The enchanted world of Outlander pulls us into a journey through history, but a lot went on behind-the-scenes to get there. Jamie and Claire Fraser's voyages across the globe and travels through time required much attention to detail. On set and in the editing room, producers found creative ways to bring this fantastic story to our screens in an accurate way. The sci-fi and mystical elements of the show might not be real, but still, the historical settings of Scotland, France, England, Jamaica, and colonial America had to be imitated as truthfully as possible. Even the most obsessed Outlander fans won't know what it took to recreate these extraordinary time periods.
There are also plenty of weird obstacles, unexpected casting assessments, and production decisions that are worth revealing. Some are simply amusing details, while others dramatically affected the course of the show. The plot definitely took a few turns in adapting the Outlander books to television. At times, this was to the dismay of author Diana Gabaldon, and in other instances, these changes added more to her story than she could have imagined. Still, some of her opinions are startling, and you won't believe what she has to say about our beloved male protagonist! No matter the disagreements or hiccups along the road, everyone on the cast and crew worked together to construct the world we could previously only visualize through the novels. It's a massive task to replicate the magic and tragedy of eighteenth-century Scotland and beyond, but everyone involved showed no signs of slacking. Let's take a look at how exactly this captivating series came about.
Here are 25 Wild Details About The Making Of Outlander.
Sam Heughan is now unmistakably Jamie Fraser, but long before he was cast as the show's protagonist, author Diana Gabaldon had others in mind. Apparently, she had no hesitation about shooting for the stars as she imagined either Liam Neeson or Sean Connery as the leading man in the adaption.
At this point, though, Outlander was meant to be a feature film rather than a whole television series. This might explain the fact that these two actors are quite a bit older than Jamie is in the books. Sam Heughan might be an unfamiliar face, but in the end, he matches Jamie's appearance and character far more closely.
Colorful tartans automatically come to mind when imagining the Scottish highlands. To costume designers' dismay, though, research doesn't exactly support how we perceive them. Though fans were adamant about seeing the vivid patterns specific to each Scottish clan, history tells a different story. Highlanders would not have had time to produce brightly-colored tartans all with the same pattern to represent their group.
Costume designers for the show had to find a balance that would satisfy viewers and maintain a Scottish feel. Characters do wear tartans, but they are much more faded and worn with varying patterns. It's good to know Outlander maintained a sense of historical integrity, even if we had to give up the stereotype.
It's an ironic twist that actress and leading lady Caitriona Balfe speaks Gaelic, but her character, Claire, is an Englishwoman. Claire only speaks English and French, given that she's the literal "outlander" in the story. Often times, she is frustrated and confused during other characters' Gaelic conversations. While filming, though, Balfe understands every word just fine.
Many of the other actors, despite being from Scotland or Ireland, needed a dialect coach to help them perfect the accent. To be fair, it is an ancient passing language with severely different pronunciations. Long speeches must be extremely difficult to replicate authentically, but hopefully, the show can help revive Gaelic in a way.