A North East water works is to be given the star treatment as it becomes the backdrop for TV crime drama, Inspector George Gently.
Caption: From right, Martin Shaw as George Gently, Lee Ingleby as John Bacchus and Oliver Milburn as James Darwin during filming at Northumbrian Water′s Mosswood water treatment works, near Consett.
Northumbrian Water’s Mosswood water treatment works, near Consett, County Durham, will feature as ‘Hopewood’, a top secret army drugs laboratory in the third episode of the detective series which airs on Thursday, February 20.
Stars of the BBC One drama series - former Judge John Deed actor Martin Shaw, who plays the title role, and Lee Ingleby, who plays Detective Sergeant Bacchus – filmed scenes at the water works over a three-day period in June 2013.
The treatment works, built in the 1960s and with original features still intact, was specially chosen by location scouts from Company Pictures as the perfect fit for the 1969 setting of the drama.
Several exterior scenes were filmed on land surrounding the works, while offices and the reception area were used for crucial scenes when Gently and Bacchus delve into the world of army secrets after a young former soldier commits a murder.
The site, which supplies drinking water for South Tyneside, Washington and part of Sunderland, remained fully operational during the filming, even with a 30-strong film crew and an “army” of actors on site.
David Pattinson, team leader at the works, co-ordinated the filming. He said: "We were really excited to be used as a location for Inspector George Gently. It’s not every day that your place of work is used for a top TV drama series. We’re keeping the ending a secret but we can’t wait to see the finished result on screen.”
The water company’s Waskerley Reservoir, a popular fishing spot that forms part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was also used as a backdrop in the same episode.
Executive producer John Yorke said: “We’re delighted to have filmed Inspector George Gently again in Durham and the North East – and it’s fantastic to be able to recreate the world of 1969 which was hugely helped when we used Mosswood as a location. There were such vivid and colourful changes in society at that time, and hopefully our series will continue to give a real portrait of the age.”
Northumbrian Water donated the location fee to its adopted international charity, WaterAid, which transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. More than 130 lives will be saved as a result.
In the latest series the detective drama moves to 1969 and Gently (Martin Shaw) and Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) are both still suffering from their own physical and mental scars several months after the horrific shootings that nearly claimed their lives in Durham Cathedral at the end of the last series.
For more information contact Mike Chipchase on 0191 301 6720.