Director: Jamie Payne Writer: Neil Cross
Starring: Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Cynthia Erivo, Dermot Crowley
Production Company: BBC Films, BBC Studios, Chernin Entertainment
Kent Locations Used: Port of Dover Ferry Terminal, White Cliffs of Dover
Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) is a feature film of of the popular BBC TV series of the same name. Taunted by the psychopath he could never catch and stuck inside a prison cell, disgraced detective John Luther decides to break out and finish the job once and for all.
Production visited Kent to film scenes at the Port of Dover ferry terminal where Luther follows the psychopath Robey to Norway, as well as the White Cliffs of Dover – although this scene didn’t make the final cut.
Director: Aneil Karia, Lawrence Gough
Writer: Neil Forsyth
Starring: Jack Lowden, Hugh Bonneville, Emun Elliott, Charlotte Spencer, Stefanie Martini, Amanda Drew, Sean Gilder
Production Company: ViacomCBS International Studios
Kent Locations Used: West Kingsdown – Sevenoaks
Inspired by true events, BBC’s new series The Gold (2023) tells the story behind the Brink’s-Mat robbery – a crime that was once considered to be the largest theft in world history.
For Series 26, production visited Kent to shoot in a variety of locations on the Isle of Sheppey for the final two episodes of the series, doubling as the fictional Southbay Island. The Kingsferry Bridge features throughout Episodes 9 & 10 as the bridge to Southbay Island, The Rose and Crown Pub car park in Leysdown-on-Sea appears in both episodes doubling as a caravan park called Harbour Fields, and a private house on The Leas in Minster-on-Sea stars as the house of the murdered Carol Laing (Melissa Batchelor). Other locations featured include Leysdown beach, Shellness beach, Minster beach, a section of land underneath the New Sheppey Crossing, woodland in Warden Springs Caravan Park and Warden beach.
Minster is a large village on the Isle of Sheppey which has a sand and shingle beach, shops and an abbey.
Shellness beach is an SSSI mostly sandy beach with groynes and WWII lookout in a very remote part of Sheppey. Great Expectations (2012) also filmed on the beach and in the nature reserve.
Warden is a small village on the north-eastern coast of the Isle of Sheppey. Immediately northwest of the village and continuing towards the west is Warden Point, a pinnacle of eroding land and muddy foreshore. The pillboxes there are very popular, particularly for music videos.
The New Sheppey Crossing is a bridge across the Swale Estuary that links the Isle of Sheppey to mainland towns Sittingbourne and Kemsley. It was opened in 2006 and provides an alternative highway to the neighbouring Kingsferry Bridge, which allows for the Kingsferry Bridge to be closed for filming, which was done for Too Close (2021).
Series 26 of Silent Witness will begin airing on BBC One from Monday 2nd January 2023.
Director: Nick Murphy
Writer: Alexander Cary
Starring: Damian Lewis, Guy Pearce, Adrian Edmondson, Anna Maxwell Martin Production Companies: BritBox, ITV Studios, Sony Pictures Television, Spectrum, Veritas Entertainment Group
Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Based on the best-selling book by Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends (2022) details the defection of notorious Soviet double agent Kim Philby and his complex relationship with MI6 colleague Nicholas Elliott.
Creator: Julie Wassmer Starring: Kerry Godliman, Howard Charles, Sophia Del Pizzo, Frances Barber Production Company: Buccaneer Media Kent Locations Used: Whitstable, Canterbury, Faversham, Herne Bay, Margate, Ramsgate, Detling, Dover, Sevenoaks, Rochester
Based on the much loved series of novels ‘The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries’ by Kent resident Julie Wassmer (EastEnders, London’s Burning), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) is a detective series for Acorn TV. The story follows big-hearted local restaurant owner Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman) who sets up a local detective agency after undergoing police training in an earlier career. She is soon embroiled in her first case when she discovers the body of close friend, Vinnie. Pearl forms an unlikely partnership with DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles) and finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of the picturesque town she calls home.
