Batman spin-off Pennyworth returns with scenes filmed in Welwyn Garden City
- Credit: Nick Wall/Epix
Scenes from the second season of Batman prequel Pennyworth, which premieres on EPIX in America this weekend, were filmed in Welwyn Garden City.
The critically acclaimed DC drama from Warner Horizon Scripted Television returns in the US for season two on Sunday, December 13, with the series coming to the UK next year.
Scenes from the first series were shot on location at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.
Season one can still be watched in the UK on StarzPlay, a channel available via streaming service Amazon Prime.
With the production based at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, scenes from the 10-episode sophomore season were filmed in Welwyn Garden City near the former Shredded Wheat factory site earlier this year.
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Rooted in the Batman universe, spin-off Pennyworth explores the backstory of the iconic character of Alfred Pennyworth, a young, former British SAS officer living in London in the 1960s.
The drama series, starring Jack Bannon in the title role, follows Bruce Wayne’s butler who goes to work with young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who has not yet become Bruce Wayne’s father.
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When the series was renewed for a second term last year, EPIX president Michael Wright said: “Pennyworth has been a big hit for us, embraced by critics and fans alike.
“It was the highest-performing original series ever to premiere on EPIX, more than doubling the viewership of the shows that came before it.
“Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon and WBTV have delivered a brilliant, must watch series.
“We can’t wait to work with this phenomenal cast and creative team on another exciting season.”
Series two picks up a year after the explosive events of last season.
England finds itself embroiled in a devastating civil war, with the powerful, neo-fascist Raven Union, led by Lord Harwood (Jason Flemyng), threatening to control the entire country.
North London remains one of the few resistance holdouts remaining. It’s here in the West End Neutral Zone, that we find Alfred Pennyworth.
After years in the British Army, his training with the SAS has taught him to be a cynical optimist – expecting the worst, but knowing that he can handle it.
Now running The Delaney, a black-market Soho club that welcomes everyone, regardless of their politics, Alfred, with his SAS mates, Deon ‘Bazza’ Bashford (Hainsley Lloyd Bennett) and Wallace ‘Dave Boy’ MacDougal (Ryan Fletcher), is now in search of a way out – before London, and his country, burns itself to the ground. And he’s got his eye on America.
Filming took place in Welwyn Garden City back in February before the first lockdown, with a gunfight taking place around an old caravan.
Businesses and residents near the former Shredded Wheat factory site were notified by Pennyworth location managers to expect “simulated gunfire” during the night shoot, with the noise “usually akin to the sound of fireworks”.
Following a couple of days of site preparation, filming took place near the derelict cereal factory at a site along Broadwater Road on Tuesday, February 4, with large lighting cranes illuminating the area, including a battered old caravan and various police cars.
Hertfordshire Constabulary confirmed they had an officer present on that day as standard procedure for filming with imitation firearms.
In addition to lead actors Bannon (The Imitation Game, Ripper Street) and Aldridge (Our Girl, Fleabag), Pennyworth features a stellar ensemble cast including Emma Paetz (Gentleman Jack), Ryan Fletcher (Outlander), Dorothy Atkinson (Mr Turner, Topsy-Turvy) and the multi-award-winning singer Paloma Faith, who returns as Bet Sykes.
New casting for this season include young American scientist Lucius Fox, played by Simon Manyonda (His Dark Materials), and Jessica de Gouw (The Hunting, Gretel and Hansel) as military orphan Melanie Troy.
Season two also introduces new series regulars James Purefoy (The Following, Sex Education), Edward Hogg (Taboo, Harlots, White Lightning), Jessye Romeo (Curfew, In the Long Run), Ramon Tikaram (Brassic, The Victim) and Harriet Slater.
The Welwyn Hatfield Times understands scenes filmed on location in WGC appear in the second episode of season two, with Bannon as Pennyworth, Dorothy Atkinson as Mrs Pennyworth, and Ramon Tikaram as Inspector Victor Aziz all featuring.
Based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, origin story Pennyworth was developed by Bruno Heller (Gotham, The Mentalist, Rome), who executive produces with Danny Cannon (Gotham, CSI series) and Matthew Patnick (The Night Manager, Peaky Blinders).
Pennyworth series two episode one airs in America on EPIX, an MGM company, on December 13.
The second episode is due to be screened on December 20, followed by a two-part mid-season finale a week later.
The remaining episodes will premiere in 2021.