See the hidden rooms at Liverpool landmark transformed for The City and The City

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Fans of new BBC drama The City and The City will have already spotted lots of Liverpool landmarks – but did you know producers ventured underground too?

In their bid to create the parallel-world dystopia inhabited by David Morrissey and his assistant, played by Mandeep Dhillon, show bosses headed to a unique location.

The historic Cotton Exchange on Old Hall Street provided the setting for many scenes in the building’s vast basement.

The two-storey basement was transformed into a police station and a morgue.

The building’s owner Bruntwood welcomed set designers and film crews from production company Mammoth Screen into the grade-II listed building for a number of weeks in April last year.

The City and the City is a four-part drama based on China Miéville’s mind-bending novel.

* See our special project on films and TV shows made in our city – Liverpool On The Big Screen

The series begins when the body of a foreign student is discovered in the streets of the down-at- heel city of Besel, it’s just another day’s work for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad.

But he uncovers evidence that the murdered girl came from Ul Qoma, a city that shares a dangerous and volatile relationship with Besel, and this case will challenge everything Borlú holds dear.

China Miéville said: “It’s been extraordinary and moving to see this huge process, whereby a book written alone is collectively transformed into something familiar yet quite new. And it is extraordinary and moving to see the final result.”

In the trailer for the show, many Scouse landmarks can be spotted, including The Strand, the India Buildings and Water Street,

Speaking about filming in his hometown, David Morrissey said: “We filmed totally in Liverpool and Manchester. I have filmed a lot in that region and in both cities.

“I am from Liverpool so my affection for Liverpool is deep rooted.

“It was wonderful to work there and see the city in good shape, to see those great, old building which have been restored, you can see the history of the city being preserved and then this whole new modern city being built around it as well so it felt very vibrant and wonderful to be back there.”

The next episode of the four-part series airs on Friday at 9pm on BBC Two.

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