The two-part drama starring David Threlfall and John Simm, produced by World Wide Productions, was shot on location at Sanofi’s former pharmaceutical plant over a three-week period in October last year. Part-one is being broadcast on Monday, April 6 at 9pm with the second installment on April 13.
Code of a Killer is based on the extraordinary true story of Alec Jeffreys’ discovery of DNA fingerprinting and its first use by Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker in catching a double murderer.
The drama focuses on how Jeffreys’ science and Baker’s investigative vision created the single biggest leap in the history of criminal investigation.
David Threlfall takes the role of David Baker who between 1983 and 1987 headed up the investigation into the brutal murders of two Leicestershire schoolgirls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth. Only a few miles away, Dr Alec Jeffreys, played by John Simm, was a scientist at Leicester University who, on 10 September 1984, invented a remarkable technique to read each individual’s unique DNA fingerprint.
When a local teenager admitted to one of the murders but not the other, Baker asked Jeffreys to analyse the DNA evidence left at the crime scenes. Both men were shocked to discover that the teenager was innocent, his confession false. DCS Baker then took the extraordinarily brave step to launch the world’s first ever DNA manhunt, testing over five thousand local men to track down the killer.
Barking and Dagenham Council’s Film Office recommended the former Sanofi site to World Wide Productions as the perfect location for filming. Laboratories and manufacturing buildings, once used for research and production of life-saving cancer drugs, were transformed into specialist DNA labs. One of the main office buildings features as the Leicestershire Constabulary Headquarters.
Priscilla Parish, Executive Producer for Code of a Killer, said: “The former Sanofi facilities at Londoneast-uk provided us with an extraordinary number and variety of locations – it was a fantastic three weeks of filming here with the staff and Barking and Dagenham Film Office.”
John Lewis, Managing Director of SOG Group which purchased the science facilities at Dagenham from Sanofi and is transforming them into Londoneast-uk – a business and technical park to serve London and the Home Counties – says that although the site is being turned into a centre of scientific and technology excellence, it still offers brilliant options as a specialist film location for television and movies.
Several high-profile feature films have already been shot at Londoneast-uk but are subject to confidentiality agreements until the movies are premiered.
Barking and Dagenham Council has a dedicated Film Office, run by Lisa Dee, which is part of the Film London operation promoting the capital as a brilliant and cost-effect location for producing TV programmes and movies.
Barking and Dagenham’s Film Office has coordinated a series of projects across the Borough which have enhanced the profile of both towns including BBC dramas Silks, Eastenders and The Interceptors, British movies The Riot Club, Locke and London Road along with numerous high-profile advertisements.
Lisa Dee said: “The Barking and Dagenham Film Office is proud to work with local businesses as a successful agent to promote their locations to productions, managing all aspects of filming whilst productions are filming in the borough. Our in-house services with departments such as licensing, legal, parking and highways allows us to streamline our services and package council and commercial premises together to production companies via a one-stop shop making us a very attractive option to productions. We have been very fortunate recently to work with some great high-end TV productions, such as the BBC and ITV, as well as the American studios and the feedback has been very positive.
“We have built a great relationship with Londoneast-uk and the site and its staff have been exemplary in how they have approached filming. It’s a site we are very proud to represent and promote for filming in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham. “
Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park is situated in Dagenham, east London, and is located in state-of-the-art scientific buildings and land which was once a major manufacturing plant of global pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
Now under the ownership of SOG Group – owner and operator of the award-winning Heath Business and Technical Park in Cheshire –highly specialised research & development and manufacturing buildings, which would cost tens of millions of pounds to replicate in today’s market, have been rebranded under the banner of Londoneast-uk and are being transformed into a business and technical park to service London and the Home Counties Londoneast-uk operates as a sister park to The Heath in Runcorn which is regarded as one of the UK’s leading independently-owned technology parks. For more information visit: www.londoneast-uk.com