As any Outlander fan will tell you, the love story of Claire and Jamie Fraser has always been a bit star-crossed. That’s what happens when you mix romance and time travel. But Season 3 promises the rockiest road yet for the Frasers as the couple are ripped apart for what looks like a long time.
Calling in from the set in Scotland late last year, Jamie actor Sam Heughan told Vanity Fair that being apart from Balfe for part (we won’t say how long) of Season 3 was like “having a death in the family. Well, I don’t know. I mean, it’s just like a different show. It’s hard to separate yourself from the character. It’s always hard when we’re apart, actually, because she’s a great person, great to come to work with, and a very good actress. But I think it all adds to the reunion—if there’s a reunion, or when there’s a reunion—well, you know there’s one in the books. It should be very special.” Caitriona Balfe jokingly responded, “Och! He’s already killed me in his mind. Gone. Too sad.”
According to the official Starz description:
In Season Three of Outlander, the story picks up right after Claire travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank. Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make a life apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. The budding possibility that Claire can return to Jamie in the past breathes new hope into Claire’s heart… as well as new doubt. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery, and adventure await them on the path to reunion. And the question remains: when they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones, all those years ago?
If Claire has to be separated from her beloved Jamie, at least she can console herself with the fabulous fahsion of the 1960s. (Listen! I’m just trying to find a silver lining here.) “Probably, to the disappointment of all the costume fans, I did not miss that corset or bum roll for one second,” Balfe says of her more modern Season 3 wardrobe. “Being able to do 40s, 50s, and 60s—especially the 60s—it was just such fun. [Costume designer] Terry [Dresbach] had in racks and racks of clothing. She made some pieces in-house and other pieces are vintage finds that she had. I love what each era tells you about the women of the time—it’s just such an interesting barometer. Some of the 60s pieces are so cool and beautiful that I asked her to make me doubles of some things.”
The third season of Outlander—which will include 13 episodes based upon Voyager, the third of eight books in Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling series—will premiere in September. Fans eager to get an early taste can also catch the Outlander panel at San Diego Comic Con this summer.
“Sunshine, vineyards. It’s beautiful. I was lucky enough to go there about 10 years ago, and Cape Town is so stunning. Just being there will be amazing,” says “Outlander” star Caitriona Balfe about the show’s upcoming shoot in South Africa during a recent interview with The Wrap when she answered “Wrapid Fire” fan questions. Watch below.
Production for “Outlander” is usually based on Scotland, but for the final episodes of its third season it’s moving to the other side of the globe to shoot scenes on the high seas in South Africa. But fans will have to wait awhile for the new episodes to premiere. The time-travel romance, which concluded its second season in July 2016, doesn’t return to Starz until September.
In the meantime, fans can learn even more about Balfe in her video Q&A. She reveals her love of whiskey and wine, that her favorite film is “Full Metal Jacket” by Stanley Kubrick, and that her go to karaoke songs are by Blondie. And her favorite word? “The one I use the most is probably ‘fuck,’ but ‘juxtoposition’ is quite nice.”
It’s time for a Droughtlander update!
As all Outlander fans should know by now, season three of our beloved time-traveling drama will not be premiering on Starz until September, which means we still have at least seven more months until we reunite with our favorite Frasers.
To help cope with this prolonged hiatus, we at ET have already released a special interview with stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe from our season three set visit in Scotland, and we have plenty of more exclusive behind-the-scenes goodies that we’re going to release over these next few months.
In the meantime, ET caught up with Balfe, who was being honored at the 2017 Oscar Wilde Awards on Thursday night, to get her thoughts on Outlander’s extended on-screen absence and some inside scoop on what’s ahead!
“Yeah, [the Droughtlander] is a little longer than I think people thought. Sorry!” Balfe said apologetically to ET’s Ashley Crossan.
