MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
This article started as an exploration of the new actress playing Jenny, and as often happens, it blossomed into much more – I hope you enjoy it.
Starz recently gave us a major download on new actors cast and those returning for Season 7 of Outlander. One of my fervent hopes was that Laura Donnelly, who truly was Jenny incarnate, for me, in Seasons 1 through 3, would return in the role of Jenny Fraser Murray Grey. (Ha! Just making sure you’re awake! 😁).
As much as I loved Laura in the role of Jenny, (and I’m sure they tried to get her back), she has gone on to other things, not the least of which was her incredible play The Ferryman, written by her partner, Jez Butterworth, directed by Sam Mendes, starring herself and an overall stellar cast. I saw that play 3 times, once in London and twice in NYC – it was phenomenal. (Here’s a little something I wrote about it – Recent Interview with Laura Donnelly).
Starz has indeed confirmed that the role of Jenny has been recast, with Kristin Atherton playing Jenny in Season 7 and here on out. Laura Donnelly’s are big shoes to fill, I won’t lie… but life goes on, and change is the only constant, so, goodbye Laura, you were absolutely fabulous…
Photo: Starz, Outlander S1
and hello and welcome Kristin!
Kristin wrote on Twitter that she “Couldn’t be more over-the-moon excited and HONOURED to say I’ll be playing JennyMurray in Outlander Season 7. I couldn’t imagine a more welcoming and wonderful TV family than the Murray/Frasers, the behind camera team and the Outlander fanbase! Thanks so much to you all”
Couldn't be more over-the-moon excited and HONOURED to say I'll be playing #JennyMurray in #Outlander Season 7. I couldn't imagine a more welcoming and wonderful TV family than the Murray/Frasers, the behind camera team and the Outlander fanbase! Thanks so much to you all ❤ https://t.co/1lG8clg7Cq
— Kristin Atherton (@KristinAtherton) October 14, 2022
I do have complete faith in Suzanne Smith and her casting team to get it right, so this Kristin Atherton might well make me forget about Laura (boo hoo). I did some poking around and here’s what I found about Kristin…
Kristin was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1986, so she’s in her mid 30’s, which is good, since she’ll be playing 20-year-old Jenny and 59-year-old Jenny all in one season! Kristin’s credits include a number of Shakespearian productions, the BBC drama Waterloo Road, and BBC One’s Doctors, which has been a training ground for many British actors, including one Sam Heughan, and many others (!) from Outlander.
Sam played the role of “Scott Neilson” in 2009.
Photo: Sam as Scott Neilson on Doctors, with his costar Sophie Abelsohn
I like to see videos of new cast members so I can get an idea of what they’re like in living color – here is Kristin, about a year ago, doing a plug for a book she narrated – man, I’m sold! On this book, and on her! Can’t wait to see what she brings to the role of Jenny… Kristin actually won the “Earphones Award for Excellence” from Audiofile Magazine for her narration of the book she recommends in this video, ‘The Silence of the Girls.”
In Seasons 1 through 3, I loved any storyline and/or scene with Jenny Murray in it; she is one of my favorite characters, and I love how Laura Donnelly adapted her – I will just plan for that to continue with Kristin’s portrayal.
A lot of people were concerned about now 61-year-old Graham McTavish pulling off playing Dougal’s son Buck MacKenzie for Season 7,
Photo: Graham’s Instagram, Oct, 2022
even though Graham appeared as Buck in two episodes of Season 5. Graham would’ve been cast as Buck for Season 5 in late 2018, or early 2019, and it’s likely that the production didn’t even know if there would be a Season 7 at that time. So, it appears that they have chosen to recast the role of Buck. (I spoke with Graham in 2020 about playing Dougal and coming back as Buck).
Photo: Starz, Roger & Buck, Season 5
Graham will indeed be back in Season 7, as Dougal MacKenzie, but the role of Buck is now being played by Irish actor, Diarmaid Murtagh. Diarmaid is 40 years old, and comes from Kingscourt, County Cavan in Ireland. Many of you may know him from his portrayal of “Leif” from Vikings and “Dimitri” from Dracula Untold. He is actually an inch taller than Sam, at 6 feet, 4 inches.
