The Amazing Mr Blunden (2021)

Simon Callow, as Mr Blunden, stands in the centre of the frame. Either side of him, peering over some large decorative ornaments, are two children Jamie, played by Jason Rennie, on the left, and Lucy, played by Tsion Habte, on the right. They are inside of a historic looking room with dark orange walls. On either side are windows covered by lace net curtains, and large drawn open grey curtains. Jamie has short curly black hair and wears a black unzipped hoodie with a red t-shirt. Only Lucy’s head is visible, and she has long curly black hair. Mr Blunden has receding white hair and a full grey beard. He wears a long brown woollen coat, with a brown waistcoat underneath and a large red woollen scarf wrapped around his neck. All three characters look nervously off-screen.

The Amazing Mr Blunden © Sky

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Director: Mark Gatiss
Starring: Simon Callow, Tamsin Greig, Mark Gatiss, Tsion Habte, Jason Rennie, India Fowler, Xavier Wilkins
Production Company: Adorable Media
Kent Locations Used: Finchcocks

Based on the 1972 family film of the same name, The Amazing Mr Blunden (2021) tells the story of modern teenagers Lucy and Jamie, whose encounter with a mysterious old man called Mr Blunden leads to them becoming caretakers of an old country home. They soon discover that the home is haunted by the spirits of two young children, Sara and Georgie, and with the help of Mr Blunden, the two teens must travel back in time to save the children’s lives.

Written and directed by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who), The Amazing Mr Blunden stars renowned actor Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral, A Room with a View (1985)) as Mr. Blunden, Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Friday Night Dinner) as Mrs. Wickens and Mark Gatiss as Mr. Wickens, as well as newcomers Tsion Habte (Liar (2017-2020), Sex Education (2021)) as Lucy, Jason Rennie as Jamie, India Fowler (Safe) as Sara and Xavier Wilkins as Georgie.

The production team visited Kent for their shoot, using Finchcocks in Goudhurst as Langley Park, the house the two teenagers are tasked with looking after. Built in 1725, Finchcocks is a fine early Georgian Manor set in 13 acres of parkland and gardens, with extensive views over the Kentish landscape. It is noted for its brickwork, with a dramatic baroque front elevation. For many years, the Manor played host to a Musical Museum, which housed around 115 period keyboard instruments, many of which have featured in TV and film themselves. Now operating as both a family home and a piano workshop retreat, Finchcocks has previously been used as the setting for a Pride and Prejudice sketch in the BBC show French and Saunders (1996).

The Amazing Mr Blunden will air on Sky and NowTV on demand on Friday 24th December 2021.

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


Emma (2009)

Romola Garai in a pink dress and bonnet staring towards the ground with a smile in front of bushes with flowers on

Romola Garai © BBC

Director: Jim O’ Hanlon

Writer: Sandy Welch

Starring:Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller, Michael Gambon, Tamsin Greig, Rupert Evans, Robert Bathurst

Production Company: BBC

Kent Filming Locations: Chilham, Squerryes Court, Westerham.

This Autumn Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ will once again grace our screens with a four part adaptation from the BBC. The new series sees Romola Garai (Atonement) starring as the incomparable Emma Woodhouse, with Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) as her father.

Jane Austen describes Emma as ‘handsome, clever and rich’ and confessed that Emma is a heroine which no-one but her will like. Emma is determined not to marry. However, she cannot help but play matchmaker to all her friends, often with disastrous consequences. Will she ever learn to let love run its true course?

film light equipment pointed at a white wall with paintings on. Gold furniture is on the floor underneath.

Behind the Scenes at Squerryes © Squerryes

Behind the Scenes at Squerryes- formal gardens with grass and hedges- a film crew are in the centre on the grass and pathway

Behind the Scenes at Squerryes © Squerryes

Market in front of Chilham Castle with actors walking around the stalls.

Market in front of Chilham Castle © Kent Film Office

Wooden Meat Market Stall in front of a brick house with beams.

Meat Market Stall © Kent Film Office

Squerryes Court in Westerham with its grand Georgian rooms was the perfect location to double as the Woodhouse family home. The country house is located in 20 acres of beautiful grounds which include a spectacular garden and an 18th Century Dovecote.    Squerryes Court has been used for productions such as The Hollow Crown: Henry V (2012) and The Boat That Rocked (2009).

The production also chose the beautiful village of Chilham near Ashford to feature as Highbury. Chilham village retains much of its original features, which makes it perfect for period dramas. During filming the square was closed off and all signs of modern life, from the double yellow lines to the burglar alarms, were gently erased. In its place a vibrant market was installed to capture the essence of village life in Jane Austen’s time.

Chilham village has been used for a variety of filming projects including BBC’s Emma (2009), Channel 4 comedy Chickens (2011) and Miss Marple – The Moving Finger (2005).

The series was shown on BBC One on October 2009 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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