BBC Studioworks has provided full studio and technical services at Elstree for a Christmas special of the highly acclaimed BBC Two anthology series Inside No. 9

December 2016:  Entitled The Devil of Christmas, the Christmas special is set in Austria in the 1970s and features the mythological character, Krampus.

Hosted in BBC Studioworks’ 11,800 sq. ft. Studio D, the production required the build of a working 1970s television drama set, retro-fitted with broadcast technology authentic to the era. Substituting their modern counterparts, vintage tube-based studio broadcast cameras and period lamps gave the studio an authentic late-70s feel. The vintage kit was supplied by Golden Age Recreations and the camera configuration comprised of three heavyweight Ikegami HK 323 and one lightweight Ikegami HK323P.

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On set in BBC Studioworks’ Studio D: Rula Lenska, Steve Pemberton, Jessica Raine, Reece Shearsmith, George Bedford

A bespoke temporary gallery built in a neighbouring studio supported vision control and lighting for the classic equipment, and housed camera base stations, monitoring and a vision mixer crate, with a vision mixing panel remoted to the production control room.

Inside No. 9 Producer, Adam Tandy, said:Studio D has the heritage and familiar atmosphere that I remember from when I worked at Elstree in the 1980s. However, a lot of modernisation has taken place since then and this has allowed us to monitor our 4:3 625-line PAL pictures in BBC Studioworks’ state of the art HD production gallery”.

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The 9 of  The Devil of Christmas, Inside No 9

Tandy continues, “The Devil of Christmas was shot alongside the soon-to-be-seen third season of Inside No. 9, but instead of our usual single-camera dramas, we wanted to do something a bit different for Christmas. So this particular episode is set in a ski lodge in the late 1970s and was made like a 1970s studio drama. We hope it recaptures the spirit of some of the old anthology series like Thriller, Nigel Kneale’s Beasts or even Roald Dahl’s Tales of The UnexpectedThriller and Beasts were both shot at Elstree (in Studio C, currently occupied by EastEnders), so it seemed highly appropriate to come here to make our homage.”

Inside No 9 is written by and stars Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, known for their cult BBC dark comedies A League of Gentlemen and Psychoville. Each episode presents a different self-contained story and a different set of characters, linked only by the fact that the story takes place at a number 9, whether it’s a suburban house or a gothic mansion.

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Inside No 9’s writers and actors Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton

The Devil of Christmas will transmit as part of BBC Two’s Christmas schedule at 10pm on Tuesday 27 December and as always, there’s an ending that you won’t see coming. The third series of Inside No. 9 will be shown on BBC Two in early 2017.

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