Jed Mercurio’s new drama Bodyguard premiered with a nail-biting opening 20 minutes on Sunday night, watched by almost 7 million viewers.
The scene in question featured Richard Madden’s war veteran David Budd preventing a terror attack on a train to London.
But his stand-out co-star was the railway station where it all took place – and thanks to the publicity, Mid Norfolk Railway in Dereham, a heritage station, already has other TV shows lining up to film there.
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George Saville, operations manager of Mid Norfolk Railway, told the Dereham Times: “We were really pleased with the show. Plenty of the railway was shown at the start which is great because you can never be too sure how much will be included.
“We’re now finding we are getting approached more and more. A German beer company came and spent the week with us last month and the station was turned into a German railway station. We are hoping that it will continue and the Mid Norfolk Railway will attract more film and television crews in the future.”
The scene wasn’t always intended to be shot in Dereham, however. As showrunner Mercurio explained in a tweet, it was originally meant to be filmed at Waterloo Station in London before permission was revoked, meaning the plot had to be changed accordingly.
The opening sequence of #Bodyguard was originally going to be shot on a train about to depart Waterloo Station. Permission was revoked and we had to reconceive the whole sequence to a new location with a completely rewritten chain of events. Thanks to @midnorfolkrly.
— Jed Mercurio (@jed_mercurio) August 27, 2018
Talk about a sliding doors moment.
Mercurio also revealed that the sniper on the roof in episode two was created with visual effects, because “for public safety” he wasn’t allowed to “put anyone on a roof with a rifle”.
The sniper attack on Home Secretary in #Bodyguard was filmed near the Old Bailey. For public safety we weren't permitted to put anyone on the roof with a rifle. This image on David Budd's phone was created with visual effects. Pascoe House is fictional – the sign is also vfx. pic.twitter.com/1sWgHvRj2M
— Jed Mercurio (@jed_mercurio) August 28, 2018
Bodyguard continues on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday