Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Anson Boon, Jacob Slater, Toby Wallace, Christian Lees, Louis Partridge, Emma Appleton, Maisie Williams
Production Company: FX Network
Kent Locations Used: Dover, Folkestone, Sandgate, Deal
Pistol (2022) is a US produced six-part TV series based on the memoir of Steve Jones, the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist who helped usher in a punk revolution in Britain. Pistol was created by Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge!, Will) and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Yesterday) who also exec produces.
The series stars Anson Boon (Shadowplay, 1917) as Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes, Medici) as Sid Vicious, Toby Wallace (The Society, Romper Stomper) as Steve Jones, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook and Christian Lees (The Phantom of the Open (2022), Speechless) as Glen Matlock. Emma Appleton (The Witcher, The End of the F***ing World (2017)) stars as Nancy Spungen, while Maisie Williams (Two Weeks to Live (2020), Game of Thrones) stars as Jordan.
During filming, production visited Kent to film in Dover, Folkestone, Sandgate and Deal. The exterior of FOLCA (former Debenhams store) appears at the end of Episode 1, when Steve Jones suffers stagefright at his first gig. In Episode 4, The Grand in Folkestone doubles as the exterior of a Whitby Hotel, whilst the interior of The Grand Burstin Hotel appears as the Victorian ballroom in which the Pistols perform to a crowd of two people. Folkestone Railway Social Club also features in this episode, doubling as the exterior of a pub in Barnsley. Various roads around Folkestone were also filmed for driving scenes. Sunny Sands beach also features as Whitby Beach.
Filming in Sandgate village took place at Riviera Car Sales, which was dressed as the 1970s, Sandgate High Street and Undercliff. These locations can be spotted in Episode 4, as the band tour around the North of England.
In Dover, filming took place at Kings Hall and various nearby streets, as well as Dover seafront and Marine Parade. Marine Parade appears in the opening of Episode 2, as Jordan (Maisie Williams) cycles along the seafront in a see-through t-shirt, whilst the exterior of Kings Hall appears in Episode 4 as the Pistols leave a gig in Doncaster and a huge fight breaks out. Nearby, The Citadel was filmed as a stand in for HM Remand Centre in Ashford, where Steve Jones is imprisoned in Episode 1, and as HMP Chelmsford in Episode 3, where the Pistols perform to a crowd of prisoners.
In Deal the beach and Channel View B&B were used for various scenes in Episode 4. The exterior of the Royal Amusement Arcade appears in the final shot of the series, as the Pistols perform a Christmas gig at Ivanhoes in Huddersfield. A variety of other street scenes were shot in Deal, but unfortunately these didn’t make the final cut!
Folkestone is a seaside town with an elegant cliff top promenade, a coastal park, fishing harbour and Victorian cliff-top lifts. Previous productions which were based here include Back to Life (2019-2021), The Fight (2019) and The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016).
Sandgate village is in the Folkestone & Hythe district of Kent and features Martello towers, various boating clubs, antiques shops and a lift platform office that used to run in the Victorian times up Sandgate Hill to The Leas.
Dover is a popular filming location which also boasts the historic Dover Castle and the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Dover has featured in After Love (2021), The Rook – Series 1 (2019) and Missing (2009-2010). The Citadel, located on Dover’s Western Heights was constructed in the late 1700’s as a port of defence during the Napoleonic war. Most recently it has been used as a borstal, prison, and immigration detention centre up until its closure in 2015. It is now becoming popular as a filming location and has welcomed several productions over the past year, including Whitstable Pearl (2021) and various others soon to broadcast.
The coastal town of Deal has a long naval history and is one of the major cinque ports along the south coast. The Pier is a significant local landmark and public amenity offering excellent views of the town. It is internationally recognised as an angling venue.
East Kent is home to spectacular coastal landscapes and historic towns and boasts excellent transport links to London and Western Europe. East Kent has been used for filming several recent hit TV productions such as Baptiste (2019), Next of Kin (2018) and The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017).
Pistol was released on Disney+ on Tuesday 31st May 2022.
For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.