‘A Discovery Of Witches’ Pauses Season Three Filming After Positive COVID Test

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 today after a positive test yesterday, so that wider testing could take place. She did not say 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.

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“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.

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