The Production Descends into Warfare

By Cat Taylor

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There are no words.

I mean there are actually no words today. We are scheduled to have a night full of action – there is no dialogue, other than the occasional scream. We have nearly 200 extras on set this evening – charging all over the place and then coming to a sudden halt when the stunt coordinators blow on whistles.

I can’t give you details of exactly what we are filming at the moment, but I will say that the shots look incredible and that it will be worth the wait – what’s filming now will appear late in the season – Neil Marshall is directing episode 9.

If it helps, we have to wait too! I always forget just how long stunts can take to reset. Fires have to be put out and then relit. Extras repositioned. Blood cleared. Weapons reloaded or cleaned. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes or more to set up for a short, sharp flurry of the most amazing action you could imagine.

You find yourself holding your breath while you watch, listening to the clash of metal and the screams of men as they throw themselves against their enemies. Each time you focus on a different area, trying to catch as much as possible. The detail that the costume armorers have put into the design and functionality of the warriors’ gear, the sigils on shields as they are used to bash someone’s head in, the shadows on the wall as the fires light up the fight.

A few feet away from the monitor tent, where we sit sheltered from the rain, is a stack of bodies. Earlier, one of the costume girls walked past me with a bloody leg, still in its boot.

It’s a weird sort of evening.