The latest episode of Outlander featured Jamie Fraser going through quite an ordeal during his extended stay in prison. While the series is gearing up for the season finale, Sam Heughan recently sat down with TV Line and talked about his character’s rough time with Black Jack Randall in prison. If you have read the books, then you know the horror that Jamie experiences at the hands of Black Jack. If you have not watched the penultimate episode of Season 1, consider yourself warned, there are major spoilers ahead.
“Jamie’s very much affected by this,” Heughan stated. “If you’ve read the books, you know that.”
The prison sequence was certainly hard to watch Jamie endure, and, according to Ronald D. Moore, it was something that pushed the show’s boundaries.
“The most important thing, fundamentally, was to tell that part of the story as truthfully as we possibly could,” Moore explained. “This is tricky material, but we wanted to play the truth of what really happened between these two…and find that line where you’re neither being gratuitous, and you’re not shying away…”
The Outlander season finale material was so heavy that Heughan and Menzies spent hours going over the material before they shot the scene, says Moore. Menzies also described the horror surrounding the two actors during the scene. (Again, major spoilers.)
“You have [Randall’s] big servant dead in the corner. There’s blood on the floor. There’s bloody hammers,” he says. “It was a challenge within the story, but also a physical challenge. A lot of prosthetics” — like Jamie’s scarred back (the object of Black Jack’s aforementioned licking) and his mangled hand, which Randall nailed to a table in the previous episode — “and a lot of complicated elements to it.”
Meanwhile, Heughan revealed that the prison experience was difficult to leave on-set, and the emotions his character went through were “kind of hard to switch off.”
“I needed to decompress after a couple of weeks,” he related. “It was pretty tense,” Heughan explained that being outdoors and climbing was a great way to cope with it all, along with a bit of drinking. “I got drunk.” he added.
At the same time, Tobias Menzies, who plays Black Jack Randall, also talked about the difficulties with the prison scenes. “It’s a rather sickening investigation. In the portrayal of Jack, I had to understand the context out of which his behavior comes,” Menzies explained to E! Online. “It’s absolutely having to do with what his men have suffered, what he has suffered and what he’s seen. He’s seen too much.”
The Season 1 finale of Outlander airs May 30 on Starz at 9/8 p.m. central.
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