|Created by||Charlotte Jones|
|Written by||Charlotte Jones |
|Directed by||Stephen Woolfenden |
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Executive producer(s)||Sharon Hughff|
|Production location(s)||London, England|
|Editor(s)||Crispin Green |
|Running time||47–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Left Bank Pictures|
|Original release||2 January– 20 February 2017|
The Halcyon is a British television period drama broadcast on ITV which began airing on 2 January 2017. It was created and written by Charlotte Jones. Left Bank Pictures is the production company of the series which is set in 1940 and focuses on a five-star hotel at the centre of London Society and a world at war. The series was first announced on 3 December 2015, before the official cast was announced on 4 April 2016, with Steven Mackintosh and Olivia Williams playing major roles. The series was cancelled after one series.
The Halcyon was first announced on 3 December 2015. It was commissioned by ITV's Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea. The show was produced by Chris Croucher, created by Charlotte Jones, executive produced by Sharon Hughff, Jack Lothian and Andy Harries. The lead series writer is Jack Lothian. Left Bank Pictures were the production company of the series.
The series focused on examining World War II London from 'a new perspective', and was set in 1940 at a five-star hotel "at the centre of London Society and a world at war", aiming to show London life "through the prism of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata." The first episode was broadcast on 2 January 2017, and the series concluded on 20 February 2017.
Croucher called The Halcyon "a similar beast" to Downton Abbey, although Left Bank Pictures founder and managing director Marigo Kehoe explained that the show had been in development "for a long time", and the development of the show came at a time when "new ideas were needed". Producer Chris Croucher added that "Downton has a serenity to it, but the modern world is arriving in The Halcyon", as well as revealing The Halcyon's dialogue "is more punchy" and that the show "has more energy". Radio Times wrote that The Halcyon has a "little bit of Downton Abbey and a little bit of Mr Selfridge in the mix".
The cast consists of about twenty main characters. The cast was officially announced on 4 April 2016, with the news that Olivia Williams and Steven Mackintosh would star in The Halcyon. Williams commented on her character, stating that Lady Hamilton is "a trope, but wonderful to play" before adding that her character is also "an inherited aristocrat with a sharp wit who is racist, classist, homophobic...Everything you'd want her to be, to be truly hateful!". Mackintosh revealed his character as "interesting", and that "on first impressions, you might think the surface is all there is". Tointon said of her casting that "it's a lovely compliment". She also stated The Halcyon cast will be a "sexier Downton".
Regular main cast
- Steven Mackintosh as Richard Garland, general manager
- Olivia Williams as Priscilla, Lady Hamilton, wife of Lord Hamilton
- Annabelle Apsion as Lillian Hobbs, housekeeper
- Mark Benton as Dennis Feldman, head concierge
- Jamie Blackley as Pilot Officer the Honourable Freddie Hamilton, Lord Hamilton's son and heir, newly qualified RAF fighter pilot
- Edward Bluemel as the Honourable Toby Hamilton, Freddie's twin brother, university researcher, later civil servant
- Alex Boxall as Tom Hill, waiter
- Nick Brimble as Skinner, doorman
- Michael Carter as Wilfred Reynolds, reception manager
- Lauren Coe as Kate Loughlin, chambermaid
- Hermione Corfield as Emma Garland, receptionist, later assistant manager, Richard's daughter
- Sope Dirisu as Sonny Sullivan, West Indian bandleader and pianist
- Charles Edwards as Lucian D'Abberville, the Comte De St Claire's factotum and hotel guest
- Kevin Eldon as George Parry, chef
- Gordon Kennedy as Robbie, sous chef
- Akshay Kumar as Adil Joshi, barman
- Ewan Mitchell as Billy Taylor, bellboy, Peggy's son
- Nico Rogner as Max Klein, kitchen porter, Austrian Jewish refugee
- Matt Ryan as Joe O'Hara, American radio correspondent and hotel guest
- Kara Tointon as Betsey Day, singer
- Liz White as Peggy Taylor, telephonist
- Jamie Cullum as Club Singer
- Eric Godon as the Comte De St Claire, French refugee and hotel guest
- Alex Jennings as Lord Hamilton, hotel owner and politician
- Beverley Knight as Ruby, singer
- Charity Wakefield as Charity Lambert, Lord Hamilton's mistress and Nazi sympathiser
- Danny Webb as Mortimer, Special Branch officer
- Doug Allen as Jim Taylor, Peggy's husband
- Jonathan Aris as Asper, German spy
- Geoffrey McGivern as Lord Ambrose, politician and former friend of Lord Hamilton
- Matthew Marsh as Delane, O'Hara's boss
- Maggie O'Neill as Gloria, Betsey's mother
- Tim Plester as Douglas, wartime acquaintance of Richard Garland
- Sophie Stanton as Evelyn, WVS ambulance driver
The Halcyon had several potential filming locations including Liverpool, Manchester and Dublin, however the team reached a decision to shoot the series on a studio space in London with West London Film Studios. The exterior of the set was provided by 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields in Central London, the former Land Registry Building now owned by The London School of Economics, while further outdoor scenes were shot at Spa Fields. Further locations include Serle Street and Portugal Street, two areas around Lincoln's Inn Fields. The hotel's basement was filmed at the House of Detention in Clerkenwell's Sans Walk. The Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent was used in episodes 5 and 6 for scenes depicting bombed London streets.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||"Episode 1"||Stephen Woolfenden||Jack Lothian and Charlotte Jones||2 January 2017||7.28|
|May 1940:- At the Halcyon hotel in London discreet manager Richard Garland turns a blind eye when the promiscuous owner Lord Hamilton smuggles in his flighty mistress Charity Lambert to sit in on a secret meeting of the appeasement party. When his wife Lady Hamilton arrives unexpectedly Richard and his receptionist daughter Emma, assisted by housekeeper Lilian and porter Feldman, act quickly to prevent her from catching the couple together. Emma is mutually attracted to RAF pilot Freddie, the Hamiltons' elder son who turns up with researcher brother Toby but Betsey, the out-spoken dance band singer, warns Emma that Freddie is out of her league. At a party for Freddie his father's indiscretions are common knowledge with the staff and Lady Hamilton despite the pair putting up a united front. They are all observed by American journalist Joe O'Hara, whose plan to expose Hamilton's political stance in a broadcast home leads to disaster.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Stephen Woolfenden||Jack Lothian and Charlotte Jones||9 January 2017||6.16|
|3||"Episode 3"||Rob Evans||Jack Lothian||16 January 2017||6.05|
|4||"Episode 4"||Rob Evans||Jack Lothian and Martha Hillier||23 January 2017||5.92|
|5||"Episode 5"||Justin Hardy||Jack Lothian and Charlotte Jones||30 January 2017||5.69|
|6||"Episode 6"||Justin Hardy||Sarah Dollard||6 February 2017||5.55|
|7||"Episode 7"||Philip John||Martha Hillier and Jack Lothian||13 February 2017||5.74|
|8||"Episode 8"||Philip John||Jack Lothian||20 February 2017||5.63|
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