‘Outlander’ Goes To France: ‘It’s Laid Out Very Differently’

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Outlander.

By now, most fans of Outlander know that the second season will take Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) to France, but even that little bit of knowledge leaves fans wondering what that will mean for Claire and Jamie. It also leaves Outlander fans wondering how such a big move will change the dynamic of their show.

In a recent interview with Outlander’s executive producer Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), Moore reveals that, while the season will be set in France, many of the filming locations will be on familiar territory.

“Paris is sort of a combination of three basic places: Scotland, where we’re building interiors on our sound stages and going out to find houses or exteriors that might work for someone’s Parisian apartment or palace or garden. Then we’re going to go to Prague, and in Prague we’re going to shoot street scenes for Paris. Likewise, there are some locations in the south of England, some of the English palaces that have some French rooms….So it’s really those three…”

It seems the closing of Outlander‘s first season served as a springboard for the plot of season two. As Outlander picks up, Claire and Jamie are only beginning their exploration of France, according to Mr. Moore.

“…the story of Jamie and Claire in the 18th century pretty much starts with their arrival in France. The big story point picks up from where we left season 1, which is Claire and Jamie deciding to attempt to change history by stopping the Jacobite rebellion and changing history so as to prevent the slaughter on Culloden Moor and the destruction of the Highland culture after it. That’s the major plot going into the season.”

It probably goes without mentioning that the most memorable moment from Outlander‘s finale was the assault Jamie suffered from Black Jack (Tobias Menzies) and the Outlander E.P. says the effects of that incident will still be felt in coming episodes of Outlander.

“It definitely colors his character throughout. It’s not at the forefront of the story, but it’s a pretty big character story for him, so the after-effects of that and the reverberations through their relationship does carry forward well into the season.”

As many fans know, the Outlander series is based on a series of books by author Diana Gabaldon, and while the new episodes are still based on the second book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, Moore cautions fans of the Outlander series to expect some deviations.

“I think there’s more adaptation. I think there are changes. For fans who know the book, they know the book is a more complicated structure in terms of how Diana wrote it…Book 2 is just a more complex book. It’s laid out very differently, as a result it took more wrangling to try to figure out how to translate this particular story into our season. There were more complications, there were more characters, there were more shifting points of view…It’s not going to be a literal adaptation because I don’t think that’s possible with the second book…. But I think it’s very much the same story, the major characters are all represented, the major scenes are all represented, and it still gets you to all the same places you want to go.”

Moore was asked if there were any particular scenes of Outlander that he was anticipating in terms of fans’ reactions, but he instead said that he was more interested in the overall feel of the series in terms of how well Outlander represents France and how compelling fans find that aspect of the season.

“I’m just excited to see the streets of Paris and Versailles. There’s an interesting ‘wow factor’ I’m looking forward to see us realizing and putting them in a very different urban environment than last season.”

Outlander will return in 2016 on Starz.

[Featured image: Caitriona Balfe courtesy of Starz/Outlander]