan nas cleachdte ri bhith a’ cur nan ceist, na bhith gam freagairt. ’S e eòlas air Seòras a thug air Peter May an caractar DS Gunn a chruthachadh – fear a tha a’ nochdadh anns na trì leabhraichean, ag obair cuide ri Fin MacLeòid. Mhothaich Seòras sa bhad cho coltach ’s a bha Seòras brèige an leabhair ris fhèin – “Gu sealladh orm,” smaoinich e “tha min dòchas nach mise tha siud!”

Tha Cathy a’ dèanamh a slighe gu Uibhist a Deas agus Èirisgeigh, far a bheil earrann dhen dara nobhail san t-sreath a’ tachairt. Tha i a’ siubhal ann an cofhurtachd a’ chàir spòrs pinc aig Màiri Ailig Kirkpatrick. Tha i a’ cur roimhpe gum faigh i a-mach a bheil an draibheadh aig Màiri Ailig coltach ris a’ charactar Mòrag anns an leabhar, tè a thug “srann gearaineach à giodhar a’ chàir, is e a’ bocadaich mar changarù chun a’ gheata, air èiginn a’ seachnadh nam puist.” Air ais anns an taigh aig Màiri Ailig, tha an dithis a’ suidhe san dearbh rùm sa bheil an dara nobhail a’ tighinn gu crìch fhuiltich.

Tha Cathy cuideachd a’ coinneachadh ris an ùghdar, Peter May – a chruthaich an sreath dràma telebhisean Gàidhlig “Machair”. Tha esan a’ mìneachadh an eòlais fharsaing a fhuair e air Leòdhas, eadar seallaidhean, daoine agus cultar, tro na bliadhnaichean a bha e ag obair air an t-siabann. Tha e a-nis a’ fuireach anns an Fhraing, ach tha e ag ràdh nach deach Leòdhas air dhì-chuimhne air a chaoidh, agus gur e an t-eilean a phiobraich e gu na leabhraichean a sgrìobhadh.


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2014 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2014

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2012 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2012


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