Where Was PBS’ Alice & Jack Filmed? Is it a True Story?

Created by Victor Levin, ‘Alice & Jack’ is a romantic drama series that follows the wistful relationship between two star-crossed lovers who weave in and out of each other’s lives for sixteen years. Alice and Jack match over a dating app and have their first date in a pub. It goes well, and Alice invites Jack back to her place for the night. However, the next morning, Alice bluntly asks Jack to leave and refuses an offer to be contacted again. Thus begins the untimely romance of Alice and Jack, who internally think of each other as perfect, yet become victims of imperfect timing.

The PBS series explores the musings and thought processes of the unfortunate lovers when they are apart, and the poignant conversations between them during the brief moments they come together. ‘Alice & Jack’ takes us through expansive, picturesque locales that complement the plaintive narrative. Given the show’s setting and subject matter, one may wonder whether the romantic tale is inspired by true events, and which locations are chosen to bring it to life.

Alice & Jack Filming Locations

‘Alice & Jack’ is filmed in sites across London, Gran Canaria, and southeast England. Principal photography was carried out in the summer of 2022, with some of the cast and crew members facing difficulties during the year’s intense heatwave. The actors seem to have really enjoyed their time on set, not just due to their company and amenities, but also because they found the show’s message and impact to be fulfilling. “I loved making this show & everyone involved in it so much,” wrote actress Aisling Bea in the caption of a picture she shared on social media. “This job saved my soul a little & I think you’ll love it.” Let us explore the specific locations being employed in the creation of this series.

London, England

The capital city of London is the primary filming destination for ‘Alice & Jack.’ Interestingly, Victor Levin initially wanted to set the story in New York City, New York, but ended up considering London as he wanted to work particularly with Domhnall Gleeson and Andrea Riseborough.

Throughout the series, we can spot many landmarks, businesses, and neighborhoods in London. In establishing shots, we can see the majestic Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the skyscrapers of the financial district. While they were filming the first season, the cast and crew were spotted at The Sekforde pub at 34 Sekforde Street in central London.

Gran Canaria, Spain

Situated off the coast of Morroco, Gran Canaria is an inhabited Canary Island that serves as a filming location for ‘Alice & Jack.’ The Spanish island territory can be seen in the backdrop of the first season when Alice and Jack are out together. The scenes include the lovers sitting in a golden field of grass, standing beside a church wall, and walking along a pristine beach.

Is Alice & Jack Based on a True Story?

‘Alice & Jack’ is a fictional work created by Victor Levin. Through his tale, Levin seeks to explore the true nature of love and romance, which do not always have the happy endings we come to expect from fairytales. The creator wanted to pump realism into a passionate relationship that still felt like it had a fateful element to it, to convey the true nature of love: magical but messy. “We human beings are deeply flawed creatures, and sometimes from the best of intentions, we make grotesque mistakes and hurt each other,” said Levin in an interview.

Throughout the series, Alice and Jack grapple with deep personal issues and the burden of painful memories and emotions. Despite Alice considering Jack the perfect partner from their very first interaction, she pushes him away because of her own battle with a dark past. At another point, Alice becomes emotionally available, but Jack has already moved on and gotten engaged, shocking her to the realization that time will not wait for them to resolve their issues. Through these developments, the creator wishes to explore whether the forces that drive us apart are stronger than the ones that bring us together.

While ‘Alice & Jack’ delves into grounded and poignant themes of longing, heartbreak, and forgiveness, there are a few other reasons why one may find its story familiar or authentic. The characters of Alice and Jack may feel very lifelike due to the creator having written them specifically with the actors Domhnall Gleeson and Andrea Riseborough in mind. Levin wrote the script for the first and last episode of the show and sent it to the actors. Once they had agreed to come on board the project, Levin filled out the rest of the story with their personalities and peculiarities in mind.

Additionally, this is not the first time Gleeson and Riseborough have co-starred in a production. They have previously played a couple in the romantic drama, ‘Never Let Me Go,’ and acted as brother and sister in the mystery thriller film, ‘Shadow Dancer.’ Furthermore, ‘Alice & Jack’ may seem familiar to those who have seen ‘Normal People,’ which is also a story about two people who repeatedly find themselves being brought together by fate only to be torn apart. Therefore, ‘Alice & Jack’ is not a true story but aims to capture the essence of a truly beautiful romance, which is battered by the imperfections of human behavior and the endless march of time.

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