British TV Show Cold Feet Films In “Englishtown, Singapore”
Just when you think you know all the nooks and crannies of Singapore thanks to websites like TheSmartLocal, a TV station in far away Britain has managed to surprise us all by discovering a new place in Singapore — it’s called “Englishtown”.
Yup, apparently a TV series on British network TV went all the way to this so-called Englishtown in Singapore to shoot scenes.
British Make Their Mark
Many of our streets are named after British men who’ve made their names in our tiny red dot. Think Sir Stamford Raffles, Prince Edward and Prince Albert.
You’d think that our British friends would be proud of that, but that isn’t the case for ITV series Cold Feet.
The show kicked off its second season with scenes filmed in Singapore, in which the main character Adam (played by James Nesbitt) moved here to be with his new Singaporean wife.
Not Uniquely Singapore
Upon filming, directors were disappointed with how “unauthentic” Singapore appeared to be, labelling the area they shot at as the “Englishtown”’ of Singapore.
Incredibly, Mr Daniel Mark Millar, from post-production house Molinare, was quoted by Radio Times as saying at the Visual Effects Festival in London:
They actually did shoot this in Singapore, but for some reason they shot it in ‘Englishtown”…
You know, we have a Chinatown in London, they have an Englishtown in Singapore.
When we saw the rushes we thought they actually had filmed this in Manchester, but we only belatedly discovered they really did shoot it in Singapore.
We had to make it look a bit more like Singapore – given it was Singapore.”
Apparently, they even went to the extent of using computer trickery to change English signs to Chinese and erase British tourists from the shots.
There are so many things wrong with the whole production, we don’t know where to start.
We think we know what’s going on here — when some foreigners, especially from the west, think of Singapore, they perhaps think of a China-like place where English isn’t used very much.
But that’s certainly not the case in a multiracial former British colony where English is the dominant working language. Strange that an Englishman wouldn’t know this, because it was the English who colonised us in the first place.
Funnily though, proper research would have shown them that while we do have road signs in Chinese (in Chinatown, because we have one of those too) even they have English translations on them, as well as those for other langauges.
- No Tourists
However, it’s strange to think that their of idea of Singapore is also of a place that doesn’t have British tourists. What, do they think we are so ulu that we don’t have an airport and a tourism industry?
Do they also think we still live in kelongs and attap houses?
And it’s bewildering to read that after Mr Millar and his team saw footage that was actually filmed in Singapore, they saw fit to change it because apparently they know better what Singapore should look like — i.e. it didn’t fit in with their perception of what Singapore should look like.
Because being cosmopolitan and having futuristic designs disqualifies us from being an authentic Asian country.
It’s a truly horrific example of Western exoticism of the Orient.
- Manchester Disunited
Perhaps the strangest thing of all is that he could think that the Singapore scenes were shot in Manchester, England. I didn’t know that Manchester has the distinctive triple towers of the Marina Bay Sands.
Not only do they not know Singapore, and not know British colonial history, but Mr Millar and his team don’t seem to know their own country as well.
True Blue Singapore
We sure don’t know what their idea of authenticity is, but if they wanted to see the true Singapore way of life, they should have shot a scene at an HDB void deck or hawker centre.
We understand that Singapore is rather Westernised.
But that’s just the nature of our culture, in which we take pride of our differences and embrace current trends while still holding on to our traditions.
Let’s Not Change
Ultimately, we shouldn’t have to change in according to people’s perceptions of what we should ought to look like from an outsider’s perspective. And if you think otherwise, then deal with it.
Let’s take a moment of silence for the production costs wasted in flying to our non-exotic city; we’re truly sorry for their loss.
Featured image from The Mirror.