Cover Art: by the uber talented Vera Adxer. Vera on Redbubble.
*** WARNING*** This post contains MAJOR spoilers for non book readers. I don’t advise reading this unless you’ve read the Outlander series through at leastA Breath of Snow and Ashes. Book readers and non book readers who don’t mind major spoilers, read on.
Similar to Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross covers only a short span of Jamie and Claire’s life: 1770-1772 (if Season 5 sticks to the book). We’ve heard rumors that Season 5 will include elements of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which upon closer examination, kind of makes sense to me. A LOT happens in ABSOA. What are the likely story elements that will be pulled forward? Possibly Lizzy and the Beardsley twins, maybe some pre Revolutionary war events, more development of the Bugs and the Christies, tension with the Browns….
I’ve done this post now for each of the last 3 seasons, in anticipation of its release, so here goes for Season 5…
Jamie and Claire won’t have changed much, since we last saw them at the end of DOA, presumably in October of 1770, The Fiery Cross picks up right where DOA left off, in October of 1770, at the gathering.
Here’s how Jamie and Claire looked when we left them…
And here’s how they’ll look when we see them again in 9 and a half weeks…
Photo: Entertainment Weekly
No more bangs for the Jamester!
Murtagh’s Season 4 wig was perfecto, and it seems they’ve caught that wave for the other guys’ looks as well.
Roger and Bree will be back, of course. Here’s S4 Roger in his period correct culottes, which were not the most flattering… ?and remind me that culottes make people look short – no wonder I never cared for them in the ’80’s! Richard is 6 feet tall!
In a promo shot from Season 5, Roger is looking grand in a new costume with a new wig, And Jamie is sporting his new wig, and holding a BABY!!! (Jemmy).
Bree and Claire are their same beautiful selves, while Claire has longer hair, and maybe looks a bit younger for Season 5. I heard a lot of comments about Claire looking too old in Season 4, what did you think?
Here’s another Season 5 homey shot of the wee MacKenzie clan on the Ridge…
We had Newborn Jemmy at the end of Season 4…
Photo: Starz. Awww, coochiechoochiecoo… what an adorable baby.
And then Infant Jemmy (2 months old) by the end of Season 4. Brianna clearly has ample milk supply! ???
Season 5 will feature slightly older Baby Jemmy… here’s a BTS gif of baby Jem in his mamas arms, playing with Granny Claire!
These are the twins who played Jemmy for Season 5. One of these little guys was recently very ill, but is on the mend now, thank goodness.
We found out at the end of Season 4 that Marsali and Fergus would be joining the clan on the ridge, as they do in The Fiery Cross, which is fabulous news, as they are great characters who add to the family flavor on the Ridge. It will be interesting to see how they develop Fergus’ character, since he has been more of a minor character as Adult Fergus.
Marsali’s pregnancy was announced in Ep 401, and by Ep 408, we see Marsali and Fergus in their Wilmington home with Baby Germain; Fergus is obviously gaga over the little guy…
Here’s a BTS shot of Sam, Cait and the actor who played Baby Germain. Sam’s above head bubble says “It’s not really that exciting Cait… I wonder what’s for lunch…”
In Season 5, we’ll have Wee Germain and Infant Joanie. I was searching around for who might be playing Wee Germain, and came across a few clues. In August, KR Management, a Scottish based talent management agency for child actors, announced these little cuties had been cast in Outlander…
Photo: KR Management. At first I thought they must be playing Wee Germain, but I’m thinking now maybe they could be playing a later version of Jemmy? (Wee Jemmy). On Worrrreld Outlander Day (June 1st of this year), César mentioned that a child named Robbie is playing Wee Germain.
The twins, above, are Matthew and Andrew. So.. a small mystery there.
I’ll just pop this in here, I came across this young actor, and think he would be such an amazing Young Jemmy! (Hello Suzanne and team!)
Moving on. As I’ve said before, Infant Joan probably will look much like Infant Kitty, Infant Young Ian, Infant Willie, and Infant Everybody Else. ? Which does nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for meeting her, of course!
Yep, indeed, Starz just recently released this photo of 3/4 of the Marsali-Fergus Fraser clan…
Speaking of Willie, William Ransom is mentioned in The Fiery Cross, he’s 15 at the time he sends a very fancy astrolabe to Jamie on behalf of his father, Lord John Grey. I don’t know if we’ll see that scene, it’s a great one; but likely if we do get it, William won’t be shown. If he is shown, I think Oliver Finnegan, who is now around 15, and played Young William in Season 4, will do a very nice job.
