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The Village actors feared being upstaged by Peak District landscape

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The second series of BAFTA-nominated drama The Village begins at the weekend, with the landscape of the High Peak again set to take centre stage.

Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Old Glossop and Edale all took a step back in time for the show, which this series takes place in the roaring 1920s. Disley’s Lyme Park is also a new addition for this year as the home of the Allingham family.

John Simm and Maxine Peake return as John and Grace Middleton, with newcomer Tom Varey as their son Bert. A number of other familiar faces from last year’s cast also feature alongside some new characters including youngster Phoebe Dynevor.

But it is the landscape which really has the starring role.

The rolling hills and breathtaking scenery of the Peak District even had the actors fearing they would be upstaged by it.

“Every time I look at it (the landscape) it just gets more breathtaking,” Tom said. “When we’re up on the farm in Edale if you actually look around it’s just incredible.”

Filming began at the end of March and continued through to July, with six new episodes to be broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday nights at 9pm starting this weekend.

The second series of The Village focuses on life after The Great War, with young Bert never leaving the village but seeing the world transform around him.

Writer Peter Moffatt said: “One of the major themes of the second series is the land and what it means to the people who live and work on it.

“Sitting in Rosie’s Tea Shop in Hayfield, listening to the ramblers, cyclists, fell runners and local people, one gets such a strong sense of how the great beauty, power and strength of this landscape shapes the character of the people and the way they think.”

He added: “The more time I spend up in Edale and around Hayfield and Glossop the more I love this rugged, beautiful, honest part of England and the more I understand how passionately people felt about it then and how much they care about it now.”

It’s not just the land that this series focuses on - the fall-out from World War One is very much still reverberating around the village with some characters struggling to deal with the horrors that took place.

But there’s also a sense of optimism and new discoveries in the form of electricity, the wireless, the hoover, packets of crisps, motor cars and, of course, the Charleston.

Faithfully recreating the era has been a painstaking process for the team behind The Village but it’s one which has been helped by the amenable locals who have dealt incredibly well with all the disruption, according to producer Tim Whitby.

“A film crew is really disruptive,” he said. “On day one normally people think its fun, then it’s OK on day two but by day three they’re thinking ‘are you still here?’ and obviously I can understand that because with film crews there’s always so many people around.

“But the locals have all been absolutely lovely.

“In fact the guy who owns Hankins shop liked the decor so much that he didn’t take it down between series.”

He added: “It is a period show so we can’t just turn up and shoot where we want. The art department do an amazing job transforming places.”

And location manager Ian Findlay agreed: “Everyone’s been so accommodating,” he said.

“As soon as we found Hayfield we knew that was it, that we’d found our village.”

Catch The Village this Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm.

 

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