After The Flood: ITV’s New Climate Drama Begins Tomorrow Night

By Olivia Emily

5 months ago

Everything to know before you tune in

An extremely topical six-part drama is coming to ITV tomorrow night, starring Sophie Rundle, Nicholas Gleaves, Lorraine Ashbourne, Philip Glenister and Jacqueline Boatswain. Here’s everything you need to know about After The Flood before you tune in.

After The Flood

As devastating floods sweep the nation, ITV’s brand new drama has never been more timely. After The Flood is all about a huge flood in a small town – but that’s not the only harrowing event the series explores. While the residents grapple to recover their lives, a man is found dead in a lift in an underground car park, and PC Joanna Marshall is lured into his mysterious death.

Sophie Rundle stood in flood water

SOPHIE RUNDLE as Joanna Marshall. © ITV

What Is It About?

ITV summarises: ‘After the Flood is a mystery thriller set in a town hit by a devastating flood. When an unidentified man is found dead in a lift in an underground car park, police assume he became trapped as the waters rose. As the investigation unfolds PC Joanna Marshall, played by Sophie Rundle, becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to him and why?

‘The mystery unfolds across the series while we also see the real impact of climate change on the lives of residents in this small town. The floods threaten to expose secrets, and fortunes and reputations are at stake. But how far will people go to protect themselves?’

The series has an especially dramatic opening sequence, with that flood immediately presenting itself. ‘I opened the front page and started reading and I kept going, “Is that me? Is that my character? Do I get to do that? That is so cool”,’ says Sophie Rundle, who plays the series protagonist, PC Joanna Marshall. ‘Especially for someone in my casting bracket. I’ve done a lot of corsets and a lot of holding babies and mooning after someone in the background. To be doing the stunt and not just witnessing it was so exciting. I think it is so clever of Mick Ford to write that as the introduction for your protagonist. This is the world. These are the stakes. Here she is. She’s in the water. She’s saved the baby and she’s pregnant. Boom. You’re in. How could you not watch that?’

Two police officers stood in flood water

SOPHIE RUNDLE as Joanna Marshall and NICHOLAS GLEAVES as Sergeant Phil Mackie. © ITV

Who Stars?

  • Sophie Rundle as PC Joanna Marshall
  • Anita Adam Gabay as Tasha Eden
  • Jonas Armstrong as Lee Ellison
  • Daniel Betts as DCI Roy
  • Jacqueline Boatswain as Sarah Mackie
  • George Bukhari as Keith
  • Nicholas Gleaves as Sergeant Phil Mackie
  • Faye McKeever as Kelly
  • Lorraine Ashbourne as Molly Marshall
  • Philip Glenister as Jack Radcliffe
  • Tripti Tripuraneni as Deepa Das
  • Jeanette Percival as Amy
  • Steve Cooper as Greg Gidley
  • Matt Stokoe as Pat Holman
  • Ray Castleton as Mr Allen
  • Jake Whitehurst as Andrew
  • Sara Beasley as Mrs Markham
  • Maui Connock as Sophie
  • James Quinn as Chris Robinson
  • Arthur McBain as Daniel Eden
  • Heider Ali as DS Babak
  • Adil Akram
  • Elizabeth Clare

Where Was After The Flood Filmed?

After The Flood was mainly filmed in and around Manchester, as well as Stockport, Glossop, and Stockton-on-Tees at the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre.

‘We were up in Stockton-on-Tees for a week, and it was like being on a school trip,’ says Rundle. ‘Before that we had been filming in and around Manchester, so this was the only time we all went away somewhere. We were all giddy and excited. It is where they train all the emergency services. There’s this water course and they have control of the speed and the scale of the water. They had all these big strapping six-foot lifeguards in all their emergency gear stationed along the water course who were lovely. They said, “If you fall, the water is going to take you but don’t worry, we’re going to save you.” Luckily, I didn’t ever stack it, so they didn’t have to save me. It was a really exciting moment as an actress and as a woman in this industry to be the hero reaching out for the baby dressed in all my police gear with the rain going. The water was really strong, and we were in and out of it all the time. On the last day, I realised my hand was shaking because I hadn’t eaten anything. I was so pumped from the adrenalin. It wasn’t a normal day at work where you do your lines, and you go home. It really made the job for me.’

Sophie Rundle stood by flood debris

SOPHIE RUNDLE as Joanna Marshall. © ITV

Did They Use Real Water?

Yes, the water we see in After The Flood is real, which was important to series director Azhur Saleem in the context of flooding sweeping the UK. ‘People are seeing it more in the news cycle and many have experienced it as well,’ he says. ‘If we made a Hollywood version of the opening sequence, with flying cameras everywhere, it would pull our audience out of it. That was very important to get right. We needed to be in there with the characters feeling the water, which I think we do and it’s terrifying.’

But how did they achieve it? ‘When Az Saleem came on board as Director, he decided we wanted real water,’ explains series producer Juliet Charlesworth, who had been considering using visual effects due to droughts (ironically) making filming floodwater logistically difficult. ‘We talked about using the massive wave machine in Blackpool and the water tank at Pinewood Studios. Then it was the white-water rafting centres that we’ve seen in the Olympics. We then chose Tees Barrage International White Water Centre. That gave us a man-made bowl, meaning we could have actors and crew entirely safe in the water. I had filmed there before with Wolfblood, Vera, Emmerdale and 1917 had also filmed there. You can switch the water off with four Archimedes screws, going from zero to as high as 14, creating white water rapids which you can’t stand up in. We operated on between six and eight which meant you could stand in it, and it will make enough water.’

The realism of this water was also important to Charlesworth, who felt the emotional impact of flooding in Yorkshire while working on Happy Valley. ‘Hearing stories from the flood relief folk about the way they were displaced from their homes, their houses stank and were full of sewage, meaning they couldn’t live in it again for six months or sell it,’ she explains. ‘If they were to live in them again, they had to raise all the plug sockets, take all the plaster off and the floor had to be retiled. It’s a s*** way to live being on a flood plain, so it felt enormously important to show that. The reality of walking down a street that is water up to your hips is horrific and a tremendously important story to tell. We all signed up to making that happen.’

Sophie Rundle in After The Flood

SOPHIE RUNDLE as Joanna Marshall. © ITV

Release Schedule

After The Flood will begin on Wednesday 10th January at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX. Subsequent episodes will air weekly on Wednesday evenings.

  • Episode 1: 10 January
  • Episode 2: 17 January
  • Episode 3: 24 January
  • Episode 4: 31 January
  • Episode 5: 7 February
  • Episode 6: 14 February

Where Is It Streaming?

Episodes of After The Flood will be available to stream on ITVX after they have aired on ITV1.