Those relatives and neighbours who took up an invitation from the producers to appear as extras in some scenes were also offered counselling for the first time in 53 years. And there will be more to come.
“We had a therapist to help all the people who were recreating such a horrific scene,” said producer Oona O Beirn. “People who live there are still traumatised, of course, and we found they’d never been offered help before. Now we are trying to arrange more.”
Rescue workers remove mud and rubble burying one of a row of seven houses at Aberfan in 1966.
Before filming began in the nearby village of Cwmaman, the producers also held a well-attended public meeting. “It was a surprise,” said head researcher Annie Sulzberger.
“We had slightly dreaded it, but in fact people wanted to tell their stories and to ask about the new cast,” said O Beirn.
The team also learned of the male voice choir that was formed after the disaster and used them in the episode.
Ahead of the release of the latest series on Netflix, producer Suzanne Mackie said the third episode, dealing with Aberfan, almost stands alone. “Of all the different stories The Crown has done so far, this was most difficult in terms of our duty of care. But it is true to the spirit of all we learned.”