Mr. Holmes (2015)

Mr. Holmes walking along a tree lined path

Mr. Holmes © See-Saw Films

Director: Bill Condon

Writers: Mitch Cullin (Based on the novel by), Arthur Conan Doyle (Characters), Jeffrey Hatcher (Screenplay)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Milo Parker, Laura Linney, Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy

Production company: AI Film, BBC Films, FilmNation Entertainment, Archer Gray Productions, See-Saw Films

Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Mr. Holmes is a crime film starring Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, X-Men Trilogy) as a retired Sherlock Holmes dealing with the decline of his health and mental ability. He looks back at his incredible life, and with the help of Roger, his housekeeper’s son, Holmes seeks closure of an old, unsolved case.

Based on the seventh novel by author Mitch Cullin, the film is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Fifth Estate) from a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess, Casanova).

Ian McKellen is supported by Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson), Hattie Morhan (Summer in February), Patrick Kennedy (Warhorse) and the film introduces up and coming actor, Milo Parker.

For 5 days in July 2014, the Mr. Holmes production team visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent, to use Anchor Wharf as a street in Japan. They also dressed the Tarred Yarn Store as a Japanese restaurant and the exterior of the Ropery for a street scene.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham has previously been used as a film location by BBC for Call the Midwife (2015), ITV’s Arthur and George (2015) and Les Miserables (2013).

Don’t miss Mr. Holmes was released in cinemas on Friday 19th June 2015 and is now available for DVD and online purchase.

 

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


The Golden Compass (2007)

 

Nicole Kidman bending down with her hand underneath Dekota Blue Richards's chin. Both staring at each other.

Nicole Kidman as Mrs Coulter and Dekota Blue Richards as Lyra © 2007 Laurie Sparham/New Line Cinema

Director: Chris Weitz

Writer: Philip Pullman (novel), Chris Weitz (screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ian McKellen

Production Company: New Line Cinema, Ingenious Film Partners, Scholastic Productions, Depth of Field

Kent Locations: The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Adapted from the novel Northern Lights, first in Philip Pullmann’s best-selling His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass is about orphaned tomboy Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) lives with her uncle Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig) in a world where people’s souls manifesrt as animal companions called daemons.

When Lyra’s friend, Roger, is kidnapped by Gobblers, she vows to rescue him. Help comes in the shape of an offer from the enigmatic Mrs Coulter (Nicole Kidman) and the priceless gift of an alethiometer, a golden compass. This device answers truthfully to any question it is asked, but first Lyra must learn how to decipher its mysterious symbols.

 

Behind the scenes image at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham- prop crates and barrels up against the building,

Behind the scenes image at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham © Visit Kent

 

Behind the scenes image at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham with props barrels and crates

Behind the scenes image at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham © Visit Kent

 

Dakota Blue Richards walking up a wooden ship plank towards the camera.

Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra at the docks © 2007 Laurie Sparham/New Line Cinema

 

Daniel Craig staring at the camera in a suit with men sat around a table behind him

Daniel Craig stars as ‘Lord Asriel’ © 2007 Laurie Sparham/New Line Cinema

The sequence The Landing of Lyra and the Gyptians at the fictional Norwegian port of Trollesund was filmed at the Historic Dockyard Chatham . When Lyra first disembarks at the town of Trollesund, she did, in fact, step straight into the dockyard, where the Mast Houses and Mould Loft were dressed to look like the town’s harbour. CGI mountains were added to the background to create the illusion that the town has a fjord setting.

The meeting between Lyra and Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliot) was set in the impressive Slip 3, a great domed space built in 1838 which at the time of its construction was the largest timber structure in Europe.

Philip Pullman’s trilogy was first published in 1995 and won critical acclaim in the form of the coveted Carnegie Medal for Children’s fiction. The novels draw their inspiration from Milton’s Paradise Lost and like Harry Potter; have attracted their fair share of controversy.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham boasts a variety of buildings with period features ranging from Georgian to Victorian, right up to modern day and is becoming a popular film location and has been used by productions such as Sherlock Holmes (2009), Oliver Twist (2007) and Children of Men (2006).

The location is in the care of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, an independent charity whose task is to restore and preserve this important part of Britain’s national heritage.

The Golden Compass was released in cinemas in 2007 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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


Cold Comfort Farm (1995)

Cold Comfort Farm poster- 6 characters standing facing the camera in a frame. Cold Comfort Farm is written in white on top

Cold Comfort Farm poster © BBC, Thames Television

Director: John Schlesinger

Writer: Malcolm Bradbury (screenplay), Stella Gibbons (novel)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Eileen Atkins, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry, Freddie Jones, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen

Production Company: BBC, Thames Television

Kent Locations Used: Kent and East Sussex Railway, Royal Military Canal

Cold Comfort Farm is a BBC adaption of Stella Gibbons’ novel of the same name. Set in early 1930’s England, the story focuses on young Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) who is left penniless when her parents die and goes to stay with distant relatives on Cold Comfort Farm. Flora makes it her mission to improve the lives of the miserable inhabitants.

The TV movie parodies the romanticised, sometimes doom-laden accounts of rural life and is directed John Schlesinger (Marathon Man, The Next Best Thing) and written by Malcolm Bradbury (The Gravy Train, In the Red).

Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator, Underworld) takes the leading role of Flora alongside Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain, Robin Hood), Sheila Burrell (Jane Eyre, Perfect Strangers), Stephen Fry (Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Freddie Jones (The Elephant Man, Dune), Joanna Lumley (Corpse Bride, Absolutely Fabulous) and Ian McKellen (The Hobbit Series, Vicious).

The production filmed on location in Kent at Kent & East Sussex Railway which provided the trains for Flora’s journey from London to her relatives at Cold Comfort Farm and Northiam station which is the fictional railway station of Beershorne.

The Royal Military Canal was also used for scenes where Flora and Amos (Ian McKellen) walk and chat.

Kent & East Sussex Railway is a ten and a half mile rural light period railway which runs between Tenterden and East Sussex. The railway has also been used for filming by productions such as Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies (2016) and Last Passenger (2013).

The Royal Military Canal runs for 28 miles between Seabrook near Folkestone and end at Cliff End near Hastings. The canal passes the iconic Romney Marsh, tranquil countryside and quiet villages and has a footpath for the entire stretch.

Cold Comfort Farm was broadcast on 1 January 1995 and is now available for DVD purchase.

 

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