Ask anyone in the TV biz about the best romance/adventure show on today, and STARZ Channel’s “Outlander” will certainly be named in the top five.
A show with high emotions, different cast members and settings every season and best of all, time travel, “Outlander” reaches top quality again and again. That was never more evident than when the show was showcased last week at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles.
A short film peppered with scenes from season three was followed by a Q & A with members of the cast (Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan) and crew to dig into what made “Outlander” such a special show.
When asked about her character Claire Randall in this season, Balfe responded that in season three, Claire had been through a life-changing experience and met the love of her life (Jamie Fraser), only to return to the 20th century where she had Jamie’s child after she thought he was dead. She had to face her old husband and tell him what had happened.
“The relationship (with Jack) comes with such a price; Claire throws herself into her career but loses her passion. She goes back to meet Jamie after having him on a pedestal for 20 years. Then they have to strip away that fantasy,” explained Balfe.
In regards to Jamie, Heughan said, ‘They’ve lived a life, particularly for Jamie it was a great journey for him to lose the one he loved. He had to rebuild himself and find who he is without her and then she comes back into his life again and turns everything upside down, it’s a great story.”
Balfe added, “A lot of her drive is for her unborn child, and in the first five episodes of season three you see a woman who is compromised. Even though she’s successful professionally and she loves her daughter, she lives with the ghost of this man who changed her entire being.”
“She’s more reserved and is living as only half of herself, but when she meets Jamie again the layers come off slowly and she begins to open up,” she added.
How similar was Heughan to Jamie?
“You put a lot of yourself in Jamie, I lived close to the character,” he said.
The showrunner, Ron Moore (executive producer), told of how the show has become harder and more complex.
“There is literally a different show every year, and most of the cast is different. The show every year has a different theme,” he said. “It was in Scotland, then Paris, Jamaica and then in the New World. Season three is a pivot point.”
Added Matt Roberts (executive producer), “We had Scotland as one of our characters and it was something glorious; now we are in America so we have to build everything, it takes more time.”
“Our show is operatic, there are big emotions; you have to be able to risk that with the audience. We don’t get cutesy. The characters are heartfelt and the show is not afraid to be bold and wear its emotions on its sleeve,” said Moore.
Balfe described how, for an underwater scene, she had be weighted down with small weights attached to her dress and a weighted belt, getting oxygen every now and then while waiting for the scene to start.
“But it was terrific — we had beers at the end!”
One thing not widely known was how Balfe was discovered, a story told by Maril Davis (executive producer): “I saw a personal interview of Cat on the Internet as I was googling ‘undiscovered actresses in the UK,’ I’d been up all night.”
Davis sent the tape around, and they had their lead.
Season four will be adapted from the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon’s book series – “Drums Of Autumn.”
A great time was had later by all. Elaborate, large photos of the cast served as a backdrop as guests treated themselves to canapes and different flavored macaroons.
Moviehole was glad to be there, of course, taking it all in for an “Outlander” special night.