Four major new dramas begin production in Bristol

Four major new dramas – Showtrial, The Girl Before and Chloe for the BBC and The Long Call for ITV – have commenced filming in Bristol this month,.

“Four major dramas beginning their shoots in Bristol in the space of just a few weeks is a clear indication of the city’s appeal to producers right now.” – Laura Aviles, Senior Bristol Film Manager for Bristol City Council responsible for The Bottle Yard Studios and Bristol Film Office

World Productions’ Showtrial, a brand new drama for BBC One from writer Ben Richards, is billed as a ‘timely legal drama full of dark drama’. Set in the city where it is being filmed, it explores how prejudice, politics and the media distort the legal process.

When Talitha Campbell, the estranged daughter of a wealthy property developer, is charged with conspiring to murder fellow university student Hannah Ellis, the trial that follows places victim and accused – and their families – in the eye of a media storm.

Into that storm enters Cleo Roberts, the duty solicitor on the night of Talitha’s arrest. Refusing her father’s help, Talitha wants Cleo to lead her defence against a prosecution weaponising Talitha’s gender as well as her social privilege against her.

The five-part series is being filmed on location in Bristol with The Bottle Yard Studios as a base.

The Girl Before is a four-part psychological thriller produced by 42 for BBC One and HBO Max, filming on purpose-built sets at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol.

It tells the story of Jane, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect Edward Monkford, played by David Oyelowo. There’s just one catch: occupants have to abide by his list of exacting rules.

Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways but, when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor Emma, played by Jessica Plummer, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities.

Produced by Mam Tor Productions for BBC One and Amazon Studios, Chloe is a six-part original psychological thriller from creator and writer Alice Seabright, filming at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol.

A mystery about obsession, deceit, identity and grief, the series stars Erin Doherty, Billy Howle, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Jack Farthing, Poppy Gilbert, Akshay Khanna, Brandon Micheal Hall and newcomer Alexander Eliot.

Having drawn critical acclaim for her portrayal of Princess Anne in The Crown, Doherty plays Becky.

Still living with her mum and working as a temp, Becky compares herself to the picture-perfect lives on Instagram, compulsively returning to one account: Chloe’s (Gilbert). Becky obsessively watches her seemingly flawless life through social media. But when Chloe dies suddenly, Becky’s need to find out how and why leads her to assume a new identity and engineer a ‘chance’ meeting with Chloe’s best friend, Livia (Bennett-Warner), and infiltrate Chloe’s group of close-knit friends.

Taking full advantage of Bristol’s rich cultural scene from the art to music, Chloe will feature the work of artists local to the region, including an original score composed by Will Gregory featuring Adrian Utley and Alison Goldfrapp.

The Long Call is a four-part crime drama produced for ITV by Silverprint Pictures and BritBox North America, filming on location in Bristol, and along the North Devon coast. It is inspired by the best-selling novel of the same title from Vera writer Ann Cleeves and adapted by screenwriter Kelly Jones.

Matthew was brought up in the Barum Brethren before leaving to go to University. At 19 he knew he couldn’t continue amongst the community and to his mother’s shock and dismay, he declared publicly he no longer believed. Now he’s back, not just to grieve for his father, but to lead a shocking murder investigation back where it all began for him.

Matthew is now forced to re-engage with the community he left, including the most painful and challenging of relationships, with his mother Dorothy played by Juliet Stevenson.

Pearl Mackie stars as DC Jen Rafferty, a tough and fiercely determined woman who has recently relocated to Devon with her two teenage kids. As a diligent worker and a single parent Jen muddles her way through domestic life whilst trying to put some distance between her own traumatic scars from her former life living in London. Martin Shaw plays spiritual Brethren leader Dennis.

All location shoots in Bristol are being assisted by the Bristol Film Office.

Pictured top: First look – Pearl Mackie as DC Rafferty & Ben Irving as DI Venn in The Long Call (image courtesy ITV). Pictured Middle: First look: (L-R) Poppy Gilbert as Chloe, Billy Howle as Elliot, Erin Doherty as Becky, Pippa Bennett-Warner as Livia, and Jack Farthing as Richard (image courtesy BBC / York Tillyer)

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