‘The Witcher’ Season 2 Stops Production Due To Coronavirus

Sarah O NeillSarah O Neill in Entertainment, Netflix, TV
Published 17.03.20

Damn it.

For half a minute there I thought working from home wasn’t going to be that bad.

But Coronavirus has been determined to disrupt daily life as we know it; people going full Mad Max over some toilet paper, all the pubs being emptied, a pastor healing viewers through their TV screens, Tom Hanks.

But now it’s personal.

Okay, I know technically it can kill me. But if I can’t go out, I at least need Netflix to be on my side.

Obviously not abiding by Geralt’s style of self isolation, production on The Witcher season 2 has currently been halted for two weeks. This makes it the first major TV show from the UK to be disrupted by the, now global, pandemic.

The drama is made by Netflix, but is filmed at Arborfield Studos, a production house around 40 miles west of London. So I’m definitely blaming the people coughing on the Met line last week.

This is coming after Netflix’s decision to shut down all productions in the U.S and Canada. Now ramping up their dooms-day plan, the streaming service is assessing shows made outside the U.S individually.

In an email to Deadlinea close source reported on the drastic move.

We have made the decision, effective immediately, to pause production for two weeks during this difficult time…this will allow everyone the time to make informed decisions about how to move forward.

Continuing from this, they added:

The Coronavirus has raised challenging issues for everyone working on set on productions for Netflix. We are very grateful for all the work everyone has done to keep cast and crew safe during this pandemic.”

The production crew have also been informed about the decision, and will continue to receive paychecks from Netflix.

What was the reason behind the sudden closure?

Since the first email, more has been revealed regarding the halt.

Apparently, the fabled “individual” who had contracted the illness is none other than Game of Thrones star, and literal viking, Kristofer Hivju.

After revealing that he had tested positive for the illness on Instagram, the actor has self-isolated with his family in Norway.

In a message to his fans, he wrote: “Sorry to say that I, today, have tested positive for COVID19, Corona virus. My family and I are self-isolating at home for as long as it takes, We are in good health – I only have mild symptoms of a cold.”

The streaming platform has since put in place measure to protect members of the set. In a second email, it reported further precautions.

We paused production prior to becoming aware of this, but…we will be closing production offices and Arborfield immediately and arranging for deep cleaning and disinfection.

We are in the process of contacting those who were in close contact with the relevant individual. However, due to the nature of this production, it is recommended that crew and cast self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their temperature, and seek medical advice if they experience any symptoms.”

But in good Coronavirus news (if there is such a thing), you don’t have to worry about all your furry friends – The World Health Organisation has recently suggested there is no evidence that cats and dogs are susceptible. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to put a face mask on my cat. But that’s only because I think she’d look adorable.

So self-isolate surrounded by a bunch of cats, and enjoy the first season of The Witcher again, and hopefully this will all blow over. And then, finally, we can all return en masse to the pub.