Streets are being blown up in Winchester today – not far from my city in Hampshire, as part of Netlflix/Sony filming a big-budget historical drama series called The Crown.
College Street and Kingsgate Street have all been cordoned off except for actors costumed in 40s attire, and rubble has been placed outside The Wykeham Arms pub for the re-enactment of World War II scenes.
I expect that Hampshire Council will well-paid for this inconvenience – at £100 million, the filming budget is said to be the most expensive television show ever produced in Britain.
My family and friends have travelled to various parts of Britain to work as extras since filming commenced last October. Despite having signed secrecy contracts, the scenes at weddings, funerals and stately homes are all over the internet. Netflix have also released a trailor on YouTube: https://youtu.be/n8Q0bJ_zO7w More stills appear on https://youtu.be/P8fodkCDKLQ
The first two of an eventual series of six, concentrate on the Queen’s early years, her marriage to Prince Phillip, the death of King George IV, her Coronation and the Blitz. These are expected to be released all in one go this Autumn, after the last series of Downton Abbey has been aired in USA and Canada.
If the Netflix binge-watch is financially successful (and these sort of dramas have world-wide appeal) the next two series will be filmed.
The Crown’s creator is Peter Morgan (of award-winning films The Queen and Frost/Nixon). It stars Claire Foy (Anne Boleyn in the Wolf Hall series) as Princess Elizabeth, Matt Smith (Dr Who) as Prince Phillip and American actor John Lithgow as a very convincing Churchill.
UPDATE 4th NOVEMBER 2016 – The first 10 of the series is being released on Netflix tonight.