Bolton town centre becomes site of ‘bomb explosion’ as film crews shoot BBC drama series

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 21st April 2021

A major street in Bolton town centre was transformed into the aftermath of an explosion for the filming of the second series of a critically-acclaimed BBC drama series yesterday.

Concerned members of the public first spotted several emergency services vehicles – including fire engines, ambulances and police cars – pulling up to Corporation Street, outside the Market Place shopping centre in the heart of the town centre, on Tuesday morning.

The street was then seen taped off to the public, with debris strewn across the pavement and in front of a row of shops.

But despite this dramatic and distressing scene, it was actually nothing to worry about.

It soon transpired after Bolton Council confirmed that the explosion aftermath was set up as part of the filming for the second series of BBC One’s critically-acclaimed drama series, Traces, which first aired back in January and went on to grip the attentions of viewers up and down the country.


The series – which is set in Dundee but predominantly filmed in Greater Manchester – focuses on three female forensic professionals working together at the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science (SIFA) as they uncover the truth of a murder case to bring a killer to justice.

It stars Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser, Molly Windsor (Three Girls), Jennifer Spence (Stargate Universe), and Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston.


Members of the public eager to catch a glimpse of the show’s stars and the filming in action began gathering round the scene as the day went on, with eyewitness Callum Major revealing: “It looked like it was some sort of explosion or drugs raid scene.

“It was really exciting to watch and see how they make the programme.

“It looked so realistic”.


Traces joins the long list of shows filmed in Greater Manchester, with the region earning itself a reputation over the past few years as one of the go-to filming locations for an impressive roster of TV shows, films and blockbuster productions – with recent projects including the next series of the cult-favourite BBC show Peaky Blinders, hit Netflix series’ The CrownThe StrangerWhite Lines and The English Game, to upcoming ITV show Viewpoint and BBC drama Ridley Road, as well as the notable stand-out Channel 4 five-part drama series It’s A Sin.

The second series of Traces is expected to air on Alibi and BBC One later this year.

Featured Image – Twitter (@boltonproud)