Film-mak­ers swoop on city for sum­mer

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JAN CRONJE

SUM­MER in Cape Town means not only the start of an in­flux of tourists, but also of film pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies us­ing the Mother City as a lo­ca­tion for TV series.

The lat­est pro­duc­tion to start film­ing here is The Last Post, a new six-part BBC drama series set in Aden in the mid-1960s. Film­ing started on Mon­day and the series will be broad­cast next year.

The Last Post is a his­tor­i­cal drama series that cen­tres on a unit of Royal Mil­i­tary Po­lice of­fi­cers and their fam­i­lies in Aden, the cap­i­tal of Ye­men, dur­ing the twi­light years of the Bri­tish em­pire.

“Their job is two-fold: half sol­diers and half po­lice­men who face con­stant in­sur­gency and threat,” the BBC said in a me­dia re­lease.

“Dan­ger is ev­ery­where. Hand grenades, mines and sniper at­tacks are a con­stant threat.”

The series was writ­ten by award-win­ning English screen­writer Peter Moffat, and is based in part on his child­hood mem­o­ries. In a state­ment Moffat said The Last Post was a “close-up view of sol­dier­ing with strong con­tem­po­rary par­al­lels”.

“Young mar­ried cou­ples in the heart of the six­ties liv­ing in ex­tremely close prox­im­ity in a very alien and dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment has al­ways struck me as ripe ter­ri­tory for drama,” Moffat said.

“Men full of vim, vigour and a de­sire to be he­roes in a sit­u­a­tion where that isn’t al­ways pos­si­ble; along­side young women who are start­ing to feel the eman­ci­pa­tion of the six­ties and a sense of new free­doms.”

Moffat’s fa­ther’s was an of­fi­cer in the Royal Mil­i­tary Po­lice in Aden dur­ing this pe­riod known as the “Aden Emer­gency”.

“My mum re­mem­bers stand­ing on the bal­cony of our flat in her first week in Aden and see­ing a hand grenade thrown (and) killing a 5-yearold boy and my dad rush­ing out to try and do some­thing,” he said.

The series boasts an ensem­ble cast in­clud­ing Jessie Buck­ley, Amanda Drew, Ben Miles, Stephen Camp­bell Moore and Jes­sica Raine. It is di­rected by Johnny Camp­bell and Mi­randa Bowen, and co-pro­duced by Bonafide Films and The Forge En­ter­tain­ment.

Cape Town’s sta­tus as a des­ti­na­tion to film TV series has grown over the years .

Ear­lier this year, the SyFy chan­nel started film­ing its new 13-episode series Blood Drive – about a “cross-coun­try death race”, in the Mother City.

Cape Town was also used as a lo­ca­tion for some of the episodes for the third sea­son of the Net­flix sci­ence-fic­tion series Black Mir­ror.

Jes­sica Raine

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