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Silent Witness, Falling Angels, Part Two

Continuing with Part Two of January’s two part “Silent Witness” story “Falling Angels”…

Warning this article contains SPOILERS.

Part Two starts with a police press conference outside Archway with the station entrance…


…and a telling off over the road with The Lion pub visible.


More in-service action on the Central line at St Paul’s and then the train is very quickly outside.


Male character again in the open at what we think might be Harrow & Wealdstone station.  The direction of the train (towards the camera) and the platform suggests it’s one that’s terminated and reversed there (though the film could be run in reverse, but we’ve not seen any evidence of that so far in this production).  The stock suggests Bakerloo or Piccadilly line, but as we’ve also seen scenes of Harrow & Wealdstone before we know they have been filming on the Bakerloo line.


He gets on a Bakerloo line 1973 Stock train, which…


…travels northbound on the Bakerloo line between South Kenton and Kenton – there is a green footbridge over the railway.


You can see it from satellite imagery – it’s next to Northwick Park.  So I think we can safely say Bakerloo line!

Screenshot 2015-02-02 16.19.36

Over to Kentish Town with East Midlands Trains  “I’m heading to Mornington Crescent, I’ll meet you there…”


Exterior of Mornington Crescent…


…and interior of Mornington Crescent as she takes the stairs not the lifts and onto…


…the Southbound Northern line platform, followed by the Northbound with her colleague.


They travel on the Northern line on unrefurbished 1995 stock going Northbound from Mornington Crescent following the previous route from Highgate to Archway so this makes sense.


The characters meet up at Willesden Junction on the high level platforms for the Overground. (He’d obviously come back down the Bakerloo to meet her!)


The police are closing in! Leaping the barriers at the real Kentish Town station!


Two escalators at Kentish Town mutate into…


Three working escalators at Charing Cross disused.


And they are back on to Charing Cross Jubilee platforms for the climax of the story.  This time it’s masquerading as “Kentish Town” (With another quick flashback to Finsbury Park.)


And with an approaching 1996 stock, we reach the…


…shocking conclusion!



We’ll have the full video of all the Tube scenes in this Silent Witness in the next post…

04 Mar 15

Silent Witness, Falling Angels, Part One

Last year’s Tube based “Sherlock” story which, although it made extensive use of location filming on the Tube, for the major Tube location spotters had inaccuracies galore (see “The Case of the Bad Continuity”) that detracted from the fact that those locations were in use in the first place!  Sub-surface stock innards in 1972 Tube stock, Sub-surface stock in Tube tunnels etc etc.

So when we settled down to watch January’s two part “Silent Witness” story “Falling Angels”, it was with more than a little trepidation as we’d heard it was extensively Tube based and that some scenes had been “guerrilla” filmed in live stations with normal traffic.  How would it fare…

We’re going to show you in this three part post and we’ll have the full 19 minutes of Tube-based scenes for you in the final one!  You’ll want to watch this as there is even more detail and scenery than conveyed by the screenshots here!

Warning this article contains SPOILERS.

…let’s just say we were pleasantly surprised and with around 19 minutes of Tube-based scenes in the 2 hours there is quite a bit for the location aficionados amongst you.

The story opens on what are clearly the disused Jubilee line platforms at Charing Cross station, however, there is a black and white frieze and roundels with “Archway” on them on the platform.


Archway, Northern line, got it!  There’s moving 1996 stock and action at track level too.


Our first character now leaves “Archway” station along a corridor that has a Piccadilly line map on the wall (you can see the Hounslows and loop for Heathrow 4 quite clearly)


and exits out of Finsbury Park station!


This is somewhat odd, considering what happens later on…  I think I can state here that this is the only real continuity “crime” in the whole programme!

A woman on an unrefurbished Northern line train.  She clearly gets off at the unmistakable East Finchley Station.


Next, scenes on a Central line train in service and what appears the first of the “in-service” filming.


The character involved departs the train and exits West Acton station into the alleyway next door to meet his unfortunate fate…


A character walks over a passenger footbridge over Tube tracks – it’s not completely clear where…


…but our money is on Harrow & Wealdstone if that’s a sunset in the West (and there are too many tracks for it to be Rayners Lane, which would have been our first guess.)

