The epic new BBC drama, The Village, which was filmed on location in the High Peak, will hit our screens this weekend.
Starting on Easter Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm, the programme charts the life and turbulent times of an English village across the 20th century.
Written by Bafta-winning writer Peter Moffat, the six-part series was filmed in Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Glossop and features John Simm and Maxine Peake among the cast.
Asked if he enjoyed filming in the area, Simm said: “It was freezing. The good thing was I just kept thinking – I’m going to be filming for Mad Dogs soon in South Africa, think of the warmth!
“We had torrential, cold, wet and muddy weather whilst filming. I wouldn’t choose to do it as enjoyment but there is one scene when me and Maxine are wading through that mud again and again – and fighting and being thrown down. But these are the interesting things about being an actor.”
The camera never leaves the village, with births, deaths, love and betrayal, great political events, upheavals in national identity, ways of working, sex, religion, class and more all being reflected through the lives of the villagers and the village.
One man, Bert Middleton, (Bill Jones) lives across the entire 100 years and his life story from boyhood to extreme old age provides the narrative backbone. His parents John (John Simm) and Grace (Maxine Peake) struggle to provide for Bert and his adored older brother Joe (Nico Mirallegro). John is proud, unyielding and haunted by his past. Grace devotes her life to protecting her sons from the violence of his despair. Is her sacrifice sustainable? Is John capable of redemption? Will Bert’s funny, gentle ways and rich imagination survive? Joe supplements the family income by working at the big house, where he comes into contact with the troubled and deeply unstable daughter, Caro Allingham (Emily Beecham).
Hayfield was the main setting for the drama, with filming subsequently taking place at The Old Vicarage, The Royal Hotel, cricket club and library. Other local landmarks filmed included Edale train station, Tatton Park Farm, Glossop Church, Far Coombes Farm at Charlesworth and The Playhouse Theatre in Chapel.
The first episode opens with the arrival of the first bus ever to stop in the village. Everyone gathers to see it and off the bus steps the beautiful, headstrong Martha Lane (Charlie Murphy). Bert Middleton’s world will never be the same again...