The next season of Outlander has officially begun production in Scotland.
Based on the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the new season of the historical fantasy romance series started filming last week following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The shoot is underway at the show’s production base at Wardpark Studios, Cumbernauld after the Scottish government recently cleared the way for production to continue during the UK’s current lockdown.
Outlander bosses have reportedly spent over £150,000 on constructing a private testing centre in the studio’s car park so they can regularly test cast and crew members for Covid-19.
Stars including Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe will be given £150 rapid lateral flow tests up to three times a week, and everyone employed on the show will only allowed to continue working if they get a negative test result.
Heughan recently told Parade: “It doesn’t matter if it is an intimate scene or a regular scene, we are going to be in contact with each other, so I think we will be in our own bubble. It won’t just be the actors, it will be our core team, hair and makeup.”
The Scottish actor, who plays Jamie, explained: “You literally can not do the job without having everyone around you. I know we have a strict set of rules and it will take some getting used to but we will be safe. We are being tested, we have face coverings, so we are going to be in a really safe place.”
A source told the Daily Record: “The makers of Outlander are taking no chances and invested heavily in this purpose-built lab. The total bill, including the vast amount of testing, is going to be huge.
“They’re taking Covid very seriously as they not only want to ensure the safety of the cast and crew but they want to ensure there are no filming delays.
“The film sector has been allowed to continue because of measures like this, which have been put in place by makers such as Starz, Netflix and Amazon.
“No doubt Outlander fans will be delighted that the makers are doing all they can to make sure they get that new series as soon as possible.”
Season 6 is expected to premiere towards the end of this year or in early 2022.
It was announced last week that Sam Heughan’s new travel documentary series will begin next month on Starz.
Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham sees Heughan and co-star Graham McTavish head out on a road trip together around Scotland.
Outlander is available to watch free with a 7-day trial of Starz on Amazon Prime Video.