Doctor Who – The Curse of Fenric (1989)

head shot of Sylvester McCoy as Doctor Who looking concerned, looking away from the camera

Sylvester McCoy as Doctor Who © BBC

Director: Nicholas Mallett

Starring: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Dinsdale Landen, Alfred Lynch, Nicholas Parsons

Production Company: BBC

Kent locations used: Lillesden Manor, Roses Farm, St Lawrence Church in Hawkhurst

The Curse of Fenric is a four part story of popular sci-fi show, Doctor Who, starring Sylvester McCoy. The Doctor and his companion, Ace, arrive at a secret military base during World War II where a Viking curse has been awakened.. Confronted by vampires emerging from the sea and Russian commandoes closing in, the Doctor and Ace need to find a way to defeat an old evil to secure a better future for mankind.

Sylvester McCoy (Frank Stubbs, Rab C. Nesbitt) stars as the seventh Doctor alongside Sophie Aldred (Corners, Melvin and Maureen’s Music-a-grams), Dinsdale Landen (Devenish, Mickey Dunne), Alfred Lynch (Jackanory, West 11) and Nicholas Parsons (The Arthur Haynes Show, Sale of the Century).

The production visited Lillesden Manor which doubled as the laboratory under the church. It is situated in Hawkhurst and is set in 200 acres of land, and was built in 1853 by Edward Lloyd. Just after World War I, the mansion was sold and became a girl’s school which closed in 1999.

The production also visited listed timber framed cottage, Roses Farm in Hawkhurst, which doubled as Mrs Hardaker’s Cottage and St Lawrence Church in Hawkhurst which doubled as St Judd’s Church.

Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric was first shown in 1989 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Great Expectations (1989)

 

Great Expectations Movieposter 1989- Montage of characters from the film overlapping. Great Expectations written in yellow over the top

Great Expectations Movieposter 1989 © Buena Vista Television

Director: Kevin Connor

Writers: Charles Dickens (Novel)

Starring: Kim Thompson, Jean Simmons, Anthony Calf & Anthony Hopkins

Production Company: Harlech Television (HTV), Primetime Television Ltd., Tesauro Television, Walt Disney Television

Kent Locations Used: Harty Church, Rochester, Chatham, Upnor village

With a future as a blacksmith before him, Pip is invited to the home of the lonely spinster, Miss Havisham, abandoned on the day of her wedding. Encouraging her adopted daughter Estella to break the young boy’s heart, Pip is sent there for her own entertainment. The young boy’s fortunes change when an unknown and generous person pays for Pip to travel to London and begin a new life as a gentleman.

Starring Kim Thompson (Emmerdale Farm, 1408) as Estella, Jean Simmons (Spartacus) as the haunting Miss Havisham, Anthony Calf (New Tricks) as Pip and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Thor) as Abel Magwitch, this Disney adaptation of the Dickens classic features many Kent locations.

Filming took place at Harty Church on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent: young Orphan Phillip (Pip) Pirrup, on a visit to the graves of his parents, meets the sinister escaped convict Abel Magwitch.  The church has part-Norman origins and is visited by both tourists and historians from around the world.

The crew also came to Upnor village to film, which provides the home of Herbert Pockets’ fiancée Clara’s house. Locals to the area will notice the Upnor Lighthouse as Pip docks in the village.

Another Kentish church, St James’ church in Cooling, which is situated on the marshes near the Hoo Peninsula, inspired Dickens so much, he used the location for the dramatic scene where Pip meets prisoner Magwitch.

 

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Inspector Morse – Deceived by Flight (1989)

Inspector Morse with his hands in his pockets looking at the camera with the port of dover queue behind him.

Inspector Morse (John Thaw) © ITV

Starring: John Thaw, Kevin Whatley, Nathaniel Parker, Peter Amory, Norman Rodway

Directed by: Anthony Simmons

Production Company: Zenith Productions, Central Independent Television

Kent locations used: Port of Dover, Dover Priory Station

Deceived by Flight is episode 3, from series 3, of the well-known Inspector Morse series based on the novels by Colin Dexter where Morse is investigating the murder of a member of the old boys’ cricket team, who have reconvened before starting their European tour. However, after a second murder, it soon becomes clear that some members of the cricket club have another agenda when it comes to the tour. Detective Sergeant Lewis agrees to go undercover as a member of the team in an attempt to reveal the murderer.

As well as regulars in the franchise; John Thaw (The Sweeny, Chaplin), and Kevin Whatley (Auf Wiedersehen Pet 1983) this episode also features Amanda Hillwood (Die Hard 2),  Sharon Maughan (Holby City, Shes out of my league),  Norman Rodway (Mother Night) and Nathaniel Parker (The Bodyguard, Haunted Mansion).