In these BTS shots, Diarmaid and Richard relax between takes in Culross, during Season 7 filming.
Photos: Diarmaid Murtagh as Buck MacKenzie with Richard Rankin on location, Outlander Season 7 filming. Source below. (Kind of funny, the name of the cafe!)
The fact that Graham will be back as Dougal in Season 7 is one of the clues that the storyline of Roger and Buck going back to 1739 will indeed be in Season 7. Buck does appear in the 1980’s in the end of ABOSA, but the particular storyline of Roger and Buck going back to 1739 in search of Jemmy doesn’t take place until Book 8 – Written In My Own Heart’s Blood. As we know, the production sometimes decide to move whole storylines forward or back (like the Stephen Bonnet storyline, for example), in order to make the show work better; it appears that The Adventures of Buck and Roger may be one such storyline.
Dougal was born in 1694, so in Season 7 (1739), Graham will be playing Dougal as a 45-year-old, vs the almost 50-year-old we met in Season 1. It makes sense that they recast the character of Buck (to me); it might be tricky for Graham to play Younger Dougal and Dougal’s son all in one go!
(Last time we saw Dougal, he wasn’t doing so well, here after his lethal stabbing in Episode 213, Dragonfly In Amber).
Photo, Starz, Dougal, Ep 213
A further clue about the Buck and Roger going back to 1739 is the announcement of the return of Andrew Whipp as Jamie’s father Brian Fraser. Will Andrew play Brian Fraser in the Prequel? That’s TBD. Andrew is now 53 years old, so maybe a stretch for playing Young Brian. Here is a photo of Andrew from last year:
Photo: My London, August 2021
In 1739, Brian is already a widower, and Jamie is 18, away in Paris when Roger comes to Lallybroch and meets Brian and Jenny. Kristin Atherton will play Jenny as a 20-year-old in these 1739 scenes.
We last saw Brian in Episode 112, Lallybroch, after his flogging induced apoplexy. Puir Bugger.
This BTS filming shot shows Richard with one of the twin boys (Matthew or Andrew), who play Jemmy, so it looks like we will get the same Jemmy(s) back for Season 7, and I’m assuming we’ll see lots more of them – in scenes with Rob Cameron, with Bree and Roger, in the tunnel, 😱, etc.
Photo: Source below.
I received another filming location photo from a trustee source (thank you @MfaeAuldReekie!)
Photo: Duncarron medieval village, Season 7 filming location, Source below.
What do you suppose they’re filming here? Could this possibly be the village where Roger meets his dad? And, for the record, I had not read “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” before! I didn’t realize that Roger’s dad worked for Frank Randall??! Did Frank not realize who little Roger was then when he met the Reverend? 🤔
Speaking of Frank, Roger also encounters Black Friggin’ Jack Randall(!!!) in the 1739 storyline. No doubt we’ll see our old buddy Tobias Menzies (now 48) back in the role of a slightly younger BJR. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that, but how fun for Richard to play against so many rich characters! Ohhh, would that we could also get Mrs. Fitz back!! I would be so thrilled.
Photo: Stylist, Jan, 2022; Photo: Starz, Mrs. Fitz!
Here’s our last view of BJR in Episode 301, The Battle Joined. (Good riddance!)
And then, there’s Geillis Duncan… Starz announced that Lotte Verbeek will be back to play this more than slightly twisted sister. Lotte just turned 40 in June and could probably look 16 pretty convincingly if necessary, with her porcelain skin and youthful tone. I asked Lotte one time at a convention (very cheeky) if she would rather do a love scene with Dougal or with Arthur 😁 – we never did see any love scenes between Dougal and Geillis (or Geillis and Arthur, for that matter!). I wonder will there be one between Geillis and her son, Buck!?? 😬 It’ll be interesting to see if the production decide to “go there.”
Photo: Lotte’s Instagram, September, 2022
Last time we saw Geillis, she kind of lost her head 😁, which was gross, (and kind of fake looking, they got much more realistic by Malva) , so here’s what she looked like sometime before trying to sacrifice Young Ian to the Standing Pool gods.