I was reading around and discovered that among other roles, Oliver acted in my favorite play of all time, The Ferryman, which of course featured Laura Donnelly in the main role as Caitlin Carney. Oliver played Declan Corcoran, the younger brother of the Corcorans, cousins to the Carney boys. I did see The Ferryman at the Gielgud, in September of 2017, 3 months after it opened, but I saw a different boy in that role. Oliver has already worked with renowned director Sam Mendes twice(!!) in his short life, not a bad start. All of this puts him squarely on my “I’d love to interview him” list!!
If we get the storyline that is presumably happening in this photo… (I warned you, SPOILERS!)
then, we’ll also have Morag MacKenzie back, seen here in Season 4, a bit horrified that Stephen Bonnet has taken her baby from her and stuck his nasty finger in his mouth. ? Morag, book readers will know, is Roger’s four-times great-grandmother, which means her baby, Jeremiah, is Roger’s three-times great-grandfather!
We will probably also see William Buccleigh MacKenzie, who was presumably on the ship over to the colonies with Morag and Jeremiah, although I don’t think we saw him last season. Book readers will know that WBM is the grown up love baby of Dougal and Geillis, and the reason Geillis was spared from burning at the stake after the witch trial back in Season 1. The baby was raised by a couple who had recently lost their own baby. This character does not appear in ABSOA, but does appear in the next two books (fingers crossed we get those).
Morag is played by Glaswegian actor, Elysia Welch.
And let’s not forget the role of Mr Bonnet in The Fiery Cross. I don’t know what scenes will be included, but if there is a gory autopsy at midnight, we may see him then. My guess is that we will see a confrontation between Bonnet, Claire, Bree, Marsali, Jem, Germain and Joan.
Book readers will know that Young Ian does not appear in The Fiery Cross until the end, but goes through quite a transformation during his time with the Mohawk. I am curious to know if we’ll see some of his time with the Mohawk, or not. Young Ian returns at the end of the book, a changed man, no longer the bouncy young boy he once was…
I look very forward to seeing John Bell play this transformation, I think he will kill it.
Photo: John Bell, Instagram
Speaking of Young Ian, those of you who watch my Episode Discussions, with the BTS Lasses, may remember that Karmen expertly spotted a young woman at the end of Episode 413, whom she thinks may be Emily. Karmen said the camera rests on her for longer than strictly necessary (sort of like Mary McNab’s gaze on Jamie?), we shall see…
We can look forward to seeing both Jocasta and Murtagh back, and watching the evolution of Murcasta…
Whether you like the Murtagh – Jocasta storyline or not, one thing is certain, these two have nice chemistry. I personally love any scenes with either of them!
In fact, we know from Instagram, that Murtagh was around a lot during filming, as were Lord John Grey, Governor Tryon and John Quincy Myers, none of whom factor largely into The Fiery Cross. In the book, Lord John writes two letters, Tryon issues commands via letter and only appears in one scene, JQM is in one scene at the Helicon Gathering, and Murtagh is dead, of course, so it’ll be interesting to see the plot developments in the show.
Reportedly, filming was meant to take place at Lallybroch (Midhope Castle) for Season 5, but it’s thought that, due to Steven Cree’s role as Gallowglass for The Discovery of Witches, he could not shave his beard for the Ian character. To see more on that, go to S5 Filming Update ~ Scenes at Lallybroch Cancelled, Possible Cause: Untimely Facial Hair). I don’t know whether they did end up filming those scenes eventually, we shall see come February. There are no Lallybroch scenes in The Fiery Cross, so I assume the idea was to film scenes of Ian et al, going about daily life there as part of a letter reading montage.
In Chapter 99 of The Fiery Cross, Jamie reads a letter from Jenny, in which she tells him about an experience with Laoghaire, so I do wonder if they were going to film, or did film, that. I wish wish wish Laura Donnelly would return to the role of Jenny, but I’m guessing with two toddlers, now living in NYC, and playing the lead in The Nevers – this didn’t happen. I can and will keep my hope alive for the future though! (The Nevers is a made for television Victorian period science fiction drama, in which Donnelly plays emotionally damaged heroine, Amalia True).