Dover Priory Station and the Port of Dover both feature towards the end of the episode when the cricket team arrive in Dover, with the intention to catch a Ferry, to begin their European tour.

The Port of Dover in Kent is the UKs busiest passenger Port and the coastline is well known for its white cliffs. Dover’s Port has previously featured in Johnny English (2003), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011) and more recently in Sky Atlantics drama, The Tunnel (2013).

Deceived by Flight first aired on the 18th January 1989 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Lady Jane (1987)

 

Lady Jane Movieposter- close up of Lady Jane with her hand on a man hair. Lady Jane written in red on top.

Lady Jane Movieposter © Paramount Pictures

Directed By:  Trevor Nunn

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood, Patrick Stewart

Production Company: Capital Equipment Leasing, Paramount Pictures

Kent Locations Used: Hever Castle, Leeds Castle, Dover Castle

When the death of King Henry VIII throws the country into chaos, the question of succession to the throne must be resolved. While the King’s surviving son Prince Edward lies on his death bed, a scheming John Dudley resolves to marry his son Guildford (Cary Elwes) to Lady Jane Grey (Helena Bonham Carter), great niece of Henry VII and place her on the throne after the king’s death. Unwilling to be married, Guildford and Jane are at first unhappy with Dudley’s plans, but over time, their love for each other blossoms just as  a chain of events threatens to rip them apart.

This costume drama sheds light on England’s reformation in 1553 as the Duke of Northumberland attempted to guarantee a Protestant monarchy and keep Catholic Princess Mary from the throne.

The film is directed by Trevor Nunn (King Lear, Oklahoma!) and star Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, The King’s Speech) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw) as young lovers Jane and Guildford, alongside John Wood (WarGames, Chocolat) and Patrick Stewart (Star Trek and X-Men series).

Three of Kent’s Castles feature in the film: the Long Gallery at Hever Castle was used for the scene where Lady Jane (Helena Bonham Carter) and Princess Mary (Jane Lapotaire) meet and talk about God and the moat around Leeds Castle was used to double as some of the exterior of Lady Jane’s home. Dover Castle doubles as the Tower of London, including the execution scenes at the end of the film.

Near Maidstone is the magnificent Leeds Castle, which is set within 500 acres of parkland and gardens and surrounded by a moat. This location boasts a mote and maze and state rooms including original marble bathrooms. The location has previously featured in productions such as Gadget Man (2014), Henry VIII (2003) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

Hever Castle was originally built as a country house in the 13th Century, but the Boleyn family, who held a seat there from 1462 till 1539, transformed parts of the castle into a Tudor manor. Today it offers three floors containing antique furniture and Tudor artefacts which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the county.  The location has been used for filming projects including Inkheart (2008) and Anne of a Thousand Days (1969).

Dover Castle was founded in the 12th Century and has held defensive significance for the country throughout history. The famous Operation Dynamo during the Second World War was masterminded within its walls. Dover Castle has previously featured in Into The Woods (2015), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and To Kill a King (2003).

Lady Jane also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Lady Jane was released in cinemas in February 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

 


The Mission (1986)

The Mission DVD cover- Robert De Niro standing on tree branches and rocks pointing a sword at the camera. The mission written in green.

The Mission DVD cover ©Columbia-Cannon-Warner

Director: Roland Joffe

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Ronald Pickup, Aidan Quin

Production Company: Warner Bros., Goldcrest Films International, Kingsmere Productions Ltd., Enigma Productions, AMLF

Kent locations used:  Fort Amherst

Mendoza (Robert De Niro) holding Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons)up by the collar in confrontation

Mendoza (Robert De Niro) and Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) filming at Fort Amherst ©Columbia-Cannon-Warner

The Mission is an Oscar winning action film focused on the story of Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), who after killing his brother, is given the chance by Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) to redeem his sins. They both travel to Brazil on a mission to bring Christianity to a native South American tribe. However, when the church comes under pressure from the Portuguese empire, they sell the land the mission is built on, putting its future in jeopardy.

The film features Oscar winners Robert De Niro (Taxi Diver, Mean strrets) and Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Waterland). Also starring Liam Neeson(Non-Stop, Batman Begins), Ronald Pickup(Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and Aidan Quin(Legends of the Fall, Unknown).

The tunnels of Fort Amherst were used as part of the monastery where Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is being held after he murders his brother. Fort Amherst was originally built in 1755, containing a labyrinth of underground tunnels and hidden gun positions, to improve the defense of the River Medway. Fort Amherst has previously welcomed other productions such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Saint (1997).

