Sunday 24 September 2017

These dramas are streets ahead

Quirke (starring Gabriel Byrne)

Due to be broadcast on BBC and RTé in the autumn, this Irish-British co-production makes extensive use of the streets and interior locations on offer in Dublin.

British and US TV executives like the fact that Dublin has a large number of very intact streetscapes – thanks in part to escaping the bombs of World War Two and the rampaging development that tore apart many European cities (especially in the Communist East) in the post-war era. Dublin did, of course, have plenty of new development from the 1960s on, but entire Georgian squares and Victorian streetscapes are still very much in place. Dublin and Belfast also offer many disused or empty institutional-type buildings, such as imposing former military barracks or vast late-Victorian industrial or governmental buildings. And they are easier to access than many of the public buildings of London, Manchester or Edinburgh.

The Fall

(starring Gillian Anderson)

Gillian Anderson is very impressive as Stella Gibson, a senior police officer mired in an investigation into a string of murders in Belfast.

Given a slight Nordic Noir feel by director Jakob Verbruggen, The Fall has done well on BBC Two, and the Beeb will be asking for more network programming from the regions. BBC Northern Ireland will be getting a significantly expanded budget and told to produce more home-grown drama and factual TV.

Ripper Street

(starring Matthew Macfadyen)

Another successful Irish-UK co-production, the second season of this drama about copycat Jack The Ripper killings in late 19th-Century London was shot almost entirely in Dublin and made use of both real streets (such as North Great George's Street) and very impressive CGI work.

Ripper Street mixes traditional period crime drama with the very latest in digital production techniques and was BAFTA-nominated in the Best Drama category.

Irish Independent

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