‘Outlander’ EPs on Why They Changed the Controversial Jamie-Geneva Sex Scene

Outlander Season 3
Outlander Season 3

Sunday night’s episode of Outlander, “Of Lost Things,” featured an intense and intimate sex scene between Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and Lady Geneva Dunsany (Hannah James). She essentially blackmailed him into sleeping with her by threatening to expose his true Jacobite rebel identity to her British family.

He acquiesces and sneaks into her chambers late at night to perform the deed. But what had people talking wasn’t Fraser’s derrière (although we appreciate it), but rather it was what the showrunners decided to omit.

In Diana Gabaldon‘s third installment of the book series, Voyager,  a virgin Lady Geneva rebuffs Jamie’s advances by telling him, “No,” but he continues to push and shove anyway. Obviously controversial, it depicts Jamie, the hero, morally compromised. And being a victim of rape himself, you’d think he’d be more sensitive.

But in the Starz drama, both Jamie and Lady Geneva consent to the encounter.

Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Meril Davis spoke to Decider about the thought process behind editing or deleting scenes for Outlander. Moore explained, “I think it depends on the scene and where we are in the story. There have definitely been scenes we’ve cut and elements of sexual threat and violence that we didn’t play. But there were times when I thought it was really important to the story. So it’s a creative choice that you make. In the book, it all works because Diane [Gabaldon] is telling you the story, and she’s telling it to you in a very specific way. It’s her voice talking directly to you, the reader. And she takes you on a certain journey and paints a certain picture, and can take you through a lot of different things that happen in these characters’ lives.”

Davis added, “A perfect example of that this season is the Geneva scene with Jamie. In the book, there’s a question of whether or not Jamie rapes Geneva, because he does say, ‘When I start I won’t be able to stop.’ And she does at one point say, ‘No, no.’ And he continues. We decided not to include that part, merely because that’s not what the scene is about. The scene is about Jamie taking comfort in someone that he doesn’t love. But he feels empathy for this character even though he’s coerced into Geneva’s bed, he still feels like he wants, as a gentleman, for it to be a satisfying or non-threatening experience for her.”

Outlander, Sundays, 9/8c, Starz