‘Outlander’ Boss Warns of ‘Something Traumatic’ to Come Ahead of Season 5 Finale
The tight-knit Fraser clan saw justice done to one of their enemies on April 26, but in the May 3 episode of Outlander they face a grim new threat that will lead to a wrenching May 10 finale.
“In the world of Outlander, there’s always something traumatic on the way,” says exec producer Matthew B. Roberts. But don’t despair, fans. The ordeal will bring time-traveling surgeon Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Highlander husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) closer than ever in pre–American Revolution North Carolina, while daughter Bree (Sophie Skelton) and her increasingly tough husband, Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin), embrace a new destiny with their wee son. We take a look back at Season 5 behind the scenes on location in Scotland.
The conflict at Alamance Creek (it aired March 29) — where Jamie is forced to lead British troops against beloved godfather Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and other fellow Scots in the ragtag Regulators — required a Steadicam to follow Heughan through the action. Unlike Season 3’s clash at Culloden, with enemies facing off in two lines, “We needed a wooded area that could show pockets [of fighting], intimate battles within the battle,” Roberts says. The setup facilitated quieter moments, like Jamie’s sad goodbye to a dying Murtagh.
While making the April 12 episode, Skelton greets Dui, the Northern Inuit who plays Rollo, faithful wolf-canine companion of Young Ian (John Bell). “The dog eases the stress level [on set],” Roberts says. “He’s so chill, we had to rewrite his character to be less vicious.”
Cameras roll on Balfe in the premiere as, out of frame, Claire hems Bree’s wedding dress. The writers chose to speed up bonding between mother and daughter, who had been at odds but came together in Season 4 after Bree’s rape. “By the finale, they don’t even need words to communicate,” Roberts says. “There’s a silent moment that’s so beautiful and feels so real.”
Lauren Lyle cracks up filming the April 19 hour, when oft-pregnant Marsali (with César Domboy as husband Fergus) starts contractions on a family outing. “The cast and crew are great with the kids,” Roberts says. Twice as great as you’d think: The li’l actors are all twins!