Wreck cast on huge behind-the-scenes secret on BBC series: ‘Can you imagine the chaos?’

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Arriving on screens tomorrow (October 9), Wreck is a TV series like no other. The premise: a serial killer dressed as a fluffy duck on the loose on a luxury cruise liner murdering people left, right and centre. The show from the mind of Ryan J. Brown is best described as Below Deck crossed meets Scream Queens, combining the hedonism of life on board a cruise ship with all the bloody gore of 90s and 2000s teen slasher movies.

BBC series Wreck follows Jamie (played by Oscar Kennedy), who teen who embarks on an undercover mission to discover his sister Pippa’s (Jodie Tyack) fate after she mysteriously died while working on board the luxury liner MS Sacramentum.

Assuming the identity of another crew member, Jamie makes friends with some of his fellow crew members Vivian (Thaddea Graham) and Hamish (James Phoon) as they make a terrifying discovery and more people starting to get bumped off.

Horror fan Brown wanted to create something the likes of which hadn’t been seen on British television, moving away from the more po-faced and gothic horror for something more irreverent.

Brown said he was “waiting for the right location” when he happened upon the idea of setting Wreck on a cruise ship.

He said: “A cruise ship can be endlessly scary and the industry and the cruise world is fascinating and there’s so many facets of it that people don’t know about.”

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However, audiences will be surprised to know despite the central setting, Wreck wasn’t filmed on a ship at all.

Brown said: “We were up against from the beginning in terms of a BBC Three show, not a big-budget BBC One show and we were filming in Belfast not on a cruise ship.

“I thought surely not going to film on a cruise ship is going to give us more options and more choice and control. What are we going to do? Wait until everyone’s gone to bed and film? Can you imagine the chaos?”

Wreck marks Brown’s first time as showrunner, and the writer hailed the production team for creating the “most incredible” set in an old Michelin tyre factory.

“I walked into this abandoned factory and there was this cruise ship. It was insane. I knew they didn’t have very long but what a challenge and they smashed it,” Brown said.

Adding: “There were things we did in this show that you couldn’t have done on a real cruise ship.”

Actress Alice Noakes – who plays Sacramentum’s queen bee and archetypal mean girl Sophia – went on to share details about filming: “It was minus four and we had to pretend that we were in the middle of a Caribbean cruise.

“So at one point, we were in mini dresses. I had red lipstick on and it went almost mauve because I was slightly blue. That was the hardest part, I think. You could see our breath.”

“And when they would shout ‘cut’, we would run to little heater,” said Miya Ocego, who plays crew member Rosie and also works as a Cher tribute act. Adding: “The most cold months we were over there.”

The shoot took place towards the end of October/November 2021 and wrapped in March this year in Belfast.

Along with being a horror-comedy, Wreck is also a celebration of queerness with both a gay lead character with a lesbian best friend who take audiences into this debauched and macabre world.

Brown described the horror genre as “extremely gay” because it was the “rebel genre” about “the other” dating all the way back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

He said: “It’s super queer and it doesn’t necessarily get the recognition. It took me a long time to realise why I was drawn to the genre.”

“Since the beginning of time, horror has been queer but coded and subtext. I was like, ‘Let’s have a go at explicit representation. Let’s see how that goes.’

“And it’s worked out really well because we need more stories – stories about identity for LGBTQ+ people are really important.

“We need more but also we need more stories where that isn’t the primary focus.”

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Will there be another series of Wreck?

Season two of Wreck has now been confirmed to be in development with Brown saying he had many ideas of where the story could go next.

Brown said: “What’s been amazing is I’ve always had a plan, a three-series plan and everyone’s always been very on board with that and so with series one I’ve completely written that as if there will be a second series. There’s no doubt in my mind.

“While also making sure season one was satisfying, but I think when people have finished the first series, they’re going to be gagging for the second series because there are some huge things that happen in the last episode.”

He teased the first outing was left open-ended to an “extent” with more places the show could go.

Wreck airs tomorrow on BBC Three at 10pm



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