The latest adaptation of the classic Australian novel Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay kicked off on BBC2 this week.
A six-part miniseries, this version sees Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer at the helm as iron-fisted school mistress Mrs Hester Appleyard.
The drama follows the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and their teacher on a school trip on Valentine’s Day in 1990.
The narrative charts the subsequent investigation and the event’s impact on the students, families and staff of Appleyard College, and on the nearby township.
According to the BBC: “Theories abound, long-held secrets are exposed, paranoia and hysteria set in, as in vastly differing ways the lives of our characters are changed forever.”
Where is Picnic at Hanging Rock 2018 set?
Picnic at Hanging Rock is a quintessential Australian novel that centres around the distinctive geological formation Hanging Rock which is located in Australia.
The rock itself which is also known as Mount Diogenes, is north of Melbourne in the Mount Macedon area Victoria, Australia.
Set in 1990, the drama is entirely fictional but framed as though it is a true story.
The drama follows the students and staff of girls boarding school Appleyard College.
Speaking about the series, writer Beatrix Christian said: “I think of it as a coming of age story.
“It’s about a country that is trying to find its own identity, it’s about these girls who are questioning what they’ve been taught and even the woman who runs the college – it’s about her reinventing herself.”
Where is Picnic at Hanging Rock 2018 filmed?
The drama was filmed at Hanging Rock and across various locations in Melbourne.
Various locations were used to shoot Appleyard College including Loretto Hall, Werribee Mansion and Lea Estate in Melbourne.
Speaking about filming at the Rock, Natalie Dormer said: “This was my first trip to Australia, so to stand in the Macedon region and look out over the Hanging Rock made a big impression on me as well. No acting required.
“I was overwhelmed by the beauty and scale of the Australian landscape. The Australian landscape is a character in itself in Picnic at Hanging Rock.”
She added: “It has an overwhelming power and informs a lot of the characters’ journeys.”
Samara Weaving who plays student Irma Leopold said filing at the Rock was “really exciting”.
“I’d never been there before and you do feel this sense of magic,” she said.
“Not so much in the sense that Joan Lindsey had created, but because it is such an amazing place for the indigenous communities and it was amazing to come and meet those who have been telling stories there for so many years.
“You can feel the historic and religious energy from being up there.”
Madeleine Madden who plays student Marion Quade agreed that filming at Hanging Rock was “amazing”.
“It was really important for me to be welcomed to the Rock by the clans that surround the Rock,” she said.
“To go into such an important place, which means so many different things to different people – it was important to go in respectfully and to leave respectfully.
“You can feel that it’s a very spiritual place. Everyone was saying that you get this feeling when you’re up there, because it does hold such significance.”
Picnic at Hanging Rock 2018 airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm on BBC2