**All images, photographs and drawings are the property of Sid Gentle Films Ltd.**
Supervising Art Director: Sion Clarke, Construction Art Director: Beckie Harvey, Assistant Art Directors: Lorna Houlihan & Constantine Katsaras, Draftspersons: Abbie Bellwood & Lawrence Barford, Art Department Co-ordinator: Jemma Skidmore, Art Department Assistant: Anna Page, Standby Art Director: Sara Hayward, Concept Artist: Jonathan Ward.
Set Decorator: Adrian Greenwood, Production Buyer: Aoife McKim, Action Prop Buyer: Aoife Flynn, Assistant Set Decorators: Nina Cumberbirch & Gabrielle Williams, Graphics Art Director: Sam Moulsdale, Graphic Designer: Barbara Sandberg, Graphics Assistants: Louis Burnett & Propella Woodward Gentle.
Props Master: Ewan Robertson, Construction Manager: Russ Daly, Action Vehicle Supplier: Michael Geary at Motorhouse.
Due to air in autumn/winter on BBC1, this 5-part drama features a never-seen before London. Set in 1941, fourteen months after the British lost the Battle of Britain, the city is under full Nazi-occupation and London life is being assimilated into the ways of the Third Reich. The design of the show was a huge undertaking not only to turn modern day London back in time, but to change the fundamental aesthetics of the city we all know and understand. The aim was to ‘de-brand’ the city – telephone boxes became yellow, street signs were bilingual, the London Underground became the U-Bahn and money, newspapers and vehicles had the hallmarks of Hitler.
Production design for the show centred on the look of occupation and ‘war-chitecture’, driven not by slavish historical recreation but a realistic Nazi-aesthetic that would have progressed from the occupations of Paris and Poland and the designs of Albert Speer. The colour palette was important to consider to both avoid the stereotypical grey-brown tones of the 40s period and the cliched red of the swastika flag, so we started with Graham Sutherland’s WWII paintings and his striking use of acid yellow and sickly, gaseous greens. The yellow, a key colour in the urban make-up of Berlin, needed to have a greater presence in our London so we started with re-designing the classic red phone box before moving on to the 110 sets in the show.
The Occupation & War-chitecture
Barbara’s Apartment built on location at Langleybury House.
Peter Thomas Antiques built on location at Langleybury House:
Various domestic interiors built on location:
Ext/Int. Archer’s Cheam Family Home: Built in G Stage at Shepperton:
All the scenery from the domestic sets built on location at Langleybury House, Watford, was recycled and used to create the main structure of Archer’s bombed out former family home. The set was then submerged in 6 inches of water.
The World of the Police
Ext. Scotland Yard: Location: Blythe House, West Kensington
SCOTLAND YARD – KELLERMAN’S OFFICE
London Underground Station: on location at Aldwych Tube Station
The Streets of London: Locations & VFX
The relationship between the design department and the VFX company Nvizible was crucial in continuing the aesthetic of an occupied city. We had a full-time concept artist in the art department who worked up images of the world we were trying to capture and then edited production stills with a collage of elements.
Other Sets & Locations
‘SS-GB Design Lookbook‘ – selection of pages below. Download the full first interview lookbook here: SS-GB Lookbook LMHall
‘Design for Camera‘ – selection of pages below. Download the full second interview lookbook here:SSGB Design for Camera LHall