Archive for October, 2014

Discovering Kinsey – Series One, Episode One

With the kind help and co-operation of the contacts I’ve made through the TV Location tours, I have been lucky enough to obtain copies of both series one and two of Kinsey, a BBC drama from the early nineties. I was unaware of the series until recently and was interested to see which Birmingham locations were used throughout the series.

Kinsey was made at BBC Pebble Mill and set in Birmingham and ran for just two series, broadcast in 1991 & 1992. It told the story of a maverick Birmingham solicitor, Neil Kinsey, his business partners, rival solicitors and the cases they were fighting for their various clients. Neil Kinsey was played by Leigh Lawson, husband of model and actress Twiggy, and also featured a number of now well known actors and actresses which you can discover on the pages I’ve now updated on the IMDB.

What I find most interesting about shows from several years ago is how the city centre landscape has altered over such a relatively short period of time and I’m pleased to report that Kinsey was certainly no disappointment in this area.

Birmingham at night

An aerial panning shot of Birmingham at night provides the opening credit backdrop

As the theme tune to the show played, a catchy Dave Greenslade composition with vocals performed by Marti Webb, it set the tone for the story that was about to unfold in episode one.

“There’s no escape to paradise, just live the life you’re in
With all to lose you cannot choose but win the life you’re in
Pick up the broken pieces, prepare the broken heart
One day you’ll find the pain has gone
The game’s about to start”

I had not reached the end of the opening credits before I was treated to a fantastic view across the Birmingham city centre at night.  The Rotunda dominated the centre of the shot and in the foreground I could just make out the huge crane that was building the new TSB Head Office on the site of the former Post Office in Victoria Square.

It was also apparent that the current work on the New Street station area would again change the shape of the city and this fantastic panning shot was taking me right back to a 1990 Birmingham that was missing so many of the current landmarks that are now taken for granted.

Hall Green Greyhound Stadium

Hall Green Greyhound Stadium, where Kinsey meets Gerry Hollis and Keith Schofield

Episode one opens with car driving through what is now the pedestrianised Victoria Square, which is followed by a secret meeting in the car between two mystery people. What becomes clear in the next 50 minutes is that they are a very key part of this story. They are Kinsey’s business partner, Barry Haynes, and the practice cashier, Linda Barnes, and they are planning an escape but first need to find more money to fund the venture.

Meanwhile Kinsey is meeting an old friend and rival solicitor, Gerry Hollis, at the dog track. Their discussion is interrupted by the shady figure of Keith Schofield (brilliantly played by Gavin Richards) who is unhappy and suggests that Barry may be avoiding him. Schofield suggests he may have to speak to Gerry about changing his solicitor, but after he leaves Kinsey advises that Schofield may best be avoided.

Kinsey Haynes Solicitors Offices were located at Coleridge Chambers

Kinsey walks past Coleridge Passage as he arrives at his office in Corporation Street

The next morning Kinsey walks down Corporation Street to the offices of Kinsey Haynes Solicitors.

The exterior of the practice office in series one was the Coleridge Chambers building, which was ideally located right next door to the Birmingham Victorian Law Courts.

Kinsey is greeted by practice secretary Valerie, played by Wolverhampton born actress Meera Syal. She informs him that Eddie, played by Mark Womack (the husband of Eastenders actress Samantha Womack), is out working on one of Barry’s cases. Eddie is busy tackling a battle with some squatters who have taken up residence in a shop premises.

Barry and Linda are putting the final details of their plan together by clearing out the funds of the Schofield account, which they do on a 1990s era VDU screen.

Fletchers Walk, Birmingham

Kinsey and Eddie arrive to evict the shop squatters

Kinsey and Eddie work out a plan to remove the squatters. They arrive outside the XL club (now known as Subside Bar) in Fletchers Walk with a fake gas leak story that they hope will remove the squatters long enough for them to reclaim the premises for the shop owner.  While they are busy carrying out their plan, Barry is busy clearing out the practice safe and making a getaway.

We next see Barry and Linda meeting at Birmingham International Airport where they catch a flight to Portugal.  Kinsey is first alerted to their deception when neither of them arrive for work the following day.

The episode concludes with Kinsey discovering the scale and impact of Barry and Linda’s actions and the disappearance of the Schofield account funds. This news is made worse when rival solicitor Max Barker is appointed by the Bureau to oversee the running of Kinsey’s practice following Barry’s indiscretion.

I think I’m going to really enjoy discovering this series from nearly 25 years ago and I will post an episode by episode guide to some of the locations used over the 12 episodes in the weeks to come, starting with an episode one slideshow below.


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WPC 56 Series 3 – Who’s in?

When the BBC Media Centre broke the following news on 27th August 2014;

Both Father Brown and WPC 56 returns for a third series. A Halloween ghost story, a Christmas wedding, the arrival of a new nurse and farewell to some familiar faces, tune into Doctors this autumn on BBC One to find out more.
WPC56 will – tx BBC One late Autumn – 10 x 45 mins. Produced by BBC Birmingham

A whole TEN episodes, that was unexpected, especially as series one and two only had 5 x 45 mins episodes. It certainly seemed that the daytime show was set for even greater exposure, and rightly so. However, just under one month later a star of the show confirmed that the 10 episode announcement was likely to be a mistake.  In a tweet, James Barriscale (Sgt Swift) doubted the release by commenting; “not unless they’re 20 mins eps!

A press release from Endemol Distribution, confirms that there will be just FIVE new episodes for series three, but it also states that they will be one hour long (Series one and two episodes were only 45 minutes long).

