The second season of Starz's hit drama Outlander, based on novelist Diana Gabaldon's beloved book series, is deep into production this summer with primary shooting locations in Scotland, Prague and southern England. All of them are doubling for Paris circa 1744, where Claire and Jamie Fraser have escaped to in the wake of their terrifying ordeal with masochist British soldier Captain "Black" Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). Their new goal is nothing short of changing the course of history. From Paris, the Frasers will try to stop the impending Jacobite risings by thwarting Bonny Prince Charles Stuart's (Andrew Gower) funding from French king Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser).
In a recent Blastr interview with showrunner Ron D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and cast members Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, the trio said the sophomore season (based on the book Dragonfly in Amber) has felt like a new show in some ways.
"We felt a little bit of discomfort in the transition, because we were so used to playing in this gritty Scottish mud," Balfe said about leaving their Scottish location shooting behind. "Everything was very muted with the wools. Now all of a sudden we're in these luxurious apartments and grand houses."
Moore concurred and explained, "Every set, costume and prop [from Season 1] had to be set aside. Now it's a whole new series. We're going to Prague for the streets of Paris, but we're still doing most of the interiors on our soundstages. There are other locations in Scotland we'll use, like exterior home gardens. And there are some palaces in England that will be stand-ins for Versailles."
As for where Jamie and Claire will be emotionally when the series returns, Balfe explained, "Claire is dealing with her pregnancy and [wondering], how do you support someone going through a trauma like [Jamie's]? How do you help him get over it, or get past it? The idea they have of changing the future, she uses it like a mission and something for Jamie to put his focus and energy into so he's not dwelling on what's happened. In a way she sacrificed herself a little bit because she's dealing with her pregnancy on her own in a way. They are going through a very complicated time in their relationship. It's not an easy time for them, but it's beautiful to watch how they figure out a way to support each other."
As to their secret mission, Heughan said, "Jamie's thrown himself into it wholeheartedly. He's in it, but he's not relishing it at all. We see them slowly get better at [playing the game] and learn they can undercut people and be quite political themselves. Publicly he's a good businessman and very charming, but in those late nights with Claire we see the mask come off. They are bonded mostly by their child, and it carries them through."