The Crown Series 1 – 4 (2016-2020)

Actress Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II dressed in regimental uniform sitting on a black horse saluting. In the background is a crowd

Olivia Coleman in The Crown (2020) © Netflix

Writer: Peter Morgan

Directors: Stephen Daldry, Benjamin Caron, Philip Martin, Julian Jarrold

Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Olivia Coleman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies

Production Companies: Left Bank Pictures, Sony Pictures Television Production UK

Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Royal School of Military Engineering (Chatham) Brompton Barracks

The Crown is a Netflix Original ten-part historical drama series focusing on the reign of the Queen Elizabeth II played by Claire Foy in Series One and Two and Olivia Coleman in Series Three and Four. The series delivers a world full of intrigue and revelations from behind the closed doors of Westminster and Buckingham Palace as The Queen steps up to represent the world’s most powerful monarchy and forge relationships with her Prime Ministers including Sir Winston Churchill played by John Lithgow in Series One to Three.

Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) is writer and creator of The Crown, reportedly the most expensive series to be produced by Netflix, estimated at £100 million at the time of the first series release. Benjamin Caron (Wallander, Scott & Bailey) directs various episodes from Series One through Four while Series One and Two directors include Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours), Philip Martin (Prime Suspect: The Final Act, Hawking) and Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane, Kinky Boots). Directors for Series Three and Four joining Benjamin Caron include Samuel Donovan (Four Lions, Liar (2017-2020), Jessica Hobbs (Apple Tree Yard, Broadchurch) and Christian Schwochow (Children of Mars, Badbanks).

The Series One and Two cast includes Claire Foy (Wolf Hall, Little Dorrit), Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mad Men) as King George VI, Vanessa Kirby (About Time, Everest) as Princess Margaret and John Lithgow (Interstellar, Shrek) as Winston Churchill.  A stellar cast stepped into the roles of the Royal Family in Series Three and Four with Queen Elizabeth II played by Oliver Coleman (The Favourite, The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)), Helena Bonham Carter (Enola HolmesSuffragette (2015) as Princess Margaret and Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones, The Night Manager) as Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Crown production team chose to visit Kent to film at The Historic Dockyard Chatham during Series One where they filmed a dockside scene on Anchor Wharf after building part of the side of a ship. The Historic Dockyard Chatham dates back to the 17th century and contains over 100 buildings from the Georgian and Victorian periods. The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular film location that has previously featured on screen in Suffragette (2015), Downton Abbey (2013) and Les Miserables (2013).

The first series of The Crown was released on Netflix on Friday 4th November 2016.

In Series Four production visited the Royal School of Military Engineering (Chatham) Brompton Barracks to film scenes set in London.  Brompton Barracks is ideally suited as a location to double for iconic London landmarks with a large parade ground, vaulted cellars under the Officer’s Mess, statues, stone bridges, a museum and a large ornate arch.

Series Four will be released on Netflix on Sunday 15th November 2020.

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.