Sydney Gardens used for BBC TV wartime drama
Bath’s normally peaceful Sydney Gardens was a hive of activity today as it was transported back six decades for a BBC TV production.
The park is being used for filming of The Night Watch, based on a Sarah Waters novel about love and relationships in the Second World War.
Passers-by watched actors filming in 1940s dress on one of the park’s bridges, while some of the production crew hugged water bottles to keep warm.
The cast includes double BAFTA award winner Anna Maxwell Martin, Clare Foy, Anna Wilson-Jones and Kenneth Cranham.
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It is being produced by Annie Tricklebank, who has produced 24 episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford from a base at Neston near Corsham, and also has Dalziel and Pascoe and Soldier, Soldier series to her name.
She said of the film for BBC2: “It is set during the Second World War and through three different periods, and the main setting is during the blitz.
“We have studios which we have used to make Lark Rise To Candleford and these are about half an hour from Bath so we have set our external filming in Bath.”
Waters’ novels are known for being racy and candid about sex and the complexity of relationships, and her previous titles include The Fingersmith and Tipping The Velvet.
The book is set in London and took Waters four years to write, partly because she had to painstakingly research the period.
“With The Night Watch, I started with the haziest sense of a few people living in London during World War Two, but once I started doing research into London life in the period, getting a sense of what was typical, what was likely, those people emerged for me as characters with jobs, clothes, and voices,” said Waters on her website.
Filming will also take place in Bath’s Royal Victoria Park and the city centre with The Night Watch appearing on screen next year.