Photo: Starz, Season 3
According to Starz, Steven Cree will also be back, as Ian Murray (Sr.), which surely means we’ll see Jamie, Young Ian and Claire head back to Scotland, and Kristin will portray Jenny in 1778, as a 59-year-old woman saying goodbye to the love of her life. With the acting chops involved in this sequence, it’s sure to be extremely moving, not to mention the goodbyes between Young Ian and Claire and Ian Sr.; if the show sticks to the book, this episode has the potential to be a real tear jerker!
In any case, it will be absolutely awesome to see all these old characters again, how exciting!
Photo: Starz gif
These BTS nautical shots from Season 7 filming would certainly suggest that such a voyage will take place.
Sam as Jamie, S7 filming in Fife, Source below.
Sam as Jamie, S7 filming in Fife. Source below.
Sam, Cait and crew, S7 filming in Fife. Source below.
As for new characters, we got the casting announcement back in May, for Charles Vandervaart, who is playing William Ransom, and he seems like a fabulous choice based on my research. Check out my post about Charles here.
Photo: Season 7 filming, on location, Starz
I’ll be honest and say that I’m hoping for an abbreviated trip through The Great Dismal 😬, (ie, not a whole episode please!), but otherwise I’m very much looking forward to Show William and his storylines.
This adorable young girl, Amelia Bae Smith, (who happens to be the current voice of none other than Peppa Pig!), auditioned for the part of Frances (Fanny) Pocock. I did see video of the audition, but it has been taken down. She is quite good; I don’t know if she got the part, but I hope so!
Here’s an endorsement of Amelia’s talent by a fan on Twitter, about another part she recently played in a horror film…
Anyone else think Amelia Bae Smith as Flora gave one of the best performances by a child in tv history? Heartbreakingly nuanced, and perfectly splendid, especially the 2nd time around #TheHauntingOfBlyManor
— George Miller (@justG_Miller) October 25, 2020
Auditioning for the role of Fanny of course means that Fanny’s sister Jane has or will be cast, and that we’ll get that tragic storyline.
Omitted from the Starz announcement about actors returning, is one Sam Hoare, who played Hal in Season 3. I hope they’ll keep Sam in this role – I thought he was great, and he’s a lovely guy. (Catch my interview with Sam here).
Since we know there will be a Mercy Woodcock, played by Gloria Obianyo,
who was in Dune (2021), High Life (2018) and National Theatre Live: Paradise (2021), surely there’s a Walter Woodcock (her husband), and also a Henry Grey? (Hal’s youngest son with whom Mercy falls in love and vice versa). As we know, the Greys, including Hal, take on a bigger role in the books from here on out. I say, bring on the Greys!
(Hal was last seen in Episode 304, Of Lost Things).
Photo: Starz, Sam Hoare as Hal, S3
We know we’re getting Rachel and Denzel Hunter – their casting was announced back in June.
Photo: EW, Joey Phillips and Izzy Meikle-Small are joining the ‘Outlander’ season 7 family. CREDIT: COURTESY STARZ
Denzel is being played by Joey Phillips, who has played several roles on Doctors, beginning in 2009, and returning this year to that show. He seems to have taken a 10 year hiatus from acting, during which he attended drama school at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he graduated in 2014. In 2011, Joey won the Best Newcomer Award for “My Angel” at the Monaco International Film Festival.
Isobel (Izzy) Meikle-Small is playing Rachel; Izzy is 26, and comes from Hove, East Sussex, England, where she apparently started her acting career at age 11, and has acted consistently since then, including producing a few short films. She is best known for her role as the young Kathy H. in Never Let Me Go (2010) , in which she played the younger version of the actress Carey Mulligan. Izzy also auditioned for the role of “Sansa” in Game of Thrones.
Go here: Rachel and Denzel Hunter to see a video of Joey and Izzy in costume and talking a bit about their characters.
Also omitted from the new cast lineup was a Dorothea (Dottie) Grey. If we are getting the Hunters, and Mercy Woodcock, which means Henry Grey, then we surely are getting Dottie too? But, then wouldn’t we get Hal? There again, the production may have opted to push Hal’s storylines forward into the eternally hoped for Season 8? We’ll see.
