The Ipcress File on ITV: Is it based on the film, how many episodes are there and where was it filmed?


The Iprcress File is ITV’s latest offering, continuing its stream of dramas so far in 2022.

The spy thriller is set in Berlin and London during the 1960’s and followers Harry Palmer, a former British Army sergeant, turned-smuggler, turned-spy.

Some viewers may remember the role being made famous by Michael Caine in the 1965 film which was also based on Len Deighton’s first spy novel of the same name.

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But taking on the role for ITV’s adaptation is Joe Cole whose most notable role is as John Shelby in BBC One hit Peaky Blinders

He’s joined in the cast by Bohemian Rhapsody actress Lucy Boynton, Tom Hollander who is probably best known for his roles in Us and The Night Manager, and Top Boy and Them star Ashley Thomas.

As mentioned, The Ipcress File has already been made into a film but ITV’s The Ipcress File is inspired by the classic book – not the movie.

Emmy-winning director James Watkins said when the series was announced: “We can’t wait to bring Len Deighton’s intoxicating web of spies – sexier than Smiley’s people, more real than Bond – to a wider television audience. With his sly wit and understated integrity clashing against the establishment, working-class spy Harry Palmer is more relevant than ever.”



Joe Cole is taking on the role of Harry Palmer

The series is six episodes long and will air weekly on ITV on Sundays at 9pm. But for those who can’t wait, there is some bad news as The Ipcress File won’t be available to binge-watch until the final episode airs next month.

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However, if you can’t watch it as it airs on ITV, it will be available to watch on ITV Hub immediately after each episode has aired.

Filming for The Ipcress files took place in Liverpool, Cheshire and Croatia last year.



Michael Caine when he starred as Harry Palmer in the 1965 film

Film crews were spotted around Hope Street and Falkner Street in Liverpool which had been transformed to look like London in the ’60s with plenty of vintage cars and the cast and extras dressed in the appropriate attire.

Other locations are said to have also included the outside of Liverpool Lime Street station, St George’s Hall, Castle Street, and the Philharmonic Pub.

As for Cheshire, it was reported that filming took place in Burton and Nantwich.

Speaking about filming, Joe said: “We had a great crew in Liverpool – which doubles for London – and the North West. Filming in locations with some beautiful architecture and cool streets as well as in country houses. It was right in the middle of various lockdowns, but it was a nice experience filming there.”

And despite some of the series being set in Berlin, the production chose Croatia as its filming location, traveling to Split, Rijeka and Opatija.



Joe was spotted filming on Falkner Street last month

Costume designer for the series Keith Madden also said: “We filmed in Liverpool, doubling for London, while Croatia doubled for, among others, Beirut, Helsinki and Berlin. Croatia was quite an amazing place. I didn’t realize there were so many different influences in one place.

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“So you’ve got the Austro-Hungarian Empire of Zagreb and that area. And then the Dalmatian Coast with Italian influence, which allowed us to have a wealth of locations from Berlin to Helsinki to Rome to Beirut. We were very lucky in terms of representing Helsinki and Berlin.

“We all thought it was going to be sunny and fabulous, but the first couple of weeks it was raining all of the time. Which really helped, because we were doing stuff involving Helsinki and Berlin. So we even had the weather on our side , which is not usually the case at all. We had our gloomy days in Croatia, and we did use them quite well.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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