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Where was The North Water filmed?

Find out about filming locations for BBC's latest drama

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Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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The North Water has a stellar cast and a seriously intriguing plot – so it's no wonder TV audiences have been gripped by its episodes in recent weeks.

MORE: The North Water: meet the cast of BBC Two drama

The series, which boasts Colin Farrell, Jack O'Connell and Stephen Graham as the leading stars, tells the story of a whaling expedition to the Arctic as a disgraced army surgeon Patrick Summer (Jack O'Connell) joins the ship only to discover that there is another purpose for the expedition.

WATCH: The North Water on BBC - official trailer

Another aspect of the drama which has caught viewers' eyes is the scenic backdrop. It's set in the Arctic, but where was the show filmed? Find out about the filming locations for The North Water here…

Fans might be surprised to learn that the cast and crew filmed the full extent of the five-part mini-series on location in the Arctic, throughout the autumn of 2019. The director, Andrew Haigh, explained to the press how important it was to have authenticity in the show.

"When I first read the book, I knew that I wanted to shoot it in the real environment," he explained, adding: "Most people do not shoot these kinds of things in the real environment, but for me it was fundamentally important. I didn't really want to do it if I couldn't do that.

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north water 1© Photo: BBC

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"It was not an easy experience. It was very cold, sometimes terrifying, and really challenging, but to me that was what was so exciting about it. Luckily, we had a bunch of crew and actors who also thought this was exciting, so we could all do it together."

According to Radio Times, during filming, the cast and crew lived on board the vessel in close quarters to shoot principle photography.

The exact location for the majority of filming was in Svalbard and Lilliehook Fjord. The team travelled more than 1,000 nautical miles around the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and were, at times, just 22 miles from the North Pole.

north water© Photo: BBC

The cast and crew filmed on location

Although it sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the cast and crew, the stars of the show have admitted that being in extreme weather conditions and at sea made them feel daunted, with Colin even explaining he feared death was "around the corner."

He told reporters: "I did feel that death was just around the corner at any given time, that we were just one mistake away from someone falling into the Arctic sea and either very quickly getting hypothermia or sinking under the weight of the waterlogged costume. There were also polar bears around, that are beautiful and elegant and majestic but also apex predators." 

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