Monday 11 July 2011, 10:50
I am the production designer on The Night Watch and prior to that I was production designer on Lark Rise To Candleford. This was convenient really because, as you will see later, the two shows are inextricably linked.
I am responsible for the look and feel of the show. It is my job to convince you that you really have stepped back in time to the Blitz era - that you are living and working in London and experiencing those events alongside the characters in the film.
I am responsible for not only designing the sets - both interior and exterior locations - but also for the props required to dress these sets, the vehicles that will drive along the roads, the sandbags that will line the streets, even down to the street signs.
Helen is rescued from the rubble
The exterior of that building was used for the bombsite location, where Kay is searching frantically for Helen.
The opening shots of that sequence, where the camera pans down off the window of a bedroom and then tracks past the exposed broken edge of the building, was all shot in one night.
The damaged building that you see was the real building, though heavily braced and supported, and visited by BBC Health and Safety before we were given permission to use it.
The Night Watch was, without doubt, the hardest job of my career, for many reasons.
But, on the night when we were filming the scene where Kay attends the bombsite where she finds the dead children in the Anderson shelter, one of the extras used in that scene came up to a member of my department.
They said that as a child, during the Blitz, they used to play on bombsites like that and, to quote, "It used be just like this, it really takes me back."
In moments such as that you feel, well, maybe regardless of everything that was against us - time, money, etc - maybe we did our job properly. Maybe?
Martin Boddinson is the production designer on The Night Watch.
Read a post by The Night Watch and Lark Rise To Candleford's costume designer, Pam Downe, on the BBC TV blog.
Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.
Join the discussion...