Great Expectations (2011)

 

Great Expectations featuring Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Vanessa Kirby

Great Expectations featuring Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Vanessa Kirby © BBC

Directed By: Brian Kirk

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Sarah Phelps (Adaptation)

Starring: Gillian Anderson, David Suchet, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth & Harry Lloyd.

Production Company: BBC and Masterpiece co-production

Kent Locations Used: St Thomas A Beckett Church in Fairfield

This three part mini-series based on Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations has been adapted by writer, Sarah Phelps (Oliver Twist, Dickensian). The story centers on orphan Pip (Douglas Booth) and his transformation to becoming a gentlemen when a mysterious benefactor leaves him a large sum of money.

This BBC production was directed by Brian Kirk (Luther, Game of Thrones) and stars Douglas Booth (Noah, Jupiter Ascending), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Snow White and the Huntsman), Gillian Anderson (The X Files, Hannibal) and David Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot, The Bank Job).

This adaption forms the centrepiece of the BBC’s celebration of Dickens as we move into 2012 and the bicentenary of his birth.  The most recent version of the novel to have been shot by the BBC was in 1999 and starred Ioan Gruffudd as Pip and Charlottte Rampling as Miss Havisham. This version aims to capture the romance whilst giving it a thrilling edge.

For those unfamiliar with the story, it tells of young orphan Phillip Pirrip (Pip) who lives with his sister and her husband, the kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery. Local spinster Miss Havisham requests his company at her home where she entertains herself by encouraging her adopted daughter Estella to be cruel to the young boy.  As he grows up, Pip’s circumstances change after the visit from Mr Jaggers who brings news that an unknown benefactor has left a substantial fortune on the condition that the boy is educated as a gentleman. Consequently, Pip travels to London where he lodges with Herbert Pocket, a boy from his youth and it is there that Pip finally learns the truth about his benefactor.

The filming for this adaption took place near Fairfield, at the isolated St Thomas Becket Church, which is situated on Romney Marsh. This iconic location was the ideal setting for the opening scenes, where Pip visits his parent’s graves and instantly the theme is set in a melancholy manner. Dickens found inspiration for this scene from another Kentish Church, St James’ at Cooling, on the marshes near the Hoo Peninsula.

An interesting piece of trivia for Dickens fans of Dickens is the fact that the role of Herbert Pocket, Pip’s friend in London, is played by none other than Charles Dickens’s great, great, great grandson Harry Lloyd, who also featured in a remake of David Copperfield starring a young Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). Filming took place near Fairfield, at the isolated St Thomas A Becket Church. Situated on Romney Marsh, it was the perfect setting for the bleak opening scenes of the novel where Pip visits the graves of his parents. Another Kentish church, St James’ at Cooling on the marshes near the Hoo Peninsula , inspired Dickens to write this dramatic scene which also introduces Pip’s nemesis, prisoner Magwitch.

Great Expectations also features in the Kent Film Office Dickens Trail which lauched in 2012: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/dickens-movie-trail/ 

Great Expectations aired on BBC1 from Tuesday 27 December 2011 at 9pm and is now available for DVD purchase.

Links

For more information about filming in Kent please contact: filmoffice@kent.gov.uk

For more information about the programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018wmhr

For more information about Thomas A Becket Church in Fairfield: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/attractions/st-thomas-becket-church—fairfield/176257

For more inspiration about St James’ Church in Cooling: http://www.coolingchurch.org.uk/page2.htm

For more information about the Kent Film Office Dickens Trail: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/dickens-movie-trail/

MMFor more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/moviemap-live-2/


Poirot “The Clocks” (2009)

Poirot The Clocks L-R Geoffrey Palmer & David Suchet standing in front of a mast

Poirot The Clocks featuring L-R Geoffrey Palmer & David Suchet © ITV

Directed By: Charles Palmer

Written By: Agatha Christie (Novel) & Stewart Harcourt (Adaptation)

Starring: David Suchet, Jaime Winstone, Geoffrey Palmer, Phil Daniels, Lesley Sharp, Tom Burke

Production Company: ITV Studios, WGBH, Agatha Christie, Picture Partnership Productions

Kent Filming Locations: Dover Castle, Waterloo Crescent, Dover,  St Margaret’s Bay

Long term fans of the series will be delighted to hear that David Suchet returns to our screens this Christmas as Agatha Christies famous Belgian Detective. The latest episode, “The Clocks”, will be shown on ITV over the festive period.