We do have confirmation that lovely Nell Hudson is returning as the dreaded Laoghaire for Season 7, as well as Layla Burns who plays her daughter, Joan MacKimmie. If you’re a book reader, you’ll know this means we’re likely to get the Jamie, Claire, Laoghaire, her dim witted lover, Joey, Joan, Marsali and Henry Christian storyline, which will be fantastic, in my opinion, if they don’t give into the temptation to go overboard on the drama.
Here’s how Laoghaire looked the last couple of times we saw her… in Episode 308, First Wife,
and Episode 407, Down the Rabbit Hole.
Layla Burns was just 13 when Season 4’s Down the Rabbit Hole was filmed back in late 2017 or early 2018.
Layla is 17 now, and a student at the Junior Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has grown from a beautiful and talented child into a beautiful and talented young woman. It will be fun to see her return.
Photo: Layla’s Twitter
This brings us to Chris Fulton, Scottish actor from Castle Douglas, who will be playing Rob Cameron.
While Chris also got his start in Doctors, back in 2015, he played “Euan Bruce” in Outlaw King, (with Steven Cree), and he played “Rience” in The Witcher (perhaps he knows Graham?). If you don’t recognize him from those roles, I’d be willing to bet that lots of you know him as the actor who played Sir Phillip, in Bridgerton…
I had a different vision of Rob Cameron in my mind – basically a smarmy asshole. This storyline was not the most compelling for me in the books, but I have a feeling this actor may bring something extra to the role, we’ll see.
And last, but not least, Rod Hallett, as Mr. Benedict Arnold.
Rod is British, and you may know him as “Constantin” from The Last Kingdom. Potential cross overs with other Outlander cast members include his work in Doctors in 2002, as “D.C. Patrick Ayres,” he played “Ollie” in EastEnders in 2004 (Annette Badland is also an EastEnders alum), and he played the role of “Dexter Lockwood” in Midsomer Murders in 2005; Two years later, in 2007, Mr. Sam played “Ian King” in Midsomer Murders, whose family enterprise is shattered when its accountant winds up stabbed!
Rod was also in many episodes of The Tudors as “Richard Rich,” which of course starred Maria Doyle Kennedy as “Catherine of Aragon,” and also Ned Dennehy as “Augustin!” Small world is UK acting! Rod has done a lot of TV over the years, more recently playing “Quite Simon” in Red Rose.
I’ll be honest and say that the least interesting part of the books for me, is probably the military intrigue, so I’m not as excited about Benedict Arnold or Percy Wainwright, for that matter. No offense to the actors who will no doubt do an excellent job portraying these characters.
Speaking of military intrigue, here is a BTS shot of Captain MacKenzie, taking a break between scenes.
And finally, here is a little clip of Sam talking about the throwback characters we’ll see in S7…
"Their acting hasn’t got any better, neither has their banter." 🤣@SamHeughan was less than enthusiastic about one of his former castmates returning for #Outlander season seven – but who? 🤔
C) @nellrosehudson pic.twitter.com/QEgT5yJcLP
— The Edit (@bbctheedit) November 5, 2022
As to when this season will be finished filming, and when it will air, I think with 16 episodes, it’s safe to say not til next year sometime. Maybe they will finish filming in April or even May? And then they will need a fair amount of time for post production. I still hold out hope for a split season – We could enjoy the first 8 episodes in say January? February? It could happen!vWink wink nod nod if you’re reading this, anyone from the production!
This just in – thanks again @MfaeAuldReekie – It seems that Outlander is filming in Liverpool right now. John Bell posted pics today, and Echo ran a story about it last month, saying…
“A city centre street will be transformed back to the 1770s ahead of the filming of the hit TV show Outlander. Canning Street in the Georgian Quarter area of Liverpool will be transformed into 1770s Philadelphia for the filming of the seventh season of Outlander. Left Bank Pictures Ltd (LBP) wrote to residents earlier this month laying out plans to dress the road to appropriately transform it back to the eighteenth century.” Link to full story below.
A ha, so, perhaps this will be the site of Lord John Grey’s home? If so, well, this will be where some pretty HUGE revelations take place in the story!! (I’m still perplexed by no Hal!)
John Bell Instagram pics: Young Ian is in Liverpool (Philadelphia)
And so are Rachel and William!
It just so happens that I am finishing and publishing this on election day, here in the US.
