Out­lander

Out­lander’s JAMIE AND CLAIRE be­gin a new life in a North Carolina colony

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Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitri­ona Balfe) are try­ing to make a new life in Amer­ica as the his­tor­i­cal drama re­turns.

AS Tv&satel­lite Week ar­rives on set to watch the new sea­son of Out­lander be­ing filmed, dozens of ex­tras are milling around the cor­ri­dors of a Glas­gow stu­dio. But un­usu­ally for the Scot­tish drama series, there’s not a kilt in sight.

In­stead, the ex­tras are dressed in 18th-cen­tury Na­tive Amer­i­can clothes, with some of the men sport­ing grisly ac­ces­sories. One has what looks like a fa­tal neck wound, while an­other ap­pears to have been scalped to re­veal some im­pres­sive pros­thetic bits of skull.

As fans of the his­tor­i­cal drama will know, sea­son three ended with High­lander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and his 20th-cen­tury wife, Claire (Caitri­ona Balfe), washed up on an Amer­i­can beach fol­low­ing a shipwreck.

Now, as the fourth sea­son starts, we find them try­ing to make a new life in the wilds of North Carolina.

‘This sea­son is re­ally about estab­lish­ing a home and a fam­ily,’ says Heughan.‘this is the first time we see Jamie and Claire act­ing as a fam­ily. Up un­til now there has al­ways been some kind of drama, but now they fi­nally get to rest.’

While Claire and Jamie may now be liv­ing in the New World, the show’s pro­duc­tion team haven’t re­lo­cated to the US to film the new series. In­stead, the sets – such as the South­ern plan­ta­tion that be­longs to Jamie’s Aunt Jo­casta (new cast mem­ber Maria Doyle Kennedy) – have been built in Glas­gow, with the High­lands dou­bling for the Carolina land­scape where the cou­ple build a set­tle­ment called Fraser’s Ridge.

‘On the ad­vice of [Out­lander au­thor] Diana Ga­bal­don, I went to North Carolina and it was re­mark­able how sim­i­lar it was to Scot­land,’ says Heughan. ‘You look out and see the mist come off the hills and these great Fraser firs ev­ery­where, and you re­alise that’s why Scot­tish peo­ple set­tled there as it re­ally does feel the same.’

PI­O­NEER­ING SPIRIT

Of course, it wouldn’t be Out­lander with­out some ma­jor drama for Jamie and Claire. They ar­rive at a tu­mul­tuous time for Amer­ica in 1766, less than a decade be­fore the Amer­i­can War of In­de­pen­dence.

‘Be­ing on the fron­tier is not with­out its dan­gers,’ says Balfe. ‘They’re set­tling on land that is in­hab­ited by Chero­kee tribes, and it is beau­ti­ful to see how this cou­ple end up forg­ing friend­ships with them. But there are wild an­i­mals, slav­ery, and other things that cause the cou­ple some trou­ble.’

Claire also has to cope with the fact that she left her and Jamie’s daugh­ter, Bri­anna (So­phie Skel­ton), be­hind in 1960s Bos­ton.

‘Claire never stops wor­ry­ing about Bri­anna, but she is able to tell Jamie sto­ries about her, which gives him a con­nec­tion to the daugh­ter he has never met.’

Could Bri­anna pos­si­bly fol­low her mother back to 1766, and meet her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther? The cast’s lips are sealed, al­though Heughan does hint that there are some un­ex­pected twists and turns to come for the fam­ily.

‘The in­trigue of know­ing the real his­tory and how it will af­fect Jamie and Claire is part of the fun, and we cer­tainly played on that last sea­son us­ing more time travel,’ he says with a smile. ‘And I think there may be more of that to come.’

‘Be­ing on the fron­tier is not with­out its

dan­gers’

CAITRI­ONA BALFE

SAM HEUGHAN AND CAITRI­ONA BALFE AS JAMIE AND CLAIRE

MARIA DOYLE KENNEDY (LEFT) AS AUNT JO­CASTA

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