Duncan Lacroix on the Return of Murtagh

Photo: Starz, Episode 405, Savages

I loved Episode 405, for many reasons – one specific one being the return of this guy! Duncan Lacroix chats about coming back to Outlander…


What did you think about bringing back Murtagh in season four, even though he’s long dead in the books?

Well obviously it’s a gamble by the writers and the show runners. They obviously felt that the character was important enough to that family unit to survive. I’m a bit worried to see some of the reactions—it’s going to be interesting. But by the same token it’s not my job to worry about the differences between the book and the show. My job is to act what’s in the script.

You filmed this season in Scotland, but it takes place in North Carolina. Was it hard to keep in mind that you were supposed to be in America?

You’re basically working in exactly the same fields and the same locations, and it’s Scotland, but you just put that out of your mind. You’re already imagining that you’re back in the 18th century anyways—that’s the bigger leap. And the set we have, Fraser’s Ridge, is fantastic. What Jon Gary Steel built was incredible—it’s not a hard leap for the imagination. 

I’m always amazed every season by what Gary makes, he’s just a genius. In season two he built an entire three story Paris apartment in a studio. Upholstery, little cubby holes, things you wouldn’t see on camera. And for this season he built this smithy, which was very elaborate, and then you walked out into a whole town, Willem’s Creek. In between takes I would walk up and down the streets pretending I was a cowboy. I was a five years old again, getting into gun fights with the sound engineer.

Jamie is very cautious of the regulators but it’s not hard to imagine that someone like Murtagh would join a group resisting British rule.

Not at all. Murtagh’s over there in America and everything that was important to him that was taken away. He’s been an indentured servant for 12 years, had no freedom. Jamie was taken away from him, Scotland was taken from him. It wouldn’t take much tinder to get that fire started.

What was it like being reunited with Sam Heughan onscreen?

The whole season we worked a bit more sporadically with each other. This season has more story strands and points of view and separate pieces. I got to work with new people, like John Bell and Sophie Skelton, which was great. But it’s great working with Sam, that shared chemistry we’ve built up over five years now, that’s just there. Our characters have a bit of a rough go. There’s a whole lot of tension that builds up between them over the course of the season. But of course Jamie and Murtagh are the other great love story of the show.


I’m sure I’m not alone: I’m absolutely looking forward to more Murtagh in Season 4 (and beyond??)!

Full article: Town & Country

37 comments on “Duncan Lacroix on the Return of Murtagh

  1. I was absolutely thrilled to see Murtagh/Duncan back on the show. Aside from Claire and Jamie, he has always been my favorite. The way they introduced him back was perfect. It was as emotional as I had hoped it would be. Looking forward to the next episodes where we can see him again.

  2. I am a book reader and show watcher. SO many people came in and out of C&J’s lives in the books and Murtaugh was very important to Jamie. I had no problem with bringing him back. The perfect story line is that he is now a regulator and Jamie will have to side with the patriots.

  3. Loved seeing the return of Murtah. The expression on Jamie’s face, priceless. Then the fabulous tie-in with him arriving and whistling “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”…… genius! Loved this episode and can’t wait until he meets Bree.

  4. Loved the episode. Everything was perfect. So many things to mention. The way they brought him back was perfection. Not sure how I feel about them being on opposing sides. I hope it doesn’t ruin their bond just to bring tension to the story. Did anyone else catch when the NA women said to Claire by the creek,”she is here.” Claire gestured in her heart, but that’s not what was meant. I wish she wasn’t killed off so soon. That was a great relationship to explore.

    • I agree with you MC. The loss of the Native Healer was just awful for Claire. And yes I heard her say, “She is here”. That was exciting to hear!

    • Aye, so perfect! I knew at once what Adawehi meant by “she is here”….that unbeknownst to Claire, Bree was already in North Carolina! And oh my, what she goes thru! (No spoilers, don’t worry)

  5. I physically felt the earth shift with the roar of fans for the scenes with Murtagh’s return. THE best shift away from the book. Love the character and adore Duncan La Croix’s personalisations of him. Verra happy

    • I love this episode with the reunion of Murtagh and Jamie. So emotional. I was just wondering though , just how this will change the story? It will be interesting to see . Love Murtagh and Claire and Bugle Boy remembrance.