For both Series 1 and 2, most of the filming took place in and around Whitstable itself, including scenes filmed by the coast at Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable Beach, Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Beach. In Series 1, Whitstable High Street features and local shops were filmed including Iain’s Plaice (fish and chip restaurant) and art gallery Chappell Contemporary as Houlihan’s Hardware store. Other Whitstable businesses filmed for Series 1 include the Cemetery, Football Ground, MFA Bowl and Seaview Holiday Park, which features as the trailer park where Vinnie lives. Several private residences were used for filming, including Beacon House as Pearl’s House for Series 1, the exterior of The Ness as Mike’s Flat in Series 2 Episode 2, The Warehouse Cottages for the same episode, and various private residences on Island Wall for Series 2 Eps 1 and 2. Filming took place at The Old Neptune pub, which doubled as the Pearson’s Arms for both series. Whitstable train station also features briefly in Series 2 Ep 2 as Pearl trails a suspected cheating spouse.
The Kent Events Centre was used as a studio build location in Series 1 for interiors of Pearl’s seafood restaurant.
Meanwhile, Margate in Thanet features in both series with Margate Beach and The Walpole Hotel doubling for Whitstable seaside scenes in Series 1, Dreamland and the Nayland Rock Hotel featuring in Series 2 as a theme park and The Bradford Hotel. For Series 1, production also filmed at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Canterbury Road in nearby Westgate-on-Sea. The Port of Ramsgate and Royal Harbour Marina double for the Port of Dover cruise terminal and Dover Marina in Series 1.
Dover features multiple times in Series 2, with locations such as The White Cliffs, Port of Dover, Lydden Spout Battery and Western Heights making an appearance in Episode 1, along with various nearby roads. The Citadel also appears in both series, doubling as a police station. The Citadel also features in Series 1 as a children’s home, and in Series 2 Episode 1 the location’s tunnels feature as the setting for the dramatic confrontation between Kruz Tomlin (Yaw Nimako-Asamoah) and his stepfather Leo (Oliver Walker).
Rochester High Street in Medway appears in Series 2, with local businesses Baggin’s Book Bazaar, Kiss the Bride and a former Estate Agents featuring in Episodes 2 and 3.
Interior scenes for Series 1 were filmed at the former St Martin’s Hospital in Canterbury doubling as a police station and a hospital. Other filming locations for Series 1 include a field near Faversham at Belmont Park and private residence in Herne Bay.
Beacon House is a colonial clapboard wooden turn of the century Beach House. Set above beach on a private sea road, the grounds include wild woodland gardens and views out to sea and lines of beach huts. Catastrophe Series 4 (2019) filmed at this location.
The Kent Events Centre based in Detling is the largest, most flexible conference and exhibition venue in Kent, offering 7,000 sqm of indoor space available to film productions as studio space and 200 acres of outdoor space.
The Port of Ramsgate offers 32 acres of dedicated Port Land including 3 modern Ro-Ro bridges and Water and bunker facilities on all berths. It is often used as ‘stand-in’ for the Port of Dover. Royal Harbour Marina offers 700 finger moorings set in a picturesque and historic harbour setting. Crime dramas to previously film at the Port of Ramsgate include The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017) and Baptiste (2019).
Dover houses the major port, connecting the UK with the European mainland. Dover Castle towers above the town, signalling Dover’s strategic importance in the defence of the country and the White Cliffs are one of the most recognised landmarks in Britain. Recent productions to have filmed in Dover include Pistol (2022), Rogue Agent (2022), and The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016).
The Citadel, located on Dover‘s Western Heights was constructed in the late 1700’s as a port of defence during the Napoleonic war. Most recently it has been used as a borstal, prison, and immigration detention centre up until its closure in 2015. It is now becoming popular as a filming location and has welcomed several productions over the past year – soon to broadcast.
The town of Sevenoaks has a varied landscape, featuring a bustling high street, stately homes and castles as well as beautiful countryside. Located in that countryside is the St Clere Estate, which offers stunning views of the North Downs, formal gardens, paddocks, a kitchen garden, orangery, green houses, and a temple by the lake. Built in 1630, it has some fine architectural examples of the Caroline era. It has recently played host to a variety of productions including The Great (2020-2021), Gangs of London (2020-2022) and The Third Day (2020).
Writer: Daniel Brierley Starring: Vicky McClure, Adrian Lester, Warren Brown, Kerry Godliman, Mark Stanley Production Company: HTM Productions Kent Locations: Dartford Marshes, Joyce Green Lane
Set in contemporary London, Trigger Point (2022) depicts the dangerous lives of the members of a Bomb Disposal Squad known as Expo, led by veteran operative Lana Washington. When a series of improvised explosive devices begin to detonate across London, Lana suspects that Expo is the bomber’s true target.
