After 6 years in the shadows, Top Boy today finally makes it’s long awaited return to our screens! Originally running on Channel 4 with the first series in 2001 and the second in 2003, Netflix, with a little help from the rapper Drake, has revived the series on their online platform.
Set in the fictional Summerhouse housing estate in Hackney, East London, the series follows the lives of a group of people embroiled in British gang culture. Both Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson will be reprising their roles as Dushane and Sully, respectively; as well as new cast members including Simbi ‘Little Simz’ Ajikawo, Micheal Ward and David ‘Santan Dave’ Omoregie. In season 3, Dushane will be seen returning to the Summerhouse estate after his exile to reclaim his position as the gangs kingpin while teaming up with Sully who has returned after his stint in prison. However, when they come back, they are confronted by Jamie, a young, hungry and ruthless man who makes it clear that Dushane and Sully no longer have a place in the Summerhouse estates ‘business’.
Filmed across multiple locations across the borough over the past 18 months, The Tower Hamlets Film Office, managed by The Film Office facilitated a variety of shoots at locations including Victoria Park (below), Cranbrook Estate and a large street scene on Braithwaite Street.
The location manager, Ben O’Farrell, got in contact looking for an estate in June 2018 to let the drama unfold. One of our private estate’s on the books Samuda Estate worked well for the production with concrete walkways, basketball courts, and high tower blocks. The production started filming in July 2018 on the estate, using two residents apartments for filming interiors and various exteriors scenes. The production then filmed 6 blocks of filming for the series here, filming up until January 2019. The estate was a perfect backdrop for the character’s lifestyles and the residents worked hand in hand with the production throughout. Working around the residents busy lives, and coordinating various shoots, the production also allowed anyone interested in film production to be involved in the shoot days.
Jacob Hughes-Rodgers, one of the Film Officer’s that worked on the production commented “It’s great to facilitate a production of this scale across a number of months on a multitude of different shoots. The Tower Hamlets Film Office is well adversed with managing multiple shoots at any given time, and given the size and scale of what they wanted to do, the shoots weren’t without their challenges. However with the right consultation and planning Top Boy filmed across the borough without a hitch for several months. I cannot wait to see the finished product and see what Dushane and the gang are getting up to this season!”
All the episodes are out now on Netflix, so get your binge on now!