9 Famous Shows and Movies That Were Made in Cape Town

Cape Town – Catch a glimpse of our beautiful Mother City in these worldwide series and flicks on internet TV. Add still images to your moving ones to create the ideal promotional campaign. In order to support your vision, YLO Productions offers stills photography services in Cape Town for film, product or lifestyle shoots, event coverage, editorial campaigns, and more.

1. The Final Transmission (Showmax)

Based deep in the Middle East, far from home, the troops and families of the British outpost in Yemen (read: Cape Town) have to negotiate life and duty while fighting a mounting insurrection against them in this lush and fascinating historical drama.

“Filming in Cape Town while it’s winter in England [was] a tremendous delight,” said Jessica Raine, who plays army wife Alison Laithwaite. “The heat, especially in the desert, was a problem. But the payoff is that the scenery is magnificent.” And Stephen Cambell Moore, who plays Alison’s husband Ed, credits shooting in South Africa with helping to build the camaraderie on set. “We got to share a lot of events that linked us together,” he says. “Our days off were spent lounging, hiking Table Mountain, or going to the beach. It was a wonderful task that was also a lot of fun.”

2. Doctor Who S11 (Showmax)

The most recent season of Doctor Who stars Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor in the show’s 55-year history. Here’s what Jodie had to say about filming in SA: “It was great because it was January and it was freezing in the UK and it was hot in South Africa. The group that you have there is very remarkable. We were treated extremely well, and we were able to film in places that, if you were visiting the area as a tourist, you probably wouldn’t get the chance to see. This is absolutely incredible in a variety of different ways. Simply the elements and nature, along with the epic backdrop that served the story so well, were wonderful, and they made our work much simpler.”

3. Seasons 1-3 of Black Sails (Showmax)

This swashbuckling series is a precursor to Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel Treasure Island and follows the double-crossing, cutthroat adventures of Captain James Flint (Toby Stephens) as he goes about constructing a pirate refuge on New Providence Island in the Bahamas during the early 1700s.

The series was shot in Cape Town and the beach at New Providence Island was constructed from scratch at Cape Town Film Studios, using 600 trucks of sand from a local quarry. Sailing shots were filmed in a water tank (which is approximately 1.5 meters deep) at the studio rather than on the ocean itself since the ocean is simply too unpredictable.

4. Secure Location (Showmax)

A dangerous prisoner (Denzel Washington) is taken out of a compromised safe house by a CIA Agent (Ryan Reynolds) (Ryan Reynolds). Because they are being hunted by mysterious individuals who are working together to bring them to justice, they are forced to rely on one another in order to stay alive.

Set in the Mother City, Safe House boasts lots of scenes that will make South African viewers feel right at home, from Table Mountain to Langa to the city centre. According to what was written in The Independent at the time of production, “When Denzel Washington was filming in the downtown area of the city, he was accompanied by his own security team who kept a low profile and stayed out of the frame. Though that was merely to stop him being distracted by hordes of supporters.”

5. Tomb Raider 2018 (DStv Now)

In this new version of the Tomb Raider video game, Alicia Vikander plays the role of Lara Croft, who is widely considered to be the most iconic female heroine in the history of video games. The intrepid daughter of a man who went missing while adventuring learns his whereabouts and sets out on an incredible trip to find and save him. Unlike Safe House, Cape Town locales were used to stand in for various destinations across the globe, with Hout Bay Harbour being turned into Hong Kong with floating walkways and restaurants.

According to KFTV.com, “Elsewhere, in the Cape Winelands, the town of Paarl provided forest imagery and settings that were appropriate for the setting of a camp narrative. The team also discovered an old quarry at this location, and it was there that they constructed the outside of a tomb entrance. This tomb entrance is located on a made-up Japanese island in the setting of the story.”

6. The Crown S2 (Season 2) (Netflix)

Season 2 of The Crown is crammed to the rafters with South African places standing in for other spots across the globe, particularly in the sequences of Prince Philip’s voyage around the world in 1957 and Queen Elizabeth’s official visit to Ghana.

According to the information provided by 2OceansVibe, some of the Cape locales included Kogel Bay, which served as a stand-in for a beach in Tonga, and Hermanus’ Old Harbour, which represented the island of Corfu in Greece. The majority of the footage of the Queen’s visit to Ghana was taken at the Castle of Good Hope, while Cape Agulhas was transformed into the deck of the Royal Britannia boat by the addition of a massive false deck that hung out over the ocean there.

7. San Junipero, the seventh episode of Season 3 of Black Mirror (Netflix)

In 1987, in a beach village called Yorkie, a shy young woman, and Kelly, a party girl, form a profound link that seems to defy the constraints of space and time.

Capetonians will immediately recognize where the majority of the shots were shot, despite the fact that the town may look as though it’s located someplace in the center or northern part of California.

The façade of the futuristic facility where the old Kelly is being nursed is revealed to be none other than the Waterkloof restaurant in Somerset West, which, by the way, was named EatOut Restaurant of the Year in 2018. When Yorkie and Kelly are having their disagreement on the beach, you’ll notice that the Twelve Apostles are in the background of the scenario.

(The first episode of the third season, titled “Nosedive,” was also filmed in Cape Town, and it featured a familiar and pleasant sight to the eyes of South Africans: the visage of Colin Moss.)

8. Homeland S4 (Netflix)

Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA Operations Officer, continues her struggle against terrorism in this season of the binge-worthy thriller/drama, which takes place this time in Islamabad, Pakistan — or should we say, Cape Town, South Africa? iKapa was also used to film the sequences that took place in Afghanistan and Washington, DC. The areas of Woodstock and Observatory were used in the show to represent the home hamlet of a Taliban leader, and the mountains of Franschhoek were used as the setting for the Afghan Hinterland.

According to a report by Channel24 from the time the movie was being filmed, the production team spent well over a million rand on the automobiles alone in order to transform the Mother City into Islamabad by placing them on the streets of the City Bowl.

9. Good Omens (Amazon Prime)

This one may not have really been made available to the public just yet, but it is scheduled to go live on Amazon within the next several months. It is a fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman that has been adapted into a six-part television series about a picky Angel and a loose-living Demon who have become excessively fond of life on Earth. They decide to work together to track down the Antichrist, who is believed to be a youngster of 11 years old who is unaware that he is destined to bring about the end of the world.

According to KFTV.com, the scenes that took place in Rome, Eden, and Golgotha (the name of an area outside of Jerusalem where it is believed that Jesus was crucified) were filmed in Cape Town.

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