UPDATED 10.25AM: Sky series A Discovery Of Witches has resumed filming after a brief delay due to a positive COVID test, Deadline has confirmed.
The show paused production on October 8 and has since got up and running again, with affected crew self-isolating.
A Sky spokesperson said: “A Discovery Of Witches S3 production was temporarily suspended with affected crew self-isolating. However, since 8th October we have now resumed production, after following the various guidelines and safety protocols.”
PREVIOUSLY, 9AM: Season 3 of A Discovery Of Witches has been forced to halt its UK shoot after an unnamed member of the production tested positive for COVID.
Jane Tranter revealed the news during an industry event as part of the BFI London Film Festival. The Bad Wolf EP said the production team had been stood down after a positive test, so that wider testing could take place. She did not confirm when they expect to resume filming.
The Sky Vision series follows a historian and witch who unexpectedly discovers a bewitched manuscript in a library, forcing her back into the world of magic. Season 2 wrapped pre-pandemic and is scheduled to broadcast early next year.
Tranter said that in a non-pandemic world, halting filming for a day would normally be a “disaster”, but in this instance the company had contingency in place, despite the UK not yet having incorporated its government-backed COVID insurance fund for production.
“Bad Wolf and Sky have committed a large amount of money to cover the equivalent of an insurance pay-out for A Discovery Of Witches,” she explained, saying her company had been able to put up the money because they had finished filming all of their other shows pre-lockdown and were in a “relatively solid” position.
“This is the new way of life, stopping and starting,” she added, noting that she wasn’t sure they would have had such backing for the series if it was less established.
The EP also said she is concerned for smaller companies that were in more financially precarious positions. “If another show of this size and scale goes down for a chunk of time because of COVID, our company wouldn’t be able to go through that, and we’re relatively solid. I don’t know what the smaller more bespoke company will do, that’s a genuine worry.”
Earlier in the year, fellow Bad Wolf show His Dark Materials had to pause filming season 2 at the beginning of the lockdown process. Tranter confirmed that they had been unable to finish a standalone episode focusing on Lord Asriel but that s2 will still air before Christmas, with the missing ep potentially being screened as a special at a later point.
“People are going to pick the flesh off the bones of the BBC until a crumbling skeleton is left in its place,” she affirmed. “I’m not going to pronounce its death knell but I am going to advocate that the BBC has an essential place in our culture and our arts community in 2020. Without it, the streamers wouldn’t have a lot of their programs. That’s because the BBC continues to take risks and make different types of programming. I would encourage us all to think about what the BBC provides us rather than kicking it in the shin all the time.”
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