Story of a location

BBC III’s online series Sex, Drugs and Murder- Life in the Red Light Zone follows the lives of several young women who sell their bodies in order to fund their drug addiction. But how does the choice of location particularly influence the tone and style of the programme? Moreover, why is it of the upmost importance when it comes to impact and emotional effect?


Filmed exclusively on location in Holbec, Leeds, the area has become extremely popular due to being the first, legal, red light district. With the choice to indefinitely allow the legalisation of prostitution since the middle of 2016, BBC three has explored both the negative and positive aspects to the transition (The Gryphon, 2017)

In this particular case, the story and narrative flourished around the famous street, where most of the action takes place. Although the programme is focused on telling the stories of multiple women who frequent the red light district, it is the location, which sparked controversy around the residents of Leeds, that acts as the common denominator, linking the programme and stories together. Sometimes a location affects the look of the entire film. It can dictate the look of the stage sets. It can set the psychological mood of the story. A good location scout can bring so much to a film that very few people will ever realize. (The Designer’s Assistant, 2013)

Therefore, Sex, Drugs and Murder- Life in the Red Light Zone achieved its desired effect amongst its audience by making use of its location, which successfully brought character, pace as well as presenting an unbiased depiction of the ongoing events in Holbec, appropriately. If one was to imagine the programme without any mention of the red light zone, the importance and necessity of the location in relation to the narrative, it would suddenly become clear that, the famous street represents the heart and centre of the action, whereby everything is based upon.


Editor, T. (2018). Review: Sex, Drugs & Murder: Life in the Red Light Zone – The Gryphon. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018]. (2018). The Importance Of Locations. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

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