Outlander: Why Claire didn't return through the stones
Claire’s finally back in 18th-century Scotland!
But she didn’t return to Jamie in episode 5 via Craigh na Dun, the ancient stone circle that serves as her time traveling portal in Outlander. We asked executive producer Matthew D. Roberts to answer a bunch of burning questions about episode 5, starting with why Claire skipped a trip through the stones.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why didn’t you show Claire returning to Craigh na Dun?
MATTHEW D. ROBERTS: We knew we wanted a transition that took her from the 20th century to the 18th century. But if you break down what the scene would be like, she would go through the stones, make her way down the hill and she find her way to Inverness. And then she gets a carriage or a boat and she makes her way to Edinburgh. That’s a lot of story. Since the most important part of the story is getting to Jamie, I didn’t wanna shortchange the reunion. So we decided we might save [the stones] for another time. We’ve seen her go through three different times. This was kind of reminiscent of what we did in season 2 where Claire reaches out her hand and then Jamie takes her hand, we spin around and then we’re on the docks in France.
Do you ever question Diana Gabaldon’s rules of travel? For instance, Christopher Reeve had to return to the present when he found that penny in his vest pocket in Somewhere in Time. You can’t take 20th century things back through time!
Yes, exactly. And at the end of Terminator, they had to get naked to go through the [time portal]. So yes, I think everybody’s rules are slightly different. Our rules are, if you can bring ‘em back in the book, we’ll bring ‘em back in the TV show. I’m glad we’re not using Terminator rules because we’d have to find clothes every five seconds after they get into whatever period they’re arrive in.
Who made the decision to use the theme music from Batman while Claire was sewing her batsuit?
Executive producer Ronald Moore wanted to use the Batman theme. That’s very much reminiscent of what we did in season 1 with Claire thinking of her jazz music. We also used “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Was Roger a fan of Dark Shadows in Diana Gabaldon’s books?
No. That’s kind of why we used the Batman theme. We made Roger into a TV fan. That was something that we threw in a little later into what turned out to be a Christmas episode. It wasn’t originally a Christmas episode. But since we included the lunar orbit, which fell on Dec. 21, we had to make it a Christmas episode. So, I went to production designer Jon Gary Steele and said, ‘Can you turn it all into Christmas?’ Because that meant every scene had to be Christmas. He said, ‘Yeah, we’d love to do that.’ So, they started decorating. That was literally like Christmas for them. They decorated the hospital. They decorated their streets. They did everything.
Let’s talk about the end when Claire sees Jamie. Definitely a to-be-continued moment!
It’s not just Claire’s story. It’s Jamie and Claire’s story. We wanted to show both perspectives. In the book you get it from Claire’s view. What I wanted to do when I wrote 6 was give Jamie’s POV of the same moment. I wanted to give the fans the moment twice. They’ve been waiting for for a long time. So, rather than give it to them one time, you give ‘em something they don’t exactly expect and you give it to ‘em twice. So they saw at the end of episode 5 where Claire sees him and it’s all her feelings about getting to the print shop. Then we will start 6 as Jamie’s day. We see all of Jamie’s perspective. We thought that would be kind of special. It was nice for me to be able to go, ‘All right, what was Jamie feeling during this part of the day? What was he doing?’ Quite a while ago when I was writing the script I tweeted out a picture of and it said, ‘Interior print shop, Jamie enters.’ And the fans kind of blew up on it and were like, ‘You’re changing it! You’re ruining it! You’re going ruin it!‘ And I got a big chuckle out of that because I knew what I was doing. I was kind offering them up because I knew what I was going to later give them. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it. But that was the plan all along.
Want to hear more about episode 5? Tune into Outlander Live at noon ET Monday, Oct. 9, on EW Radio, Sirius XM 105, because Richard Rankin, a.k.a. Roger Wakefield, will be our guest!
Outlander airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.