suspicion tv series 2022


Apple TV – 8x 60 minute episodes

Senior Art Director

  • Executive Producers: Rob Williams, Chris Long, Howard Burch and Darin McLeod
  • Directors: Chris Long, Stefan Schwartz
  • Production Designer: Lisa Marie Hall
  • Production company: Keshett Productions

HETV Drama Series

The son of a prominent American businesswoman is kidnapped from a New York hotel, and the eye of suspicion quickly falls on four seemingly ordinary British citizens who were at the hotel on the night in question. To prove their innocence, it becomes apparent that not everyone can be trusted or is telling the truth.

  • Starring: Uma Thurman, Kunal Nayyar, Noah Emmerich, Georgina Campbell, Elizabeth Henstridge, Lydia West and Angel Coulby


Project Overview

My role as Senior Art Director was to oversee all stage builds at Ealing Studios from conception through to hand over with help from Assistant Art Directors Lawrence Bareford and Oscar Allan.

Delivering a range of high spec sets involved working closely with construction companies 4Wood and Robust Design, Set Decorator Faye Brothers, Assistants Justyna Krawczyk and Azalia Francis.

NYC Hotel Corridor and Lift Lobby

The look and feel of this set was inspired by the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel in New York. High end laminates and luxurious wall finishes were used plus a specifically designed carpet was printed.

One key construction element was a lift and cab since this had to match to the location. So, a practical set of fold back doors operated on a pully system were built and the lift interior replicated.

Hotel Corridor
Hotel Corridor Lift Lobby

NYC Hotel Penthouse

This large scale set was built on Stage 3 at Ealing Studios, though due to limited space was constructed on top of a temporary platform which sat above a set below. Using a ‘layer system’ instead of steel deck, company Media Structures installed the perfect surface.

This was a particular challenge as the stability of this structure was crucial, since not only did it need to take the heavy load of the set and dressing props, but also a large cast, compliment of crew and technical equipment.

Design Pack Example

Below is a typical design pack created for both construction and painters to use as a reference guide for all wall/paint finishes.

The simple graphic layout is to make everything clear and produce a detailed bible for everyone to follow, thus avoiding any confusion.

Reconfiguring the same Set

The follow sets were cleverly devised by reconfiguring a base floor plan; swapping out or setting in walls and doors, plus changing floor or decorative finishes to create a different footprint and look.

The three sets below were turned around within a few days by construction company 4Wood to meet the tight filming schedule, which demonstrates a skill in time and budget management.

NYC Hotel Penthouse Bedroom

Suspicion Katherines Bedroom 3
Suspicion Katherines Bedroom Dressing Table
Suspicion Katherines Bedroom 1

NYC Hotel Bedroom 1409

Suspicion Hotel Bedroom Seating 1409
Suspicion Hotel Bedroom 1409
Suspicion Katherines Bedroom 1

Motel Bedroom and Bathroom

Suspicion Motel Bedroom
Suspicion Motel Bedroom View
Suspicion Motel Bathroom

Set Construction Example

1 Times Square

Set ‘1 Times Square’ spanned the whole of Stage 1 at Ealing Studios and the design took inspiration from the 1980’s post-modern era to reflect an interior of a bygone PR Ad Agency.

Key dressing elements such as a large reception desk, bespoke light fittings and three different carpet designs were originated by Set Dec to compliment the style of the architecture.

Suspicion 1 Times Square Reception Desk
Suspicion 1 Times Square Wide

Practical Prop Make

The set build required creating a series of practical billboards seen from behind to back an enormous window, so a single unit was devised to be easily manufactured and quickly fitted together.

This involved a colossal prop make off-site plus an extensive LED programmable lighting install after delivery. Once completed, each scaled up unit produced an effective atmospheric result.

Suspicion 1 Times Square Billboard Drawing
Suspicion 1 Times Square Billboards

Service Corridor and Goods Lift

Incorporated into the 1 Times Square main set were a series of service corridors and a goods lift where the set dec team really stepped up to create an abandoned disused feel.

A heavy amount of painted scenic work was required across these areas since each space needed to look tired and worn having been left for over 35 years.

Police Station Interview Room

Suspicion Police Interview Room 1

Practical Light Fixture Make

A practical light fitting was designed specifically for this set using Astera Titan tubes. With the same elements and framework, it was required to transform into three different configurations.

This also had to be rigged so it could be raised and lowered at the touch of a button, plus turned around in a very limited time frame to achieve shooting three separate scenes back-to-back.

Technical Drawing Pack

Interior Barge Counterfeiters Hide Out

Based on the exterior of a barge used at a location and scripted as a counterfeiters hide out, this interior build was the result of a talented construction team from 4Wood and a crew of scenic painters who aged and crafted such a rich detailed finish.

Partly built inside the tank space at Ealing Studios on Stage 1 to help create a multi-level set, a sense of being within the hull of a barge was achieved and together with the incredible set dressing from Set Dec, this was the end product.

Other Studio Set Builds

Below are a few other set builds which were constructed for some smaller scenes which show great examples of Set Dec prop dressing and character smalls.

The final set is an American men’s bathroom dressed with totally different sanitary wear to the UK and where the bathroom stalls are quite distinctive in design too.

Young Girls Bedroom

Suspicion Girls Bedroom 2
Suspicion Girls Bedroom 1

Young Woman’s Bedroom

Suspicion Lydias Bedroom

American Men’s Bathroom

Suspicion Mens Bathroom 2
Suspicion Mens Toilet 3