Almost a full 18 months after filming in Birmingham completed the BBC have finally announced that 1970s spy drama The Game will start its six episode series, filled with espionage and intrigue, on Thursday 30th April 2015 at 9pm on BBC2.
It stars Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge), Shaun Dooley (Hustle) and Victoria Hamilton (Toast), all no strangers to filming shows in Birmingham and a great cast including Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy), Paul Ritter (Quantum of Solace), Jonathan Aris (Sherlock) and relative newcomer Chloe Pirrie. Set in 1972 London, although filmed almost exclusively in Birmingham in 2013, the series sees the MI5 team attempt to unravel a plot named Operation Glass after receiving a tip off from a defecting KGB agent.
There are some great Birmingham locations to look out for with Hockley (Warstone Lane Cemetery), Digbeth (including Moor Street Station and the Paragon Hotel), Moseley (including the Swimming Baths), and the city centre (including Central Library, Lancaster Circus Fire Station, Fletchers Walk, Station Street and Corporation Street) all standing in for 1970s London.
In a scene that promises to be both pivotable and memorable the cast and crew performed a huge explosion stunt when they filmed on Newhall Street in November 2013, a location which now features on the Birmingham TV & Film locations walking tours.
One thing you will notice is the regular use of the red telephone box. During filming these boxes randomly appeared and then quickly disappeared again as the scenes were shot on the streets of Birmingham. Obviously being set in the pre-mobile phone 1970s era the agents need to rely on public telephone boxes to relay key messages and updates back to base so expect to see lots of spy action inside the small kiosks.
The BBC have released a full series media pack on their website and you can also see a video interview with Tom Hughes where he discusses his character Joe Lambe. The series has already been shown on BBC America and received some great viewer reviews You can also read more about the series in an earlier blog post on this site from January 2014 and details of my chance meeting with Tom Hughes while he was filming around Colmore Row, first posted in October 2013.
I can’t wait to see if this lives up to the Stateside hype, but from what I’ve seen and heard so far I’m not expecting to be disappointed. The Game starts 9pm Thursday 30th April on BBC2.