When asked for a tease to hold fans over until September, the 37-year-old actress was quick to point out that ET is going to have plenty of special moments to share. “Oh, I think [ET reporter] Leanne [Aguilera] might have some things up her sleeve from when she came to visit us,” she said with a coy smile.
“I think this season is going to be really interesting and it’s going to be so new again,” Balfe continued. “I mean, I think we do that every season; we sort of flip it on its head. Last season, we went to Paris and it was something totally different. This season, we start off with a little bit of a separate storyline, which is really fun for us. We’re hoping the fans will be as happy.”
For those fans who have not read Diana Gabaldon’s third book in the Outlander series, Voyager, you should be warned that our season three journey begins with Claire and Jamie living in two completely different timelines. Despite Balfe and Heughan’s on-screen separation, Balfe is confident that Jamie and Claire’s reunion in the print shop and their adventures abroad will be worth the wait.
“We’ve got the great reunion happening and then we go to South Africa — well, in the story it’s Jamaica — but there’s old ships involved and it’s just a constantly evolving, exciting adventure.”
Balfe confessed that she departs for filming in Cape Town, South Africa, next week and that she and the rest of the Outlander production team will be there for “a couple of months” to finish up shooting.
“in my head, I’m going on a three-month holiday in the sun, but it’ll be work every day,” she shared. “But it’ll be great. It’ll be really exciting. I’ve read the scripts, the scripts are really great, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
When we jokingly asked Balfe to spill absolutely everything that happens in those highly confidential season three scripts, her response was equally cheeky. “You know, I was going to email them to you, and then do you want to just copy them and put them online? That’d be great. No problem!” she said.
We’re still waiting for that email, Caitriona!
Caitriona did an interview and photoshoot for The Wrap this morning. Check out the interview and photos in our gallery.
VARIETY – Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen the Outlander Season 2 finale, Episode 13, titled “Dragonfly in Amber.” Refresh your memory of where we left off with our previous “Outlander” recap.
After a season spent barreling towards the Battle of Culloden, it felt like something of a relief to be spared the gory details of that fateful fight, with the Season 2 finale of Outlander spending most of its time focused on what really mattered — Claire and Jamie’s relationship, both in its vibrant immediacy on the morning of the battle, and through melancholy memories that played out across Claire’s face 20 years later as she revisited Scotland. Claire took a monumental journey in the extended episode, moving from grief and repression to a rekindled sense of hope as she realized that Jamie hadn’t died at Culloden, meaning there was still a chance for her to reunite with him, even two decades (and two centuries) after leaving him.
The episode skipped back and forth between the 18th century and Claire’s “present” in 1968, allowing us to meet Claire and Jamie’s daughter, Brianna (Sophie Skelton), and Reverend Wakefield’s dashing adopted son, Roger (Richard Rankin) — as well as catching up with Claire’s Season 1 friend Geillis Duncan — aka Gillian Edgars — before she traveled back through the Standing Stones and met Claire for the first time back in the 1700s.
The finale provided yet another showcase for Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan’s nuanced performances; Heughan exuded both strength and vulnerability as Jamie was forced to say farewell to his wife — and that was after the ordeal of killing his uncle, Dougal, when the war chief discovered them plotting to kill Bonny Prince Charlie in a last-ditch effort to avert Culloden.
“You just see how desperate they’ve become that they would even consider something as horrific as this, but as Claire says, it’s take the life of one to save the lives of thousands,” Balfe says of their scheme. “It’s a really heartbreaking moment for Jamie because no matter what Dougal has done, he’s his uncle, he raised him for a lot of his life and trained him, and there was a very complicated love there, but there was some kind of love there.”
Heughan agrees, telling Variety in our video recap above, “We decided that Claire should be involved in that and that isn’t in the books. I think it makes them both complicit in the murder of Dougal, it makes them both guilty. So they’re united in their desperation of trying to save everyone and everything, and in doing that they’ve had to kill Jamie’s uncle, which doesn’t sit well with him.”