Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton, and Richard Rankin have a layer to their characters that none of the others do in Outlander.
During the STARZ winter TCAs, there were a lot of questions about Outlander Season 5. That was only natural, right? However, there was an interesting one for Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton, and Richard Rankin when it comes to the extra layer to their characters that none of the others have.
Period dramas see actors take on roles from different times. There’s nothing wholly new about that. Many of these actors will tell you that getting into the costumes and stepping onto the sets helps them get into the time period, but they also have to think about posture, their phrasing, and their body language.
For Balfe and co., there’s an extra step they need to take. After all, they’re not just 21st-century actors playing 18th-century characters. They’re 21st-century actors playing 20th-century characters in the 18th century. It’s a layer that no other character on the show has right now, and this is something that makes it fun.
Jamie and Murtagh are currently the only two with the knowledge that Claire, Bree, and Roger are from the future. Just the idea of telling anyone else is dangerous, even the likes of Young Ian, Marsali, or Fergus. They’d be viewed with suspicion and danger, viewed as witches due to their ability to time travel.
The only other character we’ve seen who has time-traveled was Otter Tooth, and that was more through a story. He had news of the future and wanted the Native tribes to follow his rules. However, they all viewed him with suspicion and he was eventually killed for his actions.
Because of this, the three need to monitor everything they do and say. They need to watch out for phrases that they might utter, such as an “okay,” or they have to avoid sharing too much. Claire slipped up in the fourth season when meeting George Washington, bringing up the myth that he spent his time chopping down cherry trees.
For Balfe, this is a rewarding part of the show. Not only is she playing a modern woman, but she has to fit in with the 18th century way of life. She has to find a way to offer her knowledge in a way the people of the 18th century will listen, and we do get to see some of that in Outlander Season 5.
What do you love about Outlander? What are you excited to see in the fifth season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Outlander Season 5 premieres on Feb. 16 on STARZ.