Outlander spin-off challenges: Finding a match for Jamie and Claire's iconic relationship

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as Claire and Jamie Fraser
-Credit: (Image: Associated Press)


The TV mastermind behind the hit series Outlander has confessed that the electric connection between stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe is key to the show's triumph.

Maril Davis acknowledged the absence of Jamie and Claire Fraser would pose a significant hurdle for the audience appeal of the upcoming spin-off, Blood of My Blood. She also mentioned that Diana Gabaldon, the creator of the Outlander novels, is thrilled with the concept for the new venture.

At a recent Variety TV event, Davis shared insights, reports the Scottish Express: "Ron [co-executive producer Ronald D Moore] and I since the beginning... have always wanted to spin it off and Matt Roberts, who's our showrunner currently, came to us and was like 'I've this idea, I wanna do the story of Jamie's parents."

She continued, explaining the challenges and opportunities in expanding the Outlander universe: "With Outlander we've been very lucky because there's all these books but we're never gonna catch Diana at this point because we're going to wrap up our eighth season and she's still writing one more book. So we're like, what other ways can we expand this universe?"

Davis added: "Obviously everyone watches the show primarily because of Jamie and Claire and their amazing relationship and it's hard to figure out who else can have that kind of relationship. There's no books written about Jamie's parents, but there's kernels, there's little breadcrumbs along the way, you know their basic story but it's not fully fleshed out.

"And Matt said I have a really interesting idea for it, I wanna do that but I want to add in Claire's parents. I was like, whoah, that's really interesting, I hadn't really thought about that."

The forthcoming Blood of My Blood shall detail the incidents of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacKenzie's "parallel love story" as situated in 18th century Scotland, as well as Henry Beauchamp and Julia Moriston's romance that unfolded during the First World War. The plot reveals how their offspring ended up becoming entities that traverse through time.

According to Davis, she and Roberts phoned Gabaldon, the author behind Underbelly's original novels, and presented her with the concept prior to green-lighting the spin-off series.

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She remarked, conceding with an air of apprehension: "That's always very nerve-wracking because you want Diana to buy into this, you want her support. She's been very supportive over the years and been an amazing ally and she was like, 'I have no interest personally in writing about Claire's parents but I love your idea, go with God, go for it."

She continued by saying: "We have her input. We'd never do anything she didn't love. She's very honest about things. She watches daily, she watches the cuts and certainly gives us input. But she's been incredibly supportive of what we've done."

Further, Davis shared an intriguing tidbit regarding the author's vivid creativity. She disclosed: "A lot of people ask her 'do you look at Caitriona and Sam who portray Claire and Jamie and do you write for them? ' And she's like, 'absolutely not, they're in my head and they will continue to be.'"

Davis remarked: "Matt and I always go to her anytime there's a major decision, whenever we have a major decision to kill off a character or to keep a character alive."

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