Dive deeper into this episode with exclusive sketches, production designs, and fun facts delivered directly from the Outlander crew.
Given how the previous episode ended on such a horrific scene, the writers had many discussions about how to open this episode. We came up with dialogue that juxtaposes the beauty of the land with the ugliness of what happened the night before, but ultimately, in editing, we settled on a quiet moment for Claire on the porch—then we cut right into Jamie telling his Aunt that they are leaving. We decided there was no need for Jamie and Claire to have a conversation about it. It was a given between them that they can’t stay in this place.
The silver candlesticks were added into the scene after the fact, to set up a touching moment in a later episode. This is something writers occasionally do, called retrofitting, when they realize something in a future episode needs setting-up in a previous episode.
Stay tuned to see how these candlesticks become significant later in the season!
In the book, Young Ian receives a letter from his parents in Scotland giving him permission to stay in America with Jamie. However, we wanted this to be Young Ian’s decision, to show his strength of character and his maturity. We wanted his passion and drive to be what sways his uncle into allowing him to stay. The line, “A man writes his own letter,” is to show that Young Ian handles his own affairs.
This was a tricky scene to write, because Claire and Jocasta are at odds over the issue of slavery. Our goal was to show that despite having different beliefs, one thing they have in common is how much they love Jamie. It’s important here that Jocasta challenges Claire, recognizing that Jamie is no ordinary man—he was born to be more than a printer. This gets under Claire’s skin and causes her to consider their future. Even though Claire is defensive and bristles that Jocasta doesn’t know Jamie well, Jocasta is still family, and her assessment of him holds weight.
We wanted Roger to playing his guitar, to set-up his later performance at the Scottish festival. We liked the idea in the book that Fiona found love with someone that actually returned her feelings. We were charmed by the idea of meeting Ernie and thought it would be sweet to see Ernie and Fiona together. Although this scene isn’t in the book, we thought it would be poignant to see Roger in the room he grew up in, having to turn the keys over to Fiona and say goodbye to his old home and his former life.
Since we’ve never shown Roger having anyone to talk to about Brianna, Fiona is someone who knows his feelings for Brianna. She was the best candidate for him to talk to, and it was nice to see Fiona, who had been in love with Roger for so long, now happily married and able to support his new relationship.
We wanted to show a bit of awkwardness between Roger and Brianna, because even though they’ve been dating over the last year, they’ve had limited contact with each other. It’s not like today where you can call, video chat, or travel easily. These two could only have expensive, long-distance conversations on the phone and limited visits with each other.
We really wanted a scene where Brianna and Roger were just having fun and hanging out. Most of the scenes between them have been angst-ridden, so we decided to play a bit of their road trip, to show the spark of their love and attraction.
“The Minister’s Cat” is a bit from the book that we found charming and wanted to include, so it was worked into this scene.
We thought it would be cool to see that the mountains Brianna and Roger drive through are the exact same mountains Jamie and Claire travel 200 years in the past, so we specifically scripted a match-cut here. Although Bree doesn’t know at the time that this is a place where Jamie and Claire travelled, we wanted to let the audience in on the serendipity of Brianna and her parents literally travelling the same roads, centuries apart.
John Quincy Myers is one of our favorites, and it was fun to have him give voice to the history of this land. In the book, they first meet the Tuscarora Indians. In our research, we realized there was very little information available about the Tuscarora, their language or their customs. Because we want to be authentic and do justice to history, the decision was made to portray the Cherokee instead. There was an abundance of information on this tribe which we could reference for authenticity, and they were also found in the area during this time period.
We wanted to include as many shots as we could of the beauty of the land to demonstrate Jamie falling in love with the New World. Some of these are meant to be suggestions for “beauty shots.” They were either filmed during the shoot by our second unit crew directed by Matthew B. Roberts, or are stock shots found by our post department.
The Boston line is another nod to Claire’s previous life in Boston, and her knowledge of the coming revolution, something that will loom over the rest of the season.
We made a conscious choice when Claire first returned to Jamie in Season 3 to sprinkle in conversations where Jamie asks Claire about Brianna as often as possible. Claire tells him tidbits about Bree, her personality, and her life in the future, so Jamie can picture it and feel close to his daughter.
