The Mallorca Files

Crime’s about to get a kick in the Balearics!

Ben Donald (Executive producer and founder of Cosmopolitan Pictures)

I wanted to bring the Anglo-German relationship up-to-date and flip the stereotypes. So Max is a laid-back, chaotic, charming guy, while Miranda is a buttoned up, rational, uptight woman. And Mallorca, which is loved by both nationalities, was the obvious destination to explore that.Ben Donald
Date: 19.11.2019     Last updated: 19.11.2019 at 16.41

What inspired you to make this series?

I wanted to bring the Anglo-German relationship up-to-date and flip the stereotypes. So Max is a laid-back, chaotic, charming guy, while Miranda is a buttoned up, rational, uptight woman. And Mallorca, which is loved by both nationalities, was the obvious destination to explore that.

How have you pitched this show?

I was very conscious that people's immediate reflex would be, "Oh no, there'll be drunken tourists in Magaluf." But I was very keen to avoid that bacon and eggs, sunburnt Brits abroad, stag parties stereotype. We have gone in a very different direction. The Mallorca Files is much more glamorous and aspirational. It's focusing on the beauty of the island rather than the lager of the island!

Is this show very specifically about Mallorca?

Yes, we are not in generic Spain. This could not be anywhere else. The stories in this series are very much connected to this place and embedded in the local culture. It's not a parallel universe of expats. What you get is a very strong sense of this particular island, as opposed to anywhere else in the Mediterranean. It's not an invented island.

Tell us more.

Mallorca has got a very proud history and a strong cultural sense of its own identity, which is reflected in the cuisine and the dialect. Mallorca also has an amazing combination of spectacular mountains, plains and coast. We use multiple locations to tell different stories and bring in different jeopardies. It's great for the viewer because they are not served up the same recipe every time. We shoot 95 percent of the show on location. It's a wonderful place to set a drama.

Will people compare The Mallorca Files with other British shows set in Spain?

No. ITV's sitcom Benidorm is completely different from this. That was a comedy and this is more in the vein of a buddy cop movie. The Mallorca Files is also very different from Sunburn and El Dorado, which by the way, I don't think was as bad as people said. This will show an island which is incredibly elegant and chic. It's very different from anything that's been done before.

Can you give us an example of how different this show is from previous British dramas set in Spain?

The opening titles will instantly demonstrate that. They are inspired by films like Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. Viewers will see the James Bond style silhouettes and immediately know that they are in very different territory from Benidorm and El Dorado. The Mallorca Files is much more of a kinetic action show.

How have the locals greeted you?

We've been very warmly welcomed because we are filming Mallorca as Mallorca. There is a big infrastructure here for filming. They make a lot of adverts here, and people are used to seeing film crews around and about. But often they're not filming it as Mallorca. For instance, in The Night Manager, Mallorca doubled for Cairo. But the locals are very excited to have us here because we're really celebrating this amazing island.