Age of Heroes (2011)

Age of Heroes cast members standing in a row in uniform with guns. Snowy mountains can be seen behind.

Age of Heroes cast L-R John Dagleish as Rollright, Danny Dyer as Rains, William Houston as Mac, Guy Burnet as Riley, Sean Bean as Jones, Askel Hennie as Steinar © Age of Heroes Ltd.

Director: Adrian Vitoria

Writers: Ed Scates, Adrian Vitoria

Starring: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Aksel Hennie,  James D’Arcy

Production Company: Atlantic Swiss Productions/Cinedome/Cinema Five/Giant Films

Kent Filming Locations: Connaught Barracks, Dover, Gravesend Civil Defence Bunker, Pluckley

 Sean Bean laying on the dirt staring into a gun looking at the camera

Age of Heroes Sean Bean as Jones © Age of Heroes Ltd.

Age of Heroes is a film based on the real-life events of Ian Fleming’s 30 Commando during the Second World War; a team that was one of the most secretive and exclusive Special Forces regiments and created the mould for the modern day SAS.

The film captures the mentally and physically gruelling training endured by the men before they are assigned to a highly dangerous mission behind enemy lines in occupied Norway.  The mission doesn’t go to plan and they find themselves in a deadly situation, outnumbered by enemy soldiers.  It’s then that they rise above being normal soldiers and become heroes.

Adrian Vitoria (The Crew Hollyoaks: Crossing the Line) directs as well as co-wrote the screenplay alongside Ed Scates. Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings, The Martian), Danny Dyer (Doghouse, Eastenders), Aksel Hennie (Headhunters, Hercules) and James D’Arcy (Master and Commander, Cloud Atlas) star.

In 2010 film crews arrived in Kent to shoot the action packed thriller – local village Pluckley, famous as the setting for the popular TV programme The Darling Buds of May, were used in several driving shots with actor Sean Bean.

James D'Arcy as Ian Fleming sitting at a wooden desk with a map of the united kingdom pinned to the wall behind him

James D’Arcy as Ian Fleming © Age of Heroes Ltd.

The Gravesend Civil Defence Bunker, built in 1954 as an underground command post to be used in the event of nuclear attack during the Cold War, features in the film. It was used to represent the Cabinet War Rooms in London’s Whitehall.  Nearby Cobham Hall, currently a boarding school for girls is a firm favourite for filming in the district of Gravesham. The site was the perfect location to feature as a boarding school in the 2008 film Wild Child (2008).

Another Ministry of Defence location, the Connaught Barracks were also used for filming as a WWII training base. Situated in the district of Dover, the Connaught Barracks are not the only location to have been used for filming in recent years. The historic Dover Castle is a Kent film location favourite as it has been the star location in a number of productions from Lady Jane (1987) to The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Age of Heroes was released in 2011 and is now available on DVD.

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

Darling Buds of May (1991 – 1993)

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette standing in front of a table of food with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background © ITV


Director : David Giles, Robert Tronson, Rodney Bennett, Steve Goldie

Writer: H. E Bates, Paul Wheeler, Stephen Bill

Production Company: Excelsior, Yorkshire Television

Kent Filming Locations: Pluckley, Folkestone,

Set in Kent in the 1950’s Darling Buds of May was filmed on location in Pluckley and Folkestone. The programme focused on the Larkin family who appeared to have the ideal family life living off the land.

Pop and Ma sat by the River with a picnic smiling at the camera

Pop and Ma by the River © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background © ITV

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming- scaffolding with crew on surround it

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming © Roger Holmes

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront- cast and crew stood on the beach with filming equipment

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront © Shepway District Council

Amazingly, ‘Pop’ Larkin (David Jason) has managed to avoid the tax man. In the first six episodes, tax inspector Cedric (Philip Franks) comes to the farm to collect debts and ends up abandoning his career to live the dream of country living and marry ‘Pop’s’ daughter, Mariette (Catherine Zeta Jones). The programme has long been accredited with launching Catherine Zeta Jones’ career.

The series was hugely successful and achieved high viewing figures throughout its run. The effects are still felt in the lovely village of Pluckley, Kent which still welcomes those seeking a glimpse of the ‘perfick’ life.

For many, Darling Buds of May reflects the dream Kentish Life, involving living in an Oast House and enjoying the countryside that Kent has to offer with family and friends. It is perhaps this, which made the series so popular.

Pluckley to this day remains a sleepy countryside village but it is not only famous for its Darling Buds of May appearances, it is also renowned for its more ghostly inhabitants. Pluckley has earned the title of the most haunted village in Britain. It is said that 12 to 16 ghosts inhabit the village and every year on Halloween tourists inundate the village to see if they too can have a supernatural experience. The village however remains unspoilt and picturesque, reminding visitors of its Kentish beauty as depicted in the series.

The series aired between 1991 and 1993 and is now available to buy on DVD.


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