Outlander castaversaries: Wil Johnson and John Bell joined the series

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

Outlander found two cast members for Season 3 on this day in history

On this day in 2016, we found out two new cast members had joined Outlander. The search was over for Joe Abernathy and Young Ian Murray.

Wil Johnson and John Bell were announced in the roles. We’d have no idea how long they would be around for, not really knowing how much of the third book would make it to the screens. Sadly, I don’t think enough with Joe made it to the show, but it’s hard when there was so little time and so many people only focused on Claire and Jamie reuniting.

As for Young Ian, it was clear a good actor was needed. This was always going to be a character who would be needed for future seasons.

Wil Johnson as Joe Abernathy

We only got Joe for a few episodes in Outlander Season 3, but he certainly made his mark. Wil Johnson brought everything I felt was needed from the character in the book. He needed to be strong against the racism he would experience in med school, and he needed to be someone Claire could strike up a close friendship to but not cross that line.

Johnson stepped onto our screens in Episode 2 of the season toward the end. He walked into the classroom and just looked around, finding a place for him. It was only natural that he would gravitate toward Claire, the other outcast in the classroom. From that moment, without even needing the books, it was clear that they would become best friends.

Outlander Season 3 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

I would love to see more of Claire and Joe’s time at school. How long did the death glares last? At what point did everyone realize that actually Claire and Joe belonged there? Did Joe face worse treatment than Claire because of the color of his skin, and how did he prove himself throughout his days in med school and even in work?

Maybe Outlander could consider a mini spin-off for the character? Just one season to give us some of those moments.

John Bell as Young Ian Murray

Book fans knew that one of the Murray children was necessary on the show, and we needed a good actor. Young Ian shows up during Outlander Season 3, Episode 6, quickly sharing everything he can with Claire when she returns. He’s eager, young, naive, and kind.

He also gets some difficult storylines. Bell would need to show the fear of being kidnapped, but stand strong against Geillis Duncan Abernathy in the Jamaica storyline. Now we have the storyline of him leaving the Mohawk, but not by choice. He’s grown considerably since first meeting him in Season 3.

Right now, there’s no need for a spin-off series. It’s going to depend on how things work out with Outlander Season 6, and how much of the book storyline can be adapted.

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What did you think when you first heard of the casting announcements? What would you have loved to see in their respective storylines? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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