All Souls is set in present-day Brooklyn, NY—specifically, the Windsor Terrace neighborhood. Think of a more residential, less architecturally grand Park Slope, with the hipness quotient dialed back significantly. Families, humble bars and restaurants, and street-level entrances on modest row homes, rather than grand brownstones with steep steps. (The church in which the series will be filmed—The Church of the Holy Apostles—is a fixture in that very neighborhood.)
All Souls Episcopal Church, sitting among all those Windsor Terrace rowhouses, has a deep history. Built in the late 1800s, it has retained a great deal of its original character: dark wood walls, deeply saturated stained glass, worn pews. The decades haven’t been too hard on it, but the musty, antique vibe of the whole place makes parishioners feel like they’re putting on period costumes whenever they walk inside. No one, not even the church’s staff, ever feels quite comfortable. It’s too dark—much too dark—and too old for comfort. Is the church even a place in which modern ideas are possible? Or is the All Souls chapel where new thoughts go to die?
In many ways, the world of All Souls might resemble that of Broadchurch more than any other. Moral certainties will be hard to come by in what’s really nothing more than a humble, human-scale community. Light, both literal and figurative, will be scarce; shadows will abound. You might also think about Breaking Bad. The air surrounding Rector Morgan Thomas, like the air Walter White breathed in, will be thick with lies and scented with increasing desperation.