Outlander: How that final scene with Claire and Jamie was filmed
Warning: This article contains spoilers from Sunday’s episode of Outlander, “First Wife.” Read at your own risk!
It was both an awesome — and sad — sight at the end of Sunday’s episode of Outlander: Claire and Jamie standing on beach, watching how smugglers have stolen off with their sweet Young Ian.
And all it took was a simple flying camera!
“We did that with a drone and hovered it in front of them,” executive producer Matthew B. Roberts tells EW. “And then we pulled it back as fast it could as it went out to sea.”
The shot was meant to establish the growing distance between the couple (played by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan) and Ian (John Bell), who was kidnapped while trying to retrieve Jamie’s hidden treasure that’s needed to pay off Laoghaire. Ian is taken by a band of smugglers to the Bruja, a mighty ship that whisks the teen away to parts unknown. And while the three-masted ship looked impressive in the scene, it’s actually a computer-generated image courtesy of visual effects supervisor Richard Briscoe (Iron Man 2, Batman Begins).
Briscoe filmed a “million angles” of a practical ship that sits in a water tank at Cape Town Studios in South Africa, explains Roberts. Then he dropped the image of the ship into a computerized ocean to double as the Bruja. Instant smuggling boat!
If you think that sounds high-tech, just wait until you see the coming episodes. That’s right, Sassenachs: You’re about to see what the cast and crew did with all that time in South Africa earlier this year. But dinna think it was a fun-in-the-sun vacation from Scotland.
“Let’s just say Outlander would be easier if it were a legal show and Claire was a lawyer,” Roberts tells EW, smiling. “Or maybe she was a doctor and just worked in a hospital and kept going back to the hospital, you know? Then we could run the story through one place. But here, we keep it on the move constantly. That’s what makes our jobs so much more difficult because we want to make it look real, you know? We don’t want to break the dream for viewers.”
Want to chat more about episode 8? Tune into Outlander Live! on Monday at noon ET on EW Radio, Sirius XM 105. Nell Hudson, who plays Laoghaire, will be our guest!
And prepare yourselves for more Outlander in EW! We’ll release our next cover on Friday, Nov. 10.