BBC2 drama Whistle and I’ll Come To You is a modern adaptation of M R James’ Edwardian ghost story which stars John Hurt (Merlin, Hellboy)as James Parkin who after leaving his wife in a nursing home travels to their favourite destination, a quiet seaside town. On a deserted beach he has an encounter with an apparition which continues to haunt him for the rest of his stay.
The one off drama was written and adapted by Neil Cross and explores the themes of ageing, supernatural with a psychological element throughout.
The drama also stars Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones Diary, Sense and Sensibility) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, The Full Monty).
Following the huge success of the drama series, Above Suspicion, ITV have now produced a sequel based on the second novel, The Red Dahlia, by award winning crime writer, Lynda La Plante (Trial & Retribution, Prime Suspect).
The new three-part thriller sees the return of ambitious female detective Anna Travis (Kelly Reilly) and her boss, Detective Constable James Langton (Ciaran Hinds). Together they must tackle their most terrifying case to date: the discovery of a woman’s mutilated body in the Thames indicates that they are facing a copy-cat killer who re-enacts the murders of the infamous 1940’s Black Dahlia case.
Above Suspicion was shown as a chilling two parter in January 2009 winning audience figures of up to 6.8 million, rising to 7.3 in the concluding instalment. The series was last winter’s highlight and the sequel is expected to do equally well.
The series is directed by Gillies MacKinnon (The Escapist, Pure) and written by Lynda La Plante (Widows, Prime Suspect) and stars Kelly Reilly (Pride & Prejudice, Me and Orson Welles), Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Woman in Black), Shaun Dingwall (Colour Me Kubrick, Someone Else), Michelle Holmes (Goodnight Sweetheart, The Practice), Amanda Lawrence (28 Weeks Later, Pan), Nadia Cameron- Blakey (Batman Begins, Tomorrow Never Dies) and Holliday Grainger (Cinderella, Jane Eyre)
The cast came to Margate and Westgate-on-sea in Thanet to film parts of the new drama as the location for a gruesome murder. Some of the locations used in the Thanet area include Margate train station (a detective arriving) and St Celias House in Westgate-on-sea (doubled as the spooky sea front house).
It is a year on from the first series and MJ is still struggling to live with her sister, who was found in the first series but that’s the least of her troubles as soon her estranged father shows up. Has he really changed or is there more family trouble on the horizon? Things are not easy at the office either, as Amy and Jason’s affair comes to an end when one of them sets their sights on promotion.
Returning for the second series is Pauline Quirke(Broadchurch, Birds of a Feather), Felix Scott(Inception, Blitz Blitz), Pooja Shah(EastEnders, Bend It Like Beckham), Mark Wingett(The Bill, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Adjoa Andoh (Invictus, Casualty). There are also guest appearances from Brooke Kinsella (Eastenders, Kid in the Corner), Gary Lucy (The Bill,Hollyoaks) and Roy Hudd (Coronation Street, Purely Belter).
Missing was filmed on location in Dover including the Port, White Cliffs, and St Margaret’s Bay. They also visited Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.
Tonbridge is a West Kent market town with a rich cultural heritage and spectacular scenery. The area is surrounded beautiful countryside and boasts castles, stately homes, gardens, farms, as well as sports and leisure facilities. The Tonbridge area has been used by previous productions including Love Your Garden (2013) Piers Morgan’s Life Stories – Dame Kelly Holmes (2012) andCountryfile (2009).
The new series starts on BBC1 from Monday 15th March at 2.15pm.
A drama-documentary presented by Alan Yentob, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Van Gogh.
Every word spoken by the actors in this film is sourced from the letters that Van Gogh sent to his younger brother Theo, and the people around him. What emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, cultured and yet tormented man. The programme includes scenes of Ramsgate, where Van Gogh once stayed.
Starring Bill Paterson (Little Dorrit) and Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights) The Forgotten Fallen is a new drama about the efforts of a Manchurian Doctor to protect the city from the spread of the deadly influenza virus that gripped the UK in 1918.
Dr Niven and his team worked tirelessly to protect the welfare of the most vulnerable residents of the city, from the people living in the slums to the factory workers, fighting against complacency and ignorance of their fellow medical practitioners. In a race against time, the team tried to understand the ever-evolving virus as well as raise awareness of its potential to wreak havoc.
The Forgotten Fallen was inspired by the notes of Dr James Niven, Manchester’s Medical Officer of Health for 30 years and pays tribute to the 70 million people who died from the influenza virus across the world.
The production visitedKingsgate Bay in Thanet to film a dramatic scene as part of the drama.
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?
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.
Puxtye Farm has an Oast house and barn, both of which are listed as historical properties with Historic England. The Oast house offers a simplistic setting inducing a feeling of isolation within the quietness of the house and area. The barn has a rustic feel with it being filled with farm equipment; which is perfect for a character of a farmer to be placed.
The Last Word Monologues TV series was broadcast from Monday 25th August 2008 on BBC One.The episode ‘Six Days One June’ featuring the Kent locations aired on Tuesday 26th August 2008.
Merlin was filmed mostly in a studio with Penshurst Place one of only three locations chosen to film on location where the production company Shine visited the unique Baron’s Hall with it’s awe-inspiring height and courtly atmosphere.
Chislehurst Cavesfeatures in episode 3, series one for underground scenes where Arthur and Merlin battle the water beast.
Writer Andrew Davies achieved success with his adaptation of the Dickens’ classic Bleak House in 2005. Now the BBC has commissioned him to bring another Dickens tale to life, this time it was the bard’s eleventh novel, Little Dorrit.
The novel was originally published over 19 monthly instalments between 1855 and 1857 and Davies’ adaptation tried to mirror this by creating 14 half hour episodes. First shown on BBC One over the festive period in 2008, it can now be purchased on DVD.
The series boasts an all star cast with appearances from Clare Foy (Upstairs, Downstairs) in the title role, Matthew McFadden (Pride and Prejudice), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), Amanda Redman (New Tricks) and Kent’s very own Mackenzie Crook (The Office).
Telling the tale of young Amy Dorrit, known to those around her as Little Dorrit, who lives with her father in Marshalsea Debtors Prison in London, Dickens hoped to highlight the shortcomings of government and society at the time. With the arrival of young Arthur Clenham, a business man returning to the family home after an extended stay in China, Amy Dorrit finds her whole world turned upside down. Hindered by the poorly run Circumlocution Office, Clenham begins an investigation into the secret his elderly mother is hiding and hopes to restore the Dorrit family’s wealth.
The production visited Deal Castle in April 2008 to film scenes set in Marseilles. Many locals were confronted with the strange sight of a French flag flying high over the Tudor fortress. The castle itself was transformed into a traditional Moroccan market, complete with aromatic spices, bright cloth and exotic birds in elaborate Victorian cages.
A fan of the Kentish Coast, Charles Dickens often spent time in the county’s popular seaside towns. From his summer residence in Broadstairs he would often enjoy “a walk of ten miles” to Deal, “a seaside town with no cliff”. He wrote about Deal in his novel Bleak House, where he set the temporary home of Richard Carstone, one of the wards in the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, who was visited by Esther Summerson.
It was also in Broadstairs that Dickens found inspiration for one of his most famous characters, that of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. In what is now The Dickens House Museum, there lived a woman named Miss Mary Pearson who would often entertain Dickens with her belief that she had the right to stop donkeys from crossing the front of her cottage. It was this peculiarity that would find its way into David Copperfield.
Wayfaring Stranger was filmed entirely in Kent and examines the less than easy relationship between young offender and aspiring comedian Bobby (Jack O’Connell) and his drifter dad, Ronnie (Christopher Fulford). Released from a spell in prison, much to his surprise and disgust, Bobby is picked up by his Father.
A touring musician, Ronnie abandoned his wife and son for the warmth of Bangkok and pursued a singing career. Appearing in local pubs and sleeping in his trusty van, Ronnie sees an opportunity to reconnect with his son by attempting to incorporate him in his act.
The grand entrance gates complete with the coat of arms of George the Third at The Historic Dockyard Chathamproved to be the ideal double for the prison doors through which Bobby’s is released from incarceration.
A local institution in Whistable, The Old Neptune pub is located on the sea wall, giving it a fantastic view across the estuary. The pub is no stranger to fame and fortune as it was Peter Cushing’s local haunt and the Landlord boasts ‘Why not have a special meal; Peter O’Toole did in the Movie Venus?’