Screenshot 2015-02-02 16.24.08

He arrives on the platform of the in-service Northern line with refurbished 1995 Stock at what can only be Highgate station because of the length of the platform.


More in-service filming on a refurbished Northern line train, complete with a Tissue Beggar…


…which suddenly mutates into 1996 Stock back at Charing Cross masquerading as Archway.


Now we get to see the tiles of the real Archway exit/entrance…


…gate line


and control room as the police run down onto Charing Cross again masquerading as Archway.


Our suspect escapes via the driver’s cab into the tunnels and ventilation tunnels at Charing Cross at the climax of Part One.


More action from Part Two in the next post…

03 Mar 15

The Fanatics

Station Master Geoff pops up on a new Sky 1 quiz show tonight, The Fanatics as he pitches his Underground knowledge against two other fanatical contestants – a Doctor Who devotee and a Boxing aficionado.

It’s on tonight at 8pm, and you’ll have to watch it to see who wins …

Geoff the Fanatic

Geoff the Fanatic

07 Jan 15

The Victoria Line is broken … in 1989

We delightfully found today that ITV/Thames News has uploaded a whole load of archive footage to YouTube of old news reports, including a few from the the Underground. There’s one on overcrowding at Angel, even one about the Clapham train disaster, but we like this short piece on the cancelling of Victoria Line trains due to wheel issues!

10 Dec 14

TfL Recall

Spoiler Alert: This post is about the 2012 version of the film Total Recall, and may contain spoilers if you’ve not already seen it and wish to do so in the future!

We’re always looking for the Tube in films and TV programmes (remember Sherlock from earlier this year?) and this weekend we were watching the 2012 remake of the classic 1990 film “Total Recall”, when we spotted something rather familiar and we’re going to remember it for you, wholesale.

Set at the end of the 21st century in a “United Federation of Britain”, there is a lot of implied London imagery and even shots of The Elizabeth Tower and The BT Tower to fully sell this to you.  However, at one point well into the film, our ‘hero’, Douglas Quaid (played in the remake by Colin Farrell), ends up in a very American looking subway station.


Get ready for a surprise!  Open your mind and look really hard at the signage above the platform and you can see the yellow on black London Underground “Way out” signs and direction signage with a Victoria Line coloured strip at the top!  Now you’d be forgiven for missing this the first time, as it’s only briefly on screen but in the next shot your Tube alarms should be sounding very loudly!


Yes, it doesn’t take two weeks to spot that is a “London Underground” “Tell us what you think” poster on the ticket booth! Quaid boards (the door opened, he got in) the subway car – which we’ll come to in a moment – and to cement the London Underground for you again the poster appears in the carriage.


As the “futuristic” subway car (with added lighting – New Tube for London anyone?) arrives at its destination, there’s an LU roundel on the wall…


…and if you missed it earlier, one on the train.  We hope they enjoyed the ride!


So apart from the actual train itself (fair enough, the film was made in Canada), someone seems to have gone to a good effort to dress the set as the London Underground as was probably in their brief!

Spotted any other Tube related imagery on film or television?  Let us know… See you at the party!


01 Dec 14

Gadget man on the tube

How did we miss this? Thank heavens for catch-up TV.

The second episode of the new third series of Gadget Man on Channel 4 (Now hosted by Richard Ayoade) which started last week, found him on the Tube, and other forms of public transport.

In particular on the Underground, as the programme blurb puts it:

“Richard turns his attention to the noise, dirt and discomfort he suffers while on public transport. Russell Howard joins him on London’s tube to assess the effectiveness of gadgets designed to deal with poor air quality and extreme heat.”

Gadget Man

Gadget Man

08 Sep 14

A case of the false facade

We thought that we were all tubed-out in terms of Sherlock after we’d been dished up a lot of mixed up trains a couple of weeks ago in the first episode, but we knew that something might be going on when we received a text message from a friend saying “Is it true about the houses?” – as we were half an hour behind watching it on catchup.

