Zap2it spoke with “Outlander” executive producer Maril Davis in preparation for the Season 2 finale, “Dragonfly in Amber.” But we also had to ask for whatever tiny tidbits we could get about Seasons 3 and 4, which are coming in 2017 and 2018 on Starz.
Davis definitely teased some fun details, but be warned — spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the books.
Zap2it: There’s so much material before the voyage to the Caribbean even starts, but there’s so much material once they’re on the sea voyage and in the Caribbean. Does it feel like a daunting amount to adapt?
Maril Davis: No. In fact, we’re so excited about doing Season 3 because for us, “Dragonfly” was a difficult book to adapt … because so much happens to Claire and Jamie in Paris off-screen. So we were having to dramatize that and show things.
With “Voyager,” there’s so much great, creative, dramatic moments that happen with Jamie and his time post-Culloden, in the cave and everything else that happens to him. Then there’s Claire and Frank and Brianna and the pain and the emotional journey [Claire] goes on having Frank raise a child that’s not his own. We’re so excited about it. We’re also excited about the back half and the ship voyage and the journey to Jamaica. We’re well into it now, and I’m really excited about how it’s turning out.
We hope Frank is shown a lot in the 20th-century part, we’ve been missing Tobias Menzies as Frank in Season 2.
I love Frank too and obviously Ron does and we’re such fans of Tobias, but I know the fans are sometimes more Team Jamie. But I truly believe that with Claire consistently having Frank in her memory and wanting to go back to him in the first season, and then in the second season trying to make sure her actions in the 1700s don’t come to the point where Frank is never born, I think he’s always at the forefront of her mind.
It’s so interesting now that she’s gone back to him and what are they gonna do? So yes, we are definitely planning on showing that story. It’s so important and integral to the 20 years Jamie and Claire are separated and what happened there and how that has shaped Claire’s life.
Frank on the show is so well fleshed out as a character, you can see why Claire loves him.
For me, in the books you like Frank, he’s a nice guy, but you don’t really get to know him because she hasn’t spent that much time with him before she goes through the stones, so we felt it was important to round him out a little bit more so you can understand why she would want to go back.
Certainly once she meets Jamie you’re never going to root for Claire to go back, you’re just not, but I think you have to understand why she’d want to. And without creating a more well-rounded character you’re never going to buy that she’s still thinking about [Frank]. But I always loved the fact that he was such a good guy. It’ll be interesting to see how we deal with him moving forward. There are certain things about Frank in “Voyager” that come out that he’s not so nice a guy. I don’t know if we’ll play those or not, because I think our Frank is a little different from book Frank.
Which character in ‘Voyager’ are you most looking forward to casting?
My favorite character, the one I’m most looking forward to but who I’m also most stressed about, is young Ian. Young Ian is by far my favorite character besides Claire and Jamie. I just love him. For people who haven’t read the books, they don’t understand what a big character he becomes. He’s so beloved. But I don’t know who he is yet, I don’t know where we’re going to find him, because I do have a definite picture of him in my mind.
Older Fergus will be interesting, now that we’ve cast young Fergus. That’s the other complex part of “Outlander” that’s difficult — you have a lot of characters you see young and then you have to recast them older and that’s always really challenging.
Any chance of you filming Season 4 in the U.S.? Most of it does take place there.
I would love that, personally. For me, one of the high points of doing “Outlander” is I’ve never been on a show where we shot the show where it actually takes place. To actually be able to do it in Scotland added, for us, a feeling of authenticity. I would love to come back to North Carolina, but I just don’t know [if we will]. We built such a great facility in Scotland. But I don’t know, with this whole Brexit thing … I’m not sure what’ll happen, but I would love to do it.