Filming The Beast Must Die on the Isle of Wight

British thriller television series, ‘The Beast Must Die’, was filmed on the Isle of Wight in 2020, and much of the filming took place on National Trust places on the Island.

Based on the novel of the same name by Cecil Day-Lewis, adapted for television by Gaby Chiappe, the drama centres on a mother's grief for her son who was killed in car accident.  With no confidence in the police investigation, she takes matters into her own hands by posing as a novelist to ingratiate herself into the family of the man whom she believed to be responsible for her son's death.

The Beast Must Die (c) New Regency Television International/Scott Free Pictured: Billy Howle as NIGEL STRANGEWAYS and Cush Jumbo as FRANCES CAIRNES Photographer: Gareth Gatrell
Filming The Beast Must Die on the Needles Headland
The Beast Must Die (c) New Regency Television International/Scott Free Pictured: Billy Howle as NIGEL STRANGEWAYS and Cush Jumbo as FRANCES CAIRNES Photographer: Gareth Gatrell

It was BritBox’s first ever original drama, and the star cast included Cush Jumbo, Billy Howle, and Jared Harris in lead roles, and with Geraldine James. Nathaniel Parker, Maeve Dermody, Douggie McMeekin and Mia Tomlinson. However, some say that the true star in the series was the broody, foreboding, and spectacular scenery of the Isle of Wight.

Promotional image for The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die Promotional Advert
Promotional image for The Beast Must Die

Filmed in the autumn and winter of 2020, whilst Britain was in the depths of the Covid pandemic, the weather wasn’t always kind to the production, with one the worst winter storms hitting the island.

Filming at Compton Bay Isle of Wight
Filming at Compton Bay Isle of Wight
Filming at Compton Bay Isle of Wight
Car prop at Culver Battery
Car prop at Culver Battery
Car prop at Culver Battery
The Beast Must Die (c) New Regency Television International/Scott Free, Billy Howle as Nigel Strangeways and Cush Jumbo as Frances Cairnes
Filming The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die (c) New Regency Television International/Scott Free, Billy Howle as Nigel Strangeways and Cush Jumbo as Frances Cairnes
Filming the Beast Must Die on the Needles Headland
Filming at the Needles Headland
Filming the Beast Must Die on the Needles Headland

National Trust locations used included Brook Beach, Compton Bay, Compton Chine, Compton Farm Holiday Cottages, and the Military Road. You can also spot Culver Down and its Yarborough Monument and pub, and Culver Battery where one of the props was an abandoned car. The scene of the crash in the drama was West High Down on the Needles headland – easy to spot on the walking route up to the Needles Old Battery. Other locations on the Island were Gatcombe Manor not far from the National Trust’s Chillerton Down, Yarmouth Harbour, Ventnor, Bembridge, Sandown and Ryde.

Filming The Beast Must Die at Albion Barracks East Cowes Isle of Wight
Filming The Beast Must Die at Albion Barracks East Cowes Isle of Wight
Filming The Beast Must Die at Albion Barracks East Cowes Isle of Wight
Production signs for The Beast Must Die
Production signs for The Beast Must Die
Production signs for The Beast Must Die

The Island’s film agency, Filmwight, interviewed Ed Rubin, the Executive Producer of the production company on the drama, New Regency, about his experience of filming The Beast Must Die on the Isle of Wight.