This is where we see that Jocasta’s comments are weighing on Claire’s mind, as she gently probes Jamie about the kind of life he wants and would be happy with in America. She knows there is some truth to Jocasta’s words, and wants to make sure she’s not holding Jamie back from the man he was meant to be. Some of the dialogue was trimmed in editing, but the gist of it was, that Jamie acknowledged his outlaw past, and feels like he wants to give so much to Claire, to “lay the world at her feet.” What matters to him is not so much his profession but providing and caring for her and giving her the home he knows she’s always wanted.
Who knew that when we gave this small nod to Clarence the mule, that it would be one of the hardest in the episode to shoot? As it turns out, Clarence was not so keen on running away, and he had to be shooed away many times to get enough footage of him escaping. Apparently, he, like everyone else, is enamored with Jamie Fraser and determined to stick by his side, ;)
We made the decision for Roger and Bree to attend a Scottish festival in North Carolina so that they would literally be traveling the same ground as Jamie and Claire. Hats off to Gary Steele and Terry Dresbach for all the hard work and creativity that went into designing the environment, outfitting the principles and extras, and dressing our colorful and exciting Scottish festival.
We felt it was important to have a small moment for Brianna to miss her mother, as being surrounded by Scottish culture would naturally make her wonder if Claire ever found Jamie and whether she is happy 200 years in the past.
Again, we wanted to show Roger and Brianna having a good time together and experiencing a romantic and perfect weekend as they fall in love.
The artist’s drawings that are hanging in the scene are actually portraits of some of our crew members!
We wanted to contrast Roger’s opening song, “Devil in the Kitchen,” with the slower, more emotional ballad he sings here. It was discussed whether Roger should play a popular song from the 1970’s, something by Donovan, Simon and Garfunkel, or Peter, Paul, and Mary. But it was decided that it would be nice to play an old folk song from the British Isles, called “I Once Loved a Lass,” also known in Scotland as “The False Bride.” It’s a sad and ironic song about a man who loses the love of his life. This is meant to foreshadow what happens later in the episode when Roger loses Bree after their disastrous fight, and also seemed well-suited as the title of the episode. But in this moment, as Bree watches him, enraptured, she is falling hard for him. The crowd fades away and he seems to be singing for her alone.
The book that Brianna gives Roger, called “A Home from Home,” is a fictional book that was concocted by Dani Berrow, who came up with the title. The author, Karen Bailey, was named after our STARZ executive, Karen Bailey, who has always been such a passionate champion of our series. It was Karen, who hails from North Carolina, who pointed out to us the this would have been a dry county back then, and would not be selling whisky openly at the festival. Thus, we changed our original whisky-tasting scene to a moment where Brianna gifts Roger with some under-the-table moonshine she bought for him. Our intent was to get the couple a bit tipsy for what happens next…
As the couple we’re rooting for finally implodes, our job was to make sure we felt for both parties. Roger, flush with romantic feelings from their perfect weekend, proposes to Brianna, but Bree, caught off guard, is not ready for marriage. We had to make sure that we understood each of their positions so that our heart breaks for them as a couple.
We included the bit about Roger hoping she can stand with him at the Calling of the Clans to set-up what happens in their last scene together.
This is a scene where we were keenly aware of our time period being the 1970’s. And while true that many young people were having sex in the “Free Love” era, Roger is a minister’s son who is admittedly an old-fashioned guy, and Brianna has led a bit of a sheltered life with her parents in Boston. We had to make this scene believable, that a young couple in this time would clash over the decision to embark on a sexual relationship.
The appearance of Otter Tooth is a very important and iconic scene in the Outlander series, and one we’ve all been excited to portray in the show. The appearance of a ghost had to be handled with care, so that it didn’t come off as cheesy or fake. A lot of discussions were had with the director, how to make sure Otter Tooth’s presence came across as disturbing and frightening, but also cool and believable. In the book, we are meant to connect the skull’s ghost via the opal Claire finds with it, with the opal around Otter Tooth’s neck. However, it was difficult to see the opal in the dark, the decision was made to give Otter Tooth a wound on the back of his head, so Claire can connect the wound on the skull with the ghost that she sees.
The climax of the Festival, the all-important calling of the clans, was really fun to portray. We cast our producer David Brown, who has been with the series from the beginning, as the clan caller! He seemed to have a lot of fun with it.
