Horrible Histories Series 8 & 9 (2019-2021)

Emily Lloyd Saini, as a Georgian aristocrat, stands holding a branch of a Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with light-blue bows and red berries. Saini has light brown hair worn in a Georgian updo and adorned with pearls, and wears an off-the-shoulder grey frilly dress.

Emily Lloyd Saini in Series 9’s Christmas Special – Cracking Christmas ©BBC

Writers: Howard Read, Daniel Peak, Lucy Clarke
Starring: Jalaal Hartley, Jessica Ransom, Tom Stourton, Richard David-Caine
Production Company: Lion Television
Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Allington Castle

First premiering in 2009, the CBBC’s children’s TV programme Horrible Histories (2019-2021) is back for a Christmas special, which kicks off its ninth series. Based on the novels by Terry Deary, Horrible Histories is packed full of blood, battles and black humour; informing and entertaining young audiences with comedic historical sketches.

In 2015, the series returned with a revised format and a brand-new cast that includes Jalaal Hartley (Sugar Rush, The Borgias), Jessica Ransom (Doc Martin), Tom Stourton (About Time, All My Friends Hate Me) and Richard David-Caine (People Just Do Nothing, Class Dismissed) .Each episode centres on the life of one prominent historical figure.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham provided the setting for several episodes in Series 8 and 9, with scenes filmed around the Ropery, Officers Terrace, The Old Pay Office, Commissioners House and the submarine HMS Ocelot. Look out for scenes filmed at the Dockyard in the following Series 8 episodes: Queen Vic’s Home Vids, Chaotic Collabs, Putrid Politics and Heroic Home Front, featuring British historical figures Horatio Nelson (Richard David-Caine) and Lord Byron (James McNicholas), Samuel Pepys (Tom Stourton) and Oliver Cromwell (James McNicholas) to name but a few.

In the Series 8 episode ‘Queen Vic’s Home Vids’ Victorian Filmmaker Williams Dixon (Jalaal Hartley) is shown filming whilst strapped to the front of a steam train. This comic re‑enactment scene, filmed on a green screen at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, is intercut with archive BFI footage.

During Series 9, the Dockyard is granted visits from several iconic historical figures, including Charles Dickens for a Christmas sing-song.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham, established in the mid-16th century and located on the River Medway in Kent, is a highly desirable filming location for film and television crews alike. The site boasts a huge 80 acres of land, more than 100 Victorian, Georgian buildings and maritime spaces, with a history spanning over 200 years. The location has previously been home to several other historical productions, including Series 1 of Netflix’s Regency era Bridgerton (2020), Francis Lee’s 2020 LGBT romance film Ammonite, and Series 1 to 10 of the BBC’s 1950s drama Call the Midwife (2012-2021).

Allington Castle and Gardens feature in both Series 8 and 9, playing the role of Samuel Pepys’ home, The Tower of London, The Palace of Versailles and a Tudor Castle. Built in the 12th-century and located on the River Medway, Allington Castle is now privately owned and adorned with authentic Medieval tapestries and furniture. Once opening its doors to King Henry VIII, the Castle now plays host to film and TV crews, with productions such as The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984), the 14th-century ABC drama Covington Cross (1992), and Series 2 of the American soap opera The Royals (2016), all making use of the Castle’s picturesque location.

The eighth series of Horrible Histories aired on CBBC from 3rd June 2019. Episodes are available for viewing online using BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas special of Series 9, featuring Kent locations, will air on CBBC on Friday 10th December 2021, with the rest of the series to follow in 2022. All episodes will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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


By Royal Appointment (2008)

By Royal Appointment written in a cartoon of an old envelope on a wooden background

By Royal Appointment Ident © KMB Productions

Kent Locations: Tunbridge Wells

By Royal Appointment explores the South East region collecting regal traditions and legacies of Royal connections. The series also features appearances from members of the Royal family including Princess Michael of Kent and Her Majesty the Queen.

Hannah Scott-Joynt sat down smiling at the camera with gardens and pathway behind her

Hannah Scott-Joynt presenter of By Royal Appointment © KMB Productions

In episode three, presenter Hannah Scott-Joynt visits Royal Tunbridge Wells to discover its noble past. Hannah’s visit takes her through the celebrated Pantiles famous for its Chalybeate Spring , whose waters attracted visitors from across the UK in Georgian times because of their healing properties. In 1909 Tunbridge Wells was given the right to use the word ‘Royal’ by King Edward VII and is still one of only two towns to be allowed to use the prefix.

After her visit to the Pantiles, Hannah partakes in a rather competitive game of Croquet with the local Croquet Club.

The influx of visitors in Georgian and Victorian times means that the area is filled with beautiful period architecture.  Its popularity has never waived and it is still a favourite with both tourists and filmmakers today.

Tunbridge Wells is a town in West Kent, home to a host of historic buildings, specialist shops, churches and a busy town centre. Productions which have previously filmed in the area include Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year (2016), Terry and Mason’s Great Food Trip (2015)  and Hunted (2012).

By Royal Appointment visits Royal Tunbridge Wells on Thursday 17th July 2008 on Meridian at 19.30.

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


Great Expectations (1999)

Joe Gargery (Clive Russell ) with Young Pip (Gabriel Thomson) in his shoulders walking through a field, soldiers are walking either side of them

Joe Gargery (Clive Russell ) and Young Pip (Gabriel Thomson) © BBC

Directed By: Julian Jarrold

Written By: Charles Dickens (Novel) & Tony Marchant (Adaptation)

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Charlotte Rampling, Justine Waddell, Clive Russell

Production Company: BBC, WGBH

Kent Locations Used: Sheerness Docks, Kingswear Castle Paddlesteamer, Chatham Docks & River Medway

Surrounded by memorabilia from her ill-fated wedding, Ms Havisham invites local orphan Pip to her home to amuse her as she encourages her spiteful daughter Estella to break his heart. Pip’s future as a blacksmith is forever changed when an unknown sponsor pays for him to become a gentleman.

Starring Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) as Pip, Charlotte Rampling (The Duchess) as Miss Havisham and Justine Waddell (Killing Bono) as Estella, this is the first BBC adaptation of the classic Dickens tale and was originally aired in 1999.

Young Pip (Gabriel Thompson) and Young Biddy (Laura Aikman) sat on the grass talking to each other, wicker baskets are behind them

Young Pip (Gabriel Thompson) and Young Biddy (Laura Aikman) in Great Expectations 1999 © BBC

Filmed in a variety of Kent Locations, the BBC brought Great Expectations back to the county where it was originally conceived by Dickens.  Herbert Pocket’s bride to be, Clara, provides a refuge for reformed convict Abel Magwitch at Sheerness Docks where exterior shots of her house were filmed. Pip and Herbert Pocket arrange to meet Magwitch and help his escape at Chatham Docks, where slip 8 was used for the scene and exterior shots of the prison hulk ships.

The dramatic scene where Magwitch attempts to escape is well known to fans of the Dickens classic. The local Paddle steamer, “Kingswear Castle”, was used for the scenes and the production company used Stangate Creek on the River Medway for shots of the ship on the Thames Estuary. The Kingswear Castle also features in the 1998 BBC adaptation of Dickens last novel, Our Mutual Friend, starring Anna Friel and Paul McGann.

Dickens’ features Kent locations in many of his novels. The city of Rochester, which holds annual Dickens celebrations each year, can be recognised in many of the author’s novels such as The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Pickwick Papers and David Copperfield. The Kent Film Office celebrates Dickens history with the county including Tv and film adaptions in The Dickens Trail.

Great Expectations was shown on BBC in 1999 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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