South Africa, as we know, is a popular filming location for both local and international productions. Our country “is a gift of a place because it can be so many different countries in one,” says Martin Childs, the production designer of The Crown, a BBC series which is partially shot in the country.
Cape Town itself has had a massive influx of series productions coming in to film in its diverse landscapes and locations, particularly the beautiful ones. Table Mountain and the Mother City’s beaches especially seem to be the stars of the show(s), often making an appearance as picturesque backdrops and settings of surreal worlds.
Here are a few scenes out of some popular international series that feature Cape Town in the background.
San Junipero is one of the few Black Mirror episodes that does not leave one feeling a strong urge to hurl their cellphone into the middle of the ocean and renounce social media for life, instead exploring the positive direction technological advancement could go in. The episode is about a heavenly artificial world, San Junipero, where people can “live” forever as their younger selves by uploading their consciousness to it.
The other-worldly scenery of the simulated reality is that of our very own Cape Town—proving our city’s beauty really is magical.
This was not the only time an episode of Black Mirror was filmed in the Mother City, either; it features in the episode Nosedive in the third season of the show, and last year, Miley Cyrus spent time in Cape Town filming an episode that will be a part of the series’ upcoming fifth season.
Cape Town once again features as an unearthly place which is literally out of this world in this new YouTube series (starring Tom Felton, or, as many still call him, Draco Malfoy). Our fair city makes for the setting of an idyllic planet that has been marked as a blank slate where people can begin their lives anew and develop civilisation from scratch.
Troy: Fall of a City
The famous historical city was in Turkey, but the filming location for this BBC drama was, you guessed it, Cape Town. In the series, our Mother City beaches become Middle Eastern desert battlegrounds, while the show’s heroes treks on horseback through Table Mountain.
Another period drama series from the BBC, The Crown has many settings as it chronicles the life of the young Queen Elizabeth and her visits to various lands.
Various locations around the Western Cape, including Hermanus and Cape Algulhas as well as the Mother City, are used as backdrops. Cape Town doubled as Melbourne at one point and Ghana at another, with the Castle of Good Hope starring in the scene of the Queen’s state visit to the country.
Cape Town Film Studios in Kuils River plays host to the filming of most of the scenes in the third season of this series, which is about a woman who travels back in time from the era of the Second World War to the 18th century in Scotland.
Other Cape Town locations seen in Outlander include the University of Stellenbosch which provides the setting of a Jaimacan Governor’s house and Silverstroom Beach.
This swashbuckling pirate drama was filmed in Cape Town Film Studios for the entirety of its four-season lifespan, which ended when the studio set was destroyed by a fire.
The studio’s impressively large deep water tanks along with a specially-built beach set were used to create scenes of Nassau Island in 1720, the main setting of the show.