Producer Ronald D Moore and author Diana Gabaldon talk about the eagerly awaited Outlander Season 2 which takes a pregnant Claire and Jamie to France and perhaps prevent a Battle.
Outlander, based on the popular time travel novels by Diana Gabaldon, premiered on Starz on August 9, 2014. It has been developed and produced by Ronald D Moore.
Initially set in 1945, the series spotlights Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a married nurse during World War II, who while visiting Inverness with her husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), is mysteriously transported back to Scotland in 1743, where she meets and falls in love with Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). She also encounters the vile and sadistic Redcoat Captain Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall (also played by Tobias Menzies), a distant relative of her husband Frank.
The eagerly awaited Outlander Season 2 premieres on April 9th 2016, which takes a pregnant Claire and Jamie to France where she hopes to prevent the bloody Battle of Culloden, by confronting Charles Stuart.
We met Ronald D Moore and Diana Gabaldon at the TV Critics tour where they talked about Outlander Season 2.
You and Diana stayed very true to the novel’s story, do you work closely together?
Ronald: From the beginning, I went to Diana’s, spent a weekend with her before we even sold the project and talked about the process of adaptation and ideas that I had at the primeval stages of the project.
We had a great conversation. She was always very generous with the material and spirit of ‘I know there’s gonna be changes and adaptations, and I trust you guys will do the right thing by us.’
I send Diana outlines, scripts, script changes and cuts and dailies. And she’ll see things and comment and ask questions. We can use her as a sounding board and say, ‘Well, if we made this change, what’s the butterfly effect of that down the line with all the other books?’
It’s a massive mythology that she’s created, so whenever we make fundamental changes in anything, or even something that seems minor, you always want to make sure that it’s not going to have repercussions that will come back and bite us later in Season 5 or 6. So it’s a nice collaboration, certainly, from our end.
Diana: Yeah. It’s been great from my point-of-view. They’ve included me to an amazing extent. When we first drew up the contract, my agent said to me, ‘Well, they’re making you a consultant.
They may use you. They may not. They may be paying you to stay away, essentially, which is what usually happens. If they do want to use you, they’ll let you know.’ I was very flattered and very pleased that they did want to talk to me about things, and it’s been a really interesting process.
I, in fact, actually wrote one of the scripts for Outlander Season 2, which was a definite experience. It’s way different than writing a novel, for sure. But it was deeply enlightening and very, very entertaining to be on set while that was being filmed.
It adds to your workload as a writer. Has that been a big adjustment for you?
Diana: Let’s put it this way, when I started writing Outlander, I had two full-time jobs and three children under the age of six.
Time expands to fill the work available is basically how it works.
Can you talk a little bit more about Claire’s pregnancy this year? How does it impact the story, because different times have different ideas about what pregnant women can and can’t do. Will that play in?
Ronald: Definitely plays into the storyline, and that particular issue does come up at a certain point. It’s hard to get into anything specific without really getting into spoiler territory. But Claire’s pregnancy is a threat.
It’s there from the first episode since they arrive in Paris, and we continue it throughout the story and how it affects their relationship and her own role in the plot to disrupt the Jacobite rebellion and so on.
Is Frank in Outlander Season 2 a little more?
Ronald: Yeah. Frank’s a great character. And it was such a fundamental part of the genesis of the story. Claire’s drive to return to him was such a strong thread all throughout the first season. But it didn’t take a lot to realize that, into the second season, that would be a component of it as well. It’s just a rich and interesting character.
Tobias is a great actor, so it was a very organic process, being in the writers’ room working on a story, and it just folded itself into certain elements as we broke the season.