Germany gets the first taste of London under Nazi occupation – when SS-GB debuts at the Berlinale Film Festival today
The BBC One series adapts Len Deighton’s ’78 novel in which German forces patrol and repress London-life in the early 40s.
The London locations were filmed in boroughs including Croydon.
Starting on BBC One on Sunday February 19th, the mini-series is named after the SS branch controlling Great Britain. It follows London police Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer, played by Sam Riley, investigating a murder attracting the attention of the German authorities as well as the resistance.
Great Britain has surrendered to Germany, Churchill is rumoured to be executed in Berlin, King George is in the Tower of London and Queen Elizabeth and her daughters have fled to New Zealand. Rear Admiral Conollyhas formed a British government in exile in Nova Scotia.
One of the stars, Kate Bosworth has said, “However long we spent on set, we never became relaxed or comfortable with it. It was very difficult to see it.”
FilmFixer director Karen Everett praised the production for its responsibility and sensitivity in pulling together this large and complex shoot.
“Given how uncomfortable many of these scenes are to watch, it took great dedication to detail to protect Londoners throughout this shoot,” she says. “Any Nazi regalia used during filming was behind walls and screens – unseen by locals. This includes of course the footage of Maeve Dermody dressed in a Nazi flag. The production also made sure Met police were on hand to reassure the public, if need be.
“And the many replica rifles used required a licensed armourer on location – ensuring the guns were checked in and checked out safely. It was a big undertaking by the BBC and we’re looking forward to seeing how it works on the small screen.”
The period streetscape of Croydon’s Hurst Way is used to heighten the sense of time and place in the series.