The cast and creators of “Outlander” Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall), Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser), Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/ Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall) and executive producer Ronald D. Moore attended the season two premiere of the show at the Museum of Natural History on April 4. The show airs each Saturday at 9 p.m. on Starz.
This season, Claire is in a new environment and viewers see how well she fits into French culture. It’s really remarkable. When asked why that’s the case and why the people there are so accepting of her Caitriona said, “Well, I think Claire is a very adaptable character. She’s able to adapt into her surroundings very well. She’d already spent quite a bit of time in France during the second World War, so she speaks French. She understands something of the French mentality and French culture. Obviously, 1745 France is very different, but I also think she’s a very self-possessed woman. She commands respect and attention, and she gets that.”
Sam spoke about Jamie getting over what happened to him last season. “I wanted to show Jamie is actually not himself in the first five episodes, and I was a little nervous about it because I think he’s a sort of shadow of himself. I want him to not look as good. I wanted you as a person watching to just think that yeah, he just wasn’t one hundred percent. He’s still, obviously, affected by this post traumatic stress, and then his salvation, his cure, comes in a very strange form.”
Finding out that Claire was pregnant actually helped him to heal a bit. “I think he’s very individualistic. Anyone who’s been through any kind of trauma deals with it in different ways, but yeah he feels guilty at the end of season one, but this new life gives him hope. It gives them both hope. It’s something that he’s always wanted. Actually, this child, throughout season two, is the point that Jamie and Claire always find their way back to each other. They connect over this child. It’s a very beautiful plot line in the series,” Sam continued.
When asked how his theater background prepared him for the show Tobais shared, “I’ve done a lot of theater back in England. Most of a good chunk of my early career was all theater. There is a duel in this second season, but weirdly, actually, for a character that’s considered so violent, most of the time you see Jack in interior spaces not really doing anything to anyone. It’s largely psychological and suggested. The actual moments of genuine physical violence are relatively limited.”
Tobais reflected on the two characters that he plays and how they are portrayed. “Jack certainly, all the times we see him, he is no longer in control, which I think is really interesting. Then, obviously, we see Frank trying to come to terms with some of the basic dilemmas of the whole piece, really. You know, him being told by Claire that she’s time traveled and some of the more esoteric stuff within the world of the piece and trying to root that in the emotions and psychology.”
Chris Albrecht remarked “As the fans and the readers of the books know, the second season, this is like making a new show all over again. It’s new sets, new costumes, new characters, new country, new language, an incredible undertaking and we’re very excited to show it to you, and let you hear all the new accents, as well … This is a big show and it takes a lot of people, but first I want to thank our partners at Sony Pictures Television, my friend, chairman of Sony Pictures Television, Steve Mosko … We couldn’t make this show without them. Of course there are a couple people here that many of you already know, but they are the heart and soul of ‘Outlander,’ have been embraced by the fans … and are some or my favorite people, the lead actors in our show, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.”
Albrecht continued, “Also, this is a show that lives in it’s authenticity, in it’s beauty, in it’s brilliance. That is brought to life by an incredibly large and talented group of people, but who are headed up by some people who are extremely important. We couldn’t do the show without them, production designer Jon Gary Steele, costume designer, the fabulous, Terry Dresbach, co-executive producer, Maril Davis. And although Diana Gabaldon, the creator of all of this magnificence, could not be here with us in person tonight, but herself is here in spirit.”
He concluded, “Most of all, I want to make sure that we thank the fans … Your passion for these stories, these characters, is so rewarding to everyone associated with this. The support you show for the show, and how much you go and push this. You are our auxiliary marketing team and in great part we make this for you. Thank you very much. Every ship has its captain. Every country, at least in this show, has its monarch. Those who know anything about show business, know every show has its show runner. We have one of the best. He is handsome, professional. He is a great artist. He is a great guy. I couldn’t be more proud to be in business with him, our executive producer Ronald D. Moore.”
Moore told attendees, “I can honestly say that, probably one of the most critical moments in the development of any television series, is that magic moment when somebody has to say yes. It’s a business that’s all about saying no. There’s no risk involved in saying no. At some point, someone has to say yes, I will make that show. Yes, I will put that show on the air. Yes, I will raise tens of millions of dollars … and put this show on the air. On this particular project, Chris Albrecht was the man who said yes. Thank you to our friends and partners at Starz network, our friends and partners at Sony Pictures Television. Television is a team sport and I’m very proud to be part of this team, which you’re about to see was created by the efforts of literally hundreds of people in the United States and the United Kingdom. Artisans of all stripes, from costume department to art direction to post production and sound and visual effects and writers and directors and cast and on and on and on. This is a collaborative medium. This is a collaborative celebration.”