Llantrisant’s charm and beauty has been one of the reasons why its become such a favourite for camera crews over the years.
The first major film which used the backdrop of Llantrisant in its scenes was the 1940 Ealing Studios The Proud Valley starring African-American actor Paul Robeson. It tells the story of a Black American miner and singer who gets a job in a mine and joins a male voice choir. It documents the hard realities of Welsh coal miners’ lives.
David Goliath, a Black American, arrives in Wales and wins the respect of the very musically oriented Welsh people through his singing. He shares the hardships of their lives, and becomes a working-class hero as he helps to better their working conditions and ultimately, during a mining accident, sacrifices his life to save fellow miners.
In one scene as they march on strike to London they are led by a brass band and parade down Swan Street to the Bull Ring with hundreds of local residents there to greet them.
Over 60 years later and the major film studios turned their attentions back to the old town by making a 2002 British dark comedy called Plots With a View. Written by Frederick Ponzlov, directed by Nick Hurran, it Brenda Blethyn, Robert Pugh, Alfred Molina, Naomi Watts, Lee Evans and Christopher Walken.
The film tells the story of Boris Plots, of Plots Funeral Home in the fictional Welsh village of Wrottin Powys, His rival Frank Featherbed, an American, is determined to revolutionise the undertaking business in Britain through the innovation of "themed funerals".
However, itis as a location for documentaries, history, science fiction and religious television shows that Llantrisant has enjoyed further frame on the screen.
A few years later and the programme We Are Seven was located in Llantrisant using the Parish Offices on Yr Allt in particular for much of the filming. It told the story of Bridget Morgan, a single mother who lives in a small Welsh village in the 1930s. She is treated with hostility by the villagers because she has given birth to six illegitimate children by six different fathers, each one of them a respected member of the community.
In 2010 The Indian Doctor came to town. A BBC 1 television drama, set in the 1960s it starred Sanjeev Bhaskar as an Indian doctor who finds work in a South Wales mining village.
For a short period of time a house was used on School Street as the location of the children’s television programme “Young Dracula” with a haunted castle superimposed on West Caerlan. Shortly afterwards and Dr Who’s TARDIS was found in the archway of London House on the Bull Ring where a Sontaran alien wandered the main square.