4.5 million viewers watched Sunday's first episode that is still available on the BBC iPlayer if you can use a VPN. It attracted rave reviews and expectations are high, also here in Belgium where viewers will look forward to scenes filmed in Vilvoorde, Brussels, Namur and La Hulpe.
"Les Misérables" tells the story of Jean Valjean. After serving 19 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread he is freed in 1815. He wanders across France and in 1832 gets involved in the Paris Uprising. Set in France many scenes were filmed in northern France and Belgium. The producers co-operated with a Belgian production company Czar that was involved in another prestigious series "The Missing". Czar's Koen Fransen told De Standaard that it was thanks to his company's know how that the BBC contacted them again leading to the filming in Belgium. Productions in Belgium enjoy the benefits of the audio-visual tax shelter!
Another key attraction is the architecture in Belgium, unique buildings in Brussels and Ghent, which fit perfectly as a backdrop for the story. The small streets of the Napoleonic era have made way for grand boulevards in Paris, but are still present in Brussels.
The Belgian backdrop put Belgium in the spotlight in the British press too with Ghent elevated to a must see!