Here is the series three synopsis from that release;

It’s 1956 and fresh faced WPC Annie Taylor (23) is the one and only female officer in the Brinford Police. Trailblazer WPC Gina Dawson has now moved on to pastures new in the Met, leaving Annie to walk the very same beat, but with a rhythm all of her own. Hailing from a respected police family this way of life is in Annie’s blood, but as the first woman amongst them to join up she has big shoes to fill, not least of all her father’s. Annie is determined to be the best policewoman she can be, and with the same old attitudes to contend with at work and at home, it’ll be an uphill struggle. But Annie Taylor is gutsy and tenacious; she’s never given up on anything in her life, and she’s not about to start now.

So who will be returning for series three?

Filming on series three commenced on Sunday 19th October 2014 and some of the cast have already announced their involvement.

An appearance from Jennie Jacques is now looking very unlikely (unless in a flashback or in brief cameo role).  Jennie has been exceptionally busy in 2014, first with Vikings;

and then on September 17th Jennie revealed her next project would be The Delivery Man for ITV;

WPC56 Series Three

WPC Annie Taylor (Claudia Jessie) and PC Tommy Perkins (Liam Jeavons) on set during filming of series three. Photo: Liam Jeavons

So, with WPC Dawson heading to the Met, we will be seeing a new WPC on the beat in Brinford and she will be played by Claudia Jessie, revealed in this tweet from her agent.

At the end of week three filming Liam Jeavons (PC Tommy Perkins) posted a few pictures on his Facebook page and we finally got a look at the new WPC.

You can catch a glimpse of Claudia, as the nurse’s daughter, in the new Boots Christmas 2014 Advert

Confirmed – Liam Jeavons reprises his role as the shy PC Tommy Perkins

Initially heavily hinted – James Barricale will return as Sgt John Swift, unless he normally wears 1959 cardigans!

and then later confirmed

Confirmed – Rachel Leskovac returns as bubbly station secretary Susie Nightingale

So Susie, PC Perkins and Sgt Swift are back, as confirmed by this picture from Liam Jeavons on Twitter, but who else will we see?

Charlie De'ath in Series 3

News update from Waring & McKenna confirming Charlie’s involvement in Series Three.

Confirmed – Charlie De’ath (Sgt Sidney Fenton)

Charlie was last seen on our screens as a land agent in the BBC series Our Zoo, and it now seems that he will reprise his character from series one and two after his agents confirmed his involvement on their website.

Confirmed – John Bowler (Chief Superintendent Arthur Coulson) Visible on set in this series three filming image;

Confirmed – London Talent Agency, Cole Kitchenn have confirmed Daniel Brocklebank (Carl Saunders) will return

Daniel is currently dividing his time between the Weatherfield cobbles of Coronation Street and the 1950s streets of Brinford and was confirmed as being back on the WPC56 set in November in this photo from Liam Jeavons

Highly Likely – Mark Healey (Chief Inspector Briggs)

With confirmation that Daniel Brocklebank will reprise the character of Carl Saunders it does seem very likely we’ll see Mark Healey so they can pick up their storyline from series two.

Confirmed – Susannah Doyle (June Sawyer)

Susannah was a series regular in ‘Drop The Dead Donkey’ where she played, the not as cheerful as she sounds, PA Joy Merryweather. Susannah was last seen on the small screen in the 2012 ‘Outnumbered’ Christmas special, where she played Tatiana.

Confirmed – Joanna Higson (Vicky Hall)

Committed to the show until December, joining the cast in the role of Vicky Hall. Joanna has previously appeared in Shameless, Holby City and Doctors.

Confirmed – Adam Lawrence (Marty Havers)

A graduate of Birmingham School of Acting (BSA), fresh from his role as Polly Gray’s lover in the 1920s drama Peaky Blinders, jumps forward 30-odd years in time to play Marty Havers.

Confirmed – Melanie Kilburn (Lydia Taylor)

Melanie is certainly no stranger to a police drama. She has previously appeared in Juliet Bravo, Heartbeat, The Bill, Holby Blue, Lewis, DCI Banks and Law & Order:UK, so she should be quite at home in Brinford in a role quoted to be ‘Semi Regular.’

Confirmed – Amy Shepherd (Helen Reilly)

Amy graduated with a BA (Hons) Acting from ALRA: North (The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) in 2014 and this is Amy’s first TV role. Amy is a finalist in Monologue Slam at Birmingham Rep on 5th November 2014.

Casting Call Pro gave a hint to one series three storyline when they reported that Diane Ellis will play a Beauty Pageant Guest.

Out – Ben Turner (DI Max Harper)

Currently touring in ‘The Kite Runner‘, which runs until 22nd November. Due to his current commitment to his theatre tour, Ben Turner will not be available until late November, which will rule him out of a major role in series three. See comment #1 below

Location Updates

On 9th October 2014, Moseley School confirmed on Twitter they will be one of the 1950s locations used for series 3

The cast and crew completed a shoot at Chateau Impney, Droitwich on 30th October 2014.

During the first week in November series three scenes were filmed at the Black Country Museum, Dudley and in an old factory unit in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

No location for this scene, but sounds quite exciting;

When I hear any news I’ll update this post, so watch this space.

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The Game – Latest Update

Set back in the 1970s during the height of the Cold War, The Game promises to be a series of explosive and expert espionage that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Filmed in Birmingham, Wales and London in 2013 the series makes it’s debut on BBC America on Wednesday 5th November 2014 at 10pm E.T.

No firm date for UK release as yet, but you can now whet your appetite by viewing the series trailer.

Those familiar with Birmingham may recognise a few of the locations that briefly feature in the 60 second trailer.

A series of stills from the series, along with character guides and episode 1 synopsis can be viewed on BBC America 

Further details on the filming of The Game were posted here in January 2014 

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