Outlander producer explains why Young Ian punishment was changed
Look who escaped a bare-arsed thrashing!
Any reader of Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager knows that Young Ian is forced to endure 12 cracks of a whip for sneaking out of Lallybroch to join Jamie in Edinburgh. And Young Ian’s dad makes Jamie do the deed because “ye’ve said often enough ye care for him as though he were your son,” the elder Ian says in the book. But in Sunday’s episode of Outlander on Starz, young Ian (John Bell) not only escaped corporal punishment but failed to whip Jamie in return — something that also happened in the book because Jamie feels guilty for his role in his nephew’s misdeed.
“He did get off pretty lightly, to be honest,” cracks Jamie’s alter-ego, Sam Heughan to EW.
It turns out executive producer Matthew B. Roberts and the writers “went round and round about” the thrashing when writing the script more than a year ago, but decided against it because they had already planned to include a whipping scene earlier in the season.
“At the time, there was going to be a flogging in episode 3 and a little goes a long way,” explains Roberts. “We were going to have a flogging where John Grey brings Murtagh out [of his cell] for having tartan. He brings him out because he wants Jamie to reveal everything about his conversation with Duncan Kerr and he feels like Jamie is holding back. They string him up to be flogged and Jamie calls his bluff. John Grey, being an honorable man, doesn’t have him flogged. In turn, he gives him medicine and treats him with compassion and that opens up Jamie to reveal more why he escaped. We ended up pulling it out of episode 3 but we didn’t know we would do that at the time when we wrote episode 8. Sometimes, that happens.”
And let’s be honest, Sassenachs: were you really in the mood to see the sweet Ian writhe in pain?
Want to chat more about episode 8? Tune into Outlander Live! on Monday at noon p.m. 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. Find the nearest Barnes and Noble, stat!