Apple TV+’s new science fiction mystery series, Severance, has taken the world by storm since the release of the first episodes earlier this month. The Black Mirror-esque show depicts traditional office workers who allow their office lives and personal lives to be separated from each other via surgical procedure. It means that at work, they remember nothing of their home life, while at home, they have no knowledge of what they do for a living.
According to the show’s creator Dan Erickson, the cast and crew of Severance started shooting in 2020, the day after the November election in the United States. He added that the opening scene of the season, of Helly (played by Britt Lower) waking up on the table, was actually shot on January 6, the day rioters were inside the Capitol.
Of course, the team didn’t know what was coming in March of 2020. Ben Stiller, one of the series’ directors, has actually credited the COVID-19 pandemic with helping make the show what it is. He noted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that waiting until November 2020 meant that the production team could answer a lot of questions they still had about the project.
Actor Adam Scott, who plays Mark Scout in the show, observed about “the surreal nature of the whole thing”: “I realized, eight months in, that people I’ve been spending 12 hours a day with, I’d never seen the lower part of their face. It was bizarre because usually you’re so bonded by that point.”
According to Stiller, even after shooting started in November 2020, the team had to shut down several times during the filming process for COVID protocols. “So it’s been a long and slow process, but every time we had to stop on this project, I think it only helped us in the creative process, because there were always questions we were trying to figure out the answers to.”
Of course, fans of the TV show don’t care how long it took to come out! They’re spending every week waiting for the next episode to be released, while immersing themselves in the hype on social media, trying to predict what will happen next.
You can catch Severance every week on Apple TV+, with the next episode set to be released on March 4.