24: Live Another Day Season Finale: Landmark Thriller calls UK Home
Tonight brings what is sure to be a dramatic climax to our screens, with the finale of Twentieth Century Fox Television’s 24: Live Another Day airing on the UK’s Sky1. The series, set in London and shot entirely in the UK, follows on from the hugely popular and influential 24 series, reintroducing us to Kiefer Sutherland’s CIA operative turned lone agent Jack Bauer.
As well as being a critical success, 24: Live Another Day has proven popular with audiences, with the season premiere being the biggest series launch of 2014 on Sky’s flagship channel, drawing an average audience of 606,000 viewers.
Brits shine on and off camera
The original show may be one of the US’s all time most successful television productions, but this time around there was a major British influence both on camera and behind-the-scenes, with Stephen Fry and Game of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley just two of the British actors taking up major roles.
Behind-the-camera, the show’s long running US creators and directors were joined by an array of UK talent including British Film Commission Chairman Iain Smith, who served as Producer, along with Unit Production Manager Kathy Nettleship, Director Omar Madha, Costume Designer Sarah Arthur and Location Manager Casper Mill, to name just a few of the predominantly British crew.
Land of locations
Mill and the producers were spoilt for choice when it came to places to film, with the show incorporating many of the great locations available in the UK, helping to recreate the atmosphere and frenetic pace of the original series.
With the production filming at airports, on major London roads and transport systems and in several iconic buildings – including Wembley Stadium and the Royal Courts of Justice – it was essential that the British Film Commission, along with screen agencies Film London and Creative England, were on hand to provide contacts and expertise, and to ensure that filming went as smoothly as possible.
Mill was quick to praise the role they played: “I was regularly on the phone to them asking about contacts for buildings that I don’t know how to get into…they’ve got such a good resource. I haven’t utilised it too much over the years but I think I’ll be using it more from now on.”
24: Live Another Day also benefited from the wealth of alternative studio space available in the UK, basing the production at West London’s Gillette Building, a former industrial site, where they were able to construct a range of major sets as well as using the building to recreate various interior and exterior locations. The series also shot at Longcross Studios, a former tank factory in Southeast England much used by the film and television industry including Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America and Sony’s Captain Phillips.
The production is one of several major international TV shows to air this year which have chosen to shoot in the UK, including HBO’s fourth season of Game of Thrones and BBC/Sundance’s The Honourable Woman, which were also based here.
With numerous other high-end TV projects shooting throughout the UK this year, including Sony/Starz’ historical fantasy Outlander in Scotland, season three of Starz/BBC Worldwide’s Da Vinci’s Demons in Wales and HBO/BBC’s adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy in England, it looks like a trend that is set to continue.
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