Where is The Sixth Commandment filmed? Locations featured in the BBC drama

Viewers are curious about the show's backdrop as the final episodes of the gripping show air

Where is The Sixth Commandment filmed as illustrated by Timothy Spall as Peter Farquhar in The Sixth Commandment
(Image credit: BBC/Wild Mercury/Amanda Searle/Future)

Where is The Sixth Commandment filmed? Viewers are enthralled by Timothy Spall's performance in the crime drama, but also curious about the show's backdrop.

Viewers have been praising the performances of the cast of BBC crime drama The Sixth Commandment, with many asking questions about the popular new show, such as if The Sixth Commandment is a true story and where Ben Field is now - the man who perpetrated the shocking crimes depicted - as well as what happened to Martyn Smith, his alleged accomplice.

And as well as the gripping cast and storyline, some viewers have noticed the backdrop to the series looks familiar. Although set in the Buckinghamshire village of Maids Moreton, the show was shot somewhere entirely different. Read on to find out exactly where The Sixth Commandment was filmed. 

Where is The Sixth Commandment filmed?

The Sixth Commandment was filmed in Bristol, with some scenes also taking place in Keynsham, Clevedon and Bath. In Bristol, scenes were filmed in and around Blaise Estate, Flax Bourton Mortuary, South Bristol Crematorium, Portland Square, and St Anne's House. Street scenes were filmed in the suburb of Westbury on Trym in the city. 

One Twitter user suggested they also saw film crews using Abbot's Leigh Manor near Bristol as a location, writing in a post "My late mother’s care home - Abbots Leigh Manor near Bristol - has just featured in BBC1’s The Sixth Commandment - thanks to eagle-eyed @HealthSafety50 for spotting." 

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The show's executive producer Derek Wax has said of the show "I found it gripping that this took place in a small English village full of Christian values where people go to church every week and listen to sermons preaching morality, when in fact, what’s going on is deeply sinister and malevolent."

He continued "That idea of danger in plain sight is what's both compelling and terrifying about this story."

Locations were scouted by Bristol's Film Office, who did a brilliant job making viewers believe the action was taking place in a small village setting, and recreating Maids Moreton and the surrounding areas.

Where is The Sixth Commandment set?

The Sixth Commandment is set in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire - the real place where Ben Fields' crimes took place.

The village has been described as a close-knit community, and the Mirror recently revealed that residents in the area were unhappy with the making of the BBC show. The Maids Moreton Parish Council Summer Newsletter states the council declined to engage with producers over the making of the drama as it "seemed premature and in poor taste."

English countryside during sunset from The Sixth Commandment

(Image credit: BBC)

The publication suggests that this is the reason why The Sixth Commandment was not filmed in the local area.

The newsletter also said, "We have been informed that whilst the series shows brief images of the real Maids Moreton, including the village sign, it does not feature the houses where Peter or Ann lived, nor any other homes in the village."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The series was made in full cooperation with members of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin’s families who viewed the episodes ahead of transmission and are fully supportive of the series.

"Filming took place in and around Bristol and Bath. Production did not film in Maids Moreton apart from a few establishing shots."

How many episodes of The Sixth Commandment are there?

There are four episodes of The Sixth Commandment altogether. The first two episodes aired on July 17 and 18 at 9pm on BBC One, with the the final two episodes airing on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 July.

The BBC has said that "The Sixth Commandment explores the way in which both Peter and Ann were manipulated by Field, capturing the extreme gaslighting, the gripping police investigation and the high-profile trial. While poignantly highlighting the devastating effect of isolation and loneliness, as Field closed in on them, it also celebrates both Peter and Ann’s lives as cherished mentors, much loved relatives and adored friends."

A collage of Timothy Spall and Anne Reid in The Sixth Commandment

(Image credit: BBC)

Executive producer Derek Wax had actually been a pupil at Manchester Grammar School, where victim Peter Farquhar had been an English teacher. He said "I was never taught by him personally, but I remember him so clearly and knew how inspiring he was in the classroom. When the trial happened, I was riveted because I had such vivid memories of Peter as gregarious, sometimes quite fierce, but inspirational. It was very upsetting to hear the details of what happened."

He added "A little after that, I happened to be having a coffee with Brian Woods who runs the factual production company True Vision. I asked him what he was up to, and he told me they were making a documentary following the Thames Valley Police as they investigated the murder of a schoolteacher, and I realised it was exactly this story. We began to discuss it in detail and thought there might be an approach to the same story through drama, that would enable us to really explore who these people were in a rounded way, not just from the viewpoint of the police investigation." 

The Sixth Commandment: Reviews

The critical response to The Sixth Commandment has been mixed, while the overall audience reaction has been very positive.

Nick Hilton from the Independent offered 2 stars, saying "Spall and Reid both give performances that beg the mercy of viewers, if not their captor. But Ben looms over events, immoral and unknowable. It has a gravitational effect, pulling the drama out of orbit. By the time the jury hears the evidence, the aspiration to justice for the victims has been replaced by the intoxicating propulsion of true crime. For a primetime show that started with so much promise, the dock is a rather tawdry place to end up."

However, Lucy Mangan from the Guardian disagreed entirely, offering the series a full five stars. She said "Ben murders so much before he kills anyone. And beyond him and his victims are all those who love them. Altogether it is as fine a piece of television as you will ever see. Clearly intensely researched and forged with love and respect, it also stands – and I hope their friends and families agree – as an equally fine memorial to Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin, in all their unsullied goodness."

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The audience reaction was equally glowing, with one audience member writing enthusiastically "Perfectly balanced, brilliantly acted and terrifying. BBC Drama back to its superb best. Timothy Spall is heartbreaking and Eanna Hardwicke brilliantly on the path to a breathtaking tour de force."

Another added "I was greatly moved by this drama, the storyline has it all - themes of darkness and unrequited love. There are so many moments when our emotions are toyed with, I would highly recommend watching this, but be prepared to have a hanky ready and to wish that justice is served." 

We've also revealed where Wolf was filmed - another popular BBC drama. Come Home was filmed in one Northern Irish location, and we've got all the details. Another one for Bristol, Before We Die was filmed in a number of locations around the city.

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.