Written by Shona Smith on Feb 6, 2020. Posted in On Location

The Pale Horse filmed Bristol as London during six week shoot

Two-part drama The Pale Horse produced by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited doubled Bristol for famous London districts including Kings Road and Soho. The six week shoot from July to September 2019 was based in Bristol and included filming on location in the surrounding region.

Set in the fictional village of Much Deeping, the Pale Horse follows Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell) as he tries to uncover the mystery behind a list of names found in the shoe of a dead woman. His investigation leads him to the peculiar village of Much Deeping and The Pale Horse, the home to a trio of rumoured witches. Word has it that the witches can do away with wealthy relatives by means of the dark arts, but as the bodies mount up, Mark is certain there has to be a rational explanation. Sarah Phelps (The ABC Murders, Ordeal by Innocence) adapted the novel to screen, the fifth Christie adaptation penned by the writer.

The setting of Much Deeping was found in a Cotswolds village of Bisley, near Stroud. Three days of filming took place in the village where The Bear Inn was transformed into The Pale Horse, the pub where the alleged witches are rumoured to have plotted numerous deaths.

Based at The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, a large portion of the filming took place in a Chelsea apartment set built at The Bottle Yard Studios.

On location filming doubled much of Bristol for London of the 1960’s, including exteriors of the Chelsea apartment. Frogmore Street and Cave Street were used to double for the East End, Denmark Street stands in for Soho and Clifton Village’s West Mall doubled as London’s fashionable King’s Road. Ashton Court Estate and Arnos Cemetery also feature prominently in the series.

Director - Leonora Lonsdale

Line Producer Benjamin Greenacre says “Bristol should take pride that it has become a centre of excellence for High End TV drama; it is as strong an option for filming as London ever was and is not the front runner amongst the regional production bases such as Manchester of Cardiff and I’m sure that everyone will enjoy watching it and spotting familiar locations recast as London landmarks”.

Elsewhere, the Bath Film Office assisted with filming that took place at Sheldon Hall near Chippenham and the Chew Valley.

Greenacre adds “Having based Poldark here for five years, Mammoth Screen already knew about the professional excellence provided by local crew, the variety and beauty of locations found in the city and region, the excellent facilities and staff at the Bottle Yard and the unparalleled help and expertise proffered by the Bristol Film Office and Bristol City Council. It’s because of all these invaluable assets that Mammoth have returned to their home-away-from home to shoot this flagship drama for BBC one”.

Image Credits: Bisley Images / Tony Stiles / Mammth Screen / BBC One

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