On location: The Crimson Field
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Discover more about the series and the shoot with our exclusive interview with Kevin Doyle, who plays Lieutenant-Colonel Roland Brett.
Can you tell us a bit about the series and the character you play?
'The Crimson Field is set during 1915 in a military hospital in France. Set back from the frontline, we see how doctors, nurses and volunteers try to cope both with the unprecedented levels of casualties and with the damage and trauma inflicted. I play Lt. Col. Roland Brett who is the commanding officer of the hospital.'
What was it like filming on location in Wiltshire? Do you have any particular memories of the shoot?
'Having been spoilt by the relative luxury of studios and locations like Highclere Castle and the National Trust's Basildon Park near Reading for Downton Abbey, being in a field for three months had its challenges. Beautiful when the sun shone, but by October-November we were in a quagmire. The director who filmed the last two episodes had initially ordered a rain machine so he could get the look of mud and toil - suffice to say the machine was not required.'
How does filming at a real place compare to a studio?
'The art department and locations people did an extraordinary job creating our hospital which covered several acres and included an allotment for the hospital kitchen and a field of authentic wheat from northern France which must have been planted several months before we started filming. That level of detail is so supportive of the script and the actors - it certainly all feels very real when we are filming.'
What's your favourite National Trust place?
'My favourite National Trust place must be Gibson's Mill in Hardcastle Crags near my home in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire. Not only is it a memorable setting but also one of the most beautiful areas of the most beautiful county. Also, as far as dogs go, it's the place to see and be seen (or sniff and be sniffed).'
Find out more about how Dunham Massey has recreated its First World War hospital and discover more about how we’re commemorating the centenary of the Great War.