After the Flood, a new series produced by Quay Street Productions, that filmed in Teesside last summer, airs on ITV1 tonight (10th of January) at 9pm.
After the Flood is a mystery thriller set in a town hit by a devastating flood. When an unidentified man is found dead in a lift in an underground car park, police assume he became trapped as the waters rose. As the investigation unfolds PC Joanna Marshall, played by Sophie Rundle, becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to him and why.
The mystery unfolds across the series while we also see the real impact of climate change on the lives of residents in this small town. The floods threaten to expose secrets, and fortunes and reputations are at stake.
The Tees Barrage in Teesside was used to film the opening flood sequence which is a pivotal plot point of the series. Filming of the series in the region was supported by the North East Screen Film Office.
On filming the flash flood at Tees Barrage, lead actress Sophie Rundle said, “It was like being on a school trip. Before that we had been filming in and around Manchester, so this was the only time we all went away somewhere. We were all giddy and excited. It is where they train all the emergency services. There’s this water course and they have control of the speed and the scale of the water. They had all these big strapping six-foot lifeguards in all their emergency gear stationed along the water course who were lovely. They said, ‘If you fall the water is going to take you but don’t worry, we’re going to save you.’ Luckily, I didn’t ever stack it, so they didn’t have to save me. It was a really exciting moment as an actress and as a woman in this industry to be the hero reaching out for the baby dressed in all my police gear with the rain going. The water was really strong, and we were in and out of it all the time. On the last day I realised my hand was shaking because I hadn’t eaten anything. I was so pumped from the adrenalin. It wasn’t a normal day at work where you do your lines, and you go home. It really made the job for me.”
On the logistics of filming the flash flood that takes place in the opening sequence of the series, Producer Juliet Charlesworth said, “When Az Saleem came on board as Director, he decided we wanted real water. We talked about using the massive wave machine in Blackpool and the water tank at Pinewood Studios. Then it was the white-water rafting centres that we’ve seen in the Olympics. We then chose Tees Barrage International White Water Centre. That gave us a man-made bowl, meaning we could have actors and crew entirely safe in the water. I had filmed there before with Wolfblood, Vera, Emmerdale and 1917 had also filmed there. You can switch the water off with four Archimedes screws, going from zero to as high as 14, creating white water rapids which you can’t stand up in. We operated on between 6 and 8 which meant you could stand in it, and it will make enough water.”
Katie Strachan, the Film Office Manager for North East Screen, who worked closely with the production, said “The Tees Barrage works amazingly well as a filming location. They have worked with a whole range of productions over the years from Hollywood blockbuster 1917 to Emmerdale and more recently After the Flood. As a location they are well versed and experienced with the TV and Film Industry, working alongside productions to offer the most creative filming solutions whilst being extremely flexible.”