As I posted on Twitter recently: My 97-year-old aunt leads a weekly intention group – we “meet” every Monday from 9:30PM to 9:40PM Eastern time to collectively help a loved one, or the world. This week’s intention, written by her, is for our world:
“In the interest of achieving movement in the direction of the greatest good for our world, any & all individuals who find themselves positioned strategically to make a positive difference, are inspired to take immediate & decisive action.”
May we move always toward greater awareness, compassion, peace and harmony. xo
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There is absolutely NO WAY that I could have pulled together a study of the storylines like you did here. This is an amazing gift to us all! I’m going to print it off (don’t tell my kids) so that I can refer to it often. The big…and smaller books….have so many characters and details that to remember it all and be able to re-tell it in an understandable context is a remarkable talent! Thank you so much for your sharing your talent, and your incredible memory, with us!
Ha! Do you see all those sources? I remember a lot – but at the very least I have to validate what I think I know! Thanks Susan (print away!)
thankyou so much Courtney! this is wonderful information!
You’re welcome Carina 😊
How am I supposed to feel as I do about Rib Cameron when they got such a gorgeous actor to portray him??
Agreed. Someone with more of a creep factor might have been better. Then again, that’s why it’s called acting. Nell Hudson manages to stir up a good deal of that energy for her character.
I’m sure he’ll manage it. Shame to be evil and gorgeous.
Exactly -good point about Nell – and how about Stephen Bonnet? Ed Speleers is a very good looking guy after all.
Rob. Not Rib.
😂 I like Rib!
Haha I have a feeling this actor will deliver in the smarmy department – we’ll see…
You’re right! Upon further investigation, he can do nasty very well!
Did you find something?
The casting of Rob Cameron with a good-looking guy reminds me of the very startling casting of the gorgeous Stanley Weber as the evil Comte St. Germain!
Nobody could do him better!
Yes. I have a feeling he’ll make it work – as Stanley Weber certainly did!
Thank you for the details and the educated guesswork. I’m sure the fandom has been stewing on it since the onset of Droughtlander. It’s always lovely to have little nuggets confirmed. However, I don’t now whether those make it easier or harder to endure the wait.
The gaps in the announced casting are interesting. No hints of other key characters you didn’t mention yet either. But if you recall, Sophie’s selection as Bree wasn’t announced until way late. Even she didn’t know that she had the part for more than a year, I think she said.
I’m glad that they’ve recast Jenny. They botched the last story line created in Laura’s absence so badly I wish they’d done it then. Bree’s arrival at Lallybroch was dramatic enough–would have loved to see her go full-Fraser head to head over the pearls with everyone in the house gaping, knowing immediately that yes, indeed, this absolutely had to be Jamie’s daughter.
I’m also curious as to whether they will recast Jemmy and Germain. While the lads they have in those roles now are cute as can be, none of them seem to have the feisty qualities the book’s boys do. Can you imagine any of them cursing in Gaelic? Or getting up to the shenanigans Diana has written for them? The fellow who played Aidan was perfect, but I don’t know about the others.
Who they find to play Mandy will also be fascinating.
Yes – well it appears that Matthew and Andrew are back as Jemmy – and I agree, so far they are a little too angelic to be Jemmy! We’ll see how it goes – maybe Show Jemmy is not the red heided hellion that Book Jemmy is.
I agree re Down The Rabbit Hole – though I’m not sure I could’ve accepted a recasting of Jenny back then. I think they should’ve let Steven Cree & supporting actors carry those scenes as they were written in the book – with Jenny away at a birth or something. Ah weeel.
I guess it depends on which story lines they bring forward to Season 7 and which they deal with in Season 8 (manifesting that by committing it to print–with fingers crossed).
I desperately want to see the red heided book hellion and especially that glorious incident at school that Roger sorts out with the headmaster. Mainly because Jemmy is so whip-smart and a splendid mix of both his parents and grandparents.
When (not if) we get a season 8 there will likely be another long Droughtlander during which to reconsider casting choices. Frankly, I don’t want to see little cutie pies running away from the camera or saying “yes granda” for the rest of the seasons.
Haha I agree 😊
Fabulous article! Can’t wait to see them all! Thank you so much!! I feel the same about Laura; but, I can’t wait to see Percy. This is a huge deal!!!🥰
Yes, it will be fun to see who they cast as Percy!!! Especially knowing where things go later (á la Bees). You’re welcome – this one took me a while and was fun to work on, I’m glad people are enjoying it. x
Wonderful job!! VERY CONCERNED that this is the last season of Outlander. Would really love to hear SOMETHING about season8.
I have a good feeling about S8 – I hope I hope – and then, if you do 8 seasons you may as well do 10, right??
Great read, tying it all together! Thanks!
Wonderful post, Courtney. Kudos!
Thanks love ❤️
This post broke my brain! That’s a lot story to get through in just 16 episodes. Is that covering the last part of ABOSA and all of Echo? I haven’t read these later books nearly as much as the earlier ones. I can see I need to pull out the Companion Volume 2 to refresh my memory. I totally share your sentiments about William’s wandering in the Great Dismal, though when I reread Edho it didn’t seem as long the second time. Thank you so much for this treasure trove of info!
You’re welcome Bev! And I felt the same way on my 3rd read through – I think it gets shorter with each read 😁.
Great post, thank you! Going through this & re-reading Echo I’m struck by the number of new characters and story threads they’ll have this season and how split up the Fraser family will be. Diana had given the writers quite a challenge but an exciting one! Excited to see William & the Murrays & agree with you on the military intrigue, though Percy is more interesting knowing the LJG backstory
That’s true – with the LJG novels & Bees – he becomes more interesting. I wonder what happened to a LJG spin-off? Maybe David Berry is not too keen on moving his whole family to Scotland? 🤔
Great job Courtney! A lot to dig through. Just makes us all want it NOW! I hope some more announcements come soon!
Thanks Donna – me too!
This is one big impressive job you did!
However, I have a really hard time seeing how they are going to pull it all off into a coherent story: storylines, plots and character/relationship development from 3 massive books, into one season of 16 episodes? They still have the meat of ABOSAA to convey:
– the completion of the Christies’ storyline and some very poignant/emotional stuff with Claire& Jamie, Claire&Tom, and Claire&Alan.
– the beginning of war, the battle and MacDonald’s death.
– the introduction of adult William.
– the birth of Mandy and MacKenzies returning to 20th century.
– the burning of the Big House and J&C decision to go to Scotland.
And there is entire ECHO, which it seems they are not going to drop a single storyline out of. So there is:
– the Fraser’s grand and dramatic journey through America, which includes the ship battles, the siege of Ticonderoga, the nostalgic encounter with Hamish MacKenzie, the battle at Saratoga and Jamie’s deadly fear of killing his own son in the midst of it.
– all William’s antics, blunders, battles and trips, perhaps Richardson and Denis Randall (!)
– the Greys in Philly: Lord John, Hal and the mysterious shenaningans of his offspring, which is going to at least include Henry, since there is Mercy Woodcock.
– the intruduction of the Hunters and the sorta love triangle between Rachel&Ian&William.
– MacKenzies living in 20th century and restoring Lallybroch, Rob Cameron, a person from 18th century appearing in 20th century (for a change) and Jem’s abduction.
– the Frasers in Lallybroch, which means hallelujah of emotionaly charged, bittersweet stuff, the biggest being Ian’s the elder death.
– the infamous trip back, Claire in Philladelphia, certain someone’s supposed death.
– Claire&Lord John, which alone is one big burning potatoe.
– the Bugs?
and now they are entering season 8 territory and doing at least the MacKenzies stuff, with Roger&Buck’s journey in time and all those intense encounters. As I assume they will be doing Bree’s part of the story too, Sophie is going to have a field day playing a badass mother, but they will need a heck of a child actress to pull Mandy off.
Uff…Sounds like a gigantic jumble to me. I was not going to watch season 7 anyway, as by the end of season 6 I stopped buying show!Jamie&Claire’s supposed love and marriage entirely, and the following news concerning the number of characters and stories they are going to convey rather confirm my decision.
Well it’s a lot. I think they’ll drop some of it for sure, they have to. The ether storyline was the blemish on S6 for me. Contrived storylines seem to be less believable. But overall I liked the season – much more than 4 and the second half of 3.
