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BBC Documentaries: Season 2010

2010x86 A Journey Back to Newcastle: Michael Smith's Deep North
TV-PG

  • 2010-09-12T16:00:00-04:00 on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Michael Smith goes in search of the Newcastle of his youth.

Approaching the Toon from the Tyne, he believes the place has more in common with Baltic City States than London, where he now lives. He argues that there are in fact several Norths; unlike the South, where everything is centered on London's inescapable black hole gravity, the North has plural accents and plural identities. The North East is the far north, the Deep North of the title, remote and disconnected from this axis. As far as the North East is concerned, Leeds and Manchester may as well be in the midlands.

Smith's North is a land apart entirely, and a land that defines itself by this basic fact. A small conurbation clustered by the coast, separated from the main rump by miles and miles of rural emptiness. Deep North is a lyrical meditation on Newcastle and the North East, and ultimately, a subjective and personal response of a prodigal son returning.

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