The new Bletchley Circle spin-off is set in San Francisco, but you might not have guessed where it’s actually shot.
Continuing the world of ITV’s popular post-WW2 crime drama, which was cancelled in 2014, The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco sees original British stars Julie Graham and Rachael Stirling return as Jean and Millie, where they join up with two American codebreakers to investigate a string of new murder cases in four two-part standalone stories.
However, the series isn’t actually filmed in San Francisco. It’s made in Vancouver, Canada!
Production designer Joanna Dunn explained: “It’s not the first time I’ve shot Vancouver as San Francisco. There are lots of parts of Vancouver itself that could be San Francisco, but the historical part is more the challenge because San Francisco’s much more Victorian, and we aren’t.”
She revealed the difficulties she’s had finding locations for a show set in the 1950s: “The most challenging element is the amount of modernity in the world, exteriors mostly, on location. Everybody’s got the newest thermostat, security camera so you can only look in a limited pie wedge. You can’t turn around because there’s a modern glass aluminum building across the street.
“In Vancouver, we don’t keep a sense of history in the same way, we’re a city of transplants, everybody is from somewhere else. There’s no roots so I find historical things aren’t kept in the same way. Things are just taken down and built modern, which is progressive, but it’s hard to do 50’s when everything looks like it’s been built in the last 20 years.”
The first two seasons of The Bletchley Circle are available to buy on DVD now.
The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco is currently airing at 9pm on Wednesday nights on ITV in the UK and is available in the US exclusively on Britbox.