A big part of space fiction are the stories which are primarily set in a spaceship. ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ are just some of the examples that one can think of. HBO’s ‘Avenue 5’ takes this premise to a new frontier by presenting a satirical tale that is on its way to make one laugh their guts out while pondering over some Earthly concerns at the same time.
The first thing that amazes one about ‘Avenue 5’ is the sheer talent that is involved in its production. To begin with, Hugh Laurie headlines the cast and that is honestly, the only reason you need to watch it. The British actor made a name for himself after portraying the narcissistic, super-smart Dr. House in ‘House M.D.’ His comedic style is subtle, dry and extremely focused, as witnessed in the many jibes that Dr. House regularly took.
Other than that, the show is created by Armando Iannucci. Iannucci has established himself as a leading satirist for having worked on the shows, ‘Veep’ and ‘The Thick of It.’ He worked with Laurie in ‘Veep’ previously and one can expect some witty humor from him once more. Although the two shows were political satires, he has consciously moved away from that genre and into space fiction with ‘Avenue 5.’
The show revolves around Captain Ryan Clark who helms a touristic spaceship in the future. However, the captain of the super-luxurious spaceship is soon tasked with having to deal with a malfunction that threatens the safety of each of its passengers.
Where Was Avenue 5 Filmed?
As mentioned earlier, most of the action in ‘Avenue 5’ is set aboard a fictional spaceship after which the show’s title is named. Despite being space fiction, there aren’t too many animations utilized since the show’s story is a satire and not fantastical action. However, despite that, it has a well-captured otherworldly, utopian setting. Many viewers might be wondering where the show is filmed. Well, the answer might not be surprising at all.
Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, UK
Since ‘Avenue 5’ is a set in a rather speculative place, the show does not employ too many Earthly places as the spaceship forms most of the action. The set of the spaceship was built at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden.
The 200-acre complex in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom is one of the only places in the country where epic productions can be made, thanks to its sprawling size. In fact, it is one of the largest filmmaking facilities in the entire world. The ‘Harry Potter’ series were largely filmed at the studio and the facility offers a studio tour aimed at providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the incredibly successful franchise.
While almost all of the shooting took place inside the studio, some scenes were filmed across several different locations in London. Here’s one such scene:
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Filming for ‘Avenue 5’ had to be halted for sometime before its last two episodes had been shot due to a fire that broke out on one of the sets of the television series. Luckily, there were no casualties and the firefighters were able to swiftly extinguish it. Iannucci even thanked the firefighters for their efforts:
“On behalf of the entire cast and crew of Avenue 5, I want to thank the firefighters who’ve been working tirelessly throughout the night to keep everyone and everything safe. I send my thoughts to the residents in the area who were disturbed by the night’s events. It was a beautiful set but everyone’s safety is the main priority. The season is near completion and everyone is determined to carry on.”
To get an idea of how pretty the set of ‘Avenue 5’ is, check out the following video. It effectively captures the imaginative spaceship and its many Utopian facets. The set, as one can see, has been designed keeping in mind the show’s themes and the idea of space tourism that it explores. Moreover, the video is also a good indication of Iannucci’s style of comedy.
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