Stunning landscapes in the Peak District are set to feature as the beautiful backdrop for the major new BBC TV drama, The Village, due to be screened in 2013.
Maxine Peake and John Simm are to star in the epic series, penned by BAFTA winning writer Peter Moffat and currently being filmed in the Dark Peak.
Locations in Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Charlesworth, Edale and Glossop, plus Tatton Park in Cheshire’s Peak District, have been cherry-picked to create the fictional community in the six-part drama, which charts the life and turbulent times of one English village, beginning in 1914.
And Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, is hoping that the new series will boost the profile and economy of the area like past television hits Last of the Summer Wine, filmed in nearby Holmfirth, and The League of Gentlemen, filmed in Glossopdale.
Filming began in September and will continue until Christmas, and some local people are involved as extras in the rural period drama.
“We’re delighted that the Peak District will once again star in a prime-time BBC drama, and were very happy to help when the independent television production company Company Pictures approached us to discuss possible locations for this new series,” said David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board.
“Over the years the area’s superb and varied landscapes have been much in demand for everything from Hollywood blockbusters such as Pride and Prejudice and The Duchess to television dramas such as Jane Eyre and Last of the Summer Wine.
“Television viewers can currently see parts of the Peak District in BBC 1’s new three-part supernatural thriller, The Secret of Crickley Hall, which was filmed here earlier this year and began on Sunday (November 18).
“Not only does filming bring in income while film crews are here, by supporting local accommodation providers and a range of other service-focused enterprises, it also attracts further business, an extra economic boost and a higher profile for the area when, and after, a television series or film is transmitted.
“Tourists are always keen to see where their favourite programme or movie was made, and we hope that The Village will bring more staying visitors to the area in the future. We wish the series every success, and look forward to seeing it on our screens next year.”
As well as giving initial help to Company Pictures, the tourist board has also worked with Creative England, Derbyshire County Council, High Peak Borough Council and Hayfield Parish Council to accommodate filming in the area.
Executive producer of The Village, John Griffin, added: “The Peak District is the perfect backdrop for The Village. The spectacular landscape truly is the star of the series, with its rugged moorland, peaks, valleys and picturesque villages.
“The beautiful countryside and the villages that we are filming in (we use components from a couple of key villages to make up our fictional village) are unspoilt and work perfectly.
“In Hayfield we have used the high street and shop fronts as our village high street, but have changed and dressed some of the shop fronts to make our period village – the current tea shop became our local drapers’ shop!”
In the series the camera never leaves the village. Births, deaths, love and betrayal, great political events, upheavals in national identity, ways of working, rules kept and rebellions made, sex, religion, class, the shaping of modern memory – all refracted through the lives of the villagers and the village.
One man, Bert Middleton lives across the entire hundred years and his life story from boyhood to extreme old age provides the narrative backbone. His last great act of remembering is our way in to an examination of our recent past.