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Doubling for London

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When British made shows are set in London, but filmed elsewhere.

This can be due to cost, or lack of the right sort of architecture (much of the Victorian architecture in the East End was destroyed in the Second World War or subsequent slum clearance).

Despite what the name would suggest to those with a certain accent, the city used is usually (but not always) somewhere in the UK - productions rarely, if ever, actually use Dublin for London.


Compare California Doubling.

Cities that have doubled for London:

  • Bucharest (The 2005 Made-for-TV Movie version of Sweeney Todd, although this used an outdoor set on a studio backlot rather than locations in the city itself.)
  • Cardiff (Doctor Who and its spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures) note 
  • Liverpool (The Ruby in the Smoke)
  • Manchester (Prime Suspect, Red Dwarf, Sherlock Holmes)
    • British regulations do not allow the Houses of Parliament to be used in television unless it is part of the news (and even then it can only be used in specific ways). The result of this is that Manchester Town Hall is used to double for the Houses of Parliament in basically any television programme which requires them. Very noticeable as the floors are covered with Manchester's bee emblem, known worldwide after the Manchester terror attack in 2017.
    • Upmarket suburbs of nearby Stockport have doubled as their counterparts in London, as filming in the North is cheaper and less vexatious. This has led to viewers who recognise the streets asking why the Hell they're pretending Heaton Moor and Bramhall are Islingtonnote 
  • Prague (From Hell, again using backlot sets rather than city streets.)
    • The London parts of Prince Caspian were shot in Prague too.
  • Shrewsbury (A Christmas Carol (1984))
    • Scrooge's headstone can still be visited in the graveyard of St Chad's Church.
  • Berlin (Around the World in Eighty Days, 2004)
  • Despite the pun above Dublin has doubled for London in The Tudors, Penny Dreadful, Primeval, Ripper Street and the later seasons of Foyle's War
  • Brisbane, Australia (K9)
  • Vilnius, Lithuania (The Palace).
  • Riga, Latvia (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson)
  • Hamburg, in the Edgar Wallace Films.
  • Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child inverts this: London doubles for Norwich.
  • Equus was filmed in Toronto, as was Jumper
  • Los Angeles, of course, in productions ranging from Mrs. Miniver to Austin Powers (which hung the world's biggest lampshade on it).
  • Cambridge, Ontario, Canada for Nikita and Designated Survivor.