“Outlander” premiered Saturday (Aug. 9) on Starz, much to the delight of long-time fans of the book series. Some plot points were very faithful to the books, while others were changed, added or removed. This is television, after all. It’s a different medium, and a different way to tell the story. But one scene in particular captured a good bit of attention from fans on social media.
Spoilers be ahead, ye ken.
During a visit to Castle Leoch, a very intimate moment occurs inside the ruins when Frank performs oral sex on Claire.
Some non-book readers found the scene gratuitous and pointless. Book fans, however, had a lot to say about the scene. In the book, not only do Claire and Frank not visit Castle Leoch (she knows of it as a “picturesque ruin,” but it isn’t a scene specifically) but later in the book, Claire alludes to the fact that she wasn’t as well-versed in the receiving end of such things (in fact, some comments have mentioned that oral sex was “Jamie’s special gift” to her.)
So we asked writer and producer Ron D. Moore why this scene, in particular, was included, and it turns out, it was in his script but was also developed through the interactions between Tobias Menzies and Caitriona Balfe during filming. “I was going to say that it was actually something that wasn’t written, but developed on the stage between the director and the actors,” he says in an email to Zap2it. “But a quick check of the script shows that it really was something that I wrote.”
He continues, “I’m guessing that I wanted to show Claire as empowered sexually as a person and having her own appetites and desires … I do know that the moment itself drifted in and out of the cut as we worked on the scene in editing (because the length of the scene itself changed several times.)”
He says someone remembered a single take where Claire actually pulled Frank’s head down, so he “found the take and decided it was great, so it ended up in the show.”
Still wondering about it? Maybe we’ve all been reading it wrong anyway. In an online Facebook chat on Friday (Aug. 8), Diana Gabaldon answered fan questions, and had this to say:
User: Diana, in the show it appears that Frank is performing oral sex on Claire. I could have sworn in the book it’s mentioned they’ve never gone that far …
Diana Gabaldon: Yeah? Show me where it says that.
What do you think fans? Do you agree with Moore that it showed off Claire’s empowered sexuality? One Zap2it writer posits that that scene helps create a more concrete relationship between Claire and Frank, but do you still wish they had held off on a moment like that for later between Jamie and Claire?
“Outlander” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.