The regional saga is planning to resume filming in late summer.
Filming on River City is expected to resume at BBC Scotland’s Dumbarton Studios in the middle of August, subject to government guidelines and ongoing discussions with BBC Scotland.
“We are busy preparing our new episodes of River City where the lives, loves and laughter from Shieldinch can soon be on our screens again. Our characters will adjust to their new reality but continue with the drama and the fun, we can’t wait!” – BBC Studios Series Producer, Martin McCardie
Should the resumption in filming go ahead, the Scottish soap will initially return as two 30-minute programmes, twice a week from September instead of its usual hour-long episode. The BBC note this will make social distancing more manageable as fewer people will be required on set any one time.
Following industry wide guidelines, the aim is to restart filming with two reduced crews and a maximum of four cast per unit working in ‘filming pods’. These smaller cast and crew teams will have staggered start and end times, ensuring that there is no overlap between the pods. In the coming weeks, plans are underway to complete some socially distant camera tests with guidance from the BBC Studios team working on EastEnders.
Storylines for the new episodes are currently being written and will revisit the residents of Shieldinch including fan favourites Bob O’Hara (Stephen Purdon), Alex Murdoch (Jordan Young), Caitlin McLean (Gayle Telfer Stevens), Lenny Murdoch (Frank Gallagher) and Scarlett O’Hara (Sally Howitt).
“River City will continue to reflect the lives of our audience when it returns to BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland after the summer. After such a seismic event in 2020, we can’t ignore Coronavirus so when we’re back in Shieldinch we’ll see the effect of the pandemic on our characters rather than making it the main focus. River City’s comeback will see fans favourite characters return with a bang and there’s lots of new dramatic and funny stories being written over the summer.” – Gavin Smith, Commissioning Editor, BBC Scotland
Before lockdown, the last original River City episode aired on 18th May and fans of the show are currently taking a step back in time with River City Rewind on the BBC Scotland channel on Monday nights, a ten-part series which delves into the archives showcasing some of the soap’s most iconic storylines over its 18 year history.
River City is a BBC Studios production for BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland.