Ronald D. Moore's Outlander Series Casts Scotsman Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser

Outslander Series Casts Sam HeughanAnd now, it is official: Scotsman Sam Heughan has landed the lead role of Jamie Fraser in Outlander, a Starz original series being adapted by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore from Diana Gabaldon’s series of international bestsellers.

Rumors of Heughan’s casting first circulated last week, though at the time Starz insisted there was “no done deal.”

RELATED | Starz Renews Da Vinci’s Demons for Season 2

“Oh. My. God. That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart,” novelist Gabaldon raves in a statement. “Having seen Sam Heughan not just act, but be Jamie, I feel immensely grateful to the production team for their painstaking attention to the soul of the story and characters.”

Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Heughan’s credits include the British miniseries Island at War and the UK sudser Doctors (where he played drug peddler Scott Neilson).

The Outlander series is being written by Ronald D. Moore, who will serve as executive producer with Jim Kohlberg. Starz ordered 16 episodes, which will begin filming in Scotland this fall with an eye on a 2014 premiere.

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90 Comments
  1. Dannie says:

    Wait…Ronald D. Moore is doing a show based on chick lit?? Mind. Blown. (and not in a good way)

    • courts says:

      Clearly you haven’t read the books. O.O

    • Ayira says:

      Chick lit? Not in a good way? OMG. You haven’t cracked open one of the books yet, have you? Although they have been sold as romance, sex, erotica, time travelling, etc., etc., etc., is all of those things and none at the same time, and so much more. There’s romance and time travelling in Dr. Who, and that’s not considered chick whatchamacallit!

      • dee123 says:

        Don’t compare Doctor Who (not Dr. Who, ugh) to this. Apples and oranges.

      • TeriB says:

        Some of the best reading ever. If you can’t get into these books there’s something wrong. Diana Galbadon makes it seem like you’re part of the story. Also, being of Scottish descent, it has renewed an interest in my geneology and a desire to learn gaelic. No easy feat if you’ve ever tried to learn it.

    • Susan Smith says:

      This series of Diana Gabaldon’s books is so much more than romance. Its root are deep in the history of Scotland and as you get into the later books they make their way to the Americas in the 1770’s. The author has done her homework on the way of living, the medicines used and much more. There is enough intense fighting and violence to enthrall the masculine reader. I challenge you to read this book.

    • Lexi says:

      I watched (and loved) BSG and I can say that Moore did an amazing job of portraying the emotional depth behind the characters in that series. Sci-fi can have depth and I have no doubt he will do a fantastic job with outlander.

  2. Carole Adamczyk says:

    chick lit – read it

    • Carolyn says:

      Really? All of them? I don’t know how one could possibly categorize them into such a small box. There’s more male fighting and wars going on that any chick lit books I’ve read.

  3. courts says:

    I hope he’s big. I’m going to need to see some righteously awesome claymore swinging. I bet if they get a second season and get to the Battle of Culloden, people won’t be saying ‘chick lit’ any longer. :S

  4. Justine says:

    Definitely not ChickLit!

  5. Dav says:

    The whole premise of the story makes it check lit. OK, maybe not chick lit but definately a romance novel. A woman is transported back in time and meets a handsome, romantic warrior and now she’s torn between the love of two men. Oh please…that is a romance novel. It might be high quality, but it’s still a romance novel.

    • sm says:

      My dad – who normally reads war or suspense – has read the full series. You should also check out the Lord John series which is a spin-off of the Outlander series. Does it have romance – yes. But it is also much more than romance.

    • Jazz says:

      To classify this story as just a Romance would be doing it a disservice. There are way too many other elements in it other than romance. It’s a Scifi, Fantasy, Historical fiction, romance adventure. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do so. You might be surprised.

