BBC One’s crime drama The Pact airs its finale episode tonight, with Anna, Cat, Louie and Nancy beginning to buckle under the intense pressure that comes with covering up your boss’s death.
It’s been cliffhanger after cliffhanger so far in this series from Pete McTighe and while the picturesque scenes of rural Wales are stunning to see on screen, they only momentarily distract you from the gripping drama that the four brewery workers have found themselves entangled in.
Featuring a stellar line-up of actors – The Pact cast includes the likes of Laura Fraser, Rakie Ayola, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Eddie Marsan and Adrian Edmondson – this BBC drama follows the co-workers as they try to keep the truth of their boss Jack’s death under wraps while Anna’s police officer husband Max (Jason Hughes), Jack’s estranged father Arwel (Marsan) and DS Holland (Ayola) begin digging into the case.
With the beautiful landscapes of Pontypool, Monmouthshire and Cardiff used as a backdrop for this thrilling drama – and a real life brewery featuring in the series – here’s everything you need to know about The Pact’s filming locations.
Rhymney Brewery, Pontypool
The Rhymney Brewery in Pontypool served as The Pact’s Evans Brewery – the main backdrop for this BBC One drama and the place where Anna, Nancy, Louie and Cat all work.
Located nine Blaenavon near Abergavenny, Rhymney is usually open to visitors and is considered a heritage site in Wales.
Show creator Pete McTigue told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview that he was looking to set the drama in a working class environment, with the story usually focused on a factory. “But we went over with our locations people and basically gave them carte-blanche to give great locations and if we found a great place that was really great and evocative and different then I would tweak the script and we’d set the show there.
“And we found this amazing brewery and they were crazy enough to let us have full access to it for quite a long time and it was kind of irresistible because it gave us such great scale,” he added. “And I can’t think of a show that’s been set in a brewery before, I’m sure there has been one but I can’t think of one so it was a great environment to play in.”
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan
Filming for The Pact also took place in Merthyr Tydfil – a town north of Cardiff. Home to almost 45,000 people, the town is best known as the birth place of fashion designer Laura Ashley, professional footballer Gareth Abraham and boxer Eddie Thomas.
Merthyr Tydfil’s scenic views served as a backdrop for a number of scenes, with the drama’s star Laura Fraser telling WalesOnline.co.uk: “We got to see some of the Welsh scenery in places around Merthyr Tydfil…We filmed in two different woods, which were stunning and then most of the other locations were in the studio.”
Speaking about filming in Wales, The Pact’s Julie Hesmondhalgh said: “I mean all the locations we filmed in were just beautiful, we filmed in Merthyr, Usk, Monmouth it was just… I mean I love Wales.”
The Welsh town of Usk – found in Monmouthshire, 10 miles from Newport – features in BBC One’s The Pact.
Located on the River Usk, the small market town is home to an impressive arched stone bridge and Usk Castle, which overlooks the town.
On filming in Wales generally, Rakie Ayola said: “Wales is playing Wales, that’s what I love. Wales has doubled for all kinds of places recently and long may that continue but Wales is portraying Wales and it look fantastic.”
Various scenes in The Pact were filmed in Monmouth – a historic county town near the Wales-England border. Located where the River Monnow becomes the River Wye, Monmouth is populated by just over 10,000 people and boasts a small Roman fort and a medieval stone gated bridge which is the only one of its kind still standing in Britain.
The Pact producer Elwen Rowlands recently said that with this being Little Door Productions’ first series, they wanted to launch with a quality drama but one that portrayed Wales.
“It was about that authentic portrayal really, so no dodgy accents, and a portrayal of Wales that is my home, of contemporary Wales – the strong sense of community, the diversity, the accent and the wonderful locations.
“Wales offers fantastic locations, a great variety of locations actually and wonderful crew and we’ve seen Wales double up as numerous locations over the years.”
Cardiff also features in The Pact, with the Welsh capital becoming a backdrop for various scenes throughout the six-parter.
The largest city in Wales, Cardiff is home to the BBC drama village, Cardiff International Sports Village, the Principality Stadium, St David’s shopping centre and Cardiff University.
On filming in Cardiff, Hesmondhalgh said: “I didn’t know Cardiff well but absolutely fell in love with it… I just completely fell in love with it, with the people, with the surrounding countryside, the parks.
“It was a really really wonderful and special time despite the challenge of all the COVID restrictions we were working under, it was a bit of a magical time.”
St Mary’s Church, Marshfield
Marshfield-based church St Mary’s was used to film various scenes in the series, according to Hesmondhalgh.
The church dates back to 1242, having been consecrated by the Bishop of Worcester, and can be found on the cast near St Brides.
The Pact continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One. If you’ve already finished the series, you should read our The Pact ending explainer. If you’re looking for more to watch, take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out our TV Guide.