Dorset On Screen



When Broadchurch hit our screens earlier this year it caused a nationwide sensation. High ratings combined with critical acclaim caught Fox’s attention and a remake starring David Tennant is on the cards for US audiences next year. While we eagerly await the second series (scheduled to begin production in 2014), there’s more Dorset based drama to feast on the small screen.

Carey Mulligan

Far From The Madding Crowd

The best-known film adaptation of the 1874 novel by Dorset’s favourite son, Thomas Hardy, was filmed in 1967, and while it performed well at the box office in the UK, it was a commercial failure in the US. Hoping to rectify that is the ambitious adaption currently filming in Dorset from Fox Searchlight Pictures. Starring Carey Mulligan, the screenplay for this adaption has been written by David Nicholls (best known for the romance novel One Day) and is said to ‘beautifully capture the heart of Hardy’s original.’ Danish filmmaker, Thomas Vinterberg, director of one of last year’s best films, The Hunt, is at the helm, so hopes are high that the talented trio will do justice to this rich and irresistible tale. Although the filming locations for this version haven’t been disclosed there have been a few celebrity sightings in Beaminster and Bridport, and Sherborne has been transformed into a movie set. Some of the Dorset film locations for the 1967 version include Abbotsbury, Maiden Castle, Portesham and Durdle Door.

Ray Winstone


Meanwhile, Sky1 has announced the commission of Moonfleet, a new drama based on the classic adventure novel by John Meade Falkner. Shooting on the two-part drama, written by Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes), will begin later this year. Ray Winstone leads the cast alongside Aneurin Barnard (The White Queen), Ben Chaplin, Martin Trenaman (The Inbetweeners) and Omid Djalili. Set in the small Dorset village of Moonfleet, the story sees young John Trenchard (Barnard) desperate to join the local band of smugglers led by Elzevir Block (Winstone). Together they embark on an adventure full of action, friendship and humour, and hunt for a fabled lost diamond. Their journey takes them from 18th Century Dorset, to the Jewel quarter of The Hague and on to a gripping, final sea voyage. Although filming for the TV adaptation is taking part in Ireland, West Dorset’s world-famous Chesil Beach is a truly spectacular and magical location; a World Heritage site where the pure light and the tranquillity of the unspoiled countryside is unique. Moonfleet is expected to air on Sky1 in December.