Great Expectations (2011)

 

Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Vanessa Kirby staring into the camera in front of a misty sky and house

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 launched in 2012.

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

 

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


Johnny English Reborn (2011)

Rowan Atkinson as Johnny Engish holiday a gun with fire behind him, Johhny English Reborn written underneath

Johnny English Reborn © Universal Pictures

Director: Oliver Parker

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike

Production Company: StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films

Kent Filming Locations: The A299 carriageway and Cliffs End, Ramsgate.

Released in cinemas from October 7th, Johnny English Reborn sees M17’s deadliest secret agent in his latest adventure. After a failed mission, Johnny English retreated from service to hone his skills in a remote region of Asia. But when a plot to kill the Chinese premier is discovered, the agency must track down the only man who can stop it… Johnny English.

As the clock counts down to a Heads of State conference, high-tech gadgets and the improbable skills of English reveal that the layers of conspiracy are far reaching: all the way back to MI7.

As always, Johnny English goes to show that a “little intelligence goes a long way”.

Rowan Atkinson (Love Actually, Bean) returns as the haphazard Johnny English with a supporting cast including Gillian Anderson (The X Files, The Last King of Scotland), Dominic West (300, The Wire) and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, Die Another Day).

The A299 carriageway, that runs from Faversham to Ramsgate was used to film a high speed car chase. This was made possible by the introduction of the KCC (filming on Highways) Act 2010, which allows Kent County Council to effect road closure to facilitate filming.

Cliff’s End in Ramsgate was also used as a filming location. Ramsgate is a popular coastal filming location for the county and home to the only “Royal” harbour in the country. Ramsgate has previously been seen in comedy series Not Going Out (2013), drama Hancock and Joan (2008) and the independent film Gypo (2006).

Johnny English Reborn was released in cinemas in October 2011 and is now available on DVD.

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


The Crimson Petal and The White (2011)

 

Romola Garai smiling away from the camera in a dark dress, two candles sit in front of her.

Romola Garai The Crimson Petal and The White @ BBC

 

A four-part adaptation of Michel Faber’s international best-selling novel about Victorian Life.

Starring: Romola Garai, Chris O’Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Shirley Henderson, Amanda Hale and Mark Gatiss.

Production Company: Origin Pictures, Cité-Amérique

Kent Filming Locations: Eastgate HouseThe Historic Dockyard Chatham

In this four-part tale of love, lust, desire and rage, Victorian life is revealed in a way never seen before on screen.

The tale takes viewers into a hidden world in which a young prostitute and a prominent businessman embark on a dangerous relationship with epic consequences.

This version of Michel Faber’s novel, The Crimson Petal and The White, has been adapted by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon (Wild Target, The Danish Girl) and directed by Marc Munden (Touching Evil, Utopia).

The four part series stars; Romola Garai (Atonement, Suffragette), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, This Is 40), Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall), Richard E Grant (Withnail & I Downton Abbey), Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting, Bridget Jones’s Diary), Amanda Hale (Bright Star, Persuasion) and Mark Gatiss (Match Point, Sherlock).

The production visited Kent where they filmed on location at The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Eastgate House in Rochester.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular filming location in Kent due to its authentic period backdrops, including cobbled streets and Georgian as well as Victorian architecture. Victor Frankenstein (2015)Grantchester (2014), and The Golden Compass (2007) have previously filmed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Eastgate House, situated on Rochester High Street, was formerly a large private town house. Built by Sir Peter Buck; it has now been restored and is owned by Medway Council. Productions such as Jekyll and Hyde (2015),  BBC’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012) and Great Expectations (1989) have previously filmed in Rochester.

The Crimson Petal and The White will be shown on BBC Two on Wednesday 6th April at 21.00 

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


Bleak House (2005)

Bleak House filming at Cobham Hall - Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock and Anna Maxwell Martin as Esther sat on a bench in a formal garden, cobham hall can be seen behind

Bleak House filming at Cobham Hall © BBC and Terry Curran

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Andrew Davies (Adaptation)

Starring: Gillian Anderson, Ana Maxwell Martin, Carey Mulligan, Charles Dance, Patrick Kennedy & Denis Lawson

Production Company: BBC, WGBH, Deep Indigo Productions, Smallweed Productions

Kent Locations Used: Cobham Hall

This BBC A dramatic thriller set in Victorian England. It tells the story of the beautiful but icy Lady Dedlock (Gillian Anderson). Nursing a dark secret in her past, her merciless lawyer Tulkinghorn seeks to uncover it.

Running parallel to the central story, the generous John Jarndyce struggles with his own past and takes in two young wards Richard (Patrick Kennedy) and Ada (Carey Mulligan). Like the infamous Lady Dedlock, all three are caught up in the case of Jarndyce Vs Jarndyce, a court case many years long that is yet to be resolved. When it is, the winning party will be rich beyond all imagination.

The two young wards are accompanied by Esther Summerson (Ana Maxwell Martin), a woman of questionable background. Told she will never amount to anything, is she the key to Lady Dedlock’s secret?

First published in 1852, the novel was released in 19 instalments. To mirror Dickens’ original dramatic storyline and typical cliff-hanger endings, the TV adaptation was comprised of a one hour opening episode with subsequent 30 minute programmes lasting for 14 episodes. The programme was shown twice weekly in 2005 on BBC 1 and is now available to buy on DVD.

Behind the scenes filming of Bleak House at Cobham Hall - courtyard with people walking, horse and carriage driving past

Behind the scenes filming of Bleak House at Cobham Hall © Terry Curran

 

Behind the scenes filming of Bleak House at Cobham Hall - brick house with crew outside and a white horse on the grass in front

Behind the scenes filming of Bleak House at Cobham Hall © Terry Curran

Cast and crew filming outside at Cobham Hall gardens- fields and gardens can be seen in the background

Behind the scenes filming of Bleak House at Cobham Hall gardens © Terry Curran

cast members in costume in the gardens of Cobham hall.

Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlockk at Cobham Hall © Terry Curran

The BBC adaption stars Gillian Anderson (The Fall, Johnny English Reborn), Ana Maxwell Martin (Becoming Jane, Philomena), Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, Suffragette), Charles Dance (The Imitation Game, Ghostbusters), Patrick Kennedy (Atonement, War Horse) and Denis Lawson (New Tricks, Broken).

Cobham Hall is a private boarding school near to Gravesend located in 150 acres of Grade II listed parkland. The interiors boast a stunning ball room, library, cobbled courtyards, formal gardens, classrooms as well as sports facilities, including a swimming pool. Cobham Hall is a popular film location having previously been used for Hetty Feather series 1-2 (2012), The Great Fire (2014) and Wild Child (2008).

Bleak House features in the Kent Film Office Dickens Trail which was laucnhed in 2012: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/dickens-movie-trail/

Bleak House was shown on the BBC in 2005 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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