Bristol in starring role again as ‘emotionally charged’ drama returns to TV

July 13, 2018

Another critically acclaimed made-in-Bristol TV drama returns to the small screen this weekend after filming in the city earlier this year.

The first two series of ITV’s Unforgotten proved hugely successful with viewers and critics alike, the second receiving an average consolidated viewing figure of over 6m with a 21% share.

Hailed as the “best detective drama of the decade” by the Daily Telegraph, its highly anticipated new six-part series made by Mainstreet Pictures starts on Sunday.

BAFTA nominees Nicola Walker (Last Tango In Halifax) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me) reprise their roles as DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan as they investigate another emotionally charged cold case. 

The Bristol leg of the shoot took place in April at Ashton Court and locations around Clifton, including the Suspension Bridge. Bristol Film Office assisted with arranging recces, access and permissions for drone filming at three points. 

Line producer Ani Kevork said: “We travel all around England for Unforgotten and find most places incredibly accommodating and helpful. Bristol was no exception. Everyone we liaised with went out of their way to help our crew and guide us to make our experience seamlessly pleasant. The cast and crew had a fantastic time filming in Bristol and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back there.”

Bristol Film Office manager Natalie Moore added: “We were very pleased to assist Unforgotten, one of the most successful crime dramas of recent years, with its Bristol shoot. Productions set in multiple locations around the UK may only be in the city for a short period of actual filming, but the logistical planning we carry out beforehand is critical in ensuring the schedule runs smoothly.

“We’re processing more and more drone filming requests, especially in scenic areas like Ashton Court, and this is proving really beneficial for Bristol’s filming economy.” 

Bristol scenes centre on the character of artist Chris Lowe, played by James Fleet, pictured crossing Clifton Suspension Bridge, above, and in Ashton Court, below.

The series has been commissioned by ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, with Mainstreet Pictures’ Sally Haynes (Bleak House) and Laura Mackie (State Of Play) as executive producers, along with creator Chris Lang. Andy Wilson (Endeavour) returns to direct, while Guy de Glanville (Age Before Beauty) is producing the series. The series will be distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide. 

The new series is set across the south of England, in Bristol and other locations including Norfolk, West Sussex, Hampshire and London.

Other TV dramas filmed recently in Bristol include the BBC’s Poldark and Channel 4’s Kiri. The city has also been the base for other TV shows ranging from The Crystal Maze (Channel 4) and Trollied (Sky1) to Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC One) and Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures (CBeebies).

All photos © ITV/Mainstreet Pictures 

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