Where is Sight Unseen Filmed? Is the CW Show Based on a True Story?

Created by Karen Troubetzkoy and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy, The CW’s ‘Sight Unseen’ is a crime drama series that focuses on a talented homicide detective named Tess Avery, whose career gets interrupted by a sudden loss of her vision while she is in the middle of an important case. Upon getting her eyes checked, she finds out that she has become clinically blind because of the early onset of Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. Just a few days later, she is deemed incompetent by the police force due to her condition and is made to quit her job.

However, her visual guide, Sunny, comes to her rescue as he provides her access to a visual assistance app, for which he works. As the advanced app becomes her eyes, Tess decides to keep solving crimes for the police on the low. While remaining as independent as possible, she does her best to continue doing what she does best while suffering from scotoma-type low vision. The gripping tale of detectives solving eerie crimes is brought to life by the compelling performances from Dolly Lewis, Agam Darshi, Jarod Joseph, Daniel Gillies, and Roger Cross and the stunning visuals that help create a realistic setting.

Sight Unseen Shooting Locations

Principal photography for the inaugural iteration of ‘Sight Unseen’ commenced in late July 2023 and continued through the following four months or so, before wrapping up in early November of the same year. Primarily, the show is filmed in British Columbia, especially in and around Vancouver.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Almost all the pivotal sequences of ‘Sight Unseen’ are lensed in the sprawling and bustling city of Vancouver, which is situated in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. The cast and crew members set up camp in different parts of the city to tape interior as well as exterior portions against suitable backdrops. In some aerial shots, you might also spot the iconic Lions Gate Bridge. It is likely that a few scenes are even shot in a film studio located in and around the city.

Alice Christina-Corrigan, who portrays Mia Moss, shared her experience of shooting the first season of the crime scene on social media. She wrote, “Mia Moss over & out. Getting to bring to life this bold, confident & funny ball of energy has been an absolute dreaaaaamm!!! (Honestly im trying to play it cool girlies I still cant believe i’ve been so lucky to do so). Thanks @kat.troubetzkoy & @nikolijne for trusting me to do so & to all the wonderful cast & crew. Here’s some BTS pics that make my heart HAPPY. Now get me back on a flight to Canada please i’m even missing being jet-lagged.”

Sight Unseen is Inspired By Co-Creator’s Real-Life Experiences

While the entire story is not rooted in reality, some aspects of it have been inspired by the real-life experiences of one of the co-creators — Karen Troubetzkoy. Collaborating with her sister Nikolijne, she focused on her ongoing sight loss experience and crafted an engaging storyline by inculcating the eyesight issue in a detective setting. In the case of Karen, she woke up with detached retinas after a night out with her friends.

Michael Courtney/The CW

Not being able to see, she was rushed to the hospital where she immediately went in for surgery in both her eyes. Much to her and her loved ones’ relief, Karen gradually recovered with the help of various surgeries over two decades. This scary experience impacted her deeply, so much so that she decided to create a show revolving around a visually impaired lead. In order to turn their idea into reality, the two sibling creators took the help of a team of consultants, including experts, writers, and a real-life undercover detective who kept working even after suffering from vision loss.

Karen Troubetzkoy praised the team working behind the scenes for the accurate portrayal of visual impairment. She told the Toronto Star, “We’ve had people working in a number of levels on the show who are sight impaired and people who actually have a relationship with sight impairment in the cast. Dolly (Lewis, who plays lead cop Tess Avery) is sight diverse (she has a retinal detachment in both eyes), and she’s new to this industry and she does a fantastic job. We’re hoping that by watching ‘Sight Unseen’ as a viewer — and a sighted viewer in particular — you’ll get a new perspective on the world.”

Read More: Best Police and Detective Movies on Netflix