Between official casting announcements and unofficial ones, we can glean other likely storylines. The Bugs are an important fixture on the Ridge for the next 3 books, and I look very forward to meeting them. Hugh Ross is reportedly playing Arch Bug… looks like an excellent casting choice, to me. Welcome Hugh!
Photo: Independent Talent Profile
As for Mrs. Bug, I haven’t seen any casting announcement, but there is a small contingency who could suspend our disbelief enough to have Annette Badland return as Mrs. Bug!
I did receive a suggestion in the comments of a post I did back in April, What Scenes Are You Looking Forward to in Season 5. Reader Jacqui Gauld hopes Miriam Margolyes of Harry Potter is in the role of Mrs. Bug… what are your thoughts?
There is also reportedly a Duncan Innes in Season 5, which makes one scratch one’s heid. In the books, Duncan shows up in Voyager, and remains through ABSOA, but no Duncan Innes has appeared in the show so far. I assumed that he was replaced by Duncan Lacroix, sort of, as far as Jocasta is concerned at least. It will be verra interesting to see how the new Duncan Innes character factors in in Season 5. Duncan Innes is also in ABSOA. Alistair Findlay plays Duncan Innes for Season 5. Welcome Alistair!
We wondered at the beginning of filming if the creepy Beardsley storyline would make it in, and clearly it has, to some degree, as Starz announced not only Paul Gorman as Josiah and Keziah, but the actress who plays Fanny Beardsley. The role of Josiah and Keziah Beardsley is significant if the series continues, as the Beardsley twins are in all books from here on out (so far).
Book readers will know that Josiah Beardsley’s twin brother, Keziah, is not known for the first little while in The Fiery Cross; Kezzie is discovered in a subsequent scene in the book. Since Starz has announced up front that Paul plays both twins, I’m guessing that reveal won’t be in the show (but could be).
Photo: Paul Gorman, Twitter
Paul Gorman is a British actor whose CV consists mostly of stage work, with limited film and radio work. Outlander appears to be his first television gig. Welcome Paul!
It seems other reveals are not being kept tightly under wraps either… book readers will get the gist of this little exchange (ahem).
.@PaulJBGorman So good they cast him twice ??
— Cait O'Ryan (@_CaitlinORyan) November 14, 2019
She’s had that much whiskey that she’s seeing double ?
— Cait O'Ryan (@_CaitlinORyan) November 15, 2019
They just needed twice the boys to match your talent love! ??
— Paul Gorman (@PaulJBGorman) November 14, 2019
Bronwyn James played the role of Fanny Beardsley, verra nice casting if you ask me (but then, I have complete faith in Suzanne Smith and team).
Bronwyn is a British actor who graduated from Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in 2015, and appeared in the 2018 Call the Midwife Christmas special, playing a pregnant mom. She also played another Fanny – Fanny Lambert in Harlots, and she worked with Rob Lowe in the recently aired in Wild Bill, playing DC Muriel Yeardsley. Welcome Bronwyn!
I wonder if we’ll meet Mary Ann Beardsley? ? ??? Her casting was not announced; we shall see…
And did Sam and Cait have a goat and his nannies for scene partners? Will we get to meet Hiram, ?whom Jamie has so much respect for, and his harem? Will we see Claire do some goat mending? ?
“Hiram, whether from male pride or goat stubbornness- always assuming these to be different things- kept trying to stand up, broken leg notwithstanding.”
Another storyline I’m curious about is that of Otter Tooth. In The Fiery Cross, when Young Ian returns, he brings Otter Tooth’s diary with him. The producers seemed to really like that storyline, using it in two episodes of Season 4. I met Trevor Carroll on the Outlandish Vancouver cruise, and I asked him if we’d be seeing Otter Tooth again; he told me he was not at liberty to say, which makes me go, “hmmmm.”
We do know Mr. Phillip Wylie will be back. We only got a snippet of him in Season 4, at Gov’nah Tryon’s dinner, where he was already taking notice of our lovely Claire…
Chris J. Donald returns as dandy Phillip Wylie; here is Chris without his wig and powder…
Chris is a Scottish actor, and graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, receiving the James Bridie Award for his year group. Sam, Steven, Laura, and Grant, among others, also attended the RCS. Chris has worked in theater, T.V and film, and is also a writer.
