The first of Diana Gabaldon’s eight-volume (so far) Outlander time-travel series hit shelves 23 years ago, giving plenty of time to amass millions of fans and build huge expectations. It’s an understatement to say that the sweeping saga of combat nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) — who travels from 1945 back to war-ravaged Scotland in 1743 — presented filming challenges. But Ronald D. Moore, the man behind the Battlestar Galactica reboot, wasn’t afraid to shake things up for the screen. ”There’s a lot of things we did in the first 30 to 40 minutes [of the pilot] that aren’t in the book or are compilations of things that happened in the book,” he says. The show will have to constantly invent new ways to juggle two timelines as Claire toggles between the 20th century (where she’s married to a historian, played by Tobias Menzies) and the 18th century (where she finds romance with Sam Heughan’s warrior, Jamie Fraser). ”We were working really hard to give it an authentic sense, to make the characters as real as possible,” Moore says, emphasizing that he was against conveying the novel’s time-travel elements with anything hokey or sci-fi. ”I didn’t want to suck her into the stone, didn’t want to see her falling through time, didn’t want to see the stars swirling around.”
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