The Film Office provides the lead location for new TV drama "River"
Tonight sees the arrival of KUDOS' latest work. Written and created by award-winning Abi Morgan, RIVER is a brand new six-part drama series commissioned for BBC One and airs at 9pm.
Stellan Skarsgård (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Avengers, Thor) stars as John River, a brilliant police officer whose genius and fault-line is the fragility of his mind.
The Film Office played a core role in facilitating the production of RIVER establishing the main film location for the series in the form of John River's Police HQ. Our 9 storey office location based in the heart of Canary Wharf offered Director, Richard Laxton (Burton & Taylor, The Job Lot) the opportunity to mix the stark metallic and glass structures of the location against a backdrop of classic Canary Wharf views, water ways and skylines.
Alison Barnett, Head of Production (Broadchurch, Grantchester, The Tunnel, The Hour, Ashes to Ashes) at KUDOS said:
"Throughout our 8 month run of filming on "River" a great deal of our location work took place in Tower Hamlets particularly at River's Police Head Quarters in Canary Wharf. Facilitating filming for a mutually agreeable 6 month period at an office location due for demolition would always come with its challenges. Patrick Stuart, our location manager, worked hard with The Film Office to ensure all aspects of our shoot requirements were met in line with the Location's needs; bearing in mind that filming was not their primary business. At all times the RIVER Production Office and The Film Office maintained strong lines of communication so that our goals could be met and our shoot was a success."
While Location Manager Patrick Stuart (Call the Midwife, Restless, Hunted, MI-5, Luther, Hustle) said:
"I worked closely with The Film Office whilst Location Manager for RIVER. We shot most of the series in Tower Hamlets. The borough has such a great variety of locations, both council and private, that show the diverse and vibrant life that is typical of London. We were ably assisted by The Film Office team for our permits, parking, locations and other aspects to deliver on all we needed"
Nicola Walker (Last Tango In Halifax) and Adeel Akhtar (Utopia) line up alongside Skarsgård, as Detective Sergeant Jackie 'Stevie' Stevenson, River's colleague and confidant, and Detective Sergeant Ira King. Lesley Manville (An Adventure In Space And Time) is their superior, Chief Inspector Chrissie Read, with Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan) also joining the cast as a notorious killer who plagues River.
- John River: a Detective who lives among the dead and dying victims and killers from the murder cases he's trying to solve.
The stages of his grief mark River's growing bonds with those he has excluded from his heart and his mind, and when a murder suspect jumps to his death whilst being pursued by River, the pressure and scrutiny that surrounds him escalates fast.
As the investigation into Stevie's murder begins to reveal her deepest secrets, River has to question everything he thought he knew about his one true friend. Their relationship might have survived her death but can it survive the truth of who she really was in life?
Following her Emmy-award win for best 'Writing, Miniseries or Movie' for BBC Two's The Hour, Abi Morgan (Suffragette, The Invisible Woman, The Hour, The Iron Lady) says of her new series:
"Actors are agents of change. They carry the vision of an entire creative team. A show like River needs broad shoulders and I can't think of anyone better than Stellan Skarsgård to take on this challenge and lead this brilliant cast."
"River is a fractured mind navigating a brutal world. And he does it wearing a police badge. I can't think of a better home for it than the BBC. The chance to tell big stories in a bold way on a channel that embraces so many writers, directors and actors I admire and respect is a huge treat."
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of Kudos, adds:
"In RIVER, the utterly brilliant Abi Morgan has created a fascinating and gifted lead character, whose story will move and surprise the audience, and I'm chuffed to bits to be collaborating with her once again and to be producing the series for BBC One where we know it will find a great home."
RIVER was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning. The executive producers are Jane Featherstone, Manda Levin and Abi Morgan for Kudos Film and Television and Lucy Richer for the BBC.
The 6x60-minute series is made by Kudos for BBC One.