Channel 4 hit sci-fi drama “Humans” filmed in St Albans
- Credit: Debbie White
Film-friendly location St Albans has yet again been turned into the setting for another show – this time for a popular sci-fi series.
Mr Selfridge actor Tom Goodman-Hill joined crew and cast from Channel 4 show Humans, which is hoped to return to television screens in late October.
Luckily for the Herts Advertiser, initial filming took place right outside the editorial office window, in historic French Row last Thursday (30).
Tom, aka Joe Hawkins in Humans, who gave a friendly wave to curious journos, was being filmed near an ice-cream cart in the narrow street - which dates back centuries - before taking part in a café scene outside the ancient Clock Tower.
The science fiction television series first aired last year and is set in a parallel present, with a world where we rely on robots.
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Joe Hawkins buys a ‘Synth’ – a lifelike humanoid – to help with household chores, but this sets off a raft of problems within his family.
A source told this paper that St Albans was chosen for the filming of two scenes in the second series because one of the episodes needed to feature a “quintessentially English town” which was to be free of Synths.
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The ice-cream cart was used to show a “family moment” in St Albans.
In between takes the 75-strong crew and cast took shelter from the rain in a nearby medieval covered thoroughfare next to the former Christopher Inn.
Dagnall Street Baptist Church, in Upper Dagnall Street in the city centre, welcomed the visitors to their hall, which was hired for catering for the day.
The church’s booking administer Danny Smith said: “They contacted us two days before filming in St Albans about hiring the lower hall for the film crew to have their lunch, and they wanted a separate room for a child actor for the day.
“They had contacted St Albans Abbey, who recommended us.
“We were pleased to help as the church is very keen to make the most of its facilities by sharing them with the community. We are blessed to have such facilities and were happy for the crew to use them - and it is good for this area as well.”
After filming was completed in the city, driving scenes were filmed in local streets later that afternoon.
Channel 4 said last year that it was “incredibly excited” to announce that Humans was set to return for a second series. Production of eight new episodes is currently underway.
The station said that the first series attracted an average of 4.8 million viewers, and became Channel 4’s highest rated drama in 20 years.
Based on the award-winning Swedish sci-fi drama Real Humans from Matador Films, the first series was described in the Sunday Times as having a “terrific mix of panache and creepiness” while The Guardian hailed it for being one of 2015’s “dramatic hits.”