Filming Troubled Blood in Skegness (Day 1)

What happens in Skeg Vegas, stays in Skeg Vegas… Except when you need to write a post about everything you’ve seen over 3 days of filming Troubled Blood!

Filming for the fifth adaptation of the BBC’s Strike series began on the 17th January. The cast and crew, along with the iconic Land Rover, began shooting in Skegness, Lincolnshire, on Monday 21st February. Here’s what happened on day one…

After some walking around Skegness on the Monday morning, we found that the film unit base was situated at the end of a large car park by the beach. This is where all the vans, minibuses and equipment lorries were parked.

Cast and crew were staying in three different hotels along the North Parade road from Sunday night to Wednesday afternoon. 

Filming began at Skegness train station at midday. Lorries and vans were parked next to the station, and the location crew had been preparing for the shoot that morning. When we arrived just before midday, the first exciting thing we spotted was Robin Ellacott’s iconic Land Rover parked in the car park!

It wasn’t long before the crew set up the equipment and Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger arrived. This location shoot took around 2 hours. Shots were filmed on one of the station platforms with the train, as well as outside. Before the shoot, one of the side entrance doors had been closed to be used for filming of Strike walking out of it.

Robin (Holliday Grainger) was waiting by the Land Rover, and Strike (Tom Burke) walked out of the station carrying a duffel bag. He had presumably been to Cornwall for Christmas and Robin was picking him up. After a brief conversation outside, Strike and Robin got into the Land Rover. The doors of the Land Rover had to be slammed hard for them to close properly, and on a couple of occasions a crew member had to close the door from the outside.

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A few members of the public (including myself) were told by the head of security that we could stay in the frame of the shot as long as we didn’t look directly at the camera, so hopefully we make the final cut as extras! (Look out for a guy in the background sat on a wall looking at his phone when Strike is approaching Robin).

In between takes, Tom Burke approached us. Some of us got our copies of Troubled Blood signed and some of us got photos with him. He had a brief chat with us and then he went back to the Land Rover to shoot more takes. 

After filming wrapped at the train station, the cast and crew moved quickly to the North Parade hotel for filming. The Land Rover was put on a trailer to be taken there and two or three minibuses were used to transport crew. Tom and Holliday were driven in their own car, a shiny black Audi.

On arriving at the North Parade, we could see that the exterior of the North Parade guest house had been changed to display “The Allardice” (the name of the B&B in the book), and the film crew were setting up the equipment for exterior shots.

Tom and Holliday were filmed walking across the road away from the Allardice toward the parked Land Rover, before Strike/Tom stopped and turned around to talk to Robin/Holliday, presumably about Steve Douthewaite as a murder suspect.

There were about 5-10 takes of them crossing the road; some takes were done with passing traffic instead of traffic control at either end. After stopping outside the Land Rover, Strike lights a cigarette and talks to Robin, nodding toward the Allardice as though talking about what had just happened in there. In a few of the takes, Tom was struggling to light his cigarette in the wind and had to get a crew member to light it. We assume that this was a fake cigarette — no smoke appeared to be coming from it.

At this point, nobody knew who was portraying Steve Douthwaite or Donna Diamond. That was until actor Robin Askwith posted a photo on Twitter from his hotel room window in the Premier Inn on the North Parade. From that, most of us pretty much guessed he must be playing Steve Douthwaite.

Filming outside the Allardice took up the rest of the day, and the shoot ended around 5pm. At one point, we met the B&B owner, Julianne, who was extremely excited about the filming at the North Parade. She told us that the interior of the B&B had been decorated for Christmas and that one of the bedrooms had been painted that day. She was debating whether to keep it that colour (green) or let them repaint over. Personally, we think it should be kept like that and be named the ‘Strike Room’ or the ‘Diamond Room’. Julianne also said she was going to create a collage of photos from the filming to be displayed inside the hotel.

The following day, Tuesday 22nd February, filming was to take place inside the Allardice/North Parade for scenes with Steve Douthwaite/Diamond and Donna Diamond.

Stay tuned for the Day 2 post!

7 thoughts on “Filming Troubled Blood in Skegness (Day 1)

  1. Fascinating to see how the scene is carefully (even laboriously) built up. On screen it will look so natural.

    1. I remember after the Cuckoo Calling Tom talking abiut exhausted they were and hecouldn’t remember the last scene because they were so tired. The cold didn’t help either

  2. I just love reading all this! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  3. Really interesting to see how filming is done. Did you see Director Sue Tully or was a second director involved in those scenes?

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