‘Outlander’ Showrunner Explains Major Change From Books In Episode 3

For the most part, Outlander writers have done an amazing job of being faithful to the stories in Diana Gabaldon’s novels. But in the third episode of Season 3, they have made one huge change that would affect how the story continues in the succeeding episodes. Showrunner Ron Moore explains why.

In Outlander Season 3, Episode 3 titled “All Debts Paid” written by Matthew B. Roberts, there is a massive deviation from the narrative of Gabaldon’s fourth book, Voyager. Moore decided to keep Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix) alive. In the book, Murtagh died at the Battle of Culloden. But in the latest episode, Jamie’s godfather turned out to be alive at Ardsmuir.

Moore explains that from the beginning, Murtagh’s development has been different from the books. The fan-favorite character has become a key player in the story in the Outlander series, much closer to Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe), just like a family member.

“And I just wasn’t ready to let him go in Culloden. He is going to survive and we will catch up with him later, we will just keep him going,” Moore added, via Mashable.

Meanwhile, Outlander Season 3, Episode 3 also revealed a shocking death. Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) died in a car accident after a huge fight with Claire. Menzies now wrapped up his role in Outlander as his other character Black Jack Randall was also already killed by Jamie at the Battle of Culloden during this season’s premiere episode.

While Claire had been content in a marriage of convenience, she was still overwhelmed with grief with the death of her 20th-century husband. Frank still loves Claire but she just could not return that feeling because of the memory of Jaime’s love. They agreed that Claire would just not ask questions and Frank can do whatever he wants, but a fight erupted when Frank wanted to bring Brianna (Sophie Skelton) to England.

“One thing Tobias and I talked about is that we didn’t want this relationship to be just horrible from the beginning, you know? ‘She doesn’t love him, she’s in love with someone else, and that’s it.’ There had to be love there, there had to be hope,” Balfe told Variety.“When they have that final fight, it’s vicious. All that anger comes out. And we really wanted to play with that.”

As Tobias is now out of contract, both Jack and Frank died. Moore said, via Variety, that there are no current plans to bring the characters back in Outlander. However, he did not dismiss the idea of a flashback of either man in the future. Menzies also added that if the show wanted to, they could go back to both the characters, which is an advantage of a show with time travel.

[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]