    • MandaJ says:

      Hate to gang up on you Dave but Outlander really is Historical Fiction with a touch of epic romance. You definitely should read the series. It was recommended to me by 2 very straight male friends and my husband has read them too. The “Oh please…” was so condescending especially when you know not of what you speak. If you dare pick it up, happy reading. We told you so. ;)

      • Debbie says:

        First of all the outlander series are quality researched historical books written with such depth that the guys that have throw away comments calling them chic books are probably threatened by how a Real Man feels inside about his woman and is not afraid to show it. Every good story has a certain amount of all that’s in the books to appeal to the well read reader to keep them interested and this series does that and more. I’m married to a Real Man who enjoys these books as much as I do and looks forward to more of the same quality. Debbie

      • Love the cable series route a la “Game of Thrones”, “White Queen”. Have been a huge fan for years, wondering what took sooo long. Though I’ve been singularly unsuccessful in convincing anyone else to read the series – maybe because they’re 800+ pages – I can’t get enough, have read and reread most of the series. Not your grannie’s romance novels. Agreed. good historical fiction with plenty of sex between two fascinating adults who have real conversations. He’s fluent in 5 languages, able to dance in the company of kings, and swing a claymore to protect kin and country. What more could you ask for?

    • BabyFirefly says:

      True Blood books could be considered romance, and plenty of men like that show. I’m sure the guy who gave us BSG and DS9 isnt going to give us a fluffy romance series. They will most likely make sure it appeals to men with lots of nudity and violence. I gave the first Sookie book to my bf, and he couldn’t even get through it, but likes True Blood.

    • liz says:

      Exactly. And really, even if it is a romance novel or ‘chicklit’ that doesn’t make it bad. A quality story is a quality story.

    • Meg says:

      Just because there is romance IN it, doesn’t mean it’s a romance BOOK. there is tons of things to appeal to men… Calling it a romance novel is doing it an injustice, especially considering how hard DG fought to keep it out of the romance section.

      • Sunny says:

        NOT CHICK LIT!! Oh, and on a side note: Men could certainly benefit from reading and taking notes from Jamie =)

    • courts says:

      Such a lovely sexist comment. You sound like a winner.

  6. Lizzy says:

    Dav, it’s really not a romance novel. Yes, there’s romance in the novel, but there’s romance in many pieces of literature. And the saga is about much more than Claire’s love of two men. Try the description this way: a WWII combat veteran finds himself in the 1740s Scotland, is forced to ally with locals, and fights through the epic battles of the era. During all of this, he wonders if he can get home–and how.

    Doesn’t sound so chicklit now, does it? And just think, the he in my description is a she. Whenever a man reads a book about a woman, he automatically assumes it’s chick lit.

    • Carly says:

      Thank you, Lizzy! People writing the books off (pun intended) because they feature a female protagonist is really unfortunate. Oh well. We’ll just tell them all “I told you so” next spring.

      ps. LOVING the decision to cast Sam Heughan.

      • teach says:

        ITA It’s Gone With The Wind in Scotland. GWTW also features a female principal character. Didn’t stop it from being a blockbuster.

  7. JCK says:

    I wonder if they will dye his hair, as Jamie is a redhead. Other than that, he looks good for the role.

  8. Carolyn says:

    So much more than chick lit! There are wars, battles, deception, complex social and moral issues…the most amazing historical fiction ever written! Sure, there’s great (HOT) romance too. A little something for the whole family…as long as they’re over 18… Men will not be disappointed…and certainly women will not be either.

  9. Delia says:

    Oh, please….let’s OWN them as romance novels. Guys, y’all just need to be secure enough in your masculinity to read them.

  10. Ashley says:

    Yay, I love the books and look forward to seeing how it all plays out!

  11. Maura says:

    It is a romance novel. It is also a historical novel, a political intrigue novel,a war novel and a sci-fi novel. I worked in a bookstore for years and sold this to women and men alike. It is many different things but first and foremost it is an excellent series.

  12. Patchi says:

    I think he’s perfect I’m surprised that they found someone good so quick, for some reason I didn’t have high hopes and thought for sure they were gonna screw this up. I need to see more but he is a perfect Jamie. I’m so exited for this show I love these books can’t wait to see it on Tv, I’m only expecting good things from now on I have high hopes after this casting. Let’s see who’s gonna play Claire now

  13. Drew says:

    Never even heard of the book, but the story reminds me of The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan.

    Now THERE is a reference that nobody will get. :)

    • Sha says:

      DUDE! I haven’t thought about that movie in years.

    • BabyFirefly says:

      WOW, I forgot all about that movie! That was one of the few movies I can recall really getting to me when I was young. I was a nervous wreck at the end when her husband was trying to stop her.

