Chris Ryan action TV series doubles Durban for Pakistan and India
The second series of Strike Back, a TV series based on a novel from former SAS soldier Chris Ryan, has filmed scenes in Durban, doubling the city for Pakistan and India. The globetrotting story follows attempts to stop an international terror plot.
Cheryl Eatock, with production service company Out of Africa, said: “Filming took place in ‘downtown’ Durban in the traditional India Shopping Precinct. These areas were selected specifically for their distinctly Indian architectural flavour, as well as the fact that it is populated by majority Indian residents, which assisted with the background scenes. The area had to be cheated for India and Pakistan.”
A plethora of permits were needed for the shoot, especially due to the substantial pyrotechnics being used. Organisations consulted during pre-production included the city’s Traffic Department, Ethekweni Transport Authority, the Parks & Recreational Dept and Durban Metro.
Filming took place in ‘downtown’ Durban in the traditional India Shopping Precinct. These areas were selected specifically for their distinctly Indian architectural flavour, as well as the fact that it is populated by majority Indian residents, which assisted with the background scenes.
Chantal Carter, Art Director for the Durban shoot, said: “For the Pakistan scenes we were recreating the streets of Lahore in downtown Durban. This involved using clay on the streets to make everything drier and dustier, while we also installed irrigation piping and changed local signage. Bond Street, where we shot, is a very versatile road and it could really be anywhere in the world.”
The production negotiated with around 20 local shopkeepers and arranged road closures from 12pm onwards on each shoot day. An area known as Dr Goonan Street - in fact running parallel to Bond Street - became Delhi, as it offered suitable architecture. Patches of clay were used to cover road signs and to cover the bright yellow street markings.
Eatock added: “Durban City Hall was also used as an Indian hotel under siege from international terrorists. It has unique architecture and the surrounding gardens worked pretty well logistically and suited the script. Verulam was filmed as a smaller Indian village.”
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