Visiting the settings of popular media products has become a growing niche within the tourist market. This paper provides a content-based explanation for the popularity of one specific example: the TV detective tour. Three popular TV series from different linguistic regions of Europe were analysed, each of which has led to substantial tourist numbers: Inspector Morse (Oxford), Wallander (Ystad), and Baantjer (Amsterdam). The results show that the tourist attraction of the TV detective programme is due in part to its topophilic character. First, ‘couleur locale’ is extremely important to the narrative setting of the detective programmes; the narratives elaborate on existing tourist gazes. Second, the narrative development is characterised by a process of investigation and tracking. By taking the tour, viewers can walk in the detective’s footsteps and relive the storylines. Finally, the TV detective genre promises the viewer/tourist an acquaintance with the thrilling, ‘guilty’ landscapes of the TV detective.

TV detective, narrative space, place, popular culture, tourism
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0267323108101830, hdl.handle.net/1765/23621
European Journal of Communication
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Reijnders, S.L. (2009). Watching the detectives : Inside the guilty landscapes of Inspector Morse, Baantjer and Wallander. European Journal of Communication, 24(2), 165–181. doi:10.1177/0267323108101830