For fans of the captivating Outlander series, which follows the steamy romance and adventures between a 1945 former combat nurse, Claire Randall, and a 1743 Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser — Saturday, April 4 can’t come fast enough. That’s when Outlander makes its midseason premiere on Starz and begins the last eight episodes of Season 1.
This week a new audience was introduced to the titular series with iTunes releasing the first eight episodes for purchase. While the series started with a built-in fan base thanks to the international success of author Diana Gabaldon, whose bestselling novels the series is based on, word of mouth, social media and critical praise has lured in a whole new audience to both the TV series and the books.
Last month we sat down with the strapping Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser, where he gave us some insights (spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the first 8 episodes) on what to expect when the series returns to Starz on Saturday, April 4 at 9pmET. (A marathon of the first eight episodes will air prior to the premiere beginning at 1pmET.)
“We start off from Jamie’s point of view, and we see everything that he goes through to get to the point where he [tries to] rescue her,” Heughan says. “Their relationship is now tested constantly. They’re always battling to get back to each other, to find some sort of common ground. … It’s about their relationship moving forward, and discovering about each other. Largely, that’s what a modern relationship is, really. You learning about how to interact.”
While there’s plenty to discover in any modern day relationship, Jamie’s at quite a disadvantage due to the fact that his bride Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is this mysterious woman with incredible knowledge who comes from, well, he’s not quite sure where.
“No matter what happens, or whatever situation they’re in, at least they’ve got each other’s back. I think that’s a huge thing for anyone to get their head around — where from the moment she sort of fell out of the sky into his world, his whole world has been rocked,” Heughan says. “As we begin to discover in the second part of the season, he’s got a lot more chinks in his armor. He’s not actually as perfect as we think he is. He has pride, and is stubborn, and has a lot of relationships he’s not dealt with yet. His sister, and his father, and I think also … we just begin to learn a lot more about who he is.”
So what is Heughan like offscreen and what is his relationship like with his dazzling costar Balfe? Of course, being the gentleman that he is, he can only professes his complete adoration toward the talented actress. “She’s just a lovely human being,” he says. “She’s a lot of fun. We hang out when we’re there, and we hang out when we’re in Los Angeles, as well. We went on a hike a few weeks ago. Yeah, it’s great. I’m very lucky. She’s a friend.”
While Heughan enjoyed the break after filming all of Season 1 last year, he was anxious to get back to work on the second season. “There’s a sort of normality to it, the craziness,” he says. “When we finished [Season 1], I was done. I really needed to sort of decompress, and it took me a while. It took me up until Christmas really. Then over the Christmas break, I’m like, ‘you know, I’m now ready.’ I feel recharged and excited about what’s going to happen in Season 2. I think it’s going to be fun.”
Well, we can barely wait for the rest of Season 1 let alone Season 2 of Outlander. Bring it on.