9 hit series and movies that were filmed in Cape Town that you can watch right now!

2019-01-25 11:38
A scene in the series The Last Post.

Cape Town - Catch a glimpse of our beloved Mother City in these international shows and films on internet TV.

1. The Last Post (Showmax)

Based deep in the Middle East, far from home, the soldiers and families of the British outpost in Yemen (read: Cape Town) have to navigate life and duty while facing a growing insurgency against them in this lush and engrossing historical drama. 

"Filming in Cape Town while it’s winter in England [was] a real treat," said Jessica Raine, who plays army wife Alison Laithwaite. "The heat, especially in the desert, was a challenge. But the payoff is that landscape is phenomenal." And Stephen Cambell Moore, who plays Alison’s husband Ed, credits shooting in South Africa with helping to create the camaraderie on set. "We got to share a lot of experiences that bound us together," he says. "On our days off, we hung out and hiked Table Mountain or went to the beach. It was a lovely job and full of fun."

ALSO READ: This new BBC show about life in the army was filmed in SA

2. Doctor Who S11 (Showmax)

The most recent season of Doctor Who starred Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor in the show’s 55-year history. Here’s what Jodie had to say about filming in SA: "It was amazing because it was January and it was freezing in the UK and it was boiling in South Africa. The crew over there are extraordinary. We were so well looked after and we were filming in locations that as a tourist I don’t think you’d necessarily get to see and that’s mind-blowing in so many ways. Just the elements and nature and I suppose the epic landscape serving the story was great; they made our job a lot easier."

ALSO READ: Jodie Whittaker on filming new Doctor Who scenes in SA: It certainly left me with a hankering to head back

3. Black Sails S1-3 (Showmax)

This swashbuckling series is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 novel Treasure Island and follows the double-crossing, cutthroat adventures of Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens) as he sets about creating a pirate haven on New Providence Island in the Bahamas during the early 1700s. 

The series was shot in Cape Town and the beach at New Providence Island was made from scratch at Cape Town Film Studios, using 600 trucks of sand from a local quarry. And because the ocean itself is simply too unpredictable, sailing scenes were shot in a water tank (which is about 1.5m deep) at the studio. 

ALSO READ: We chat to Black Sails star Sean Cameron Michael

4. Safe House (Showmax)

A lethal prisoner (Denzel Washington) is escorted from a compromised safe house by a CIA Agent (Ryan Reynolds). Pursued by shadowy figures who conspire to stop them, they have to rely on each other to survive. 

Set in the Mother City, Safe House has plenty of scenes that will make South African viewers feel right at home, from Table Mountain to Langa to the city centre. As The Independent wrote at the time of filming, "Denzel Washington … had his own security entourage discreetly following him out of shot when he was filming in the city centre. Though that was just to save him being distracted by swarms of fans."

5. Tomb Raider 2018 (DStv Now)

Alicia Vikander takes on the mantle of the most iconic female videogame character in this reboot of Tomb Raider. The fierce daughter of a missing adventurer discovers his whereabouts and embarks of an epic journey to rescue him. Unlike Safe House, Cape Town locations were used to stand in for various places around the globe, with Hout Bay Harbour being transformed into Hong Kong with floating walkways and restaurants. 

KFTV.com writes, "Elsewhere, Paarl in the Cape Winelands offered forest visuals and locations suitable for a camp story setting. Here the team also found an old quarry where they built the exterior of a tomb entrance, which in the context of the story is found on a fictional Japanese island."

READ NEXT: Alicia Vikander is obsessed with Cape Town after five-month stay

6. The Crown S2 (Netflix)

Season 2 of The Crown is packed to the rafters with South African locations standing in for other spots around the globe, particularly in the scenes of Prince Philip’s tour around the world in 1957 and Queen Elizabeth’s state visit to Ghana. 

As listed on 2OceansVibe, some of the Cape locations included Kogel Bay doubling up as a Tongan beach and Hermanus’ Old Harbour becoming the Greek island of Corfu. A giant fake deck hanging out over the sea in Cape Agulhas became the deck of the Royal Britannia yacht, and the Castle of Good Hope is where most of the Queen’s visit to Ghana was shot.

READ NEXT: 5 things you need to know about the SA actress who plays Jackie Kennedy in The Crown

7. Black Mirror S3, episode 4: San Junipero (Netflix)

In a seaside town in 1987, a shy young woman called Yorkie and party girl Kelly strike up a powerful bond that seems to defy the laws of space and time.

While the town might look as if it’s somewhere in central or northern California, Capetonians will recognise immediately where most of the scenes were filmed. 

The exterior of the futuristic facility where the elderly Kelly is nursed is none other than the Waterkloof restaurant (2018’s EatOut Restaurant of the Year, incidentally) in Somerset West. And you’ll see the Twelve Apostles in the background of the beach scene when Yorkie and Kelly have their argument. 

(Nosedive, episode 1 of season 3, was also shot in Cape Town, and features another familiar and welcome sight to South African eyes - the face of Colin Moss.)

8. Homeland S4 (Netflix)

In this season of the binge-worthy thriller/drama, CIA Operations Officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) continues her fight against terrorism, this time in Islamabad, Pakistan - or should we say, Cape Town, South Africa? The scenes in Afghanistan and Washington DC were also filmed in iKapa. Woodstock and Observatory were portrayed as the home village of a Taliban leader, while the Franschhoek mountains served as the backdrop of the Afghan Hinterland. 

As Channel24 reported at the time of filming, the crew spent well over a million rand on the cars alone to be placed on the streets of the City Bowl to transform the Mother City into Islamabad.

READ NEXT: 15 photos that show how Cape Town is transformed into a Homeland set

9. Good Omens (Amazon Prime)

This one might not actually be released yet, but it is set to launch on Amazon in a few months’ time. It’s a six-part series based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, about a fussy Angel and a loose-living Demon who’ve become overly fond of life on Earth. They team up to find the Antichrist, an 11-year-old boy unaware he’s meant to bring upon the end of days.

Cape Town was used as the location for the scenes set in Rome, Eden and Golgotha, writes KFTV.com, the latter being an area outside Jerusalem where Jesus is said to have been crucified.

Keep an eye out for the release, because it’s already slated as one of the most hotly anticipated shows of 2019.

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