FILMING is under way in Dorking for new five-part TV thriller Mayday, which will be aired on the BBC this autumn. Richard Henderson caught up with actor Peter Firth on a trip into townPETER Firth was in front of the cameras as the first scenes of Mayday were filmed last week.
The actor, best known as spy boss Sir Harry Pearce in hit BBC show Spooks, will be filming alongside co-stars including Lesley Manville, Sophie Okonedo and Aidan Gillen in and around Dorking until mid-July.
He said: "I've only been working with Leslie Manville so far, we're the first two to kick off, so I don't know what the others think of the place but I'm sure they'll like it; it seems like a lovely place."
Speaking to the Advertiser in Dorking High Street during a break from filming, Mr Firth added: "I'm just about to take a look around, I've got a few hours spare before I do a bit more work this afternoon.
"Mayday is set in a town that's not unlike Dorking. It's a classic English town, so you can get a sense of community suffering for something that's happened instead of having a national or international perspective."
The original story, written by Ben Court and Caroline Ip, focuses on a community coming to terms with a killer living among them after a brutal murder.
"It's set on a small scale and it's low-key but very, very hard-hitting and penetrative," Mr Firth added. "It affects peoples' lives on a person level."
The production crew is based at Pippbrook House, former home of Dorking Library, which has now moved to St Martin's Walk.
"Most of us are travelling from London," Mr Firth said. "These days they can't afford to put people up!"
Mr Firth said he was working solely on Mayday at the moment, but he refused to rule out a return to his most famous role in the future. "I'm not doing any plays at the moment and Spooks has gone to bed for a while, but you never know," he said.