Where was See filmed?
British Columbia, Toronto, Ontario
Cabins, Rustic, NatureScapes, Studios
Dilapidated/ Neglected, Power Plant
See is an Apple TV science fiction drama set 600 years in the future. It is a dystopian fantasy about people who can no longer see, and everyone is born naturally blind. Created by Steven Knight (of the Peaky Blinders fame) and directed by Francis Lawrence (Red Sparrow and Hunger Games), See is a unique take on the dystopian trope that most online platforms want to carry. The series has released two seasons so far, with a third to be released in the fall of 2022 on Apple TV. The series premiered on 1st November 2019, and the filming and subsequent premiere of season 2 were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The second season finally premiered on 27th August 2021.
The plot is unique, with a virus that wipes out most of humanity in the twenty-first century. With less than two million people surviving globally, most have lost the ability to see and are born visually impaired. See is shown to take place 600 years later when society has learned to survive in huts with primitive weapons, learn how to hunt and cook, and basically go about day-to-day life without vision.
The series revolves around a pair of twins, Haniwa (Nesta Cooper) and Kofun (Archie Madekwe), born to Maghra Kane (Hera Hilmar). Maghra is already pregnant when she marries the Chief of the Alkenny Tribe, Baba Voss (Jason Momoa). The twins are born with perfect sight and vision since their biological father had vision. Since the concept of vision is considered a sin and heresy, the entire series is a witch hunt for people to either kill or have an off-spring that can see.
Other notable supporting characters in the series have done fine jobs portraying the gravity of the situation and how life has changed. There are a few spoilers about the scenes in the filming locations below, and they are great scenes!
See from Apple TV was shot mainly in Canada. Since the premise of the series is a dystopian reality, the beauty of the series had to come from its filming locations and its plot lines. Considering these crucial aspects, the cast and crew did a fantastic job of bringing together the haunting natural beauty of Canada with a people who could not see at all.
The primary filming locations are parts of British Columbia, Vancouver, and parts of Toronto. Several shooting scenes are filmed in British Columbia like Strathcona Provincial Park, lakeside at Buttle Lake, Ralph River Campground, Myra Falls, Jordan Dam, and more. While these are not iconic filming locations, they fit the bill for all the scenes for See.
Apart from the shooting locations mentioned below (which contain a few spoilers), other areas are Pemberton village community, Burnaby Youth Custody Services Center, Deroche farming and railway community, Eagle Mountain, Rutherford Service Road, Squamish Valley, Delta at Boundary, and more.
Teaser: The production team hired a 'blind consultant' to help all the actors get the parts right. While many cast members are pretending to be blind, there are quite a few visually impaired artists in this series who do a fine job.
Did you know the production cost of each episode is approximately USD 15 million? The episodes last between 50 and 70 minutes and are like mini-movies – think of the final season of Game of Thrones - but better.
Baba Voss commands his tribe to go to battle and defend the settlement scene in See
Strathcona Provincial Park, British Columbia
We’ll start with season 1, episode 1. When the scentiers report a raiding party with plenty of horses and dogs and people coming to the settlement, Baba Voss (the Chief of the Alkenny Tribe) and his tribal people prepare to defend the wall. All this happens while Baba Voss' wife, Maghra Kane, is in labor and about to deliver the twins. Baba commands his people, "Take up arms! Follow me!" They all start picking up weapons, wearing the headgear and braces, and follow him out of the settlement and to the wall.
As they get to the forest, Baba Voss commands the scentiers, "Dream the wind," and one of them responds, "Dogs, horses, and men. Cutting up mud and reeds. They're crossing the river." Another scentier says, "They burn Beechwood smoke of Queen Kane's Witchfinders." Some tribe members feel the raiding party might just be crossing the river to get to the other side. However, Baba Voss asks, “Matal, presage. What is their intention?" Matal (Bree Klauser) responds, "I feel savage intent in the air."
These See action scenes were shot at the Strathcona Provincial Park. This area is open to the public to hike, camp out, and enjoy nature. Visitors must drive here using BC-19 N to BC-28 W and onto Westmin Road. The Strathcona Park is along the banks of the Buttle Lake, which is also used for many other See locations.
Queen Kane praying and chanting scene in See
Jordan River Dam, British Columbia
After the bridge on the Ravine breaks, a message via bird is sent to Queen Sibeth Kane (Sylvia Hoeks) at her palace at Kanzua Dam. Queen Kane dismisses her servants while the message is being delivered and tells them she wants to pray.
As she gets into position, she starts reciting her Holy words, "Father, hidden from us, whose Power we feel but cannot touch. Your will resides in this Holy Place. Give us this day your Power, given by God Flame and taken from inside the Holy River water. Give guidance and clear paths. Condemn those that trespass against us. Give to us flame and smoke. For thine is the darkness, the Power, and the glory. Forever and ever. Amen."
Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo) sends a message to Queen Kane, informing her about the birth of Jerlamarel's children and that they might also have the vision. She gets upset and calls the council into order.
This filming location of See is inspired by actual shots of the Jordan River Dam and CGI and green screen shooting in British Columbia. It was built in 1911 and has a cable car ascent from the Jordan River. Getting here is only possible by car via BC-14 W towards Kirby Creek Road. Visitors may need permission to enter the dam premises, so it is best to check in advance.
