Outlander’s Sam Heughan: Jamie is “not quite as perfect as we thought”

The star of the hit US series on the "exciting," "dark," and "tough" new episodes ahead, Claire and Jamie's marriage and starting work on season two

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[Contains spoilers for the first half of Outlander season one]

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Sam Heughan is the 34-year-old, Scottish-born, kilt-wearing star of historical fantasy series Outlander.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, it centres around married nurse Claire (Caitriona Balfe) who falls through time from 1945 to the 1740s. It’s set in Scotland, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels and has already taken the US and the internet by storm. The first eight episodes are currently available on Amazon Prime, with brand new instalments set to drop today (Sunday 5th), just hours after they air in the US. 

And those new episodes? Well, if time travel, civil war, murder, sex and revenge weren’t enough for you, according to Heughan, Outlander is about to get a whole lot more exciting in the second half of the series. 

“It’s a lot darker. There is some amazing stuff,” Heughan tells RadioTimes.com, adding that we’ll see the relationship between Claire and his character Jamie Fraser “develop a lot.”

“It’s no spoiler for those who have read the books, but Jamie goes to a really tough, dark place. It’s really exciting viewing. I think it’ll be challenging for some people but I think it’s really fun to watch.”

Sounds intruiging, right? Plus, says Heughan, we get to find out more about Jamie, who so far we’ve only really seen “through Claire’s eyes.”

“It’s the journey of him that’s really interesting. We discover who he is in the first eight episodes but we don’t really know much about him at all. He’s this outlaw, a stable guy, and then you start to discover more about him. It isn’t really until the second part of the season that you start to find out who he really is.”

And, according to Heughan, Jamie is “not quite as perfect as we thought” – “He’s got a lot of unfinished business, shall we say.”

We left Claire and Jamie at the end of episode eight as newly-weds, trying to navigate Scotland’s dangerous Highlands, and the tricky terrain of a marriage neither of them explicitly chose. It seems life isn’t going to get much easier for the pair. 

“At the end of season one their relationship is in a very strange place,” Heughan reveals. “It’s been tested a lot, it’s got stronger but it’s been taken to some very hard places. I think that’s the fun. It’s like any marriage – you’re constantly learning about each other and how to work together.

“Hopefully over seasons we’ll follow that relationship and where they go. It’s exciting, because I don’t even know where that’s going to end.”

With plenty of source material published by Gabaldon, the characters have a long journey to go on if Starz continue to give the TV series its backing (a second season has already been commissioned, announced before the first had even aired). “We’ve got eight books, hopefully we get to film eight books,” says Heughan.

“We go back at the end of spring to shoot another 13 episodes which is book two, partly set in France, partly set in Scotland,” he says, adding: “I think season two is going to be very different.”

Though not so different that it’ll upset fans of Gabaldon’s novels: “Ron [Moore, the show’s creator] said that the plan is to stick with the books. There are other characters in our show that aren’t in the books, but I think they all add to Diana’s world and the great universe that he’s created.

“I use the books a lot when we are filming. There are so many little details that I use, that I try to put in for the fans that might notice.”

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Outlander is available on Amazon Prime Instant Videos. Episodes 1 – 8 are available now, with new episodes becoming available on a weekly basis from Sunday 5th April


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