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As per recent television standards, and by recent I mean in the last 25 years or so, how often will an earlier Bad Robot TV series (everything but LOST, because they re-used the Island/beach locations a lot) reuse a filming location (or even a set/set piece) for different in-universe locations?

Bad Robot Production TV Series: Alias, Fringe, Almost Human, Alcatraz, Revolution, Person of Interest.

An example might be an apartment building that is not a featured location (meaning a constant/well-known location), but rather used for two different in-universe locations, but probably for different episodes.

An average or even just some examples would be greatly appreciated.

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  • You mean the same show/different loc? because the same locations are used over & over by productions, because they're a) available, b) cheaper than building sets c) look like where the show 'feels like it ought to be'. [& I'm not talking about recognisable landmarks] I can work the same loc half a dozen times a year on different productions. See movies.stackexchange.com/questions/80668/… for one such commonly-used loc.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 29, 2017 at 18:41
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    In-universe examples that spring to mind - sets, Mr Selfridge offices - a series of bolt-together bits of rooms on wheels, reconfigurable to be 'anywhere inside the offices'. Call the Midwife - anywhere at Chatham Docks; shoot it from a different angle, who would know - it's the main street, now it's a factory, now it's a pub or club, now it's a walk home... all within 50 ft of each other. In fact Selfridge's 'store-front' is within 20ft of Midwife's 'washing line street', just pointing the camera the other way.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 29, 2017 at 18:46
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    i might try to push this into a proper answer, but for now, huge google link to midwife/chatham which may give a bit of an idea [though it mainly centres on what is known as 'washing line street']
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 29, 2017 at 18:55
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    Midwife usually shoots at Longcross another big google link, but not as good as the Chatham one for being on-topic where they have a purpose-built set around a real old manor house & also a lot of interiors in the main studio complex.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 29, 2017 at 18:59
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    I think this is way too broad of a question to answer accurately. To avoid having this question marked as 'On Hold', I recommend narrowing it down to a single show/series.
    – onewho
    Sep 29, 2017 at 19:22

2 Answers 2

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Constantly. The easiest example I can think of is Vasquez Rocks and Star Trek. It was used when Captain Kirk fights the Gorn in the episode "Arena" and was also the Vulcan homeworld in the J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" reboot. According to Memory Alpha, it's been used in 8 Star Trek television episodes and 2 movies. According to them:

The first episode to be partially filmed at Vasquez was "Shore Leave" ... In the next month, another two Star Trek episodes were shot there, "Arena", ... and "The Alternative Factor"... Star Trek returned to Vasquez for the second season, to film "Friday's Child"...

As mentioned, it was used in numerous Trek movies and other Trek series, too:

Vasquez was seen again almost twenty years later in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, when some of the Vulcan scenes were filmed there. Three years later, in August 1989, the Next Generation episode "Who Watches The Watchers" was also located at Vasquez. Star Trek: Voyager also filmed scenes at Vasquez, including the barren moon surface for "Initiations" in July 1995 and the desert for "Gravity" in September 1998.

Director J.J. Abrams shot the Vulcan scenes of 2009's Star Trek at Vasquez Rocks as an homage to its use in previous Trek productions.

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  • Wasn't exactly what I meant, because one is a series of films (Kelvenverse) and one is a TV series and films (TOS) and one is in a different timeline/universe, even though I appreciate the homage here (I'm a huge Bad Robot fan and that's cool to know this), I was looking for more of a TV series that may use something like an warehouse for two different in-universe locations, probably in different episodes. Sep 30, 2017 at 14:01
  • I don't understand. While I mentioned movies and multiple series, the first quote is about how they used the same location in 4 different episodes of the first season of the original series. If you go to the page I got it from, it actually mentions the dates of the shooting for the episodes, and they're literally about 1 month apart. Sep 30, 2017 at 15:04
  • Were those locations in TOS different in-verse locations or a repeated in-verse location? Maybe I misunderstood? I did vote you up, but I had to change my question, because it was too broad. Sep 30, 2017 at 15:31
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    Ah, I see the confusion. Yes, they were different planets each time. In "Shore Leave," it was "an uninhabited planet in the Omicron Delta region." In "Arena" it was used as "Federation observation outpost on Cestus III." Meanwhile, in "The Alternative Factor," it played the part of "an iron-silica-type uncharted planet". Finally in "Friday's Child" they use it as "Capella IV, the home of the Capellans and a rich source of the rare mineral topaline". But I guess the question changed so it no longer matters. Sep 30, 2017 at 16:30
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Dropping my comments to an answer & expanding...

You mean the same show/different loc? The same locations are used over & over by productions, because they're a) available, b) cheaper than building sets c) look like where the show 'feels like it ought to be'. [& I'm not talking about recognisable landmarks] I can work the same loc half a dozen times a year on different productions. See How was the deserted London scene in the movie '28 Days Later' filmed? for one such commonly-used loc.

In-universe examples that spring to mind -
Sets... Mr Selfridge offices - a series of bolt-together bits of rooms on wheels, reconfigurable to be 'anywhere inside the offices'. All the interiors for the Selfridge store were shot in the same building - an abandoned carpet warehouse in Neasden (yes, the movie biz really is that romantic ;-)
The main store interior is always the same set, whichever 'floor' of the store they're supposed to be on, simply re-dressed. Look carefully & you'll notice even the top floor has stairs going up [I think in-universe the offices are supposed to be above the top sales floor.]

Call the Midwife - anywhere at Chatham Docks; shoot it from a different angle, who would know - it's the main street, now it's a factory, now it's a pub or club, now it's a walk home... all within 50 ft of each other. In fact Selfridge's 'store-front' is within 20ft of Midwife's 'washing line street', just pointing the camera the other way.

I can't find a perfect match, but these 2 shots are of the same street in Chatham, one set for Midwife, the other for Selfridge...

enter image description here

Arrow points to roughly where the Selfridge set would be [& may actually be there but hidden, as the 2 shows had similar schedules]

enter image description here

The Selfridge store-front set would remain in place for the entire 6 months across summer - so was always fun to shoot round if another show wanted the same loc ;-)

huge google link to midwife/chatham may give a bit of an idea [though it mainly centres on what is known as 'washing line street']
Midwife usually shoots at Longcross another big google link, but not as good as the Chatham one for being on-topic [Lots of movies shoot at Longcross, so there are e.g. bits of Star Wars mixed in] where they have a purpose-built set around a real old manor house & also a lot of interiors which are shot in the main studio complex.

Sometimes they change it about -
The postered wall on the right is now an electrical shop, since about season 5

The waste ground on the left is now allotment gardens

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  • I specifically wanted using the same locations (or sets are fine too) for different in-universe locations. Like using an apartment building for two different in-universe locations in perhaps two different episodes, as opposed to same locations for the same repeated in-universe locations like a store front, home, or office building that may be used in almost every episode, because the main characters frequent it. Just curious at the rate they may reuse something that isn't a "feature" location. Some of these are what I was interested in. Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time! :) Sep 30, 2017 at 13:57
  • I had to make the question more specific, so I went with Bad Robot TV series (minus LOST). But I do appreciate you trying to answer my original question. Sep 30, 2017 at 14:07
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    I've never worked on US TV [except for stuff made in the UK like the last season of 24] so I'm now completely out of my depth.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 30, 2017 at 14:11

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