Dickensian BBC Filming Locations: 20-part TV drama series based on the stories and characters of Charles Dickens.
Where is Dickensian filmed?
Beginning in early June 2015, filming for the BBC One drama Dickensian is taking place on an elaborate custom built set. Following an exhaustive search for a suitable location, a west London warehouse was finally chosen as the site for this small recreation of Victorian Britain.
Speaking to the Independent last November, series writer Tony Jordan spoke of the troubles he and his Red Planet Pictures production team had experienced in tracking down a suitable building. With spacial requirements of 10 metres in height and 50,000 square feet ground area, their options were understandably limited. In the interview Jordan also spoke of his reluctance to film the show outside of the UK, as was once becoming increasingly likely.
Fortunately though for the production crews and cast of Dickensian, as reported by The Location Guide, a feasible warehouse in London was eventually found, meaning construction of the set could at last begin.
Requiring around 100 crew members to build, this slice of 19th century London features a 90 metre long cobbled high street with a church and 16 column colonnade at one end, plus a fully functioning pub at the other. I can probably guess which end of the street drew the biggest groups of cast and crew between takes, especially with filming taking place during the middle of summer.
The main street is home to a total of 27 two-storey buildings, including The Three Cripples Pub and The Old Curiosity Shop. Situated down one of the sets seven back alleys, which take you to another 30 metre parallel street, you’ll also find Fagin’s Den – Familiar names to any fan of Charles Dickens’ classic novels.
Speaking to the BBC, Red Planet Pictures Head of Drama Belinda Campbell commented: “We have constructed an entire 19th Century street for these famous characters to inhabit, transporting viewers back in time to Victorian London. . . I can’t wait to see it all come to life in each half hour thrilling episode.”
With large studio space in the UK at a premium, more and more television series are being filmed in alternative buildings such as disused warehouses. For example, the BBC series Atlantis was mostly filmed at a former Tesco depot near Chepstow. Due to the long period of time required to assemble the sets and film these long running dramas, renting out dedicated film studios for months or even years on end is simply not practical. Unlike with the 2014 ITV series The Great Fire though, we don’t believe Dickensian’s producers plan to burn the set down when they’re finished.