Showtime to film Dexter series in Shelburne Falls

  • Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, which Showtime is considering for its “Dexter” TV series. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Alano Miller, from left, Julia Jones, Jack Alcott and Johnny Sequoyah are among the cast for the next season of “Dexter,” which may be partly filmed in Shelburne Falls. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

  • CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/PETER MELLEKAS

  • CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/DANIEL WHITE

  • CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ALANNA GILBERT

Staff Writer
Published: 1/17/2021 9:29:37 PM

A new limited series of the TV show “Dexter” is preparing for production, with filming set to take place in parts of Massachusetts, which include two local communities: Buckland and Shelburne.

According to Showtime, production of the 10-episode limited series is expected to start early this year.

Dexter follows forensic analyst Dexter Morgan who spends his days solving crimes and his nights committing them, according to a synopsis on the production company’s website. But the character lives by a “strict honor code” — acting as a vigilante serial killer.

The final episode of the original series, which lasted eight seasons, aired in 2013.

On Monday, Showtime announced in a press release that in addition to the original series regulars — including Michael C. Hall, who plays the titular character Dexter — additions to the cast include Clancy Brown, Julia Jones, Alano Miller, Johnny Sequoyah and Jack Alcott.

Although details on specific locations were not provided in its announcement Monday, local officials have confirmed the production company approached two Franklin County communities late last year on the possibility of using their towns for filming.

But while officials in Buckland and Shelburne have offered support for the production set to take place in the Shelburne Falls area, final details of the necessary filming permits are still being worked out.

“We’re trying to find a time frame that agrees with them and agrees with us,” Buckland Town Administrator Heather Butler said Tuesday.

Initially, she explained, the production company asked the town about beginning production in Buckland in January. However, a date for filming has yet to be agreed upon, as the company has since proposed several later start dates, most recently as far into the year as April.

“We most likely can’t do April,” she said, explaining that is the start of road construction season for the town.

Butler said she understands the company has to work around the COVID-19 situation as well as the weather.

“They’ve been great to work with,” she said.

Showtime confirmed that it will be shooting scenes in Shelburne Falls.

In a previous interview, Butler, who said she’s worked previously with a few members on the current project, said Showtime approached the town in October about using Town Hall — which is currently closed to the public — as well as State and Conway streets.

“I know they’ve expressed a real commitment to working with the local businesses and making sure that nobody is negatively impacted by them being here,” she said, noting town business will not be impacted either, as employees can work remotely.

According to Butler, Showtime has already been in touch with a few area businesses and made “individual agreements” for filming.

The Shelburne Selectboard also offered the company a “positive nod” of approval at the end of last year, Selectboard Chair Andrew Baker previously said. He called it a “mixed blessing” for the community under the current circumstances.

“In normal times, it would be an opportunity to showcase the town, much as we’ve done with the two Hollywood films that were shot here over the last decade,” he said. “During the COVID pandemic, it’s a little bit different.”

The two films were “Labor Day,” released in 2013, and “The Judge,” in 2014.

When Showtime pitched its project at an October Selectboard meeting, Baker and other Selectboard members questioned Showtime representatives on the potential impact the production may have on businesses in the village, particularly after a difficult few months.

“We’re hopeful that because it is a slower season that we’ll be a benefit to a lot of the vendors and not have a big impact,” Executive Producer Bill Carraro said at the meeting. “We certainly respect anyone who has concerns.”

He addressed concerns in particular about the region’s lone pharmacy on Bridge Street.

“We will have somebody who is collaborating with the store owner, making sure there is access or, if we have to, help with deliveries,” Carraro said. “That’s an essential business. There’s no way that would be interfered with.”

Baker also expressed concern for the production bringing crowds to the area during a pandemic.

“I feel reasonably confident that they will know how to manage a set, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “I think I’m more concerned about the collateral effect of other people coming to town or standing around in groups, if that were to occur. That’s a little harder to make promises about.”

The crew and cast will be on a rigid COVID-19 testing protocol, and will screened before work each day, according to Carraro.

“If it can be helpful to the downtown businesses, which could certainly use some help and support, that’s a good thing; if not, that’s not so good,” Baker said. “But I hope it will be overall a benefit to the village economy, because we all could use something like that.”




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