A major new drama series filmed in Bristol is set to air on Channel 4 on Thursday night. The Undeclared War starring Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance is set in 2024 against the backdrop of an upcoming British general election involving the UK’s first Black Conservative prime minister.
Last summer, Bristol’s Redcliffe Wharf was transformed into a colourful, anti-capitalist encampment for scenes featuring unrest and stunts. Scenes featuring police and missiles being thrown by protesters were filmed in East Street, Bedminster, involving up to 200 crew and cast members.
The Cash Hall in Bristol City Hall provided the setting for the offices of a Russian internet agency, and filming also took place on residential streets including Mayfield Park North in Fishponds and Gratitude Road in Greenbank. Filming for The Undeclared War also took place in parts of Wales.
Set in a disturbing real portrayal of 2024, The Undeclared War charts a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ, secretly working to ward off a series of cyber-attacks on the UK in the run-up to a general election. When a routine stress test of internet infrastructure goes awry, 21-year-old GCHQ intern Saara Parvin (played by Hannah Khalique-Brown) suddenly finds herself operating on the invisible frontier of high-stakes cyber warfare.
BAFTA award-winning creator Peter Kosminsky is the brainchild of the six-part cyber-thriller, lifting the veil on the most urgent battle of our time. Speaking on filming in Bristol, Robert Jones, Producer, The Undeclared War said: “The Bristol Film Office were incredibly supportive in helping us find and service a wide variety of locations in and around the area for The Undeclared War.”
Laura Aviles, Senior Film Manager at Bristol Film Office, part of Bristol City Council, added: “With the likes of Simon Pegg, Adrian Lester and Mark Rylance attached and award-winning director Peter Kosminsky at the helm, The Undeclared War was a very high profile shoot which Bristol Film Office was closely involved with, supporting filming at times in the heart of Bristol.
The Channel 4 show stars Hot Fuzz’s Pegg as GCHQ Head of Operation and Rylance – who recently had the titular role in Bristol Old Vic’s Dr Semmelweis – is analyst and iconoclast John Yeabsley. Other cast members include Adrian Lester (Riviera), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Alex Jennings (The Crown), and newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown.
The Undeclared War will launch on Channel 4 and All 4 on Thursday, June 30 at 9pm