V FOR VENDETTA

UK / US / GER
2006
2hrs 12mins
Dir: James McTeigue
Starring: Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman

A totalitarian British government is opposed by a terrorist in a Guy Fawkes mask known only as V

This dystopian political thriller was based on the 1988 DC/Vertigo Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and it is rather good. The film’s climax depicts a tube train loaded with explosives being driven under and destroying the Houses of Parliament. These scenes were filmed at the abandoned Aldwych station using 1972-built tube stock and a 1/7th scale model of Parliament. There are a number of other random shots in the film that feature railway content. During a TV news bulletin there is a shot of the original Piccadilly Rly building to Aldwych station, or Strand as the tiling proclaims, plus a shot of the entrance to Aldgate Underground station. There is also a computer held image of a mock newspaper front cover reporting a virus attack on the tube network which shows a photograph of the 1972-built tube train at Aldwych. In addition, there is an earlier shot looking into Farringdon station from Cowcross Street and a most unusual aerial view of Wembley Central Junction, the former Sudbury Junction just south of Wembley Central station with several trains present in the yard. These include two freight trains with a Class 66 diesel and a Class 92 electric on the front, and a third which has an EWS-liveried Class 90 electric at the head of a rake of Virgin Mk3’s. Finally, there is a brief shot of freight wagons being unloaded in a yard and a high angle shot of a fight on Regents Park Road bridge across the West Coast main line, with a very brief glimpse of a Freightliner train passing on the railway beneath. More shots of Aldwych and its train can be found on Freedom! Forever!, the short featurette on the making of the movie found on the DVD extras.

This shot is looking directly into Farringdon station from Cowcross Street
Whilst this news footage shows the frontage to Aldgate station
The trio of station frontages is completed by this shot of Aldwych station, the tiling for which still reads Strand. This news report hosted by Simon Newby appears twice in the film.
An enraged mob is about to start a riot on this railway bridge, which takes Regent’s Park Road across the West Coast main line, the tracks of which can be seen through the girders. Less clear is the blue container wagon of the Freightliner service on the far right. The freight train is running on the link between Camden Junction and Camden Road station, just west of the former Primrose Hill station.
This most unusual aerial view shows Wembley Central Junction with, from left to right, an EWS-liveried Class 90 on a passenger rake, a Class 92 on an Intermodal service and a Class 66 on a container train.
Natalie Portman watches V leave the train at Aldwych
Looking the other way at Aldwych and we get a rare glimpse of the short overrun tunnel at the station
Aldwych has really earned its keep over the years. Here we see Natalie Portman with just the train for company.
Still alone, Natalie Portman contemplates life without V
Having now been joined by Stephen Rea, the pair watch as the remotely controlled train pulls out on its final mission to destroy parliament. The tube train is of course the 1972 stock train that lives at Aldwych.