Film news

Londoners welcomed the bombs and romance of The Halcyon

17th December 2016

Dubbed ITV’s new Downton Abbey, The Halcyon’s exteriors were shot in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Combining the glamour of life in a five-star hotel with the horror of WWII, the neighbourhood found itself at the centre of some dramatic scenes, during filming between April and July this year.

Despite the bombing and fires, residents embraced the shoot and invited the filmmakers back for another season.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields looks stunning from the opening shot of the trailer. Take a look here.

Walter Hand, who is secretary to residents group Friends of Lincoln’s Inn Fields says, “Halcyon was a great example of how film companies should interact with local residents. They were careful to spend time understanding how the Fields are used, where residents lived and where parking and noise have been issues.

“They ensured that despite large amounts of scenery and stage setting being constructed, visitors to the Fields were not inconvenienced and residents were not disturbed at night.

“Traffic management was well handled, and the normally intrusive large film unit vehicles were all well hidden in side streets

“The actual filming, with the area converted to a WW2 street scene, was a highly interesting attraction to all those passing. We look forward to Season Two!”

Number 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields plays the exterior for the Halcyon. Across the street a tube entrance was staged, surrounded by sandbags and gas lamps. After the street was hit by a V1 doodlebug, period fire engines and ambulances were called in, making their way around the bricks and rubble, while smoke and vapour effects combined with jets shooting gas flames 10 feet high to re-create the horror of the aftermath.

Also dressed as Blitz-hit, Serle and Portugal Streets, around Lincoln’s Inn Fields hosted the action.

Most of Lincoln’s Inn Fields sits inside the borders of Camden Council. FilmFixer manages the film office service for Camden Council. FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “We were delighted at how well the production worked with residents. In addition, we worked closely with Westminster Council and the Met Police to make sure road closures were managed with as little impact on locals as possible, and had a police presence available to deal with any concerns.”

FilmFixer manages the film office for Islington Council too, which also saw filming. The House of Detention in Clerkenwell’s Sans Walk played the hotel’s basement, where staff and guests sheltered from the Blitz.

The series begins on ITV at 9pm on January 2nd.