Stars come to York as death comes to Pemberley

Tea break: filming all day outside St William's College is thirsty work. Photographs: YorkMix
25 Jul 2013 @ 6.28 pm
| News
Tea break: filming all day outside St William's College is thirsty work. Photographs: YorkMix
Tea break: filming all day outside St William’s College is thirsty work. Photographs: YorkMix

Visitors and locals felt they had fallen through a time wormhole as they found themselves mingling with folk from the early 19th century outside St William’s College.

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But the technical trucks and cables gave it away. These were no time travellers (well one of them was, but more of her later) – they were actors and extras from the BBC’s production of Death Comes To Pemberley.[/column][column width=”35%” padding=”0″]

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The cast for this adaptation of PD James’ sequel to Pride And Prejudice could not be starrier: Matthew Rhys as Darcy and Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth, supported by the likes of Trevor Eve, Rebecca Front, James Fleet and Penelope Keith.

And that time traveller? None other than Doctor Who’s assistant, Jenna Coleman, playing Lydia Wyckham.

The cast have already filmed at Harewood House and Castle Howard and were moving on to shoot scenes at Treasurer’s House in York on Friday, July 26. The production is supported with investment from Screen Yorkshire.

The cast relax on College Green
The cast relax on College Green
Time for a well-earned sit down
Time for a well-earned sit down
Two of the actors in front of the straw brought in to give that authentic 19th century feel to York's streets
Two of the actors in front of the straw brought in to give that authentic 19th century feel to York’s streets
Jenna Coleman – to play Lydia Wickham. Photograph: BBC
Jenna Coleman – to play Lydia Wickham. Photograph: BBC

“There’s a film crew of about 40 involved,” said Lisa Holden, from Treasurer’s House. “They’re going to be here from 7am until 7pm.

“We believe they’re going to be shooting the fascia of the house and in the garden, and in the Blue Drawing Room. It’s one of the glitziest of all the rooms.”

Chapter House Street, where Treasurer’s House is located, is “a lovely cobbled street which has got no modern intrusions, so it’s simple for set dressing,” Lisa added.

As the house is normally closed on Fridays, the filming does not affect public access.

Death Comes To Pemberley is scheduled to be one of BBC1’s Christmas highlights, screening over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

PD James’s book moves the Pride And Prejudice characters on to 1803. Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years and have two young sons. All seems idyllic, until Elizabeth’s younger sister Lydia Wickham arrives at the autumn ball screaming that her husband has been murdered.