What I learned about London from '24'

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Nick Cooper 625
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What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

The East End - and specifically in the vicinity of the East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road - is 20 km south-east of central London. Which would put it in Farnborough.

The Hammersmith & City line runs on a viaduct through the East End.

The East End is within spitting distance of the north bank of the Thames. East of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

The President of the USA can leave the American Embassy in London and be confronted by a pack of protesterts less than ten metres away, with not one of the Met police visible carrying firearms. Obviously it was SO6's day off.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by stearn »

Of course the H&C line is on viaduct, all the sweeps and urchins live underneath its arches. Cor blimey, strike a light, guv'nor.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by squidney »

I learnt that the old Gillette Building on the A316 next to where I work, is in actual fact the London base of the CIA. I guess they like to keep this a secret though.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Bernie »

stearn wrote:Of course the H&C line is on viaduct, all the sweeps and urchins live underneath its arches. Cor blimey, strike a light, guv'nor.
Of course it is, but there's no urchins, just Arfur's lock-up which isn't on Streetview...

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Brian F »

Do you count Sheperd's Bush as the East End or is that how you expect 24 to see it?

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by didi-5 »

squidney wrote:I learnt that the old Gillette Building on the A316 next to where I work, is in actual fact the London base of the CIA. I guess they like to keep this a secret though.
That's why the hotel idea has never taken off!

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

squidney wrote:I learnt that the old Gillette Building on the A316 next to where I work, is in actual fact the London base of the CIA. I guess they like to keep this a secret though.
It was nice knowing you!
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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Brian F wrote:Do you count Sheperd's Bush as the East End or is that how you expect 24 to see it?
It's how 24 actually did it, presaged by a lingering shot on the East London Mosque. Subtlety doesn't seem to be the programme's strong point.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by brigham »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:
Brian F wrote:Do you count Sheperd's Bush as the East End or is that how you expect 24 to see it?
It's how 24 actually did it, presaged by a lingering shot on the East London Mosque. Subtlety doesn't seem to be the programme's strong point.
It must be the East End, it has my favourite Pie and Mash shop in it!

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Andy Marriott »

No doubt the same liberties are taken in any city.
Those of us who have no interest in living in or even visiting bloody London neither noticed nor cared.
It may as well be a different country considering all the attention and resources it gets!

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Do you want salt and vinegar on that chip?
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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Bernie »

Andy Marriott wrote:Those of us who have no interest in living in or even visiting bloody London neither noticed nor cared.
That's the thing though, isn't it? If you know about something, you care that programme makers get it right and can't understand it when they don't . Those of us who were there in the sixties said the same about the Dr Who programme a few months ago when they made a Lime Grove tv studio work as if on film, and got a lot of factuals wrong.

Often as not it's as easy to get it right as get it wrong.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by marsey »

Realism, even believability, don't get in the way of a good story in 24.

It's a series that you can't take at all seriously, but it doesn't take itself seriously.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by drmih »

Some of the criticism of the locations seems absolutely nonsense to me - I can (sort of) understand quibbles about plot points but if you're making a drama for an international audience, and you want a scene with certain features, but they aren't near the previous location, then what's the problem. In particular, the basis of each episode of 24 is that it's in real time (this season has been changed to give 24 hours over 12 episodes with gaps between the episodes to allow for non-linear developments / traveling distances), so sites have to be assumed to be co-located. I live in the South East, and travel to central London, but nothing jumped out at me as being problematic, and I'm sure viewers around the world weren't bothered, and I guess the same liberties were taken with USA locations in previous seasons. We're probably all 'knowledgeable' in our own fields and could find issues in most dramas, but it does seem that tv folk have problems switching off and enjoying the programme, warts and all.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Richard A »

I don't want to get mired in any battles here, but all the superciliousness being directed at those posting on this thread about inconsistencies seems a tad misplaced.

Surely, Nick Cooper et al are just making a bit of fun out of the fact that if you know a place, what programme makers do with it, often seems rather daft. All the original posts were made somewhat tongue in cheek, indeed the 'What I learned about...' thread title is a typically jokey way of listing inconsistencies in places like IMDb.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Doom Patrol »

I'm afraid I take much of this sort of thing with a pinch of salt. That's how dramas are made, using a wide variety of locations to promote the feel of the story. I mean, how big was Portmeirion for heavens sake? Survivors is another good example. The first series was filmed practically on my doorstep and in wildly varying locations. Although you wouldn't think it to look at it.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by GarethR »

For me, part of the fun of this series of 24 has been the way they've used locations. I just think it's fantastic that Jack Bauer is running around yer actual London.

London car chases in Hollywood movies are often good for amusingly disjointed locations. The Aston Martin chase in the first Johnny English movie pays gloriously scant attention to geography, with consecutive fast-cut shots clearly having been taken in completely different areas of the city, and then there's The Man Who Knew Too Little, where a chase starts in the West End and ends on a flyover in Croydon within a couple of minutes.

