Blockbuster dramas by TV giants BBC and Netflix will both hit the nation’s TV screens on Sunday – with Liverpool making a star turn!
On Sunday (17 November) The War of the Worlds will launch on BBC1 at 9pm and the highly anticipated third season of The Crown will be released on Netflix, with key scenes in both productions being shot in the Liverpool City Region.
The War of the Worlds adaptation keeps to the story’s original Edwardian England setting, so locations included inside and outside St George’s Hall, Croxteth Hall, Sefton Park Palm House, Martins Bank Building on Water Street and Eldon Grove in Vauxhall.
Pivotal scenes were also filmed at Ainsdale woods and Formby Beach – the woods becoming an ‘impact zone’ for the Martian arrival. Both locations are on the screen throughout episodes one and two.
A disused warehouse in Wirral also became a fully functional studio space where an alien landscape was created.
Filming took place over nine weeks, with a cast and crew of around 100 making the city region their temporary home.
Liverpool Film Office worked in partnership with The War of the Worlds production company, Mammoth Screen, to source the locations, ensure road closures were in place and hire crew.
The three-part alien mini-series has been written by Peter Harness (Wallander and Case Histories) and stars Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), Rafe Spall (Black Mirror) and Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting). It was directed by the award-winning Crag Viveiros (And Then There Were None). Elements of the post-production process were undertaken by LA Productions, based in Kirkdale.
For three days, the city doubled as Washington DC, for The Crown. Filming took place in and around the city centre including near the Three Graces, on North John Street and on the waterfront.
Liverpool’s starring TV role, comes just a week after Liverpool Film Office announced that BBC family adventure series The Snow Spider is the first production to receive support from the Liverpool City Region Production Fund. The fund is aimed at attracting small and large filming projects to the city region, and as a result create more jobs, develop training initiatives and boost the local economy.
The War of the Worlds writer, Peter Harness, said: “We filmed in Liverpool because it’s the greatest city in the universe! Liverpool has locations that are pristine, it offered the landscapes we needed and also had the crews up there – and people are extremely supportive of what we were trying to achieve.”
The War of the Worlds director, Craig Viveiros, said: “Liverpool was great when it came to its architecture and the ability to close it off to dress it and shoot it. Locations like St George’s Hall, Formby Beach, Croxteth Hall allowed us to film there and are key scenes in the production.”
Manager of Liverpool Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said: “Filming on the streets of the city region is a regular occurrence and it’s great when we can finally see the end product on television.
“There has been a real buzz around The War of the Worlds and we know that our locations take centre stage in the alien action.
“The large crew who made the region their temporary home for five weeks will give an invaluable boost to the local economy, and hopefully the positive feedback from the production team will translate into more projects being filmed here in the future.”