Stephen Poliakoff’s latest BBC drama, Close To The Enemy, has now been filming in Liverpool since March.
The six-part series for BBC2 plays out against a backdrop of the growing Cold War in the aftermath of WWII and stars Jim Sturgess from the big screen adaptation of One Day, Hustle actor Robert Glenister and actresses Angela Bassett and Charlotte Riley.
Game of Thrones’ Alfie Allen, Wolf Hall’s Charity Wakefield and Lindsay Duncan are also among a star-studded cast.
The crew, including the award-winning writer/director himself, and cast have been spotted across town in and out of costume.
They have filmed on Rodney Street’s beautiful streets as well as weeks at a time in the old Martin’s Bank on Exchange Flags – also used to film ITV series Cilla last year.
Then the team moved into Liverpool club The State, filming in the old ballroom-turned-nightclub.
Filming for the drama, which is set in 1946, has been divided between London and Liverpool with much of the action taking place in a bomb-damaged London hotel – believed to be Martin’s Bank.
The State, which was used for interior shots, with the team making use of the ornate former ballroom, which still holds regular club nights.
It was familiar to one cast member in particular – actor Alfred Molina, who plays a Foreign Office official in Close To The Enemy, filmed scenes for Letter To Brezhnev there 30 years ago.
The show is being made by Little Island Productions in association with Endor Productions. Poliakoff’s long time collaborator, Helen Flint (Longford, The Take, Galavant) is the producer.
She explains: “Close To The Enemy is set in the transitional period of 1946 – the brutal second World War is finally over but the destruction of families and cities permeates everyone’s lives.
“As the Cold War takes its hold in Europe and the public realisation that the atom bomb could be used by any government, our hero Callum (Jim Sturgess) passionately believes that to safeguard the future you mustn’t heed the past regardless of how terrible it has been. However, as the story unfolds, he finds that he is compelled to look backwards and eventually realises that you have to judge (for good or ill) those voluntarily or involuntarily involved in order to actually have a safer world.”