HOLLYWOOD comes to the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole this week, giving both the village and the popular Ryedale Folk Museum a massive shot in the arm.
A 13 million television series based on the story of Robinson Crusoe has been commissioned in the US by NBC and part of it is being filmed in the museum’s grounds.
Actor Sean Bean, who starred in Sharpe and the blockbuster movie Lord of the Rings, plays Crusoe’s father and Sam Neill, of Jurassic Park fame, is a family friend.
US actor Philip Winchester, who played Scott Tracy in
the recent remake of Thunderbirds, is cast as the English castaway.
The 13-part series, which will be filmed in South Africa and the Seychelles, as well as the UK, is the first remake of Daniel Defoe’s novel since 1965.
The drama follows the adventures of Crusoe and his fellow castaway Friday, after being marooned on a desert island for years.
The series will feature flashbacks to Crusoe’s life in the UK as a child, his love affair with Susannah, played by British actress Anna Walton, his family and efforts to become an entrepreneur
Ryedale Folk Museum, with its carefully preserved buildings dating from the 16th
century and beyond, makes a perfect setting.
Museum manager and parish councillor Kevin Simms said production company Power Studios approach-
ed the attraction about four months ago and, after visiting the site, liked it so much they immediately began negotiations to use it.
He saidL “They’re using three of our buildings – Stang End, which will be Crusoe’s home in the film, Manor House, which will be turned into a warehouse, and Crofters Cottage, although I don’t know what their plans are for that yet.”
Set dressers arrived yesterday to add an authentic touch to the buildings, with Cllr Simms checking to ensure they use correct materials.
He said: “I don’t have any problems with the changes they’re planning to the interiors because once they’ve finished filming, they'll put everything back the way it was. They’re very, very professional from what I’ve seen so far. They’ve bent over backwards to be helpful and are a really nice group of people.”
He admitted the production company had made “a substantial donation” to the museum for the use of its site.
“They’ve been very, very generous and they’re trying to keep disruption to the minimum. There will be some restricted areas where visitors can’t go on Friday and Saturday during filming but we’ll explain what’s happening to customers and either offer them a refund or a return ticket.”
The TV series is sure to put the museum and Hutton-le-Hole on the map.
“The company says we will feature on all credits and in all press releases about the series, so that’s going to help to bring people here.
“And we’ve already had an approach from a tour operator whose tour list takes posh Americans on guided tours of film sets, so that's good as well. In lots of ways Robinson Crusoe will help us and there will be a real spin-off for the village.”
Some of production crew are staying in Kirkbymoor-
side and others are travelling to Hutton-le-Hole each day from York, where they were filming last week.