When Secretary Shelia Webb (Jaime Winstone) runs out of a house into the arms of Lieutenant Colin Race (Tom Burke,) Hercule Poirot is called to Dover to investigate the death of a man who was found surrounded by four clocks, all stopped at the same time.  Shelia becomes the prime murder suspect, despite assurances that she does not even know the victim. While the evidence mounts, Poirot must solve the mystery before another innocent victim is found brutally murdered.

Behind the scenes picture of a car on St. Margaret's Bay promenade

Behind the scenes picture © Kent Film Office

 

Poirot (David Suchet) and Shelia Webb (Jaime Winstone) on set

Poirot (David Suchet) and Shelia Webb (Jaime Winstone) on set © Kent Film Office

Shelia Webb (Jaime Winstone) on set eating an ice cream

Shelia Webb (Jaime Winstone) on set © Kent Film Office

 

Behind the scenes picture - chair with "Poirot" on it surrounded by camera equipment

Behind the scenes picture © Kent Film Office

 

 

The production visited a number of locations in and round the historical town of Dover, including Dover Castle, Waterloo Crescent and the village of St Margaret’s Bay. The bay boasts the famous Art Deco house ‘White Cliffs’, who’s previous owners include Noel Coward (playwright) and Ian Fleming (author of the James Bond novels) and proved to be the ideal setting for this adaptation.

Dover is home to several renowned locations including the port, connecting the UK with the European mainland, Dover Castle which was first built in 1160 and largely remains in the same condition as it was when first constructed and the infamous White Cliffs of Dover. Dover has previously been seen on screen in The Tunnel: Sabotage(2016), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and Missing (2009).

Not the only Poirot episode to be filmed in Kent, viewers may remember Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, which was filmed in the village of Chilham in 1995. The village was turned into a winter wonderland as Poirot investigates the murder of multi millionaire Simeon.Celebrating 23 years in his most famous role, David Suchet has signed a deal to film the remaining five Poirot novels, Labours of Hercules, Dead Man’s Folly, The Big Four, Elephants Can Remember and Curtain, which is Poirot’s last case.

Poirot – The Clocks was shown on ITV1 Boxing Day 2009 at 21:00 and is now available to buy on DVD.

Links:

For more information in filming in Kent please contact: filmoffice@kent.gov.uk

For behind the scenes pictures: http://brochures.moviesite.biz/view/kent/Behind_the_scenes_at_St_Margeret’s_Bay_with_Poirot_-_The_Clocks.html

For more information about Dover: http://www.whitecliffscountry.org.uk/

For more information about Dover Castle: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/dover-castle/

For more information about Hercule Poirot’s Christmas: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/2006/01/hercule-poirots-christmas/

MMFor more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/moviemap-live-2/

   

Hercule Poirots Christmas (1995)

 

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in a Snowy Chilham

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in a Snowy Chilham © ITV

Director: Edward Bennett

Writer: Clive Exton

Starring: David Suchet, Philip Jackson, Vernon Dobtcheff,  Simon Roberts

Production Company: Carnival Film & Television, London Weekend Television, Picture Partnership Productions

Kent Filming Locations: Chilham 

In 1995 Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) visited Chilham in Kent for a further instalment of his adventures as written by Agatha Christie.

Multi millionaire Simeon (Vernon Dubtcheff) arranges a Christmas gathering with all the family, including prodigal son Harry (Brian Gwaspari) and a newly discovered grand daughter, Pilar (Sasha Behar).

