Jed Mercurio-produced drama Bloodlands is currently airing on BBC One, with James Nesbitt leading the Bloodlands cast as a Northern Irish detective on the hunt for the serial killer who murdered his wife.
While the four-part series is a tense, action-packed look at fraught political rivalries in Northern Ireland, Bloodlands shows off some of Belfast’s most famous landmarks with scenic shots of Queen’s University, Strangford Lough and County Down’s Mourne Mountains, where scenes were filmed.
Speaking about the show’s filming locations during BFI’s Bloodlands Q&A, Nesbitt said: “To see Strangford Lough and it’s so beautiful there, to be filming down in the Mountains of Mourne, to see in the beginning some of the opening shots, driving through Belfast with that fabulous soundtrack, looking at Harland & Wolff, Tom walking through a busy, a vibrant, youthful, emerging new Northern Ireland – it was very important to me.”
Harland & Wolff shipyard, Belfast
Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard plays a big role in Bloodlands, with the two yellow cranes frequently seen in serial killer Goliath’s calling cards.
Famous for building iconic ships such as the RMS Titanic and the HMS Belfast, Harland & Wolff’s cranes Samson and Goliath have been in operation since the mid-1960s, however the shipyard itself was founded almost 160 years ago.
Filming for Bloodlands took place on an island in the Strangford Lough, specifically the scenes in which police find the bodies of Goliath’s victims.
The Strangford Lough, located in Northern Ireland’s County Down, is the largest inlet in the British Isles and is a popular fishing location.
Speaking at the BFI Q&A, Jed Mercurio said of Strangford Lough: “It’s eerie, it’s austere, it can be beautiful, it can also be somewhere that you would enter with a sense of foreboding so it’s a great backdrop for a thriller.”
Queen’s University, Belfast
In episode one, we learn that Tom Brannick’s daughter Izzy is studying medicine at Queen’s University – so of course it makes sense for Bloodlands to have filmed at the Belfast-based college.
The university is located in the centre of Belfast, with the series filming outside the institution’s Main Site Tower and inside various lecture halls.
Bloodlands’ first episode features several shots of Strangford Harbour, where we first see Pat Keenan’s four-by-four being pulled out of the water by police.
Located on the shores of Strangford, a small village in County Down, the harbour boasts stunning views of Ireland’s northeast coast and the nearby sailing area.
Rosemary Street Masonic Hall, Belfast
As for the police station frequented by Tom Brannick and his team, Bloodlands used a Masonic Hall on Rosemary Street, central Belfast, to recreate the local nick.