Outlander producer explains cast’s crucial role in the writing process

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Outlander crew members and producers took part in NFTS Scotland. One question was about the cast’s role in the writing process and whether they had a role at all.

Sometimes it can seem like only one person is in charge of writing an episode of Outlander. At least, that’s what it seems like when you look at the writing credits. The real story is it takes a team of writers to put together each episode, but there is always one head writer who will take charge for their own episodes.

Well, it also turns out that the cast members play a role, too. While attending the National Film and Television School (NFTS) Scotland conference on April 28, Outlander producer David Brown explained that the writing process would be nothing without the actors.

This really isn’t that surprising. After all, Sam Heughan explained during Outlander Season 3 why he didn’t completely follow the script during Episode 6, “A. Malcolm.” He’d developed this character and felt part of the script not quite true to who Jamie was and had become in the 20 year break. Some of that comes from playing the character for the last three years, but another part comes from reading the books and getting a deeper understanding of the role.

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It turns out that the actors are part of the script consultation part. Brown didn’t go into details of how, but it’s good to know that they do have a say. Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have both shared that they’ve read the books and fans love that they’ve taken the role of Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Fraser seriously.

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Of course, the writers will have the majority of control, along with the showrunners. They’re the ones who will develop the storylines that jump from one storyline to another and develop Diana Gabaldon’s words into a script. However, the show wouldn’t be the same without the actors’ inputs.

Next: A look at the work that goes into the visual effects on Outlander

Are you glad to hear that the actors play a part in the scripts? Would you like to see more about the behind-the-scenes process? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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