Claire and Jamie find a majestic view that makes such an impression that they decide this land will be their home. The catch—they’d have to accept the governor’s offer, a deal with the devil. Here is where we decided to use a conversation from the book about the Law of Thermodynamics. If we are unable to fit something we like from the book into its original place, we keep it in our back pockets and resurrect it somewhere else where we feel it could fit. However, it was cut in editing and later moved into a scene for Episode 401.
Co-Costume Designer Terry Dresbach reflects on Brianna’s clothing: “It was special for me. She is, sort of, me—or at least she wears what I wore. I just made or bought the clothing of my youth and put it on Brianna. The clothes she is wearing in college and when Roger shows up in America were what I, and everyone I knew, was wearing in 1969 when we were 15. Embroidered blouses from Mexico, patched jeans from the Army Navy surplus store, Frye boots, Gunne Sax dresses... I searched high and low for her brown suede jacket. I had one in high school. It was a very SPECIFIC jacket. I can’t believe I actually found it.”
The Scottish festival, at which Roger has been invited to give a performance playing his guitar, takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina so, unknowingly, Brianna is traveling across the same countryside as her parents in the eighteenth century. The festival was a huge undertaking for the production, requiring hundreds of extras to create the atmosphere of a festival. The interior scenes for the festival—the venue for both Roger’s performance and the Calling of the Clans—were filmed in the midst of winter in a warehouse in Glasgow. The exterior scenes of the festival, featuring the incredible stalls, burning stag, and glorious sunset were shot in a park outside Glasgow this summer.
Said Sophie Skelton (Brianna), “It was wonderful—such a great atmosphere of Scottish dancers and music and then American stalls, prom queens, cars and everyone having fun. It was infectious for Roger and Brianna and… who knew Richard Rankin could croon like that? Girls are going to swoon all over the world.”
Said Executive Producer Maril Davis about Richard Rankin’s performance, “Richard has a beautiful voice. The day we filmed the scene where he performs is one of my favorite parts of that episode. It would be great if his version of that song was released as a single—it’s a wonderful performance.”
Added Richard Rankin, “For the Scottish Festival, I was asked if I could learn the fiddle, to which I responded, ‘don’t be ridiculous—it takes years to master.’ I can play the guitar, so I was happy to do that. Producers told me it would be a couple of tracks, playing and singing. The first song was an old Scottish folk song, which was fine. I had that mastered. The second song, ‘The Devil’s Kitchen,’ was only delivered close to filming and was an arrangement of an old Scottish song which was so difficult—oh my god, what a challenge. I didn’t want anyone to ‘be my hands’ playing it. I was determined to master it but drove all the cast and crew mad with my practicing, especially Sophie. Then, she had to pretend she had never heard it when we performed it at the festival.”
The decision which Jamie and Claire make to leave River Run is one which forever shapes the course of their new life together. As they journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains, they are struck by the beauty of the wilderness, a land which is, at yet in their minds, untamed and uncultivated. The view of Fraser’s Ridge that we see is made of a combination of footage from a wood in Scotland and a ‘plate shot’ of North Carolina itself. The importance of ‘fraise’, meaning strawberry in French, at Fraser’s Ridge (commonly associated with the etymology of the surname ‘Fraser’) was a fun element for the Greens Department. They cleared the bramble and then redressed with moss, grasses, and bushes to create texture and shape for the area. They wanted to introduce plants that might really grow on a cliff-face: blue grasses, azaleas, ferns, and then incorporated around 300 strawberry plants.
Said Sam Heughan (Jamie), “When Jamie Fraser discovers the idyllic part of the North Carolinian countryside that becomes Fraser’s Ridge, he finds the place where he wants to create a home. Not only is it fertile—good farming land—but the discovery of the wild strawberries on the ridge were a sign for Jamie Fraser, that within this pastoral beauty is the place to make a home. This is his equivalent of becoming a laird again—having tenants and making the land work for them all. It is a fresh start where he can finally be himself, to lay down roots for himself and his extended family. However, he is cognizant that he is making a deal with Governor Tryon that may land him on the wrong side of history by accepting this large parcel of 10,000 acres of prime land.”