Darkest Hour is a war drama that follows Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he becomes Prime Minister at the start of the Second World War. Churchill is faced with a tough decision: negotiate with Adolf Hitler, who rages war across Europe, or fight and risk many British lives.
Darkest Hour is written by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) and directed by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice). The film stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises), Lily James (Cinderella), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One), Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives), Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones), Ronald Pickup (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Samuel West (Suffragette) and many others.
Several scenes from the production were filmed at Fort Amherst which itself was used during World War II as an Air Raid Warning command post. Fort Amherst has tunnels that have featured in many films, such as Jekyll and Hyde (2015).
Other scenes were filmed in the grounds of Chartwell House, Churchill’s former home. Set in delightful gardens,Chartwellis a National Trust property in Westerham and the rooms remain much as they were when Churchill lived there. Chartwell has previously been used as a film location by productions such as Flog It! (2014) and The Gathering Storm (2002).
Darkest Hour will be released in the UK on 12th January 2018.
ITV’s new ten-part series Jekyll and Hyde is set in the 1930’s and features Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original famed Dr Jekyll.
This new action adventure starts with Robert Jekyll living with his foster parents in India, ignorant of his family history and his mysterious, inherited condition. The drama begins when Robert Jekyll unveils the nature of his ‘curse’ which sees him transform into Hyde in moments of extreme anger, stress and when lives are threatened.
The show was conceived by Charlie Higson (Young Bond, The Enemy) and inspired by The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Higson executive produces the series alongside Francis Hopkinson (Henry VIII, Colditz, Wallander) and Foz Allan (Wolfblood, The Dumping Ground, Robin Hood) as Series Producer.
Directed by Colin Teague (Torchwood, The Last Drop) and starring Tom Bateman (Da Vinci’s Demons, The Tunnel) as Jekyll and Hyde alongside Richard E Grant (Doctor Who, Downton Abbey) and Natalie Gumede (Doctor Who, Coronation Street).
The Jekyll and Hyde production team chose to film in Kent between February and July 2015 at Rochester High Street where the exterior of Vraitch Vision doubles as Empire music hall in London and The Guildhall Museumfeatures as the hotel where Dr Jekyll (Tom Bateman) first lodges when arriving in England. The Historic Dockyard Chatham was used to double as Gravesend Docks, Tenebrae offices and factory and various areas of the site feature as London Streets and markets.
Elmley Nature Reservefeatures in episode three as the setting for Maggie’s (Niamh Walsh) country house, where Robert Jekyll, Garson (Donald Sumpter), Max Utterson (Christian McKay) and Hils (Ruby Bentall) visit before a showdown with The Cutter (Jason La Shard). The Fort Amherst tunnels are used in episodes 9 and 10 where Jekyll finds out about the powers of The Incubus.
Set in 1950s Britain, Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime is a 6 part adventure series following married beekeeper couple Tommy (Walliams) and Tuppence (Raine) Beresford as they stumble into a world of murder, undercover agents and Cold War conspiracy.
Much to the dismay of her cautious husband Tuppence seeks adventure around every corner and throws her all into every mystery, determined to catch the perpetrator and uncover the truth.
Tommy and Tuppence are at the heart of Agatha Christie’s novels alongside more recognisable characters like Miss Marple and and Poirot. This new BBC series brings a fresh take on old figures, introducing them to a new generation.
On the 18th June 1815, The Battle of Waterloo was fought between France and the Seventh Coalition; this year will mark the 200th anniversary of that Battle. To honour that anniversary, a two part documentary will air, presented by actor Sean Bean. The documentary will feature evidence from eye witness accounts, along with modern military experts to help tell the story of the conflict. Alongside military experts, Sean Bean will be testing tactics and weapons that were used during the battle and compare them with present day strategies. This documentary is hoping to “provide a ground level perspective” on the Battle.
The documentary has been produced by Independent company, Wavelength Films, and has been commissioned by A+E networks UK. Sean Bean has previously played fictional British soldier, Richard Sharpe on the historical war drama ‘Sharpe’ (5 May 1993 –9 November 2008). Bean himself said “I have always been interested in the story of Waterloo especially since I played the role of Richard”. He also stated that “[Sharpe’s] adventures were based on real events 200 years ago”. When this documentary was first announced Sean Bean stated “I am excited to be following the footsteps of Sharpe and those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo to tell the story of the iconic battle on history.”
Filming for this special documentary has taken place in Belgium and England, and has also included iconic locations like Fort Amherst in Chatham, Medway, Kent which has been used for weapons testing and re-enactments of the battle.
Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law revisit their roles as the great Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsdan-Law and Order UK ) believes it to be suicide. But Holmes deduces that the prince has been a victim in a murder that is part of a larger and more elaborate plot designed by Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris- Fringe).
Holmes tracks down the clues to a gentleman’s club where he and his brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry-Alice in Wonderland) celebrate to Dr Watson’s final night of bachelorhood. There Holmes meets the mysterious fortune teller Sim (Noomi Rapace-The Girl Who kicked the Hornet’s Nest) whose unwitting involvement with the Crown Prince’s murder makes her the next target for the killer.
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows was adapted by Michele Mulroney (Unlikely Hero, Sunny & Share Love You) and Kieran Mulroney (Paper Man) and directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla). Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder) and Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Enemy at the Gates) return in the starring roles alongside Noomi Rapace (The Drop, Child 44), Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Spotlight), Stephen Fry(V for Vendetta Alice in Wonderland) and Jared Harris (Lincoln, The Boxtrolls).
