the waitress at milliways (fenchurchly) wrote in ontd_sassenach,
the waitress at milliways

Summary of Ron's Podcast for 2x03

- Ron says this episode went through a lot of changes (interesting as Diana said 2x02 had more).
- The opening with Jamie coming home was meant to show their new lives, as well as drive home that Jamie is the main actor in the plan and Claire is sort of stuck on the sidelines and bored.
- Anne acknowledges it was important to her to find a balance with Claire where the audience is sympathetic to her and doesn't think she's just complaining.
- Anne says they really pull things from different books and incorporate them, so don't give up hope if something hasn't been included yet. She cites the Sawny conversation between Claire and Jamie in this episode as an example (it had more of the conversation that happened in Book 1 that wasn't in Season 1).
- Ron talks about how Claire remembering who Mary Hawkins is went through a lot of iterations. In one, she finds a family bible in Master Raymond's shop.
- Ron and Anne both love the actor's delivery of "the search for the tiny snake creature continues".
- Murtagh and Suzette came about originally thinking that Murtagh would have had an unrequited love for Mary ("a sort of Jane Eyre story with a gruff guy and a sweet young girl") but it eventually evolved into having a relationship with Suzette. Anne says in her episode later this season there's a bit of an homage to that Mary/Murtagh thing because when she wrote it, it was still a thing in this episode.
- Ron as upset that the director chose to keep the entire Murtagh/Claire conversation indoors because Jon Gary Steele had built this amazing balcony overlooking the courtyard and he'd explicitly asked for them to walk out on it for this scene but it didn't happen. As a result the balcony was never used on the show this season.
- Anne acknowledges that the chess scene between Jamie and Duvernay was tricky because it was a lot of information to get across and she needed to do it in an interesting way. She also says she has no idea how to play chess so a lot of that was left blank for a technical advisor to help with.
- The scene took place in a library in Prague.
- Not a lot of the UK crew went to the shoot in Prague, other than key department heads. A lot of it as local hires "like the extras", Ron says. (LIKE OUR GOOD SIS irbix!!!)
- Anne says they decided that because of his rank and personality, the Comte St. Germain would always speak French even thought he could speak English.
- Ron cut a conversation scene between Claire and Master Raymond for time, and instead it goes straight into the bitter cascara conversation.
- Ron says that some of the extras costumes can be repurposed and used in future seasons. The way he phrases it makes it seem like Season 3-4 (at least) are pretty much assumed done deals. [Spoiler (click to open)]"When the show goes to America..."
- They saw a lot of actresses for Mother Hildegaard but they were all so impressed with Frances de la Tour.
- Anne says the scenes with Claire at the hospital were originally longer, and says that she finds herself realizing she's over explaining things with words (i.e. "Claire goes and cleans a bedpan") instead of knowing straight off that the audience can get it without showing all those details.
- They spent a lot of time thinking about the politics of all the players and their motivations - Charlie, Duvernay, Jamie, etc, because in the book it was all in Claire's PoV and it was kept very vague.
- They had to re-write parts of this episode to make sure events in 2x04/2x05 make sense and were properly set up relating to Jared's wine business and Charlie.
- The first cut had the viewer following Claire through the hospital and then home, finding Jamie upset waiting for her. Ron says Jamie came off as too much of a jerk, so they reshot it with the viewer emotionally with Jamie, waiting for Claire and getting frustrated.
- Anne says in the book the fight was more 18th century man vs 20th century woman problems, but they wanted to make it more nuanced than that.
- Ron says it was difficult and there were a lot of conversations with the actors about how Jamie and Claire can fight here, but then find their way back to each other. Where are they as people afterwards?
- Anne says after the first book, we all know Jamie and Claire are together, that they are a team. That neither of them are going to say "OK, I'm out" but there still needs to be sources of dramatic tension. Striking that believable balance of having disagreements but neither party wanting to walk away from the relationship, basically what all long term committed relationships go through.
- Ron came up with the idea of painting the front of a woman on her back and the back of a woman on her front, but had no idea how to actually execute it. Anne jokes, "what does that say about Ron...?"
- Anne says they introduce Fergus differently from the book because it was just too convoluted (he was being followed by guys from the dock and then gets into a sausage fight? lawwwwdd I barely remember it).
- They shot the chase scene in Scotland.
- Anne says it can be logistically challenging when working with child actors and hard subject matter (i.e. murders, rapes, etc...). That you shoot things differently so they aren't traumatized, but you also have to hope that the actor you love will be up for being part of a tough shoot. On top of that, finding an actor that speaks French and English, fits work requirements, and is right for the part.
- Anne asks about the candle light on the sets and if there is other light used. Ron says yes, that there are lights in the ceiling that you can't see, and then the DP will augment with other lights.
- Ron says he doesn't think the sequence of Fergus stealing the letter didn't play as well as he hoped, specifically that they didn't shoot Fergus actually taking the letter but instead assumes that the audience realizes what happened after he follows the messenger into the shop.
- Anne says adapting deciphering the secret code in the music sheets from the books was a bit challenging because there was a lot of it and it was confusing at times.
- Ron says they knew they had to have a moment with Bouton diagnosing a patient because it's such a fan favorite, they just had to decide when and where to do it.
- They say Cait is not squeamish at all about fake blood, pus and open wounds, etc. Though sometimes it just ends up that the insert shots are shot later and not even with her (in this case, it's not Cait's hands doing the pus squeezing).
- Ron and Anne acknowledge that the sort of inside jokes with the audience like the Bach reference are fun, as long as they do it sparingly and thoughtfully.
- Ron says Duncan, Sam, and Cait play so well off each other and really found a rhythm.

You can download the podcasts here.
Tags: 2x03, anne kenney, podcast, ron d. moore
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