‘Servant’ season 2: How the show managed to film in quarantine
Servant is described as an “American psychological horror series” produced by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense). Produced for Apple TV+, the show premiered its first season on November 28, 2019, earning rave reviews for its “claustrophobic atmosphere” & powerful performances from its cast.
With season 2 set to premiere on January 15, 2021, many fans of the mystery show are curious how the cast & crew managed to film an entirely new season during the global pandemic, a production nightmare that has complicated multiple films & TV sets?
Before we delve into the filming of Servant season 2, let’s first take a closer look at the show as we build-up to the much-anticipated premiere of the show’s second season.
Servant season 1
The first season of Servant tells the haunting tale of a couple who seek the help of a nanny after the passing of their child. Specifically, the couple wants the nanny to take care of their baby, Jericho, a reborn doll that the wife believes to be her actual child. The husband, grieving his child’s death & wife’s mental state, discovers the new nanny’s secrets as she herself brings frightening realities upon the household.
Servant season 1 starred Lauren Ambrose (Can’t Hardly Wait) & Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island) as the couple Dorothy & Sean Turner. The cast also includes Nell Tiger Free (Game of Thrones) as the nanny Leanne, as well as Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) as Julian Pearce, Dorothy’s brother.
The first season featured ten episodes, with most of the season being shot on location in Philadelphia.
Servant season 2
Servant season 2, which is expected to drop on Apple TV+ this week, will continue the story of Dorothy & Sean, exploring this eerie world that’s sure to haunt its audiences as each episode drops.
A third season of Servant has already been greenlit, even before the second season’s premier. Producer M. Night Shyamalan has stated in an interview with Fandom how he intended this series to go for forty-episodes at ten-episodes per season, with the first thirty-episodes practically already mapped out.
That’s amazing news for fans of Servant, but one question still remains: how did the show manage to continue production of season 2 even amidst COVID-19 and the global pandemic?
COVID-19 hits Servant
As it was for many productions in 2020, establishing a safe set that limits exposure to COVID-19 was a challenge for the cast & crew of Servant . . . but perhaps not quite as difficult a challenge for this contained show.
“That was one of the reasons why we were able to be a show that can actually shoot right now, because our show is so contained and there are only a few characters in it,” Servant star Lauren Ambrose explained. “It’s like a play that takes place in this one Philadelphia brownstone. That is the nature of the show.”
M. Night Shyamalan touched on the complications of filming during a pandemic, and how the show’s limited cast & contained setting helped them produce season 2.
“We’ve contained the show to this house and we can’t really leave it. Even in flashbacks, it has to be in the house.”
Unlike other projects that may have struggled to film during the pandemic given the project’s scale & larger budgets, Servant was likely able to continue filming with a limited crew as well as its tight cast, making COVID-related testing & safety protocols easier to keep up with.
Are you guys excited about the season 2 premiere of Servant? Have you had a chance yet to check out season 1 on Apple TV+? Do you have any theories about where this season & the next one could be heading? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.