When everyone is gathered, Simeon hints at changing his will and favouring the newcomers Harry and Pilar . The scene is set for a power game with deadly consequences and when Simeon is mudered, Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) calls upon Poirot to investigate.

Edward Bennett (Agatha Christie, Second Sight: Hide and Seek) directs with David Suchet (Flushed away, A Perfect Murder, The Bank Job) returning as Poirot alonsgside Philip Jackson (Deception, My Week with Marilyn), Vernon Dobtcheff (Before Sunset, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and Simon Roberts  (Hollow, Ted & Ralph).

For this drama, the pictureque Kentish village of Chilham was transformed into a winter wonderland. A layer of snow covered the beautiful timber framed houses lining the square and the approach to Chilham Castle, which represented the family home.

Although it was the first time that the picturesque village was used as the set for an Agatha Christie adaptation, it wouldn’t remain the last as  Miss Marple – The Moving Finger was also filmed there in 2005.  Other filming projects which have filmed in Chilham include Top Gear – Jaguar Special (2011), Channel 4 comedy Chickens (2011) and BBC’s Emma (2009).

Hercule Poirots Christmas was first shown in 1995 and is now available to buy on DVD.

Links

For more information about filming in Kent please contact: filmoffice@kent.gov.uk

For more information about Agatha Christie and Poirot visit http://uk.agathachristie.com/site/home/

For more information about Chilham visit: http://www.enjoychilham.org.uk/

MMFor more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/moviemap-live-2/


Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister (1990)

Poirot - The Kidnapped Prime Minister opening titles - Poirot standing in a spotlight

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister © ITV

Writer: Agatha Christie (novel), Clive Exton (adaption)

Director: Andrew Grieve

Starring: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson

Production Company: Carnival Film & Television, London Weekend Television, Picture Partnership Productions

Kent Locations: Ingress Abbey, Greenhithe, St Margaret’s Bay and Dover

This ITV adaption of Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister is based on Agatha Christie’s Poirot Investigates short story collection. After the Prime Minister (Henry Moxon) doesn’t arrive at an important summit in France, Poirot (David Suchet) is called in to investigate. Can he find out what happened to the Prime Minister and bring him home within the day and a half deadline?

Clive Exton (Rosemary & Thyme, The Boundary, Kipps) writes the adaption, with Andrew Grieve (Hornblower: The Even Chance, Lorna Doone, Kingdom) directing. The episode stars David Suchet (A Perfect Murder, Flushed Away, The Bank Job) as Poirot alongside Hugh Fraser (101 Dalmatians, Patriot Games, The Draughtsman’s Contract) and Philip Jackson (My Week with Marilyn, Brassed Off,  Little Voice).

Ingress Abbey features in the episode as the hideout where the kidnappers held the Prime Minister, prior to its restoration. St Margaret’s Bay and Dover Seafront also briefly feature.

Gothic building Ingress Abbey surrounded by trees

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister Ingress Abbey © ITV

A misty St Margarets Bay with a car driving along

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister St Margarets Bay © ITV

In Greenhithe, North Kent, the private residence of Ingress Abbey is a Gothic style country house with a large dining hall, ballroom, orangery, panelled passages and rooms.

St Margaret’s Bay is a splendid beach in Dover, near the infamous White Cliffs. Productions which have previously filmed in the Dover area include Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Mr Selfridge Series 3 (2015) and Missing (2009).

Other Poirot episodes to be filmed in Kent include Poirot “The Clocks” (2009) which used Dover Castle, Dover and St Margaret’s Bay and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1995) which was filmed in Chilham.

Poirot – The Kidnapped Prime Minister aired in 1990 and is now available for DVD purchase.

Links:

For more information about filming in Kent please contact: filmoffice@kent.gov.uk

For more information about the programme: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0676177/

MMFor more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/moviemap-live-2/