A section of the Dartford Marshes owned by the Dartford Clay Shooting Club is featured in Episodes 3 and 4, when the unnamed bomber blows up a car and the police conduct a forensic examination. The nearby Joyce Green Lane features in Episode 6 as the police drive on their blues and twos to MOD Steepholme.
Located on the border of Kent, Dartford is a historic market town and perhaps best known for the Dartford Crossing and Bluewater Shopping Centre. Its combination of industrial and historical landscapes makes for a popular filming location. The Dartford Marshes border the River Thames and mark the boundary between Kent and the London borough of Bexley. Previous productions to have shot on the marshes include the Sky crime-drama Gangs of London (2020) and The Corrupted (2019).
Trigger Point began airing on ITV on Sunday 23rd January 2022 at 9pm.
Director: Will Sharpe Starring: Olivia Colman, David Thewlis, Kate O’Flynn, Dipo Ola, Samuel Anderson, Felicity Montagu, Daniel Rigby Production Company: Sister Productions Kent Locations Used: Laredo Western Town in Dartford
Landscapers (2021) is a true-crime drama inspired by real events, which documents the unique transformation of a mild-mannered English couple into cold-blooded killers.
During filming, production visited Kent to film at Laredo Western Town in Longfield near Dartford. The production filmed a dream sequence where Susan Edwards reimagines the events surrounding the murder of her parents and her subsequent arrest.
Laredo Western Town is situated just twenty miles from London. The town represents the American Wild West as it would have been in 1865 to 1889 featuring 24 buildings including a two-story Hotel with Saloon Bar, Marshals Office, working Blacksmiths, Livery Stables, Bank and many more. All the interiors are fully furnished and decorated to the period. Previous productions to film here include Finding Neverland (2004) and Blood Moon (2014).
Writer: Chris Lang Director: Colin Teague Starring: Miranda Raison, Anjli Mohindra, Tom Riley Production Company: ITV Studios Kent Locations Used: Shellness beach, Swale
ITV crime drama Dark Heart (2016-2018) will soon be hitting our screens, starring Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, who is haunted by his past after both his parents were murdered when he was just sixteen years old. Will and his team try to solve brutal crimes, whilst he also attempts to hold his own fractured life together.
Kent Locations Used: Oakdene Cafe, London Road, Wrotham
ITV’s new drama series Next Of Kin follows whip-smart GP Mona Shirani who lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy Harcourt. Family life is shattered when Mona’s brother is brutally murdered whilst working for a medical charity abroad. In the wake of the murder, Mona’s family comes under suspicion and is drawn deep into a tangle of betrayal and conspiracy as they try to protect their loved ones and careers.
The six-part series was written and created by husband and wife team Paul Rutman (Indian Summers, Vera) and Natasha Narayan. Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee, Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, The Fall), and renowned actor, Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Smash), star in Mammoth Screen’s fast-paced family thriller, Next Of Kin.
Oakdene Cafe, London Road in Wrotham Kent features in Episode 4 where filming took place in June 2017. Wrotham is a village on the Pilgrims’ Way in Kent, at the foot of the North Downs. It is one mile north of Borough Green and approximately five miles east Sevenoaks, a historic market town which has attracted several large productions in 2017 including Judwaa 2 (2017) and The Big Family Cooking Showdown (2017).
Kent locations used: The Production was based in the County and locations are across East Kent and France
The Tunnel: Vengeance returns for its final and third series this December. The six-part crime-thriller is set against the backdrop of a refugee crisis in Europe, which leads British detective Karl (Stephen Dillane) to partner with Elise (Clémence Poésy) from the French National Gendarmerie. Together they investigate crimes such as the setting alight of a fishing vessel transporting refugees across the Channel. The series examines themes of terrorism, refugees and the rise of far-right political groups.
East Kent is home to spectacular coastal landscapes and historic towns, and boasts excellent transport links to London and western Europe. East Kent has been used for filming by productions such as Liar (2017) and Humans: Series 2 (2016).
Don’t miss the return of The Tunnel: Vengeance, with all the episodes available on Thursday 14 December on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.