      • Drew says:

        It’s a pretty interesting movie. It took me forever to track down a copy after misplacing my recording years ago. These days, Amazon sells it on DVD. Man, the internet has made things easy.

        This one goes well with “Somewhere in Time”.

  14. Maryann says:

    I’m glad they cast someone that most of us don’t associate with other roles

  15. liz says:

    Niiiiiiiiice. And I have complete faith in Moore.

  16. This is one series i won’t be watching. I tried reading the first book and once i realized that Claire was married–somewhat happily–before falling through the wormhole, i was done. there is nothing romantic about adultery. Then, of course is the fact that Jamie beats Claire. Sorry. Not happening.

    • sm says:

      Here we go again…. a man beating his wife was a normal thing during the time period, so I would expect that behavior in a historically acurate work of fiction. And yes, I know that doesn’t make it right.

      • liz says:

        Its also “historically accurate” that some men didn’t beat their wives. Just cause it was more commonplace, didn’t mean there weren’t men who believed that it was wrong to do that. For every horrifically oppressive system, there’s allies in that system who think its wrong, at every point in history.

        • sm says:

          And if you read the whole book, you would know that he never did it again and also defended a child who was being abused by his father. You would also know that he takes a beating meant as punishment for a young woman.

          • liz says:

            I have read the whole book, the whole series actually. And ya, he does change which is nice to see. Cause abusive men *can* change; they can become aware of their own actions and start to deal with their emotions in more productive and less damaging ways.

      • I don’t care if it is historically accurate. there was no need to portray the beating in the book and it limits the number of people who would be willing/able to watch it as it could cause problems for anyone who has been beaten and brutalized.

        Also, it would be short sighted to believe that every husband beat his wife just because it was accepted–or more accepted than it is today.

        • sm says:

          So, according to this, tv & movies should never show a beating. So please tell me, have you ever watched a tv show or movie about the Nazis and the Holocaust? Or have you ever watched something on the Jim Crow or the Civil Rights movement? What about Gone With The Wind or Roots? I guess we should just erase all the wrong in history so as not to offend someone. I was taught that we must learn from the past and move forward. Not erase it.

          • cgsmiles says:

            excellent response…always someone finding something to whine about..seriously…

          • What I was saying was that people who have been abused in the past would have problems watching such scenes because it could trigger PTSD. I was not suggesting that we “erase all the wrong in history.” We already know that men have felt the need to express their dominance over anyone they consider lesser than through the use of their fists, so why do we need to see it?

        • Lacey says:

          I really wish people who have never been beaten would stop talking about it like its their cause. I was beaten for years and the one little scene in this book is no way triggering.

          And its not like Jamie and Claire were showing classic domestic violence. He was obviously reluctant but felt that she needed the smack on the bum because if it was one of his men, he would have laid them out flat. But he even says something like “beating a woman with your fist? That is cowardly.”

          So please, for the sake of all the people you are choosing to champion: don’t unless we invite you to.

          When it comes to “adultery”, I take the view that Claire’s priest does: she was not married to Frank in the years she was married to Jamie. The date on her marriage license is 1930something, and by the time that happen Jamie (her “first” husband) is dead. It’s a bit wibbly-wobbly of course, but what was she suppose to do, submit to Jack Randall and assuredly show the readers what abuse is like before she is killed horribly? Priorities.

    • Lovesthisish says:

      Oh stop, you make it sound as if he beat her with his fist, he spanked her with a belt on her bum!! The same way he and his sister were punished growing up… It was a way to show the cultural differences from what time to another. I felt the same way about the adultery as you until you realize that it was a forced issue and that Frank wasn’t always faithful to her either…

      • It is still abuse. It does not matter that it was done at that time; not every man would beat his wife/children because not every man would feel the need to do so.

        Does the fact that her husband cheated first make what Claire did okay? Not in my book. Even in 1944, Claire would have been able to obtain a divorce if she knew he was cheating.

        • cgsmiles says:

          then forget the books and DON’T WATCH THE SERIES…ENOUGH SAID..GEEZZZZZZZ…GROW UP…

          • I already said I was not going to watch the show or read the books. The fact that you felt the need to point out that i should “grow up” reflects your need to do so. It is the child that chooses to stoop to the “grow up” argument.