The Mission first premiered in 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.  

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Dempsey and Makepeace ‘Cry God for Harry’ (1985)

Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and Makepeace (Glynis Barber) facing each other inside Chilham Castle

Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and Makepeace (Glynis Barber) inside Chilham Castle © ITV

Directed by: William Brayne

Written by: Neil Rudyard

Starring: Michael Brandon, Glynis Barber, Ray Smith, Ralph Michael, Keith Bonnard Ralph Arliss, Seretta Wilson, John Terry

Production Company: Golden Eagle Films, London Weekend Television (LWT)

Kent Filming Locations: Chilham Castle, Chilham Square

Dempsey and Makepeace is a British crime drama focusing on the relationship between American Lt. James Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and British Detective Sgt. Harriet Makepeace (Glynis Barber). Dempsey was sent to England after his career ran into trouble in New York, and has been partnered up with Makepeace, under the watchful eye of Chief Superintendent Spikings (Ray Smith).

In episode 9 of Series 1, Makepeace receives the news that her father’s house has been burgled. By Royal Intervention, the detective duo is ordered to investigate and restore the missing collection of priceless Jade artefacts.

Dempsey and Makepeace driving through Chilham village in a white classic car.

Dempsey and Makepeace driving through Chilham © ITV

The episode stars franchise regulars Michael Brandon (Captain America: The First Avenger) Glynis Barber (Hammer of the Gods) and Ray Smith (Struggle, We’ll Meet Again). Guest stars include Ralph Michael (The Quest, Kessler), Keith Bonnard (Noble House, Shanghai Surprise), Ralph Arliss (Grange Hill, Retrace), Seretta Wilson (The Da Vinci Code, London Bridge), and John Terry (Brothers and Sisters, Lost).

Chilham Castle becomes Winfield Hall, the grand English estate of Lord Winfield (Ralph Michael) in this episode. The Jacobean mansion was built in 1616 on the site of an ancient castle, and is now the private home of the Wheeler family. The castle has previously hosted productions such as Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1995) and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2006).

Chilham Square, which is considered to be one of the most perfectly preserved medieval settings in the South East of England, makes a brief appearance in this episode. Dempsey and Makepeace drive through the square as they approach the grand gates to Winfield Hall. Chilham has previously featured in Chickens (2011), Emma (2009), and The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965).

The episode first aired in 1985 on ITV and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Mapp & Lucia (1985–1986)

Mapp and Lucia DVD cover- three characters in a triangle on a purple patterned background. Mapp & Lucia written in pink on top

Mapp and Lucia DVD © London Weekend Television (LWT)

Director: Donald McWhinnie

Writer: E.F. Benson (novel) and Gerald Savory (screenplay)

Starring: Prunella Scales, Geraldine McEwan, Nigel Hawthorne, Denis Lill, James Greene

Production Company: London Weekend Television (LWT)

Kent Locations: Chilham including Cumberland Lodge, Hever Castle

Mapp and Lucia is a Channel 4 series, based on three 1930’s novels by E. F. Benson. Set in the fictional Sussex coastal town of Tilling-on-Sea, the show centres around social schemers Mapp (Prunella Scales) and Lucia (Geraldine McEwan) who will stop at nothing to bolster their position amongst their community’s elite.

Mapp and Lucia, aired in two series of five episodes and was directed by Donald McWhinnie (Moll Flanders, Churchill’s People, Much Ado About Nothing), with the screenplay adapted by Gerald Savory (Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Victorians).

The series stars Prunella Scales (Howards End, After Henry, Wolf), Geraldine McEwan (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Magdalene Sisters, Agatha Christie’s Marple), Nigel Hawthorne (Amistad, Demolition Man, Gandhi) Denis Lill (Batman, The Royal, Richard III) and James Greene (Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla, Empire of the Sun).

Chilham village with lots of cast members walking around in front of a tudor style house

Mapp and Lucia screenshot at Chilham © London Weekend Television (LWT)

Hever Castle - a car outside the castle

Mapp and Lucia screenshot at Hever Castle London Weekend Television (LWT)

The production was largely filmed in Rye and Winchelsea with Kent also featuring – Chilham is seen in episodes 1, 2 and 10, doubling as Risholme, with Lucia’s home in the Cumberland Lodge on The Street, Olga Braceley’s Home in the Old Rectory and the Tudor Lodge in the square doubling as the Ambermere Arms.

In episode 10, Hever Castle features as the residence of Poppy (Irene Handl), Duchess of Sheffield.

