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18 June 2014
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 Angel: Part of BBCi Cult  Angel: Part of BBCi Cult  Angel: Part of BBCi Cult

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Interviews | Stuart Blatt - Angel Production Designer
A holiday in Pylea

PictureDoes the village from Pylea exist or is it just a set?

A little bit of both. Earlier in the season (two) we shot an episode that took place during the Boxer rebellion of 1900 in China (Darla). We were looking around for a place to do a small Chinese province town, and through our research we realised that a lot of Chinese towns looked very similar to small Mexican villages. They used clay adobe structures with either thatched or tower roofs.

Our location department found a movie ranch that had a standing set, built years ago for, I believe, a Nick Nolte film. It was basically a Tijuana town, used many times as Columbia or Honduras or any place South America. We said "You know what? We can turn this into a Chinese province town," and we did so very effectively for that episode.

When it came to shooting Pylea we realised we were up against the same challenge and we said "You know what, it just so happens that the Chinese province town which looked a lot like Mexico also happens to look a lot like England, or Pylea or any other medieval pseudo Euro-space, alternative dimension with two suns kind of world".

We went out there and showed the producers what we could do. We have a great bit of latitude in that Angel is a fantasy show, somewhat based on a reality framework. So, having to stay true somewhat to everyone’s pre-conceived notion of what a medieval village looks like and then taking it one step further, we were able to say "Well, we’ve got already clay walls to start with".

Then we put all the timbers on, we put the thatching on the roofs, we brought in all the stalls of the different merchants and the vendors and the blacksmiths that lived in the town, and the gallows. The costume department did a phenomenal job, we got our animal wranglers to bring in medieval chickens and goats and pigs and yaks and we created some wonderful vehicles out of old chariots.

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Angel is broadcast on Sky One and Five in the UK, and is © Twentieth Century Fox Television. Some images copyright Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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