        • Meg says:

          IT WAS A SPANKING. We get your position, as you’ve posted it plenty, find a new page to troll.

          • I love it when people cry “troll” whenever they find someone that doesn’t agree with them and when they cannot verbalize an argument to combat said troll. I posted one comment and was attacked by people who apparently love the book so much that they can’t see past their idealized view of the book. I read as much as I could stomach, but it seems like people have been so desensitized to violence against women that they don’t mind it. That is a scary thing and it is no wonder why the Republicans have been able to make so many strides towards eliminating women’s rights because when people cannot see that a spanking isn’t just a spanking, especially when it is used to put a woman in her place, then there is a major problem.

    • Nicole says:

      All of the horribly violent things that happen in this book and the spanking is the thing that bothers you most?

  17. BabyFirefly says:

    Being historically accurate can still be offensive and triggering for some. It’s a legitimate reason to skip a show, and really doesn’t deserve that tone. On the flip side, it always peeves me that historical accuracy usually ends when it comes to historical figures sexuality.

    • liz says:

      +1 this whole comment. People can skip whatever they want to if its triggering and they shouldn’t have to defend their choices.
      .
      And I hate it too, this blatant acceptance of misogyny because its “historically accurate”. Its just our contemporary attitudes looking for a way to be exploited without angering people. Historical fantasy is the worst; every law of physics can be changed, and have completely different political systems yet the one thing that *always* remains is institutionalized misogyny. Its just a lazy way for people to still enjoy the assault and hatred of women without looking at their own actions or beliefs.

      • sm says:

        Wow – lots of big words. I’m impressed. I would rather read something that is historically acurate than something that ignores it completely in order not to offend a few people.

  18. J says:

    Why do people feel free to leave negative comments when they haven’t even read the book? I’m a male and refused to read the series for a long time because I thought it was just romance but finally gave it a try and never looked back. Awesome series, awesome writer. I hope the series does well in its own right but the books are amazing!

  19. Trista says:

    History, love, sex, war, battles, time travel, and that is just in the first 100 pages. Gotta read these books, then you have to watch this show!

  20. Kat Reader says:

    I’ve learned more American history and world history from reading The Outlander series than I ever did in school. Dr Gabaldon writes historic novels with romance, Sci-fi, etc. You can’t really call her series chick lit. Try the first 100 pages of Outlander, its phenomenal.

  21. Jess says:

    People get so defensive when you dare to call this series a romance or chick series. My mom lent me the book, when it first came out. I read it and was all “I didn’t know you were into romance novels!” She got all offended and all the above arguments (from this thread) were said. I read and enjoyed the whole series. HATED the wife-beating scene. Hated the fact that she was already married. But other than that, I very much enjoyed them. Fun romance novels. A bit similar to Linda Howard’s romance “Son of the Morning.” (which I’m pretty sure came out after Outlander)

    And there’s nothing wrong with that.

  22. Sareeta says:

    I tried to read the first book, but found it really boring. I got to the point where Claire and Jaime were having sex every couple pages. Sounds exciting, right? Not at all.

    That being said, I think there’s a great story there…just I’d rather watch it than slog through the book. This actor could make a great Jaime with the right costuming and hair.

  23. GinaBobina says:

    Dr. Gabaldon is quoted in this article as a “novelist” and not the author! This Moore dude is being credited as if HE was the author?? He’s ADAPTING the original work into a script – he’s not writing the story! This series is Gabaldon, not Moore!

  24. PFitzDC says:

    Outlander fans have waited a long time for a live-action adaptation, and I couldn’t be happier that the powers that be opted for a tv series instead of a movie. And in the hands of Ronald D. Moore–well, I am very optimistic. BSG was an oft-overlooked gem, and it was clear that Moore gets characters and their emotional complexities. His work on Roswell shows he gets romance. And Deep Space Nine was even more politically intricate than BSG. But darn…does this mean I’m going to have to get Starz? :-)

  25. Elaine says:

    I hated the beating scene too, however you justify it. But it was ONE scene in a book series that runs thousands of pages. And he never did it again. I love these characters & their many adventures. I love the attention to detail given to the historical backdrop. I have re-read them so many times, my copies are very worn. I’m excited about the series but have been worried they would screw it up. So far, so good. They’ve gotten a good writer and made an excellent choice in the casting of Jamie. Once his hair becomes red, he will be perfect. I can’t wait to see who they cast as Claire. I’m waiting with baited breath for the premiere next year. Fingers crossed it will be a hit. I want to see all 8 books portrayed on screen.

