Why did Outlander Season 5 change Fanny Beardsley’s story?

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Outlander Season 5 mostly stuck to the book storyline at the Beardsley homestead, except for when it came to Fanny. Why did the storyline change?

Claire and Jamie headed to the Beardsley homestead in Outlander Season 5, Episode 3. For the most part, the story was the same. However, not when it came to Fanny Beardsley. Not quite, anyway.

Why would the show change Fanny’s storyline? What does it mean for the future of the season?

Let’s just take a quick look at the changes. They were actually relatively minor. In “The Fiery Cross,” Fanny leaves the homestead with Claire and Jamie and heads to Brownsville. During the night, she gives birth to her daughter in the woods and then abandons the child by the fire for the Frasers to find her. In the series, Claire helped with the delivery of the baby and Fanny left overnight, leaving the child and the twins’ indentured paperwork.

We get the same results but in a slightly condensed way in the series. And that’s like the reason for the change. It wasn’t that the show didn’t want to tell the entire story Diana Gabaldon did, but that the show couldn’t. There just wasn’t the time.

The Beardsley homestead will have cost a lot of money to create. The idea of only being there for half an episode and then putting Claire and Jamie back on the road, with Fanny and the goats, wouldn’t have made much financial sense. And that’s what it would have taken, meaning the story at the homestead would have been sacrificed.

Keeping everything contained on one place still achieved the same outcome. Fanny still left her daughter. The rest of “The Fiery Cross” can play out as expected. There is a storyline later involving Roger, which could still play out just as it does in the book. Or we could just always be left wondering if Fanny survived being out in the woods after giving birth to her daughter. It could be one of those things like in life where Claire and Jamie don’t get to learn the outcome.

Personally, I don’t feel cheated for the change. I like that everything was kept contained in the house. It made sense for the setting of the episode and for the filming time needed for it.

The one thing it missed was the talk of the spirits of Beardsley’s deceased wives. Fanny tells Claire all about them, especially Mary Ann Beardsley. But while that was a great addition to the book, it wasn’t a necessary part of the series.

Next. Should Outlander have stuck to Jamie's storyline at the end of Free Will?. dark

What did you think of the small change? Did you begrudge not hearing more about the ghosts? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander airs Sundays at 8/7c on STARZ.  Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels!
Outlander airs Sundays at 8/7c on STARZ.  Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels! /