The season finale of Outlander may have left fans with wet faces and emotionally drained hearts, but executive producer Ronald Moore reveals the ultimate goal of Season 2’s final episode was to set up the story arc to be told next season. In a new interview, Moore talks about setting up that final scene, and what Outlander fans can expect, as the series heads into its third installment. Mr. Moore also opens up about the Outlander rules of time travel and how much input author Diana Gabaldon had in detailing those rules.
Outlander Sets Up Claire To Go Back In Time Again
The final sequence of the Season 2 Outlander finale has Clair Randall (Caitriona Balfe) looking longingly at the stones, knowing she has to go back in time once again, Ronald Moore tells The Hollywood Reporter. He says the scene was beautiful from a cinematic standpoint, but it also shows Claire’s understanding that, in order to come full circle, she’s going to have to return to the past.
“It was a great opportunity to do something really visually powerful and I love how it came out,” the Outlander showrunner says.
The finale touched upon some of the rules for using the stones to travel through time, with Geillis suggesting a human sacrifice would be needed as a catalyst, yet Claire has never needed to offer a sacrifice. The contradiction seems to suggest a disparity between Outlander and Diana Gabaldon’s books, but Moore says there was no miscommunication. It was more a matter of translating Diana’s concepts into something that would fit well with the television medium.
“We did have a conversation with Diana and she explained her rules of time travel to us. We tried to translate that into something the audience can wrap their minds around on the show,” explains the Outlander showrunner. “Her rules of time travel have evolved and are spread out over many books and many characters and many scenarios.”
Still, Moore says the issues related to time travel won’t simply remain unresolved. He says future episodes of Outlander will give Claire the opportunity to discover more about the process, including how it really works.
“We needed to really understand both what Claire thought and what Geillis thought in this episode so we honed in on a couple of things. There are still a couple of things for Claire to figure out and discover as we move into next season though.”
Ronald Moore Explains Why Once Was Enough For The 1960s
In Gabaldon’s book, Dragonfly in Amber, a trip to the 60s opens up the story and finishes off the book, but, as The Wall Street Journal points out, Outlander only took one journey to the era. That change in the Outlander story may have left many fans feeling as though they had been cheated. As Moore has explained before, there are instances in adapting the books for television in which it’s necessary to alter the story, either for dramatic effect or for logistical reasons. Now, the Outlander showrunner explains specifically why this change was made.
“I thought opening the season with the 1960s was too big of a jump for the TV show,” says the Outlander executive producer. “I liked it conceptually; I liked the idea of jumping ahead in the story and telling the audience everything that happened in Paris and Scotland was ultimately going to come to naught, and Claire was going to return to the 20th century. But what I just said is enough.”
Moore feels as though going so far into the future on two separate occasions was something that would have come off feeling like overkill. Additionally, it would have involved revealing far too much about the Outlander characters, especially for those fans of the series who haven’t read the books.
“To also go 20 years into that story, and Brianna as an adult, and Frank is dead, and [Claire’s] a surgeon. I was just like, it’s too much, to go from them sailing away to that as the next cut,” Moore says of cutting that scene from Outlander. “It’s a big enough shock to the audience that she returns to the 20th century – let’s just start there and catch up to the Sixties in the end.”
[Image by Starz]