Cruel Train

Cruel Train 1 cropped Cruel Train 2 cropped Cruel Train 3 cropped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Cruel Train was a drama transmitted in 1996. Chris Parr was the producer, with Malcolm McKay as the director, and script adaptor, from the novel by Emile Zola. Sean Van Hales was the director of photography, and Michael Pickwoad was the production designer.

The drama featured: Adrian Dunbar, Saskia Reeves, Alec McCowen, David Suchet, Jonathan Moore, and Minnie Driver.

The BFI database includes the following synopsis:

‘Drama set in wartime Britain. Rueben Roberts a deputy railway station master, discovers that he owes his job, marriage and home to the sexual favours that his wife Selena has been forced to grant to Arthur Grandrige, her godfather and the railway chairman. Rueben vows revenge and kills Arthur on the Brighton express train. The murder is witnessed by a railway worker, Jack Dando. When the police investigate, Rueben pursuades Selena to seduce Jack to buy his silence. However things soon spiral out of control.’ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/516788

The budget is listed in the BFI database as £1.25 million, and apparently it was also known as Beast in Man. The shoot lasted from 25th November to 22nd December 1994.

Thanks to the BBC Drama Village for giving me the photos for sharing and safe keeping.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

John Greening: ‘The station was a built set at an old Electric works ( which had some rail lines) by the Aston Expressway -Bill Hartley was the First AD.’

Gary Jordan: ‘Part of Screen two: SCREEN TWO – CRUEL TRAIN A dark & stylish drama set in wartime Britain, based on ‘La Bete Humaine’ by Emile ZOLA. Ruben ROBERTS discovers his wife has been sexually abused by her godfather since her early teens & coerces Selina to help him kill GRANDRIDGE. Sp s film
——————————————————————————
BBC Cprd Name: WORLDWIDE
BBC Item Type: Programme
BBC SubCatalogue: LONPROG TX DATE 22 Dec 1996′

Ian Barber: ‘And I was the AFM. Peter Lloyd was the 2nd Ad. Probably one of the best projects we ever worked on. The set was amazing. Built from scratch in a disused warehouse. We all had to wear masks because the air was black with soot from the steam engines. Alec McGowen was also in it, along with Sheila Reid and Brian Pringle.’

Mark Smithers: ‘Filmed at the GEC turbine and transformer works. The factory was pulled down shortly afterwards.’

2 comments on “Cruel Train
  1. I worked on this production, and the railway station was built in the old GEC transformer factory off Electric Avenue, Witton, Birmingham B6, before it was demolished to make an industrial warehouse site. The steam locomotive was an ex British Railways, Southern region machine, and was brought in on a low loader truck, as were the ‘period carriages’.

  2. I was halfway through La bete humaine-Zola when i noticed the similarity and was suddenly transported back twenty odd years to the Cruel Train-brilliant will it ever be repeated I wonder regards james Bushell

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