Channel 4 has confirmed that new 4-part drama, The Mill, will air on Sunday 28th July.
Based on the historical archive of Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, it’s the channel’s first ever factually inspired drama.
Set in 1833 the John Fay-penned series depicts the brutal early years of the industrial revolution and the story of a teenage girl, Esther Price (Kerry Hayes), who dares to stand up to the system.
“When I heard about the character, but before I read the script, I thought “She’s just a mouthy Scouser,” but then I read it through. There is a rhyme and reason to everything she does. She doesn’t overdo it; sometimes she just lets herself be a little girl. She’s got a real sense of humanity about her – she isn’t somebody who’ll just get into a fight for no reason. She picks her battles, and she shows her weaknesses as well,” said Hayes, who also admitted that she “freaked out” about filming at the historic Mill:
“It’s so weird, touching things that haven’t really been changed since she touched them. It did freak me out a little bit. I wouldn’t stand in that room any longer than I’d have to. Even when we were filming the exterior scenes at the Mill, if we were doing it when it was quite dark, when one of us needed a toilet break we’d have to walk a long way on our own. With the echo of my clogs, I thought someone was following me at one point. So I never wanted to go to the toilet on my own. But overall, it was really useful, filming where she had actually worked and lived. It helped me to discover her.”
Shot over 2 months in February and March, the 4-part series is directed by James Hawes and produced by Caroline Levy for Darlow Smithson Productions.
The first episode goes out on Channel 4 on Sunday 28th July at 8pm.