TV Shows

Ron Moore Dishes on OUTLANDER, Jamie and Claire Relationship

Jamie and Claire relationship gets more romantic

Outlander writer-producer Ronald D. Moore has certainly dealt with his share of major drama (see Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica), but his role in bringing Diana Gabaldon’s novels to life has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to fans looking for more of that Jamie and Claire romance they loved so much in the books.

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Moore recently to talk about Outlander, its second half of the season, and maybe some Jamie and Claire intimacy.

Outlander - Jamie and Claire

What did you get creatively excited about for the second half of the season?

I really liked where it was going, the fact that it was leaving a lot of story behind. One of the things that I was always attracted to in the series overall is that it’s a traveling story — it keeps moving. It doesn’t stay at Castle Leoch. When we were first premiering, and [Claire] arrives at the castle at the end of episode one, I know a big chunk of the audience thinks, “Oh, that’s the home. She’s going to be in that castle, and it’s going to be the story of her and all those people.” And I like the fact that no, it’s not that. It’s just going to keep traveling and going. The second half of the season just keeps moving, and by the end, we’re leaving Scotland behind. We’re going to France. It makes the production incredibly complicated because you don’t have those home-base standing sets that you’re always going back to, so you are like reinventing the show at every block. Like, “OK — this block has a completely different set of problems than the last one did.” So it’s a huge logistical problem, but creatively, it’s great. You’re constantly bringing in new characters, leaving old ones behind, starting new stories. There’s a sense of progress, which is really nice.

The audience has been warned that it gets darker in the back half, but it also gets more romantic, which makes the darkness work even better. How do you tread that fine line?

You’re aided a lot because you know where you’re going. So because I knew that where we’re going to go, that the end was pretty dark, that the last couple chapters of season one’s story were going to go to really dark and disturbing places, then you can step back and look at it and say, “OK, the journey of getting there, you don’t want to just be a slide straight down.” You want to have other peaks and valleys. You want other things playing along the way, so that when you got there, it felt like a shock, and it felt like, “Oh my God!” As opposed to, “Oh, Jesus, I’ve been dreading this all season.” You want it to have [a sense] of warning the audience and kind of giving a heads-up, that it’s not all sunnyness and light here. There are some things that are going to happen you’re not going to like, but we have these other stories, and so sort of go along with us on the ride.

Outlander finale - Jamie and Claire

Do you think that when you reach some of the darker corners, the audience will find themselves tested by them because they’re very enraptured by the romance element?

It’s hard to say. The last couple episodes are tough and challenging, [and] you’re really invested in who [the characters] are and when these horrific events happen, I think you are challenged by it. In editing and talking to the director, I always want to figure out where the line is: Where’s the point where I can’t watch anymore? What’s the point where I feel like you’re just screwing with me, and you’re just being gratuitous and putting this in my face because you can? And where is the place where you’re shying away from it, and you’re afraid of it? Trying to navigate between those two poles was the challenge of it.

Much of the success of this story relies heavily on the chemistry between Sam and Caitriona. What has that experience been like?

It’s been a happy experience. There was a lot of concern because it is baked into the concept that that better work, that you really have to buy this chemistry. So there was a lot of, “Let’s hope this works on camera.” When we put Cait and Sam together for a chemistry test, we were surprised, and it worked. We were just hoping that it was going to hold, and it did. So it’s just one of those aspects that was a pleasant surprise, and I can put it behind me and not have to worry about it again.

Outlander - Jamie and Clare wedding night

This is one of the most sexually honest shows on television. What’s it been like to put that element into your show?

That was really important because it was such a key part of the books. There was a lot of sexual content in it, a lot of graphic description, so I knew that was going to be part and parcel of what we were going to do. I talked early on with everybody saying, “Let’s try to make it authentic. Let’s try to make it real.” Most of the sex on TV, I find boring and uninteresting. It’s usually the same old thing, and it’s the candle and the gossamer fabric loading in front of the lens, and the lady sitting on top, and she’s moaning, and it’s just like, “OK, that again.” And none of feels like this is how people really have sex. Since this was a show primarily about this relationship and sex was a key part of their lives … I wanted to say, “Alright, we’ve all had sex. Let’s do this like people actually do have sex. Let’s talk about intimacy. Let’s talk about how they actually go about this. Let’s not just make it about which position we put her in or how we display her: What’s the sexy angle to do on this? Let’s try to make it like sex, like we all experience.” A lot of the credit goes to the actors because they committed to that early on, and then the directors. We would have rehearsal time, and we would spend some time and not rush through those scenes and let them experiment and try different things, so that they really felt like they were creating something in the moment.

Outlander returns to Starz on April 4th!

Read the full article at The Hollywood Reporter.