“That’ll be a Leinster Gardens reference then” announced this Station Master, and sure enough, when we got to part in the programme ourselves, there was Sherlock, Watson and Mrs. Watson all holed up in the best-fake-addressed-house in London.

The best way to visit the houses-that-aren’t as created by the Metropolitan Line is to of course visit them yourself, but for a cosier warmer view you can just use Google Maps from above to look down on the location, where clearly there is a gap in the houses and the railway runs instead.

Leinster Ariel Shot

One thing we’re not clear on though is how much of an ‘inside’ of 23-24 Leinster Gardens there really is.  When Station Master Geoff passed through last year whilst making the District Line video for the Londonist and he dropped by (scroll to 3m 38s), there was only a small crack in the window revealing a tiny room which I doubt leads to a long corridor as shown in the programme.

So if you’ve never been, next time you’re in central west London, hop out at either Bayswater or Paddington, to discover London’s best false address.

13 Jan 14

The Case of the Bad Continuity

Twitter exploded in a frenzy the other night when halfway through the new Sherlock episode The Empty Hearse, there were some continuity issues with the tube train scenes. But there were a couple of other things that we noticed too…

It was set up nicely at nine minutes in that there might be some more tube-action to come when Martin Freeman is travelling on a Jubilee Line train – and yet this is interspersed with some cab-view images from a subsurface train, a shot travelling through Tower Hill, and then one going eastbound through Blackfriars is clearly visible.

Sherlock Blackfriars

Then onto the main feast one hour in – the CCTV images are labelled St. James’s Park with again it clearly being a Jubilee Line train, and the shots all filmed at the disused Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross.  Sixty two minutes in and the action switched to the characters entering Westminster – I’d like to think that they filmed that, not out of hours, but during normal operations as the clocks on the departure boards show 21:34.

The next scenes (supposedly in the same station) are filmed back at Charing Cross again – in the corridor leading to the Northern Line, and they then enter a service shaft – which is real because we’ve been in it!   It’s the old ventilation shaft for again the disused Jubilee Line platforms.

They climb down and enter a long tunnel with sleepers piled to the side – this is the service tunnel used during construction of the station, and runs north from Charing Cross and goes right underneath Trafalgar Square.

Then, they appear on the platforms of the abandoned Aldwych station – whilst all the time making out that they’re still beneath Westminster and the Houses of Parliament.

And the the huge continuity mistake which had all the ardent enthusiasts screaming blue murder.  They approach a train – red in colour on the front – which is an old 1972 Northern Line stock train, and one that is kept parked between Holborn and Aldwych.

Sherlock Tube Train

They then proceed to get on this train, and it really gets a bit silly.  The inside-the-train shots of the carriage, are clearly a modern-day District Line train – a subsurface train which is squarer in shape, and not a deep level ‘tube’ shaped train.  And this subsurface train (complete with under-seat and under-floor wires and timers) looked very much like it was in “tube” tunnel – because it was actually a set specifically built for the shoot.

So they’ve gone from a Jubilee train, to an old Northern one, to a modern-day District one. (And at 45 minutes in when they meet the guy that has the CCTV footage, he even says “I work on the District Line” – when all the main shots are of Jubilee Line trains).

And there the action ends … and we haven’t even mentioned the massive plot hole that in real life a whole tube carriage could not go ‘missing’ without being noticed.   Nor does it take five minutes for a train to travel between Westminster and St. James Park (it takes two), for them to be able to add on another whole five minutes for the journey to take ten to allow them time to ‘remove’ a carriage.

There’s one other thing to mention – a touch which I don’t think anyone else mentioned on Twitter on the night, but we spotted … at 46 minutes in when Sherlock is having one of his  ‘deep thinking’ moments, there are several fast sequences where a tube map is super-imposed – here showing it on these escalators – and it’s not a modern day map – it’s an old 1930’s pre-Beck map, that has been subtly inserted in, and we really liked that.

Sherlock Old Map

One final thing to mention – ‘Sumatra Road’ station – which is meant to be the tube station that never was, is actually a reference to The Giant Rat of Sumatra, which first appears in a 1924 original Sherlock Holmes story.

Buzzfeed and IanVisits all picked up on it too.

05 Jan 14