Netflix’s The Crown is making a big change for Season 3. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are stepping aside for new actors. Could this be something Outlander could do?
Sometimes timelines move faster than the actors age. That’s certainly the case with The Crown. The story has already spanned 15 years or so in the first two seasons and there are many more decades to come. When the series originally started, the plan was to have a change of cast between Seasons 2 and 3 and then another change between Seasons 4 and 5 to show the change in ages. There’s no guarantee that this will work, but it was always known.
Outlander is another show that pushes the timeline forward faster than the actors age. Could a change of cast be possible for the series and would it still succeed?
More from Opinion
- Droughtlander suggestions: Check out Silo on Apple TV+
- Outlander season 7 episode 8 review: The Frasers are back in Scotland!
- Outlander Season 7 episode 7 review: Does Jamie die in Outlander?
- Outlander Season 7 episode 6 review: Claire meets William (again)!
- Outlander Season 7 episode 5 review: Does Young Ian have a son?
The Crown and Outlander are two very different shows. They’re filmed for different networks, telling very different stories. Outlander doesn’t need to make a change in cast and shouldn’t. Here’s a look at why.
It’s already jumped two decades
If the show was going to change the cast members, Outlander Season 3 would have been the time to do it. The series jumped forward two decades for both the characters, making the characters older than the actors who play them.
This worked. The makeup was on point to age them enough for their time periods. Jamie looked a little rougher in the face, but was still relatively healthy and strong looking due to the smuggling and other activities he’s done over the years. Claire would have had access to more skin care products and other medical procedures if she wanted to remain young.
Claire and Jamie were shown to age in different ways. Jamie wore glasses to read, while Claire had grey hair coming through.
The show doesn’t have much more time to jump
In the next few books, the timing does cover much more time. It’s going to be the next 10 years or so. And while they will get older, this is going to be a little more gradual and something the makeup artists can add in now and then.
To be honest, life in the Colonies is likely going to keep them young. They’ll have physical lives that will keep them strong, as long as they’re eating well. Claire has the medical knowledge to help keep everyone as well as possible.
The Crown, on the other hand, has five decides to cover now. It would be much harder to age the younger actors into their 80s and 90s. Sure, The Tudors managed it, but there’s no guarantee The Crown will have the budget for it. However, Outlander likely will.
The necessary actors have been replaced
Only those necessary have been replaced on Outlander so far. For example, we’ve seen Fergus grow up into a young man and Lord John Grey was recast between Outlander Seasons 2 and 3. There’s a chance a few other actors could be recast along the way, especially some of the younger ones.
With these cast members already changing, it’s important to keep some stability in the series. The main cast members need to stay the same.
The actors have made the series
Many people tune in to watch Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan’s portrayals of the characters. They’ve made these book characters their own, telling the stories (sometimes in ways the book fans never expected). Those who weren’t readers first have come to know the characters as Balfe and Heughan.
But isn’t that the case with The Crown? Sort of. The difference with the series about Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is that they are real people. It’s easier to accept knew actors because the characters are based on individuals we see in the news all the time. Outlander characters are entirely fictional (except for the likes of Bonnie Prince Charlie, King Philip, and a small number of others in Season 4), so sticking with the actors who have developed them is essential.
Without the two leads, it’s very unlikely that the loyal fan base will stick around. They may if done right, but the same following wouldn’t be around.
Do you think Outlander could succeed with a change of cast? Why does it need the same lead actors as it currently has? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Outlander Season 4 is currently filming. Like Claire and Jamie on Facebook for more updates on the series as we go through Droughtlander.