Spotlight on the valley for new TV drama

Heptonstall Junior and Infant School pupils pictured on the set of new ITV drama Jericho, some of which has been filmed in Heptonstall Village.
Heptonstall Junior and Infant School pupils pictured on the set of new ITV drama Jericho, some of which has been filmed in Heptonstall Village.

It was lights, camera, action in the Calder Valley as filming for a new television got underway.

The spotlight was on Heptonstall as the village was transformed into a television set for new ITV drama Jericho.

The eight-part series stars Jessica Raine, of the BBC’s Call the Midwife fame, and is set in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870s.

The drama will focus on the shantytown of Jericho, home to a community who will thrive and die in the shadow of the viaduct they have been brought together to build.

And the children of Heptonstall Junior Infant School were lucky enough to be invited along to watch the action unfold.

Head teacher David Perrin, said: “The producer invited Year 5 and 6 down to come and watch some of the filming during the afternoon and they saw one of the opening scenes.

“The transformation in the area around the post office was magnificent.

“My thanks to all involved with the production for such a wonderful opportunity for the children. We look forward to seeing it.”

Jericho has been created and written by Steve Thompson (Sherlock, Doctor Who) and executive produced by ITV Studios Director of Drama Kate Bartlett (Vera, Marchlands).

BAFTA nominated director Paul Whittington (Cilla, Mrs Biggs, The Widower) will direct the series and Lisa Osborne (Little Dorrit, South Riding, Quirke) will produce.

“We’re delighted to be embarking on the production of Jericho, an epic character driven drama set in the visually striking landscape of a frontier community,” said Executive Producer Kate Bartlett.

Steve November, ITV’s Director of Drama, said: “Jericho focuses on the creation of a community from nothing and the human stories and epic struggles of survival that will emerge.”

The area is no stranger to the spotlight as Hebden Bridge featured heavily in BBC drama Happy Valley, expected to return this year.