A number of popular Kent locations take a starring role in this latest blockbuster from director Guy Ritchie. The cast and crew returned toThe Historic Dockyard Chathamwhere the Punchbowl Pub fight scenes and the hanging of Lord Blackwood amongst other scenes were filmed for the first movie. Eagle eyed viewers should watch the trailer below and see if they can spot the dockyards alongside the other Kent Locations! The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular film location, havingpreviously featured inRustom (2016) and Oliver Twist(2007).
The production company also visited thePort of Dover where they boarded the Waverley Paddle Steamer to film the White Cliffs of Dover. The paddle steamer was re-built in 1947 after the original was sunk off Dunkirk in 1940 and now sails around the country offering tours to the general public. The Port of Dovercan be seen in Johnny English (2003) starring Rowan Atkinson and in the James Bond classic Diamonds are Forever (1971) starring Sean Connery as the location for a dramatic hovercraft scene.
National Trust Property Knole in Sevenoaks was also used, though you’ll have a hard time spotting the structure of the inner courtyard in its new Alpine setting. Adored by Henry VII and given to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1538, it later was presented to the Sackville family by Elizabeth I. The house showcases stunning architecture, priceless Stuart furniture and is set at the heart of the only remaining deer park in the county. A popular film location it has appeared in Great British Railway Journeys – Series 7(2016) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).
Lastly, crews took to Fort Amherstin Chatham to shoot scenes for the film. The extensive tunnels were the perfect double for the Paris sewer system. The fort is Britain’s largest Napoleonic Fortress and with an impressive network of historic buildings across 20 acres, it is becoming a firm favourite for film productions. Fort Amhersthas also featured in Jekyll and Hyde(2016) and The Saint (1997). Considered one of Britain’s most haunted Forts, it is open to the public, though apparently you’ll risk meeting one of the many poltergeists and ghostly apparitions that walk there.
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows was released in cinemas in December 2011 and is now available to buy on DVD.
Presented by crime writer Martina Cole, Lady Killers looks into the lives and motivations of some of England’s most notorious female serial killers. Martina will examine both historical and modern cases, including Mira Hindley and Beverley Allitt.
The programme does not seek to sensationalise the crimes but tries to examine the underlying psychologcal and sociological drivers as Martina guides the viewers through the case histories.
In 2008, Martina Cole visited Fort Amherst in Chatham to use it as a backdrop for the presentation of her historical cases. Examining the profiles of Amelia Dyer the ‘Victorian Baby Farmer’, Mary Ann Cotton the ‘Victorian Black Widow’ and Elizabeth Bathory the Sixteenth Century Mass Murderess responsible for the deaths of over 600 people in Hungary, the Forts were the ideal location.
Fort Amherst contains a myriad of tunnels deep within the hills of Medway. Totalling over 750 metres in length, they were designed to serve the gun placements protecting the Naval Dockyards in Chatham. Dating back to the Napoleon Wars, the tunnels are now open to the public and frequently play host to events like Weddings or their annual Fright Fest at Halloween. Fort Amhersthas also been used as a filming location by productions such as Jekyll and Hyde (2015), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Mission (1987).
The series starts with examining the heinous crimes of Mira Hindley on ITV3 on the 13th October at 21:00.
Inspired by the 1928 novels and following in the footsteps of the 1960’s TV series, starring Roger Moore, The Saint is about Simon Templar (Val Kilmer – Batman Forever, Heat), a suave and sophisticated international thief who has one last job before he can comfortably retire. Known as a master of disguise, he assumes the names of saints for his false identities. When he is tasked by the Russian Mafia with stealing the cold fusion formula created by the stunning Dr Emma Russell (Elizabeth Shue – Hollow Man, Back to the Future II) love proves to be a dangerous distraction.
The Saint is directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt, The Bone Collector, Patriot Games) and stars Val Kilmer (Heat, Batman Forever, Top Gun) and Elizabeth Shue (Back to the Future Part II, Hollow Man, Leaving Las Vegas), Rade Šerbedžija (Snatch, Batman Begins), Henry Goodman (Notting Hill, Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Alun Armstrong (Braveheart, Sleepy Hollow).
The atmospheric Georgian fortress of Fort Amherst, Chatham, provided the perfect location to film the scene in the sewers of Moscow where Templar and Russell hide.
The Mission is an Oscar winning action film focused on the story of Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), who after killing his brother, is given the chance by Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) to redeem his sins. They both travel to Brazil on a mission to bring Christianity to a native South American tribe. However, when the church comes under pressure from the Portuguese empire, they sell the land the mission is built on, putting its future in jeopardy.
The film features Oscar winners Robert De Niro (Taxi Diver, Mean strrets) and Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Waterland). Also starring Liam Neeson(Non-Stop, Batman Begins), Ronald Pickup(Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and Aidan Quin(Legends of the Fall, Unknown).
The tunnels ofFort Amherst were used as part of the monastery where Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is being held after he murders his brother. Fort Amherst was originally built in 1755, containing a labyrinth of underground tunnels and hidden gun positions, to improve the defense of the River Medway. Fort Amherst has previously welcomed other productions such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows(2011) and The Saint(1997).
The Mission first premiered in 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.