Thanks to the hardworking teams at The Bottle Yard Studios and Bristol Film Office, there’s a whole host of festive filmed-in-Bristol TV treats to enjoy this Christmas.

Not even the continuing pandemic could stop our UNESCO City of Film creating great TV. With robust Covid-19 safety protocols in place, the local industry has been able to adapt the city’s film-friendly infrastructure so casts and crews could keep working. There’ll also be plenty more screen delights shot in the city to look forward to in 2022. It’s no wonder The Observer recently dubbed the city ‘Bristolywood’!

Filming for The Outlaws at Sea Mills Community Centre

Eleanor Tomlinson & Stephen Merchant film at Sea Mills Community Centre (image credit BBC, Amazon Studios, Big Talk Four Eyes).

2021 was a hugely busy year for film and TV production in Bristol, welcoming an unprecedented number of dramas. Often acting as a backdrop for other destinations, it’s been especially nice to see the city portraying itself on screen this year and hosting memorable performances – from Christopher Walken, walking Bristol’s streets and even painting over a Banksy in The Outlaws, to Lesley Sharp as Bristol-based detective Hannah Laing in the gritty and fast-paced Before We Die.

For those who are missing visiting our bustling city or for those who like to spot the Bristol location before the rest of the family (we see you!), here’s our roundup of shows on screen this Christmas that were filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and/or on location in Bristol. Plus, a sneak peek at what to look out for in 2022!

On screen this Christmas

The Girl Before: begins 19 December, BBC One

Bespoke two storey sets were built at The Bottle Yard Studios for this drama’s main location, with an exterior façade built at the end of Woodland Terrace off Hampton Road in Redland. The four-part drama, adapted by British author JP Delaney from his 2016 global bestselling novel, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Jessica Plummer and Ben Hardy.

When Jane gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect she starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways. After a shocking discovery about her predecessor, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities and begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before.

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Tipping Point Lucky Stars Festive Special: 3.55pm 24 December, ITV

The popular daytime gameshow is filmed in an 8,000 sq. ft. studio at The Bottle Yard Studios in Whitchurch, to the south of the city.

Ben Shephard hosts a special festive edition of Tipping Point: Lucky Stars, the quiz in which three celebrities take on a magnificent machine in the hope of winning £20,000 for charity. Bestowing their Christmas presence upon us are Strictly judge Anton Du Beke, TV favourite Scarlett Moffatt and reality star turned TV host Bobby Norris, all eager to land their charities a Christmas gift to remember.

Doctor Who - Eve of the Daleks: 7pm, New Year’s Day, BBC One

The Dalek-filled, action-packed special was part-filmed in Bristol’s A Bond Warehouse earlier this year, assisted by Bristol Film Office.

Following the explosive series finale of Doctor Who: Flux, The Thirteenth Doctor and friends Yaz and Dan will kick-start 2022 with an action-packed spectacular episode. The trailer for the special, which aired following the series thirteen finale, finds the cast trapped in ELF storage and stuck in a terrifying time loop with the Daleks. Will the gang manage to avoid extermination and escape the storage facility in time to see out New Year’s Day?

A Discovery of Witches (season three): begins 7 January, Sky Max / NOW

The third season and final instalment of this popular programme, based on The Book of Life novel from Deborah Harkness's bestselling 'All Souls' trilogy, was part-filmed in Bristol. Interior and exterior scenes were shot on Berkeley Square in Clifton.

Matthew and Diana return from their trip to 1590 to find tragedy at Sept-Tours. They are tasked with finding the missing pages from the Book of Life and the Book itself before it's too late. Their enemies are gearing up against them, and a monster from Matthew’s past who has been lying in wait will return for revenge…  

Coming in 2022

The Outlaws season two

Series one was the BBC’s biggest comedy launch of 2021 and has been streamed 11m times on BBC iPlayer so far – so it’s no wonder a second series of The Outlaws has already been confirmed by the BBC. The comedy thriller set and filmed in Bristol was made by multi-award-winning writer and director Stephen Merchant and originally created by Merchant and Elgin James (co-creator of US series Mayans M.C.).

The second instalment will follow on directly from the first series, with The Outlaws still serving their sentences and now facing the additional fallout from their actions. If they thought the criminal underworld or the local police were done with them, they are sorely mistaken.

And yes, Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Walken will be returning! Filming has already been completed at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol, assisted by Bristol Film Office. The new series will air next year. 

Christopher Walken films at The Bottle Yard Studios (image credit BBC, Amazon Studios, Big Talk Four Eyes)
Christopher Walken films at The Bottle Yard Studios (image credit BBC, Amazon Studios, Big Talk Four Eyes).

Sanditon season two

The second series of Sanditon, the acclaimed drama based on Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel and developed by Emmy®- and BAFTA-winning writer Andrew Davies, was filmed in Bristol at the Brabazon Hangars (the future home of YTL Arena Bristol) and across the surrounding region. Locations including Brean Beach and Middle Hope Cove in Somerset. It will premiere as a BritBox Original in the UK on Monday 21 March 2022 and in the US on MASTERPIECE on PBS on Sunday 20 March 2022.

Its series finale left fans in suspense and clamouring for more. Now it’s set to return with a second series that will see heroine Charlotte Heywood return to the picturesque coastal resort. The second series promises new romances, friendships and challenges for the residents as the Army make Sanditon their new base.

Chloe

Filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol (assisted by Bristol Film Office) and the surrounding region, the six-part drama is set in Bristol. Taking full advantage of the city’s rich cultural scene from the art to music, Chloe will also feature the work of artists local to the region, including an original score composed by Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) featuring Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Alison Goldfrapp.

Chloe follows Becky Green who has been watching Chloe Fairbourne via her perfect social media images for some time; Chloe’s charmed life, adoring husband and circle of high-achieving friends are always just a click away. Becky can’t resist watching a life that contrasts so starkly with her own; a life spent caring for her mother, who has early-onset dementia, in their small seaside flat on the outskirts of Bristol. When Chloe dies suddenly, Becky assumes a new identity and infiltrates the enviable lives of Chloe's closest friends to find out what happened to her. It will air on BBC One in 2022.

Chloe cast  (image courtesy BBC York Tillyer)
Chloe cast (image courtesy BBC York Tillyer).

Becoming Elizabeth

Tudor palace sets were erected at The Bottle Yard Studios for Starz latest period drama. Other locations across the West of England region were also used.

Created by playwright Anya Reiss and produced by The Forge Entertainment, Becoming Elizabeth is the fascinating, untold story of the early life of England’s most iconic Queen. Long before she ascended the throne, young Elizabeth Tudor was an orphaned teenager who became embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court. The world of Becoming Elizabeth is visceral, dangerous and very bloody. Judgements are rendered quickly, and no one is safe.

Extinction

Propulsive action thriller Extinction comes from screenwriter Joe Barton. The series was part-filmed in Bristol in early 2021 with assistance from Bristol Film Office and will air on Sky Max and NOW TV in Spring 2022.

1 July 2019. A date that George can never forget… no matter how hard he tries. Trapped in a loop that keeps returning him back to that date, he discovers the existence of a secret organisation known as “The Lazarus Project” – a crack team of agents who prevent global catastrophe by resetting time. George signs on with the group as their latest recruit, but when tragedy strikes, George must decide if he can live with the consequences to save the world, or take a different path…

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