Filmmakers are pretty much forced to do that in London, though. If you go to most big American cities you can pay to have whole streets shut down for extended periods while you film, but that just doesn't happen in London. The longest the Met will hold traffic for is 30 seconds, and they start timing that from the moment the traffic stops, not from the moment the actual take begins.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Richard A wrote:Surely, Nick Cooper et al are just making a bit of fun out of the fact that if you know a place, what programme makers do with it, often seems rather daft. All the original posts were made somewhat tongue in cheek, indeed the 'What I learned about...' thread title is a typically jokey way of listing inconsistencies in places like IMDb.
Even amongst 24 fans it seems it's widely acknowledged that real world geography - and indeed physics - has little meaning. I mean, in #6 someone gets hit by a Whitechapel-bound 106 bus in Trafalgar Square. Which is terrible. The 106 doesn’t go through Trafalgar Square.

Rather startingly, though, the Underground journey from Kennington to Charing Cross was accurate!
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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote:For me, part of the fun of this series of 24 has been the way they've used locations. I just think it's fantastic that Jack Bauer is running around yer actual London.

London car chases in Hollywood movies are often good for amusingly disjointed locations. The Aston Martin chase in the first Johnny English movie pays gloriously scant attention to geography, with consecutive fast-cut shots clearly having been taken in completely different areas of the city, and then there's The Man Who Knew Too Little, where a chase starts in the West End and ends on a flyover in Croydon within a couple of minutes.

Filmmakers are pretty much forced to do that in London, though. If you go to most big American cities you can pay to have whole streets shut down for extended periods while you film, but that just doesn't happen in London. The longest the Met will hold traffic for is 30 seconds, and they start timing that from the moment the traffic stops, not from the moment the actual take begins.
cf. Fast & Furious 6. Although you have to accept the premise of an organised street race through Central London first.... Actually, there was a lot of the Square Mile in that film - maybe City of London Police are more amenable.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by marsey »

What about Police Squad; driving through Little Italy and there's the Colosseum in the background. Do tv writers never get their facts right?

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by GarethR »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:Actually, there was a lot of the Square Mile in that film - maybe City of London Police are more amenable.
The Square Mile is much quieter at the weekends than elsewhere in central London. That undoubtedly helped. Additionally, a fair bit of the street racing filming was actually done in Liverpool, and the Piccadilly Circus sequence was filmed partly for real (they were allowed a remarkable two minutes per hour to shut it down for filming) and partly on a replica built at Shepperton.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by drmih »

A touch off-topic but my wife tells this great story from circa 1984 when she was out for an early morning ride on the Ridgeway near Oxford and went along a misty track and came out into a plain to be confronted by Stonehenge. It had been erected over-night for the days shooting of National Lampoons European Vacation - as it was demolished in the film I guess they couldn't use the real one!

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by mikew »

One of my favourit bits of disjointed location filming is the death of Christopher Eccleston in Cracker. Filmed in Manchester, he gets stabbed in Safeway (now Morrisons) in Chorlton but manages to stagger all the way to Levenshulme before he finally expires.

See, we these issues in the North too. :-)

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote:The Square Mile is much quieter at the weekends than elsewhere in central London. That undoubtedly helped.
It also gave Love Soup the free use of a real department store (House of Fraser at Monument), as it doesn't open at weekends!
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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Brian F »

Well my favourite is Batman rushing from the centre of Gotham City to stop large bomb going off and arriving at Battersea Power station - no wonder he didn't get there in time; the Atlantic Ocean must have delayed him a bit.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by DuncanS »

mikew wrote:One of my favourit bits of disjointed location filming is the death of Christopher Eccleston in Cracker. Filmed in Manchester, he gets stabbed in Safeway (now Morrisons) in Chorlton but manages to stagger all the way to Levenshulme before he finally expires.

See, we these issues in the North too. :-)
An office I worked in was used as a location for a Taggart episode circa 2004 and we were all surprised to see in the final episode that our location had switched banks of the Clyde in the show.

....and a building about half a mile along the road was used as the police station in the Ken Stott Rebus stories, which was odd considering that the series is set in Edinburgh - their response times must have been dreadful.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

DuncanS wrote:An office I worked in was used as a location for a Taggart episode circa 2004 and we were all surprised to see in the final episode that our location had switched banks of the Clyde in the show.

....and a building about half a mile along the road was used as the police station in the Ken Stott Rebus stories, which was odd considering that the series is set in Edinburgh - their response times must have been dreadful.
An office I'd worked in not long before (my employers relocated) was used for an episode of ITV's Chiller series in 1995 (Here Comes the Mirror Man). One character was seen entering the building in the normal entrance, but when then seen entering the open plan office I used to work in, he came in from the fire exit on the other side of the building!
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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Brian F »

Also in series 3 of Luther Shot in Keybridge House (ex-BT building that I used to work in) they came down from the roof of the 14 story tower side of the building into what was the staff canteen then ran down a few stairs (there are 27 to a floor there) and went straight into the 2nd or 4th floor frame room of the podium side of the building, which is a good 50ft from the stairs.

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Well, the series finale really excelled itself: "The harbour" turned out to be "Southampton docks," apaprently within half an hour's (lorry) driving distance of London....
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: What I learned about London from '24'

Post by drmih »

Well I'm going to stand up for the programme here and if we're talking about the terrorists, they left the outskirts of London in the lorry at between 9:05 and 9:10 in Episode 11. They arrive at Southampton docks sometime after about 10:20 in episode 12. Assuming that they started close to the M3 it's just about possible at that time of night (M3->M27->M271 all motorways to within a mile or so of the dock gates). There was plenty of other nonsense but I'll give them that one!

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