The new Apple TV+ crime thriller series ‘Criminal Record‘ takes us through the gritty underbelly and hidden corners of London through its filming locations.
Filming took place on location throughout the UK capital in mid-2022, making use of real neighborhoods and landmarks to capture an authentic atmosphere.
Let’s take a look at some of the key spots used, during the production of all episodes.
Criminal Record Filming Locations
Criminal Record was filmed in London, United Kingdom. Principal shooting took place in the outskirts of London in June 2022, reported by locals.
Downtown London was also used to show the richer and influential communities of the UK capital.
Its shiny towers have rich company offices and powerful government buildings.
Central London, UK
The heart of London was used to shoot most of the scenes of the British crime thriller series.
Its unique blend of old and new provides a captivating backdrop for the show’s suspenseful narrative.
This area feels cold and uncaring. It contrasts with the struggling neighborhoods.
Iconic landmarks like the Shard, the Walkie Talkie, and The BT Tower can be spotted in background shots.
Showrunner Paul Rutman wanted to craft a noir aesthetic, and that’s why, most of the shooting was done at night, which adds to the show’s gloomy atmosphere.
Locations range from glass skyscrapers of corporate London to run-down housing projects on its outskirts.
This allows the show to realistically portray the poverty and inequality that breeds crime.
Neighborhood Scenes were filmed around real people
To film neighborhood scenes, the crew worked right in the midst of real communities.
By keeping the cameras at a distance, they were able to act out sequences with extras on live streets filled with commuters.
For a scene of missing person flyers being handed out, regular pedestrians were unaware they briefly joined the cast!
This guerilla filmmaking captured the vibrancy of London.
In other spots, extras were cast from local communities to add a genuine flavor to crowd scenes.
The Shard has been featured prominently on the skyline in a few shots.
Show creator Paul Rutman said part of his vision was to uncover the “dark underbelly” of the city.
There are lots of dimly-lit, rundown areas that speak to the crime and corruption Detective Daniel deals with.
Graffiti-covered walls, deserted warehouses, and shadowy tunnels under bridges provide atmospheric spots to discover secrets and hold clandestine meetings.
Walworth, South London
Walworth provides ample urban decay with its crumbling infrastructure, graffitied walls and lifeless housing projects.
The marginalized community here highlights the economic inequality and lack of opportunity that pushes people towards illegal means of survival.
Errol himself grew up around the slums in Walworth, shaping his jaded worldview and sympathy for those failed by the system.
The environs of this South London city feature heavily in the first few episodes of the Criminal Record series, including home turf of detective Errol Mathis.
Brixton, South-west London
Further southwest, scenes were filmed on location in the district of Brixton. Another economically-deprived area, it has a reputation for gang and crime activity.
With its vibrant murals and Caribbean influence, Brixton provides visual flair to offset its underlying darkness.
As a cultural melting pot, it also emphasises the ethnic tensions that boil beneath the surface in London.
Thematically, this ties in to plot points regarding institutional racism within the city’s police force.
Camberwell, South London
The inner southeast London locale of Camberwell features as the troubled home neighborhood of anonymous caller in Criminal Record series. His scenes were filmed on location showing housing projects and alleys with graffiti.
Characterized by public housing amidst graffitied alleyways, it provides the same bleakness and sense of abandonment as Walworth.
This highlights the limited prospects for youth growing up in these concrete jungles, turning to drugs and violence as their only foreseeable future.
Like much of the show, Camberwell locations were dressed down via artificial rubbish and derelict cars to emphasise urban decay.
Inspiration Behind the Criminal Record
Given London’s police force has itself been accused of racism and misogyny, it made an apropos setting for the show’s commentary.
Peter Capaldi, who stars as Detective Daniel Hegarty in the series, noted that the shooting backdrop let him realistically engage with characters that highlight problems of discrimination.
The city environments demonstrate how wealth divides among the locals. There’s also a juxtaposition between gleaming towers, where powerful figures operate behind-the-scenes, and neglected streets where vulnerable people live out of view.
- Wonderful World Kdrama Where to watch? Is it on Netflix? - March 4, 2024
- Where to watch Mary J Blige Real Love Movie? Is it on Netflix? - March 3, 2024
- Where to watch Dune 2? Is the sequel streaming on Netflix? - March 2, 2024