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Location, Location, Location!

Although there was only a modest amount of location work in Timeslip, what was used, was used to good effect. In fact, in the entire twenty-six episodes, only three locations were used with only two of them strictly qualifying as 'locations' in their own right.


Cheryl Burfield colour location shot.

Of course, the main location used in the series was the extremely atmospheric Ministry Field adjacent to the derelict St. Oswald Naval Station. Although used extensively throughout the series, the location footage was actually shot in two blocks. The first block, featuring material used in 'The Wrong End of Time' and 'The Time of the Ice Box' was directed by John Cooper (this also included a night shoot which featured in 'Wrong End') the second block was directed by Ron Francis and included the material for the 'Year of the Burn-Up' and 'The Day of the Clone'. All of the Ministry Field material was recorded using Outside Broadcast equipment - the signal being beamed via a church tower in Barnet back to Borehamwood where it was recorded on 2" tape. For the night shoot the 1940 'side' of the time barrier was represented by a specially erected chain-link fence (complete with hole) fastened to the existing concrete posts and supported from above by a beam. The whole thing was then topped-off with barbed wire. A small, 'porch' was erected in front of one of the buildings on the site and lit from within to give the building a 'lived-in' look.


Night shoot location shot.

The real location of the Ministry Field was in fact the former Burnt Farm Army Camp in Goff's Oak, Hertfordshire. The camp had been built in the 1930s and extended in the 40s to incorporate an anti-aircraft gun emplacement. In an interesting (but totally coincidental) parallel to the series, Burnt Farm was involved in the development of radar as part of the war effort.
The camp was decommissioned in the early 1950s and stood empty (aside from a caretaker) until it was bought by a neighbouring farm in 1962 and given over to chicken farming.


Ministry Field location shot.

This practice continued until 2002 when the camp and the neighbouring land was sold to a local developer, who in turn sold the camp on to a company for development as a housing estate.
The current status of the camp has the buildings being amalgamated into the new housing (quite literally!) with the neighbouring land - and this includes the 'Ministry Field' - largely unchanged since 1970 and hopefully remaining so since English Heritage apparently have an order on the site.


Night shoot location shot.

As of 2002, two of the three concrete posts that marked the entrance to the time barrier remain standing...

See images below shot 2002:

 

 


The second location used in the series was a quarry at Shenley, Hertfordshire. This was used to represent the new 'cave' home for the misfit community (and the surrounding area) in 'The Year of the Burn-Up'. Peter Jeffries directed this footage - the only segment in the entire series shot on film.

The final batch of location shots - used in 'The Day of the Clone' - barely qualify as location as they were in fact all shot within the confines of ATV Elstree's (now BBC Elstree) grounds. This footage was shot using the studio's cameras and was directed by either Ron Francis or David Foster.

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