  26. bookluvr says:

    Sheesh…it was a spanking! I guess if all you ever had in your pampered little life was a time out, then you are probably all freaking out, but a spanking with a belt? Big whoop. They couldn’t put her in the corner. No time. Action had to be taken. She almost got them all killed!! And she did put ALL of their lives in danger. A “sorry” wasn’t gonna cut it. If she would have been male, they would have beat him to a pulp with their fists. That’s how mad they were.

    • Meg says:

      Exactly. She nearly got everyone killed, and he spanked her. Sheesh. I’m against abuse and all that, too, but it was maybe 4 out of 7,000 pages. Get over it. It’s fiction. If you don’t like it, don’t watch, don’t read, but you’re missing out on a fantastic series over a scene that I thought was quite well done. I didn’t like that he did it, but I could understand the WHY of it all… Also, there wouldn’t have been such turmoil and conflict if she had been single and free to do as she wished. I CANNOT WAIT for this series!

      • karen says:

        Added to which, Claire did not accept the beating meekly. She made it very clear to Jamie that she would not tolerate such behavior. Throughout the series, Jamie shows that he is a man with imemse compassion and integrity.

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  28. Hey up says:

    Just so you guys know he’s actually a red head but dies it black or blonde for film roles.

  29. Tina Batson says:

    I just wanted to comment on the spanking issue. I, too, was bothered by that and am not certain I could have stayed with a man who did that, however, it was almost as though he felt he would be irresponsible in not doing it. That said, Claire made it perfectly clear it would NEVER happen again or he would lose her. He acquiesced and it never did. There was also reference to her having more power over him, emotionally even though he was stronger, physically, so, she came out on top, in my opinion.

    • Tina Batson says:

      One other response…if the spanking would cause PTSD, what in the world would the murder, rape, violence and war scenes do? Seriously! Plus, Jamie was abused probably more than ANYONE in the series. It surprises me the spanking and (sort of) cheating bothered you more than the other things! It’s certainly not a story for the squeamish!

  30. BJ says:

    Claire was in no way a meek woman, quite the opposite! Her knowledge of modern (albeit WW2) medicine as well as “what was to happen” historically nearly got her burned at the stake. Good head on her shoulders, strong willed, grace under pressure, caught in a conundrum…

    Lots of vividly written details of the periods in which the story takes place. Looking forward to seeing how other prinary characters will be cast.

    For those concerned, I’m sure each episode will air a disclaimer regarding scenes that contain language, violence and brief nudity.

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  32. Wendy Stephenson-Humphrey says:

    I’m looking forward to this; awesome, can’t put the book down, epic page turning, novel to come to life on screen. I’ve read every book in the series; and was completely spellbound by each novel. My mother, sisters, daughters, step-father and husband have read the books. Needless to say, we have had some great conversations about the series. We can’t wait to watch it together!

  33. Gloria says:

    I hope this series does the books justice. So far, not many do.

  34. Gloria says:

    I hope it goes strictly by the book… with the sex, blood and gore. If adults are offended by what really goes on in real life.they need to go into a convent or other alternate universes

  35. Ellen says:

    Can’t wait. Read the book not expecting much but light escape and was blown away. Hope they do it justice

  36. Mandy says:

    I can hardly wait. I pray though that they do not mess this up. I wonder who they will cast in the role of Claire..

  37. andrea says:

    I’m a woman, and a strong empowered woman at that- who poo-poos the Patriarchy at nearly every turn- but I can’t help what turns me on. The spanking scene was actually my favorite part. I hope they keep it in the series.
    :-P IJS.

  38. Lynneth says:

    I think it would be great if they could get Sean Connery to play Jamie’s grandfather, Fraser of Lovat.

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