Baba Voss gets all the tribes to the new settlement scene in See
Ralph River Campground, British Columbia
After temporarily halting Queen Kane's forces with a rocky landslide, Baba Voss and his people realize that there are more forces with horses, dogs, and armed soldiers waiting to attack. They were hiding behind the sound of the rain. The attacking force left after the landslide consisted of half of Queen Kane's army and Witchfinders.
Baba Voss and the tribe follow instructions left by Jerlamarel to the new area. They follow sound guides (small clinking objects that call to them) in places like the middle of the river and the waterfall with knot instructions to the new settlement.
Baba Voss leads the tribe through the hurdles till they reach a vast, flat, green space. Baba Voss asks the scentier, "Scentier, what's ahead? What has he left for us?" The scentier responds with awe in his voice, "Everything." As the camera pans ahead, viewers can see tires, wood, bamboo, and other things used to make rudimentary huts left behind for the Alkenny Tribe. Baba Voss tells his wife, Maghra, "This is where we build our new home."
This See location of the Alkenny New Settlement is based at the Ralph River Campground, which is close to all the other filming locations in BC, Canada. From the Strathcona location, continue on Westmin Road for 30 minutes to reach the campground.
Haniwa and Kofun reading their books at the waterfall scene in See
Lower Myra Falls, British Columbia
In this scene, Haniwa (Nesta Cooper) and Kofun (Archie Madekwe) steal away from everyone else to go and read books (which is miraculous). Earlier in this episode, Baba Voss finds the 'knowledge' their biological father, Jerlamarel (Joshua Henry), has left buried for them (a box full of books since both of the children can see) near a waterfall.
As they get older, Haniwa and Kofun can see and read. They start climbing the waterfall with the 'treasure' the father left for them. As they climb the rocks and reach a little ledge, they both take their books and show each other. Haniwa asks, "What have you got?" Kofun lifts up a copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and asks Haniwa, "You?" to which she lifts '1984' by George Orwell. They look around to ensure no one is around and start reading.
This See filming location (while it may seem otherworldly) was shot at Lower Myra Falls in British Columbia at the lower end of Buttle Lake. This waterfall is slightly inaccessible since you must cross the Strathcona Provincial Park and get to the other side. It is only accessible by car using the Inland Island Highway BC-19 N and then the BC-28 W to Westmin Road. Once on Westmin Rd, it will take about 45 minutes to reach the Falls.
Queen Kane and Maghra arrive in Pennsa city on horseback scene in See
Claireville Conservation Area, Brampton, Toronto
As the new season starts, a few plot twists from the earlier season pan out immediately in episode 1. Queen Kane and Maghra reach the city of Pennsa, the seat of the High Lord Harlan. Queen Kane has her own machinations that she is using Maghra for as they enter the city.
Since everyone is blind, the Queen is constantly jingling her Royal bells that indicate to everyone that someone of the royal bloodline is present. The people start cheering since they think a new alliance will be formed between their King and the new royalty.
Queen Kane says to Maghra, "Even in all this noise, I can still hear you pouting," to which Maghra responds, "You gave me your word we would keep searching for my family." While Queen Kane responds in the affirmative, she is clearly hatching up another political maneuver.
The See production team shifted closer to Toronto to control the spread of the Covid crisis and ensure low filming costs. This entire plot is set in the Claireville Conservation Area and is easily accessible via ON-427 N and by bus number 11 stop at Steeles Ave w/of Hwy 50. The Conservation Area is a few minutes walk from this bus stop.
Baba Voss fighting with his brother's troops scene in See
Ontario Place, Toronto
In this season finale, Baba Voss is fighting his brother Edo Voss' (Dave Bautista) troops. The battle between the two main forces happened in classic See style, with plenty of blood, gore, and a fortress with a giant trench. Baba Voss fights in his personal style with his sharpened weapons, extra senses, and superior fighting skills. Edo Voss (as usual) ensures his troops go into battle before him. Haniwa is shown to be an incredibly skilled archer – think Legolas of Lord of the Rings – and fires arrows down in remarkable precision.
This finale episode has one of the best scenes in See when Baba Voss executes a flawless strategic plan by setting up a JCB earth loader on a pulley system to take out his brother's troops in traditional bowling style. Hearing his troops mowed down, Edo Voss roared out, "Full attack! Take the fu**ing fort!!"
The fight scene set was specially constructed piece by piece at an old theme park in Toronto. The designers ensured plenty of old tires, swords, weapons, and a WW1-style trench. Ontario Place is an entertainment and event park in Toronto, Ontario. It was an old theme park, which was shut down, and is being reopened as it gets renovated. To get here, hop onto red bus 509 from Union Station, get off at the Manitoba Dr at Strachan Ave West Side stop, and walk towards Ontario Place.
Considering all the dystopian trope series making the circuit on online platforms, See from Apple TV is a refreshing change. While it has plenty of basic plot holes, like Kofun being asked to fight with his eyes closed instead of being given a gun and Haniwa getting scared of Edo Voss all the time, the overall series is extremely well accepted by fans.
The See production team did a fantastic job with the filming locations of seasons 1 and 2 and left many viewers guessing the real-life locations. Selecting Canada as the location for the filming brought the entire thing (along with the blue-gray tinge) home. The sites made the 600-years-in-the-future reality believable.
Most fans are eagerly waiting to see what happens ahead in Season 3. The best part is that the team has kept the star cast the same, with similar filming locations. There won't be too much of a change in the authenticity of the filming from season 1.