Cast of Passenger shares what it was like to film in Cornholme as new drama airs on ITV

A new ITV drama will showcase the Calderdale village of Cornholme to millions on Sunday nights.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Passenger will air its first episode this weekend (March 24) at 9pm on ITV1.

The series, written by debut screenwriter Andrew Buchan, who is best known for his acting roles in Broadchurch and Better, explores a close-knit community who are unwilling to face their fears of change, of outsiders and of the unknown.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Filming took place last year and used locations on Duke Street, Burnley Road and the Cornholme and Portsmouth Old Library.

DC Riya Ajunwa (played by Wunmi Mosaku). Picture: ITVDC Riya Ajunwa (played by Wunmi Mosaku). Picture: ITV
DC Riya Ajunwa (played by Wunmi Mosaku). Picture: ITV
Read More
See if you can spot Todmorden in new trailer for ITV series Passenger that as fi...

Wunmi Mosaku, who plays D.I. Riya Ajunwa, shared what it was like filming in Calderdale.

She said: “You really feel like you’re in Chadder. The way that the hills kind of cocoon the town, we filmed in Cornholme and it has its own weather system!

"It will be really sunny and then it’ll snow and then it'll rain and then it’ll be sunny again. That feels very individual and isolated.”

Katie Wells (Rowan Robinson). Picture: Sister Pictures for ITV/MATT SQUIREKatie Wells (Rowan Robinson). Picture: Sister Pictures for ITV/MATT SQUIRE
Katie Wells (Rowan Robinson). Picture: Sister Pictures for ITV/MATT SQUIRE
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The series centres around Chadder Vale, a close-knit town where nothing seems to perforate the mundane.

D.I. Riya Ajunwa is bored of solving petty crimes by day and looking after her batty mother-in-law by night. So, when Katie Wells goes missing one night in the forest, Riya thinks this could be the case that changes everything. The only problem is, Katie Wells shows up at home, safe and sound, 24 hours after she disappeared.

But Riya’s not convinced. Something doesn’t add up. Where did Katie go, and why won’t she tell Riya what happened in the forest? What about the reports of other young people who are disappearing - all seemingly with a connection to the fracking site and the old tree on the town’s outskirts? And then there’s the dead stag on the forest road, which has been obliterated into a thousand pieces by someone. Or something.

Rowan Robinson plays Katie Wells in the series and described how the locations brought an authenticity to the drama’s story.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rowan said: “I mean if you look at the background of all the shots, we filmed most of it in Cornholme, this little village town that had massive hills, mountains and trees surrounding it.

"In the background of every single shot, there’s this looming mountain behind us. I think that it just helps as an actor because you don't really have to use your imagination.”

Barry Sloane plays Eddie Wells, a man who has just been released from prison after serving five years for assault.

He spoke about how he enjoyed his time filming in Calderdale: “I loved spending time in Cornholme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It’s so imposing, just with that backdrop of this huge looming beast of the forest and the mountain there just overlooking it is huge and overbearing.”

Executive Producer Lucy Dyke said: “We found our town of Chadder Vale just to the north of Manchester, near a place called Todmorden, which is allegedly the place where the most UFOs have ever been seen in the UK.

“Cornholme has this eerie quality to it, it’s a really sweet little village, but it doesn't get sunlight for four months of the year.

“Between November and February, the sun never rises above the hills which gives it this kind of slightly ‘other’ quality, which is really important to us for Chadder Vale.”

Related topics: