Brand new Agatha Christie thriller The Pale Horse begins on BBC One on Sunday night, after filming at The Bottle Yard and on location in Bristol and the surrounding region last year.
(Left) Rufus Sewell stars in The Pale Horse. (Right) Rufus Sewell & Henry Lloyd Hughes on set at The Bottle Yard Studios. Images courtesy Mammoth Screen / Agatha Christie Ltd / BBC
Starring Rufus Sewell and Kaya Scoledario, the two part-part drama produced by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited for BBC One is adapted by Sarah Phelps (The ABC Murders, Ordeal By Innocence) from the 1961 Agatha Christie novel of the same name. It filmed between July to September last year on set at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol with support from Bristol Film Office. A major Chelsea apartment set was built at the Studios where a large proportion of filming took place, whilst the six week shoot also used a host of Bristol locations.
(Left) Filming in Clifton Bristol. Image courtesy Tony Stiles (Right) Rufus Sewell filming on location (image courtesy Mammoth Screen / Agatha Christie Ltd / BBC)
Ashton Court Estate and Arnos Cemetery feature prominently, whilst a host of Bristol’s central streets also create the backdrop of 1960’s London. Frogmore Street and Cave Street double as the East End, Denmark Street stands in for the Soho district, properties overlooking St Nicholas market were brought to life as period police station interiors, Queen’s Square doubles as a Chelsea apartment block and Clifton Village’s picturesque West Mall doubles as the Capital’s iconic King’s Road.
Line Producer Benjamin Greenacre says: “Having based Poldark here for 5 years, Mammoth Screen already knew about the professional excellence provided by local crew, the variety and beauty of locations found in the city and the 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.
“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 now the front runner amongst the regional production bases such as Manchester or Cardiff. It’s been a pleasure to shoot The Pale Horse in Bristol and I’m sure that everyone will enjoy watching it and spotting familiar locations recast as London landmarks.”
Further afield, filming took place at Sheldon Hall near Chippenham and the picturesque Chew Valley, with assistance from Bath Film Office. The picturesque Cotswolds village of Bisley near Stroud was transformed into the the fictional village of Much Deeping where Christie’s original novel is set. Three days of filming took place in the village, with The Bear Inn providing the setting for The Pale Horse, the pub where the trio of alleged witches are said to have plotted a number of deaths.
The Pale Horse films in Bisley. Images courtesy Mammoth Screen / Agatha Christie Ltd / BBC
The Pale Horse follows Mark Easterbrook as he tries to uncover the mystery of 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 of 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.
The Pale Horse features an all star cast led by Rufus Sewell (The Man In The High Castle, The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel) who plays Mark Easterbrook and is joined by Kaya Scodelario (Crawl, Extremely Wicked and Shockingly Evil And Vile) playing Hermia, Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) as Zachariah Osborne, Sean Pertwee (Gotham, Elementary) as Detective Inspector Lejeune, Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve, Indian Summers) as David Ardingly, Poppy Gilbert (Call The Midwife) as Thomasina Tuckerton, Madeleine Bowyer (Black Mirror) as Jessie Davis and Ellen Robertson (Snowflake) as Poppy. Sarah Woodward (Queens Of Mystery), Georgina Campbell (His Dark Materials) and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) also star. Completing the cast are Rita Tushingham (Vera) as Bella, Sheila Atim (Girl From The North Country) as Thryza Grey and Kathy Kiera Clarke (Derry Girls) as Sybil Stamford who play the trio of witches.
This marks the fifth Agatha Christie adaptation penned by Sarah Phelps, following previous titles And Then There Were None, The Witness for the Prosecution, The ABC Murders and Ordeal by Innocence.
The Pale Horse is a Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited drama for BBC One, directed by Leonora Lonsdale (Beast) and produced by Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto (City Of Tiny Lights). The executive producers are Sarah Phelps, Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler for Mammoth Screen, James Prichard and Basi Akpabio for Agatha Christie Limited and Tommy Bulfin for BBC.
The Pale Horse begins on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 9th February and concludes on Sunday 16 February. It will be available on Amazon Prime Video from 12 March.
Go behind the scenes with Rufus Sewell on set at The Bottle Yard and other cast on location: