Members of the cast, including Sam Heughan (Jamie) and Catriona Balfe (Claire), as well as the show's executive producer, Ronald D. Moore and the author of the novel series, Diana Gabaldon, talked to the press at the recent Television Critics Association about what fans can expect when the show returns on Saturday, April 4 on Starz.
Fans of both the novels and the show will be pleased to hear that the creators of the series have no intention of deviating from the source material. Moore said that they don't make changes from the book unless they absolutely have to. So if you've got a favorite scene from the book, chances are you'll see it in the series.
When the series returns, the story will shift and be told from Jamie's point of view, featuring a voiceover from Heughan. Moore said they made the decision to switch to Jamie's voice as they would be picking up right where the Episode 8 cliff-hanger left off. It was also an opportunity to give the audience Jamie's perspective as the story will be about both Claire and Jamie from now on.
Heughan teased that fans will discover a lot more about Jamie in the second half of the season. He'll be finding his place in the world and dealing with some relationships, such as with his sister, that he'd rather not deal with. Jamie's stubborn side will come out and he'll be less of the idealistic man that fans saw of him in the first season. His failings will come to light and the chinks in his armor will start to show as well.
Jamie's difficulties won't just be emotional, they will be physical as well. "In the second part of the show, Jamie goes through quite a lot of injuries." Heughan said, especially in the last couple of episodes. In order to portray the scars that Jamie already carries on his back, Heughan endures up to 2 hours a day in makeup. In the final episodes he will sport almost full-body prosthetics for Jamie's latest injuries. "It's going to look remarkabke and be pretty shocking as well," Heughan said.
Though parts of the story in the second half of the season will follow the book and take place in Paris, the cast and crew are staying put right where they are. When asked how they would handle the Paris scenes, Moore revealed that they will be creating a lot of interior sets on soundstages and they already have people out looking for areas in Scotland that can pass for France.
The infamous scene where Jamie punishes his wife with flogging is coming, but the cast and creator reassure that it was handled as respectfully as possible. "You have to look at it from the mind frame of 1743." Balfe said. "[Back then] this was a very justified form of punishment that a husband and mete out."
"I think for Claire, she finds it very hard to wrap her head around this. There's so much disbelief in the beginning. But what I loved about it was that we took time afterwards to see that she really had to figure out a way to get past this. Even though she may not have been able to accept what he did, [she had to come] to an understanding of his reasons for it," Balfe said.
"Jamie, whether or not he believes it's the right thing to do, just knows he has to do it to teach her a lesson. That's the way he's been brought up," Heughan said about the scene. "They both learn a lesson about their relationship."
In the end, the experience will have a profound effect on their relationship. "To go through that whole experience strengthens their relationship and moves it forward," Heughan revealed.
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