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‘The Final of Us’: All of the Alberta areas that obtained a dramatic makeover

The primary season of HBO’s The Final of Us reached its heart-wrenching conclusion, leaving viewers in awe of the present’s performing, storyline and particular results.

And whereas Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey’s characters, Joel and Ellie, steal the highlight in every episode whereas attempting to evade lethal fungus-ridden creatures, cannibals and rogue gangs, there’s been a number of consideration given to the gorgeous Alberta backdrops, which fill in as post-apocalyptic U.S. cities and states.

The present was shot completely in Alberta beginning in 2021 and used an astonishing 180 areas across the province, from Edmonton all the way in which right down to Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park.

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The present is a thrill trip by itself — the storyline carefully follows the online game on which it was primarily based — however for Albertans it’s been additional thrilling to identify among the province’s most recognizable streetscapes, buildings, mountains and parks. Positive, there’s been loads of CGI and particular results to masks most of the Alberta landmarks, however in lots of situations the areas are very clear.

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Episode by episode, listed here are among the Alberta areas and landmarks that stood in for Boston, Kansas Metropolis, Austin, Texas, Jackson, Wyo., and extra.

** NOTE: Delicate spoilers forward for the whole first season of The Final of Us. **

Episode 1: When You’re Misplaced within the Darkness

The sequence premiere of The Final of Us units the stage for a post-apocalyptic journey, introducing viewers to characters Joel (Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv), who’re tasked with the harmful mission of maneuvering teenage Ellie (Ramsey) throughout a ravaged U.S. within the hopes of discovering a remedy for the fungus outbreak that has the power to take maintain in people, turning them into creatures intent on infecting others.

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When You’re Misplaced within the Darkness makes use of Calgary’s downtown as a stand-in for Boston, and a specifically designed set located within the industrial space behind the Calgary Stampede grounds serves on the present’s Boston Quarantine Zone (QZ.)

Viewers additionally catch glimpses of Calgary’s historic Inglewood neighbourhood, inside pictures of a pair Calgary excessive colleges, in addition to pictures of the Bow River because it runs by means of the town’s Beaver Dam Flats.

In the meantime, the historic Southern Alberta city of Fort McLeod doubles as downtown Austin, Texas, within the early days of the outbreak.

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Episode 2: Contaminated

The cold-open for the present’s second episode units a chilling scene for simply how unhealthy this outbreak goes to be. In it, viewers see professor Ibu Ratna (Christine Hakim) counsel only one phrase on how Jakarta ought to reply to the outbreak of the cordyceps fungus in people: “Bomb.”

The scene was filmed in a workers lounge within the Senator Burns constructing on the Southern Alberta Institute of Know-how (SAIT). Eagle-eyed college students of the polytechnic may even discover the constructing’s important ground lounge in an ensuing scene, and that the basement of the constructing, with its distinct floor-to-ceiling blue tiles, serves as a part of a Jakarta hospital.

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Because the present flashes ahead to modern-day, there’s loads of different acquainted landmarks to be noticed. Joel, Tess and Ellie are noticed mountain climbing over the 4th Avenue flyover that leads into downtown Calgary, and enter a historic constructing within the metropolis’s core that serves because the Boston Museum.

A view of Calgary’s Fourth Avenue flyover because it appeared in “The Final of Us.”

Screengrab / HBO

Maybe no landmark within the episode is as recognizable as Alberta’s Legislature Constructing. It serves as a really acceptable stand-in for the Massachusetts State Home and one of many present’s most unforgettable scenes.

The Alberta Legislature Building is seen in this still from "The Last of Us."

The Alberta Legislature Constructing is seen on this nonetheless from “The Final of Us.”

Screengrab / HBO

Episode 3: Lengthy, Lengthy Time

One of many extra subdued episodes of the primary season, Lengthy, Lengthy Time offers viewers an intimate look into a young and heartbreaking love story that blossoms within the years following the cordyceps outbreak.

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The episode largely takes place across the residence of Invoice (Nick Offerman), a solitary survivalist who’s doing simply tremendous on his personal, till one other individual stumbles right into a lure on his compound. The pair bond over a love of music, wine and good meals and develop previous collectively because the episode progresses.

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Invoice’s bucolic hamlet was shot within the Excessive River neighbourhood of Beachwood — an space not proof against its personal real-life catastrophe. The neighbourhood was deserted in 2013 when the Highwood River breached its banks in the course of the province’s devastating flood occasion.

The Alberta authorities purchased out the owners after the floods and returned the realm again to its pure state of floodway.

A flooded neighborhood in Excessive River, Alta., Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

In the course of the episode viewers see Invoice, who had been hiding whereas his neighbours have been trucked away by officers, go to the real-life Mezzapa Gasoline Plant east of Excessive River to show the utility again on.

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He then travels to a House Depot to refill on provides, which was truly shot inside a Lowes House Enchancment location in Calgary. Surprisingly, an actual House Depot was positioned just some blocks away from the Lowes retailer the place the scene was shot; no phrase on why the present selected the Lowes.

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Episode 4: Please Maintain My Hand

The opening scenes of the present’s fourth episode characteristic a number of scenic pictures close to Strathmore, together with a scene the place, due to CGI, a practice will be seen dangling from a damaged Excessive Degree Bridge close to Lethbridge.

The Excessive Degree Bridge close to Lethbridge obtained a little bit of CGI remedy in “The Final of Us.”

Screengrab / HBO

Ellie and Joel are on their technique to Kansas Metropolis, however as they strategy the town limits they’re stopped by a blocked freeway tunnel, which was designed round Calgary’s Airport Tunnel within the metropolis’s northeast.

