Will there be trees? ‘Fortitude’ filming final season in Svalbard instead of Iceland – how will scenery stay consistent?


One of the first things this show about Svalbard will have to do now that it’s finally filming is here make things look a bit more like Iceland.

Whether its detailing vehicles to match those seen in previous seasons or using computer-generated effects to include non-native animals with noteworthy moments, those producing the third and final season of “Fortitude” are doing plenty of preliminary work before filming begins in March.

Of course, they probably won’t go so far as to add the trees, giant water tanks and other oddities seen during the first two seasons in The Fictional Town Not Named Longyearbyen.

“If people are looking closely for differences they’ll be able to spot them,” said Jason Roberts, a local film producer who is coordinating the project involving about 120 people with Fifth Fathoms Productions and Sky Atlantic who will spend three weeks doing principal photography for the series.

Roberts, who said this is the largest production he has been involved with, noted that producers during the first two seasons did try to match some key parts of Longyearbyen such as the interior of the governor’s office, which should help reduce continuity errors.

The project means there will be even more March madness than usual in Longyearbyen this year since the main filming will begin March 8 – the same day as the return-of-the-sun festival that’s the town’s biggest event of the year – and continue through what’s one of the busiest tourism months of the year. Hotels that are already normally full will be occupied for about 2,700 guest nights by the production companiues.

But for locals the filming can be more than a curiosity item since the show is looking for both student and adult extras. Youths between 10 and 14 are needed for a school scene, and between 15 to 20 adults are being sought for other scenes. Extras will be paid 500 kroner, according to a flyer distributed by the producers (applications can be sent to tinyurl.com/ycv23nqm).

The British psychological thriller aired 12 episodes during its first season and 10 during its second, with the theme revolving around mysterious deadly wasps and a lot of grusome deaths. The show, in addition to trees, also takes certain liberties with reality in Svalbard , including a sheriff as a main character (no such thing here) and  Christmas occurring after the end of the polar night.