  6. I loved having Murtagh back! I really don’t have a problem with the changes from book to TV this season. Really glad that the Claire I imagine from the books seems back this episode and the hard, one dimensional Claire we saw a River Run is gone. I think the tension between Jamie with his promise to the Gov and Murtagh as a regulator will serve the purpose of keeping us emotionally involved for the political storyline. I think they did an excellent job of demonstrating the brutality the Native Americans suffered just like the Scots suffered at the hands of the British and in this case Germans. Also, the confusion Mueller experienced not understanding why this happened to his family since they believed in God. Some traditional religious beliefs gave some settlers a sense of entitlement with the Native Americans they did not understand, feared and believed to be godless. All in all, I really enjoyed this episode.

    • I agree Claudia, I thought they did a great job of showing all of the perspectives, so we could see the complexity of the time and situation. It may be my favorite episode so far…

  7. At this point, I think I’ve moved to the camp of ‘what happens in the tv show will be much different from what happens in the books’ … and that’s ok. At first I was totally against it. But now, it’s fine. It IS different but it works… especially the return of Murtagh! Tears flowed. And thank you for returning the Claire of old… such a welcomed relief! Go forward… and prosper ;)!!!!!

    • Roberta, I agree! And I’ve said it before – change the minor characters and plot lines, just don’t change JAMIE AND CLAIRE!! ?

  8. I adore having Murtagh back! And his reunion with Claire! Priceless!! Missed you , Duncan! Think Murtagh might Wed Jocasta!? What a Wow! That would be!!

  9. Agree with all above and beyond. IT’S FUNNY BUT HE HAS THE BEST LOOKING

  10. Yes ! MURTAGH is back. Last season Jamie’s character struggled, in my opinion. MURTAGH is like Jamie’s guardian angel and now that he is back, I am happy.
    Murtagh adds so much to Jamie and Claire’s story. So many characters have disappeared since season one, Murtagh is the glue to the history of the story line, for me anyway.

    • Kristine, I felt like Murtagh was SUCH an important thread back to Scotland in Season 2. Last season I felt like the first 6 episodes were strong, and then 8, but there was a lot of awkward. Murtagh would’ve been a nice grounding force. I think turnover in the writers room is also hard to get around, all while they were going DIRECTLY into Season 4!!

  11. Great episode. Everything was great. Murtagh and Jamie’s face priceless as well as Claire when she heard the whistle and then seeing Murtagh. I have already watched it 4 times. The only thing I did not catch is what Jamie said to Murtagh about girls going to university in 1973. Can somebody let me know? Thank you.

    I love each episode but this one was the greatest. Cannot wait for the rest.

  12. I am feeling frustrated! Have to wait once again for the DVD! And seeing Murtagh back is a MUST for me! I adore him! Thank you for the “crumbs” you are throwing in my hands with these reviews and comments. So I can follow the story and the changes to the books more or less. Anticipation is a joy!

    • Diane, I liked the first episode, Not so much 2 and 3, 4, was good, and 5 was even better! Sorry you have to wait!!! x

  13. Ep 5 was illuminating; to have Murtagh reunited with Jamie and Claire, it was worth the years wait. Diana, was so keen to keep Murtagh alive opposed to the books. It wouldn’t have be the same without him!

  14. I am so delighted they decided to bring Murtagh back! I read the books too, but this just had to be done this way and I applaud them for making that decision. After reading the books, I didn’t get the impression he was dead, but rather sent to the colonies as an indentured servant, so I always thought there was a possibility of seeing him again. He’s right, the relationship between him and Jamie is the other love story in the series. Oh, lest not forget Roger and Brianna. I loved his description of the set at the smithy and walking out onto the street and through the town pretending he’s a cowboy. I love that he shared that little inner personal tidbit with us. We all do stuff like that right?

  15. Absolutely delighted to see Murtagh back on the scene. I have not had a problem with any of the departures from the book but this one is the sweetest!!

  16. Loved the episode, loved Murtagh!! Diana had already mentioned that he wouldn’t remplace Duncan Innes from the books. I guess he’s replacing Herman Husband (didn’t see that one coming 🙂 )?? That was a historical figure though, but works for me 🙂

  17. Absolutely love Murtagh. The poor man went through a lot, He is a very courageous man, strong, has a great love of Clan and family. I am so glad to see him again. I loved the little tune he whistled for Claire when he visited Fraser’s Ridge, and the big hug he gave her. I loved the expression on Jamie’s face when he saw Murtagh, and the look of amazement on Young Ian’s face when he saw that Jamie and gruff blacksmith knew each other and were kin. I can’t even imagine the horror and grief that Claire when through when she realized her new friend the Native Healer had been murdered. This episode was so powerful. Season 4 is amazing.

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