Chilham is a delightfully preserved Tudor village in the Ashford borough of Kent. It is a popular film location due to its stunning fifteenth century square with black and white timbered buildings, Jacobean castle, church, pub and school. Chilham has been chosen as a film location by many filming projects including Emma (2009) and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2005).

The thirteenth century double moated Hever Castle boasts formal Italian Gardens, ornamental lake, adventure playground and maze. The castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and has featured in a variety of productions including The Apprentice (2014), Inkheart (2008) and Anne of a Thousand Days (1969).

Mapp & Lucia aired in 1985–1986 and is now available on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

 


The Draughtsmans Contract (1982)

Anthony Higgins in costume staring at the camera in front of a field

Anthony Higgins as Mr Neville in The Draughtsman’s Contract © BFI

Writer/Director: Peter Greenaway

Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman and Dave Hill

Production Company: British Film Institute (BFI), Channel Four Television

Kent Filming Locations: Groombridge Place

Set in the 17th Century, The Draughtsman’s Contact focuses on the contract between Mr Neville (Anthony Higgins) and Mrs Herbert (Janet Suzman) to paint a picture of her husband’s estate. As part of Neville’s preparation for his masterpiece, he dresses the house with sculptures and then instructs the household not to move any objects. But when the statues in the house suddenly start to move about and even shift shape, the very particular Mr Neville becomes increasingly upset.

Janet Suzman as Mrs Herbert standing in a garden with an umbrella facing away from a man who has his back to the camera

Janet Suzman as Mrs Herbert © BFI

The plot is further complicated when Mr Herbert (Dave Hill) is found dead and it is discovered that Mr Neville’s paintings inescapably point towards his having been murdered. The (mis-en-)scene is set for mystery, intrigue and blackmail.

Although the film alludes to the Herbert house being located in Wiltshire, The Draughtman’s Contract was actually filmed at Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells.

One of the formal gardens at Groombridge used in the film has been renamed in commemoration of the filming: The Draughtman’s Lawn boasts beautiful primroses in the spring and striking ornamental trees in the summer.

Groombridge Place Gardens and Enchanted Forest is open from spring until early November but the house itself is not open to the public. It has previously been used as a film location by Pride and Prejudice (2005).

The Draughtsmans Contract was released in cinemas in 1982 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Blakes 7 – Bounty (1978)

Blakes 7 logo in space- cartoon planets with BLAKES 7 written in yellow on top

Blakes 7 logo © BBC

Director: Pennant Roberts

Creator: Terry Nation

Starring: Gareth Thomas, Sally Knyvette, Paul Darrow, T.P. McKenna

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations: Quex Park – Waterloo Tower in Birchington

Blake’s 7 is a BBC One science fiction show which ran for four series between 1978 –1981. Set in the future, the show is about a group of outcasts who fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from an alien spaceship.

The series was created by Terry Nation (Doctor Who, And Soon the Darkness, London Conspiracy), who also created the Daleks in Doctor Who.

Episode 11 of Series 1, “Bounty”, sees Blake (Gareth Thomas) and Jenna (Sally Knyvette) try to convince Sarkoff (T.P. McKenna), the exiled former president of the planet Lindor to return to lead his people, before the Federation assumes control of the planet. However, the Liberator is taken over by a group of bounty hunters known as The Amagons.

“Bounty” is directed by Pennant Roberts (The Sherman Plays, Howards’ Way, Doctor Who) and stars Gareth Thomas (Merlin, Waterland, Parkin’s Patch), Sally Knyvette (Emmerdale, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, General Hospital), Paul Darrow (Die Another Day, Rough Magik, Law & Order: UK) and T.P. McKenna (Straw Dogs, Red Scorpion, Ulysses).

Blakes 7 Screenshot at Quex Park- Waterloo Tower with trees around it

Blakes 7 Screenshot Quex Park – Waterloo Tower © BBC

Blakes 7 Screenshot Quex Park – Waterloo Tower- two characters leabing against the stone wall

Blakes 7 Screenshot Quex Park – Waterloo Tower © BBC

Waterloo Tower at Quex Park features in the episode as the ex-president Sarkoff’s residence in exile.

Quex Park is a unique country park of 250 acres set within an estate of 1800 acres in Birchington which offers parkland, gardens and a Regency-style country house with unique museum containing dioramas of African landscapes. Projects which have previously filmed in the Birchington area include Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (2015) and BBC Three drama The Things I Haven’t Told You (2008).

Blakes 7 aired between 1978 –1981 and is now available for DVD purchase.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.