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This month brought some very good news for Outlander fans, as we're beginning to get a lot closer to this interminable Droughtlander being over, because Season 6 is finally filming. While we're all dying to know how Claire will continue to fare after the traumatic Season 5 finale, another major question that fans have been having is just how the drama, which is very well-known for its sexytimes, will be able to keep that tradition going in our socially distant era. Now, showrunner / executive producer Matthew B. Roberts is talking about how Outlander is filming those sex (and other intimate) scenes.
It was just back in October that Outlander executive producer Maril Davis opened up about why the show didn't quite have the "luxury" of beginning to film yet, because it's quite obviously "the least COVID-friendly show ever." I don't think you even have to be an Outlander viewer to know that the show is centered around the adventures of a particularly amorous couple in the late 1700s, and many episodes feature a lot of adult time between both Claire and Jamie, and some of the other couples on the series, as well.
As we all know, these types of intimate moments are not easy to film, especially in a time when staying away from other people is incredibly important. When Elle asked Matthew B. Roberts about how they wrote Season 6 to accommodate new filming guidelines, Roberts said:
I didn't want me or the staff changing what the story is for COVID. We have a lot of intimate scenes—that's where we live and breathe. [The answer is] testing, testing, testing, testing. 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. That was our main focus—making sure everybody feels safe walking onto a set in the studios and locations.
While every film or TV production under the sun is currently very concerned with making sure everyone who comes anywhere near a production is tested and put into a "bubble" which keeps them mostly interacting only with others they have to deal with on a regular basis, Outlander is not the kind of show where they can add having all of the actors further apart than usual in every scene to help keep people safe. We can assume that Jamie is likely pretty well-equipped, but if he and Claire are six or more feet apart, well...ain't nothing much sexy about to happen there.
Ultimately, the answer for being able to get filming started was to make sure they could test everyone as often as possible and get results in before anyone had to smoosh their assorted body parts together. Outlander has done this by truly going the extra mile, and erected (Teehee. Don't mind me; I'm basically a child.) an on-site testing facility in the parking lot of the studio where they film non-location shots. This, reportedly, cost the production over $200,000, which doesn't even count what all the actual testing will cost, but it's clear that the producers felt this was the best way to film Season 6.
On top of that grand step, Matthew B. Roberts pointed out that they worked very hard to make sure that the show wouldn't feel any different when it returns to the small screen, and also noted:
I don't know how to write 'COVID-friendly scenes,' certainly not an Outlander scene, because we are going to have people next to each other, being emotional—you talk close to people, and that's where it transfers COVID. We had to figure out, how do we keep Outlander, Outlander? So we wrote the scripts [as originally intended] and dove in with production: Our producer in the U.K., Guy Tannahill, and our new production designer, Mike Gunn, and our staff over there who have worked on Outlander for a long time. We said, 'Okay, this scene can't happen like this. If we did this, this, and this, then we can make it happen.'
So, it looks like we'll be able to watch Outlander Season 6 the way the universe intended: with lots of kissy face and body on body touch time! Seeing as how the new season just began filming, we don't have any idea when it will air, but while we wait for updates, you can check out what's available to watch right now with our guide to early 2021 TV!