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Calgary's Airport Tunnel, sans blockade.

Calgary’s Airport Tunnel, sans blockade.

@yyctransportation / Twitter

The motion picks up as they manoeuvre across the tunnel and are funnelled into Kansas Metropolis, with a number of alleys in Calgary’s downtown core serving as a backdrop for a very vicious and vendetta-fuelled gang of freedom fighters.

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As our protagonists combat to evade each menacing people and the contaminated, their bond grows deeper. They’re seen passing by Calgary’s Globe Cinema, whose signal was stored within the present, as they head to an workplace tower to cover out for some time.

The Globe Cinema in downtown Calgary, because it seems in “The Final of Us.”

Screengrab / HBO

Episode 5: Endure and Survive

Within the fifth episode, viewers meet one other pair of supporting characters — two brothers, Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard), who’re additionally making an attempt to make their manner out of Kansas Metropolis. The brothers pitch an escape path to Joel and Ellie in change for cover.

A lot of the episode takes place in underground tunnels, which have been offered by real-life tunnels in Calgary’s brewery district.

The Calgary Courts Centre, the biggest court docket constructing in Canada, additionally makes an look, enjoying a U.S. Submit Workplace constructing in addition to a backdrop for a resistance group’s rebellion towards federal officers.

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The episode culminates in an enormous battle, and the units have been constructed from scratch outdoors the Calgary Movie Centre. The large movie studio is provided with every little thing wanted to make on-screen magic, making it the right place to look at the present’s wholesome and contaminated battle it out.

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The ultimate, and most heartbreaking, shot was filmed on the Ranchland Inn in Nanton, positioned about 45 minutes south of Calgary.

Episode 6: Kin

Within the sixth episode, viewers meet up with Joel and Ellie three months into their journey and be taught they’ve made it safely to Wyoming. However regardless of being protected, it’s the useless of winter and so they’re hopelessly misplaced.

They arrive throughout a pair of two odd homesteaders who level them within the path they should go, however are warned to not cross the “River of Demise.”

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The bridge that crosses mentioned river is the picturesque Canmore Engine Bridge, a well-known sight to anybody who’s visited the mountain city, which is positioned about an hour from Calgary on the mouth of the Canadian Rockies.

An previous railway bridge used as a strolling and biking path in Canmore, Alta., Saturday, Could 29, 2021.

Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Joel’s on a mission to seek out his brother, Tommy, and the search leads them to the walled-in metropolis of Jackson, Wyo., performed by a shabby-looking Predominant Road in Canmore.

Predominant Road in Canmore is remodeled into Jackson for “The Final of Us.”

Screegrab / HBO

Whereas in Jackson, Joel and Tommy reunite and catch up over a drink at an Outdated West-style bar which was recreated, considerably mockingly, on the Wainwright Resort at Calgary’s Heritage Park, which is its personal old-timey duplicate city.

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Viewers additionally see Ellie and Joel share a meal on the Willow Lane Barn in Olds, which often serves as a particular occasions venue, fashionable for weddings and fundraisers.

Willow Lane Barn in Olds, Alta. was remodeled right into a post-apocalyptic bar.

Liane Hentscher / HBO

As their journey continues, Joel and Ellie make their technique to a compound that’s new to them, however a well-known capturing location for the present. This time, SAIT doubles because the fictional College of Jap Colorado, with the stately sandstone Heritage Corridor dressed down with ominous-looking particles.

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Episode 7: Left Behind

Left Behind opens with each Ellie and Joel in a dire scenario and a flashback brings us again to the Boston QZ and a time earlier in Ellie’s life.

But it surely’s a mall in northwest Calgary that steals the highlight in Episode 7. Calgary’s Northland Village Mall has been closed since December 2021 because it undergoes a redevelopment into an open-air buying centre, giving set designers a clear slate to recreate a dilapidated mall that might not have been used because the onset of the outbreak within the early 2000s.

The gutted Northland Village Mall briefly saw the return of its original carousel for the production of “Left Behind.”

The gutted Northland Village Mall briefly noticed the return of its unique carousel for the manufacturing of “Left Behind.”.

Courtesy / Warner Bros.

The designers needed to rebuild a lot of the gutted mall, together with all of the storefronts. In addition they introduced again a retired merry-go-round from one other mall, which had been moved to Calgary’s horse leaping match facility, Spruce Meadows.

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Episode 8: When We Are in Want

Within the penultimate episode, viewers are taken about as far south as one can go in Alberta, to the beautiful backdrop of Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park. Nonetheless, what occurs within the park, which serves because the city of Silver Lake, Colo., is downright creepy.

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The episode was filmed within the winter, when most of Waterton is boarded up for the season, making it the right setting for the disturbing and twisted occasions that go down.

Episode 9: Search for the Gentle

Within the last episode of the season, with out giving freely an excessive amount of, Ellie and Joel arrive in Salt Lake Metropolis and shortly after arriving, Ellie finds herself regaining consciousness in an deserted hospital, which was filmed on the Queen Elizabeth II Ambulatory Care Centre in Grande Prairie.

The ultimate battle of the season ensues, and as Ellie and Joel escape and start making their manner again to Wyoming, their automotive breaks down, overlooking Barrier Lake in Kananaskis.

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There’s additionally an episode-stealing scene the place Ellie has a joyful encounter with an animal she’s by no means seen earlier than. The logistics of the shoot befell on-site on the Calgary Zoo, with the assistance of loads of particular results, and have one of many zoo’s most beloved (and tallest) animals.

There may be positively no scarcity of locations to go to in Alberta for those who’re a TLOU fan.

Season 1 of The Final of Us is streaming in its entirety on Crave.

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