The Royal Explosion
ITVís Sunday night drama, The Royal is produced in Yorkshire with many of the interior shots being filmed in Bradford, while the exterior is filmed in Scarborough. The great thing about hospital dramas (based in the casualty dept) is that they need accidents and accidents often involve stunts, special effects or a mix of the two.
This particular story line involved the collapse of an amusement arcade, following building work, with people trapped as rubble and girders drop around them. Ultimately a gas pipe is severed.† A major project such as this will often involve a combination of effects, on this one there were; Fires, explosions, dust and debris, smoke/haze, collapsing/dropping floors, walls and girders, spark effects and dripping water.
The first week of filming was spent in the studio getting the interior shots and the second week over in Scarborough where a complete mock up of the amusement arcade was built. After four days of smoke, rubble, dust and bits of collapsing building we were onto the main event (for us anyway) Ė the gas explosion.
Unlike a real gas explosion which may produce one big, destructive bang, TV special effects explosions have to be more controlled to allow actors and cameras to be in closer proximity. To achieve this, the blast was created with pattern of over 50 charges gradually increasing in size, which would be fired over a very short time period.† By the time the explosion reached its peak, the actors running away where into their safety positions.