By announcing the Browns, including Alicia Brown, and Isaiah Morton, we know that storyline will be in the show. I’ll be honest, no one mentioned that storyline as one they are looking forward to, but I understand why it’s there, since the Browns feature in ABSOA as well. So, here we have the Brown clan, plus Isaiah Morton…
Photo: Starz, Twitter. Ned Dennehy adds to the Irish cast of Outlander, as Lionel Brown. Among many other roles, he played Alderton in the Harry Potter adaptation. I think he will be great. Watch out Lionel, your day will come…. But, welcome anyway! 😉
Photo: Starz, Twitter. The other Brown, Richard, is played by Chris Larkin, who among many other roles played Captain Berringer in Black Sails. Welcome Chris!
Anna Burnette plays Alicia Brown,
Photo: Starz, Twitter
and Jon Tarcy plays Isaiah Morton.
Photo: Starz, Twitter
I also look forward to the return of all of the other minor characters with a major impact, like Ulysses, Phaedra, Lizzie, Lt Wolfe and all the animals: Rollo, Clarence, The White Sow, etc. who have not been mentioned, but we will see in S5.
I collected and tallied the comments for my piece What Scenes Are You Looking Forward to in Season 5? , and I’ll just take this opportunity to give you the results of that inquiry. Ready?
(Disclaimer: S5 has already been written, filmed, and largely produced, so this is for fun, as we, none of us, has any control over what actually goes into the show, wish though we might. However, having said that, maybe I’ll do this inquiry and publish the results much earlier for Season 6! ?)
One of my personal picks is the scene between Jocasta and Roger at the Gathering, when Roger tells Jo where she can get off… we got a teaser of that, so safe to say that’s in. Richard and Maria are both such incredible actors, I look very forward to this scene!
OK, drumroll please… the top scenes people who read the above post and commented (about 200 of you), are looking forward to are…
The front runner by far is… (and I hope I won’t get in trouble for revealing a casting photo here, in this post, but… ) ?
- Jamie, Claire, a microscope, and some wee sperms, and in second place, not too far behind…
- Jamie’s snakebite, and how his relationship with Roger grows and deepens afterward.
- The christening scene at the Gathering, including the butter churn confession.
- The Gathering
- Tied for 5th: Roger’s hanging and Adso
- Tied for 6th: Jamie’s relationship with Jemmy, The return of Young Ian, The calling of the clans at the gathering, and Roger & Bree wedding.
- Tied for 7th: Phillip Wylie seducing Claire, Jamie jealous, and stable sex after, Bree and the buffalo scene.
- Tied for 8th: Jamie and Claire as grandparents, Opening J & C tent scene with ghost Frank, Roger telling off Jocasta, Jamie sword dance at the gathering.
- Tied for 9th: Meeting the Bugs, Roger singing, Erotic scene after Claire foot fondle, Claire and Jamie sex in the bushes before wedding at River Run.
- Tied for 10th: Jamie and Claire menopause discussion, Jamie and Claire sex on the windowsill, Young Ian living with the Mohawk, Murcasta, Claire’s clinic/Granny Bacon scene, burning of the fiery cross, the Beardsley cabin, and the J & C “no more bairns, just you” conversation.
There were lots more, but these were the top picks across everyone. Noteworthy thoughts and comments I jotted down include: more votes for Annette Badland as Mrs. Bug, more humor please, less gory surgeries please (although I know a few people, all of whom are in the medical field, who enjoy those!), more Marsali, Jamie and Claire as the center of the story, please don’t overdo Claire being a doctor, No Frank at All!, Jamie wearing his kilt to emphasize his roots as Scotalnd/ family (not just because we are horny grannies!), Jamie and Claire: Romance, chemistry, humor, equals, and “just the quiet scenes of everyday living & affection where we see the continued depth of their love, even as they age. They should continue to be a focus for each season as time goes by….”
5 people did not want to see the Beardsley cabin scene, and my own thoughts on the matter of what to leave out…
Two characters I truly hope to not see in Season 5, (despite the very talented portrayal of them by their respective actors), are Leg Hair,
and Ghost FRANK!
It was interesting to note that the favorite scenes were not J and C sex scenes, but rather the family bonding, relationship building, humorous scenes that people can relate to from every day life. I suspected as much, and I hope the production understands that at this point. We shall see, in a short 9 and a half weeks, when the drought officially ends.
Wishing you well, always xo.
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