The Midwich Cuckoos is a new Sky Max series based on John Wyndham’s terrifying horror novel
The Midwich Cuckoos is a science fiction horror story originally written by John Wyndham in 1957 and has since been adapted several times for the big and small screen.
Sky Max released the latest adaptation as a seven-part series on June 2nd.
The series follows the plot of the novel but sets the action in the present rather than the 1950s.
The series follows the events of a quiet fictional village in England where all the residents suddenly fall unconscious for a whole day.
When they come to, the residents realize that several of the women in the village are now pregnant and that something very strange is happening.
Keeley Hawes stars as Susannah, a respected doctor in the community, alongside Max Beesley as DCI Paul Haynes, a prominent Midwich police officer.
The original 1960 film adaptation of the novel, entitled Village of the Damned, was filmed in the Hertfordshire village of Letchmore Heath.
A poorly received 1995 remake of Village of the Damned, directed by acclaimed horror director John Carpenter, relocated the action to California and filmed there.
Now Sky has brought the story back to England, with filming for the series taking place in September 2021.
Where was The Midwich Cuckoos filmed?
This latest adaptation is also set in the fictional English village of Midwich, described in the novel as an “unremarkable” place.
To capture the feel of a sleepy English village, Sky chose the market town of Amersham in Buckinghamshire as a substitute for Midwich.
Amersham has served as the backdrop for several other television projects, including an episode of Hammer House of Horror, several episodes of Midsomer Murders, and the comedy series Cuckoo (unrelated to The Midwich Cuckoos).
Some scenes were also filmed in St Albans, a historic city in the north London metropolitan area – and less than ten miles from where much of the original 1960 film was filmed.
St Albans has also hosted filming for comedy series The Inbetweeners, action film First Knight and comedy film Johnny English.
One of the show’s directors, Alice Troughton, told The Express: “[Amersham] is a hillside market town. This was mainly because we were looking at the market towns.
“When we started scouting for a location, we looked further afield and then most of us thought, um, no, it can’t be isolated, rural, cut off, it has to feel like Keeley can get on a train and She’s in a glamorous restaurant and she would do that.
“I think it also brings it closer to home and makes it more believable that Sam and Zoë wanted to move there instead of moving backwards somewhere, it needed that plausibility.”
Author David Farr added: “Everybody’s kind of there to get somewhere else quickly, like seedy London!
“But it lends itself very well to drama and especially sci-fi because there’s an otherness that everyone denies all the time.”
How can I watch The Midwich Cuckoos?
The full series is available to watch now on Sky Max and NOW.
The 1960 and 1995 film adaptations, entitled The Village of the Damned, are available to rent from Amazon Prime Video from £3.49.