Outlander Season 6: Producer weighs in on whether COVID-19 helped or hindered the scripts

Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire, as seen in Season 6 of Starz's Outlander
Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire, as seen in Season 6 of Outlander. Pic credit: Starz

With the advent of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, filming and production on movies and TV shows have been hindered. For Outlander, production has just started up again and the series writer and producer reveals whether the delay helped or hindered the writing process.

The writer and producer for Outlander, Matthew B. Roberts, was asked by Elle recently how delays to filming affected production.

Many networks and writers have discussed how delays to production have meant that the scripts for upcoming seasons have been tweaked and made better thanks to the extra time given. However, Roberts sees the cessation of production as both an advantage and a hindrance.

“You can write a script, but it doesn’t live and breathe until you get it to production,” Roberts said.

“You can write something and you’re going, this is magical. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written. And then you get it to production and they go, ‘Yeah, but we can’t film all this stuff.’ So the scripts really don’t start existing to me until we get into the hands of production.”

He then explained that that was the reason behind the different colored scripts sometimes seen in behind the scenes shots of Outlander. Each color represents a different version of the original script.

Digital people will be added to Season 6 of Outlander

Along with social distancing requirements while on set, digital people will be used in post-production in order to create crowds.

And if viewers think this might not look so great when Outlander returns, it needs to be mentioned that some scenes have already been filmed this way in the past. In particular, Roberts noted that many of the Alamance battle scenes utilized this technology in order to place people in the scenes as required.

This tactic is also likely to be a staple for many other networks as they move forward into production during the coronavirus pandemic.

Intimates scenes in Season 6 of Outlander will also proceed

For those fans who are concerned that the intimate scenes in Outlander will be dropped in Season 6, have no fear. According to Roberts, these will still go ahead, albeit after rigorous testing for COVID-19.

Actors involved in these scenes will be tested on multiple occasions in order to maintain safety while on set.

“We had to figure out how to make sure we tested everybody a million times before they walked onto set and keep that bubble as safe as possible,” Roberts added.

Season 6 of Outlander will air on the Starz network at a later date.

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