Last night we posted some photos of David Tennant filming The Spies Of Warsaw plus an English translation of an article accompanying the photos using an automatic translation service.
A Polish fan of David's called Ania has very kindly translated the article into English which makes much more sense than the automatic translation!
The article emphasises the care the production team are taking about the drama even going as far as having signs on the walls for a factory of corsets and suspenders!
British spy in Warsaw
By Jacek Szczerba
A woman in a gray hat and the rust-colored leather jacket, and a man wearing a suit and a green jacket are walking along Kanonia Street in Warsaw’s Old Town. They look as if they were from another era, and if they had just parted. When she finally goes to the side, she nervously shakes hands with long gloves.
"She tells him that they shouldn’t meet anymore, but they still will be with each other" explain to me Wojciech Szepel camera operator, because I don’t have headphones to hear that conversation.
I participate in the 33rd of 43 shooting days of the four-part series - “Spies of Warsaw”, the first co-production of BBC and TVP. This is screen adaptation of Alan Furst spy novels (published in Poland two years ago). The story is set between years 1937-1938. This couple in the Old Town is a Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (David Tennant, famous “Doctor Who”), working as a military attache in the French embassy in Warsaw, and Polish woman Anna Szarbek (Janet Montgomery “Merlin”), a lawyer from League of Nations. They are involved in espionage (about German plans for conquest of Europe) and they have an affair.
The director Coky Giedroyc (TV’s “Holmes”, “Oliver Twist”, a relative of the creator of the Paris “Culture”), commands firmly on set. Assistants cover white lines on the roadway. One of them poured grain to the pigeons. At the director signal, pair of students with books entering the plan - they are talking at the door of gloomy house, there is also a woman carrying a heavy bag and a mustached man with an old bicycle. Nearby parks the black car from the 30s. Signs from the era - such as factory of corsets and suspenders hung on the walls of houses.
"How will the film look like? Similarly to those from 30's and 40's, but in colour. Maybe it'll sound bad, but in a style kind of similar to that of Adolf Hitler's pictures," cameraman Szepel tells me. Every other production team is managed by British. The script was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who were also in charge of Alan Parker's "The Commitments".
The British were so enchanted by Warsaw and the setting possibilities there that after their trial visit they decided that modern Warsaw is not only going to play itself from before the war, but also Berlin, Paris and Prague. The show is being filmed on location and in natural interiors. A foyer of an old cinema "Wars" was changed into a railway station for the film. They filmed also in a derelict palace of the Branicki family and stylish, empty interiors at the Senatorska street. A scene of a car blowing up was filmed at the Norblin factory. There were five double takes and fire was quickly put out after every single one so that the car could be painted again.
The schedule is really tight, there's no time for breaks or interviews. "What's so special about the British cast?" I ask the Polish part of the crew. The fact that they have no special demands and they don't throw a hissy fit is the answer. They're professionals.
"How do I know this bloke? Because I know him," some Polish people wondered, when Julian Glover, who plays a high rank British secret service officer, arrived on set. "Oh, it was him who sent Indiana Jones to a quest for the Holy Grail and who was the villain in 'For Your Eyes Only'."
The next shot: a grey van with a "bread and cakes" written on its side drives through narrow streets, watched by Russians hidden in a black car. They are convinced that there is someone important in the van, but it's only a skillful camouflage made especially for them.
The crew attracts attention of passers-by. "They're making a film," a woman says to two young girls dressed for their first Holy Communion, who go with her to the St. John's Cathedral. A bride and a groom, obviously just out of their wedding ceremony, have a picture taken near the old-fashioned car. School trips visit the set as well. The crew is soon leaving Warsaw, moving to Chabowka to film in the railway heritage park there - in the renovated trains from before the war and at the stations which are going to pretend to be a road to Romania.
TVP will broadcast a dubbed version of the show this autumn.
Many thanks to Ania for this translation.
This filming day appears to have taken place in the early part of this week.