Mad Dog

‘The Watercress Girl’

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In 1972 — five years before the making of Mad Dog — Granada TV filmed the one-hour drama 'The Watercress Girl' on location around the Monsal valley, at many of the same locations that director Tristan de Vere Cole would utilise on the shoot for the classic third-season Survivors episode in 1977.

The Survivors production unit was not inspired to film at Monsal Dale by the earlier Granada drama. Tristan de Vere Cole's production manager Gordon Elsbury had recommended the area as a potential shooting location for Mad Dog at the suggestion of his father. It was not until after the decision had been taken to film at Monsal in December 1976, that the BBC learnt that The Watercress Girl had been shot in the same Derbyshire valley.

To learn more about the intersections between the making of Mad Dog and the filming of The Watercress Girl, select from the options below.

Thanks to Judith Proctor of for help in accessing a copy of the programme; and to Andy Priestner of for providing the screen-grabs. Copyright on the images used is held by Granada TV, and no infringement of that copyright is intended. The images are displayed here for the non-profit enjoyment of fans only.  

The shared Monsal Dale locations

The ‘begging barn’

The barn used as a location in Mad Dog — for the sequence in which Charles tends to his gunshot wound — appears in The Watercress Girl as the 'hovel' in which a destitute mother begs for money to feed her baby.

The characters of Frank and Mary, walk along the main road in Monsal Dale and turn left at the crossroads to walk past the barn. After seeing the mother's desperate plight, Frank turns back to slip something into her hand, before the pair continue.

For a larger image, and more information on the 'begging barn', see here.


The Monsal viaduct

The Monsal Viaduct — a central location throughout the early scenes of Mad Dog — appears briefly in The Watercress Girl.

After Frank calls at the farm run by Mary and her father, the couple take a walk together in the surrounding countryside. As they climb the steep hillside at Monsal Head, the viaduct is visible behind them.

As they pause to catch their breath and take in the view, they also peer down on Netherdale Farm (Mary's family farm in the story) and the surrounding valley from above.

For a larger image of the viaduct as it appears in The Watercress Girl, see here.


The rocky outcrop

The rocky outcrop — pictured so memorably in Mad Dog during the final horseback chase — is also briefly glimpsed in The Watercress Girl.

As Frank and Mary continue their climb (see above) the camera switches to view them from below, as they make towards the crest of the incline — and the rocky outcrop.

For a larger image of the 'rocky outcrop' as it appears in The Watercress Girl, see here.


The 'bicycle bridge'

The footbridge close by Netherdale Farm — which the fleeing Charles run towards after his discovery by the young girl in Mad Dog — appears several times in The Watercress Girl

Early on, Frank is pictured cycling along the far riverbank, before crossing the bridge to enter the driveway of the farm. As he approaches, Mary is tending to the farm's watercress crop, being raised in fresh water pools close to the river's edge.

For a larger image of the footbridge as it appears in The Watercress Girl, see here.


The footpath by Netherdale Farm

In Mad Dog the pathway alongside Netherdale Farm is seen when Charles flees from the barn he has been hiding in after his discovery by the young girl. Netherdale Farm is a key location throughoutout The Watercress Girl.

As they row about their future — and Mary resists Frank's proposal of marriage — she busies herself setting up the family's produce stall, by the front gates of the farm.

For a larger image of the area as it appears in The Watercress Girl, see here.


The 'bicycle road'

As Charles flees from his pursuers in Mad Dog he steals a racing bike, but soon suffers a puncture — as he cycles along this roadway and past the small stone barn. The barn is glimpsed briefly in The Watercress Girl during Frank and Mary's 'courting' walk.

As Mary and Frank walk on from the 'begging barn' they pass by the abandoned barn.

For a larger image of the area as it appears in The Watercress Girl, see here.


Mad Dog > Filming Locations > Monsal Dale >

Page last updated:
19 November 2003