It is a lot to cover – I’m not suggesting they’ll do the rest of 6, all of 7 & some of 8 in Season 7. I think they’ll do the rest of 6, most of 7 and only the Roger / Buck back to 1739 from Book 8. They’ll likely push bits of Season 7 forward into Season 8 too. I’m sorry you were disillusioned by Season 6! 🙁
I do think season 6 was overall better written than season 4 and got some very strong points: the casting of the Christies was excellent, with Jessica Reynolds being a revelation as Malva. I wish they had more screentime to explore the characters and let the actors shine. Marsali and Fergus finally got fully into the spotlight and I take a bow to what Lauren, and particulary Ceasar, did with their moment. The writers FINALLY got Roger completly right and poor Richard Rankin at last got a chance to bask in the fandom’s love for his character, after season 4 fiasco and mixed results of season 5. Brianna on the other hand, barely existed on screen and her relationship with Jamie didn’t exist at all.
Still, the heart of OL are Jamie&Claire, and by the end of season 6 I stopped buying their marriage and love as presented on screen. Show!Claire has become a haunted, voices – hearing and ether abusing shadow, untlil she was nearly psychotic, while Jamie kept frowning and puckering his mouth for a year and half, not bothering to check on his wife. It’s been like that since the end of season 5: no matter what happens to his wife, abduction, violent assault, sickness, near death, emotional unravel; Jamie takes it all in with slight smirk and not one hair out of the place.
On the other hand, he gets highly emotional when it comes to his godfather, his nephew. Or his leg.
Book!Jamie is not always gentle and can be painfully frank with Claire in words or gestures. ABOSAA!Jamie would probably snort loudly upon hearing show!Jamie gush over Claire being “an angel”. But “whatever cleaves Claire, cleaves him” and their tale is the one of ultimate devotion and commitment.
On the show it’s became a tale of a traumatized, miserable woman desperately in love with her robotic husband. And not even the final, very well done episode helped, IMO.
Wow, Grashka. That’s a lot to unpack, still, I can’t find fault with any of you points even though I perceived other aspects of the story development than the ones you address here. As much as I enjoy the show and re-watching episodes, I prefer the greater richness and depths of the books all of which I’ve read numerous times. (Though I confess to eye-rolls and an occasional outburst over some elements of Diana’s style.)
You make some good points Grashka – if season 6 were season 1 I would probably be like what?? Who are these people and what have they done with Jamie and Claire? But the fact is, I’m so happy there is a show and after the vapid moments in S4, S6 is a masterpiece. By comparison. Nothing will ever be as good as Season 1 imo. And starting in S2 we got all the agendas about strong Claire and muted Jamie which really hurt the characters & the show. I didn’t love the ether storyline – which required both J & C to be out of character to pull off imo – but otherwise the season was stellar imo. Hopefully there won’t be a contrived overlay for S7 – I always think there’s enough great material as is – but I suppose the show writers are looking to identify a story arc for each character & maybe Claire’s was kind of light.
Yes the Bree character seems to have lost her way – both in the writing & the interpretation. We’ll see how that goes in S7!
This was a great article! I haven’t watched the show in a long time (I am a devoted book reader, though!), but I loved reading what you wrote ABOUT the show haha- and after reading this, I just might tune back in!
Thank you Amy! Tune in and then I bet you would like our discussion group – we’ve done most of Season 4, all of 5 and all of 6. You can find us here – https://outlanderbts.com/episode-discussions/
I’m not happy so far with just the appearance of the guy playing willy. He looks nothing like either of the 2 boys that played willy OR Jamie. And since in the book series he was the spitting image of Jamie. Then you have missed the mark on this one.
Great article Courteney, I can’t believe I missed this when you first posted!!! You’ve highlighted what I struggle with reading Echo – the cast and storylines expand so much it’s hard not to slip into storylines you favour and those you’d rather hurry through. They’ll have a job holding viewers’ interests in some of the new character’s scenes in Season 7. I’m looking forward to it though and particularly William. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen of him, though I know his character divides opinions. Excited about Mandy too and the possibility/hope that they might ‘right a wrong’ by having Jamie at her birth!! 🤞🏽🙏🏽