34 Fascinating Facts from Behind the Scenes of Outlander

If you think that Game of Thrones is the only show filled with sex, war, sadism, and political positioning, you haven’t seen Outlander yet. In 2014, Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling series came to life in the hands of Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore. Fans have been learning Gaelic and clutching their plaid ever since.
Sure, Sam Heughan isn’t the spitting image of the Jamie Fraser of the books, but no one on Earth can be that Jamie. No one’s complaining about Heughan’s looks or skill as an actor, BTW. On the contrary, Heughan and co-star Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies are winning Outlander fans over with their vivid depictions of Jamie, Claire, and Frank/Blackjack.
We’ve gathered some fun facts about Outlander that you may or may not know. This list is both for devoted Outlander fans and curious TV watchers wondering if they should watch the series. Dinna fash. There’s something for everyone.

Heughan is a sci-fi nerd and was anxious to work with Ron Moore because he was such a big fan of his work on Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. After the show got going, he would try to pick Moore’s brain and discuss his worldview from a sci-fi perspective.   
Source: E! Online

Newcomers to Outlander Will Learn a lot About European History but with Lots of Sex Mixed In

If you want to learn about the 1700s Highlands, you’ve come to the right place. Prepare to learn all kinds of facts from Outlander but you also get to see action and nakedness. You’re welcome. 
Source: E! Online

A Closed Set Means Over a Dozen People

There’s definitely sex in the books and on screen – not gratuitous – and Ron Moore has not been shy about bringing those scenes to the screen. For Claire and Jamie Fraser’s wedding night – he’s a virgin – Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan had to be naked in front of a crew of around 16.
Heughan said that his modesty patch didn’t really help much and it was really tricky trying to capture the mood. But you’d never be able to tell it from watching the episode.
Source: Professional Fangirls

The Outlander Stars Actually Like Each Other

Menzies may look like he’s having a good time torturing his Outlander co-stars but has gotten quite tight with them. The trio hang out often and prank each other.  
Source: The Wrap

Ronald D. Moore’s Wife and Producing Partner Were Outlander Fans

As his last project, Battlestar Galactica ended, Outlander Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore’s wife, Terry Dresbach, and his producing partner, Maril Davis, convinced him to read the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. Moore read the first book and realized that he had his next project.   
Source: Collider 

Tourism Has Shot Up By 500% in Scotland

As the show is almost entirely shot on location, Scotland is seeing a huge boom in their tourist bookings. Various Scottish tour companies have experienced a 500% increase in bookings for Outlander-themed tours. Maybe skip the Wentworth tour, though. Unless, you know, sadism is your thing. Visit Scotland, beware the stones.
Thank you, Outlander.   

Source: Tourism Intelligence Scotland

Caitriona Balfe Can Hold Her Liquor

During an Outlander Q&A panel, when asked which actor could drink the others under the table, everyone pointed at Caitriona Balfe. She and her castmates also take a nip or two of whiskey while on set to ease into those more difficult scenes. Balfe says, “We don’t drink our way through our jobs but occasionally you just have to be careful when you to go those emotional places.”  
Sources: Professional Fangirl and Vulture

Don’t Try to Put Outlander in a Box

Despite PR shots like the one used here, the Outlander books are not romance novels and have been very hard to categorize. Outlander can best be described as sci-fi and historical fiction and are filled with facts about botany, medicine, agriculture, witchcraft, and a nation’s struggle for independence… all told in a real world. Outlander fans will fling some Gaelic at you if you simply call the series romance. Besides, the showrunner is a sci-fi guy!   
Source: NPR

Two Minor Book Characters Became Two Major Sources of Comic Relief On the Show

Two minor book characters become stars on Starz. Angus and Rupert have emerged as the comic relief on a show where things get hot and heavy and often just heavy.
Angus, Stephen Walters, and Rupert, Grant O’Rourke, have been given the spotlight and fans love it. Outlander author Diana Gabaldon approves. She loves Angus and Rupert too. We especially love the way Angus bid Claire farewell in the season 1 finale.
Source: E! Online

The Costumes Are Amazing… with a Little Help from Cheese Graters

The executive producer’s wife, Terry Dresbach, is the lead costume designer on OutlanderThe costumes are accurate in cut, color, region, the character’s station, and are the result of painstaking skill and labor by the costume team.  
To achieve the worn look, clothing is aged with cheese graters, burned with blow torches and baked. Nobody tell Black Jack Randall. He might get some ideas.
Dresbach has also worked on CarnivàleBuffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Shield.
Sources: E! Online and New York Times

Claire and Jamie’s Wedding Costumes Are So Bomb, They Are Currently On Tour

Outlander fans super loved Claire and Jamie’s costumes from “The Wedding” episode. The costumes are currently on tour. You can see photos here. We Swooned, Dude. Straight up, Swooned. 
Source: Nerdist

Sam Heughan Dropped His Modesty Patch in a Toilet and the Whole Crew Knew

Heughan dropped his modesty patch in a urinal on a break during the filming of the famous wedding night scene. He said that the call for a replacement went out over the radio to the entire crew. Copy that.  
Source: 92Y

Diana Gabaldon First Thought Sam Heughan Looked “Grotesque”

When Gabaldon first saw pictures of Sam Heughan, she thought he looked “grotesque.” She didn’t think it was possible to find actors who look exactly like her book characters. She’s grown close with the actors, though, and appreciates their talents, saying what they do is “magic.”  
Also, after seeing “The Wedding,” she complimented Heughan by saying, “You’ve got a fine ass, man.” Ta dah.
Sources: Mashable and 92Y

George R.R. Martin and Diana Gabaldon Are Homies

Like the Game of Thrones book series by George R.R. Martin, author Diana Gabaldon wrote the first Outlander book over 20 years ago. Gabaldon and Martin are friends. Gabaldon likes to talk friendly sh*t about how fast she writes compared to Martin. 
Photos: Zap2It, Getty
Source: Zap2It

Sam Heughan Spends More Time In the Makeup Chair Than Any of the Other Actors

The intense scarring on his back – thanks, Black Jack – requires nearly three hours and three people.  
The removal takes 45 minutes but Heughan enjoys the process because it requires oils and lavender flannels. It also requires the tears of all of the Outlander fans who can’t be there to help.
Source: E! Online

The Scotsman Who Inspired Outlander Had a Cameo in Season 1

Author Diana Gabaldon was watching an episode of Doctor Who when she got the idea for Outlanderover 20 years ago. Here’s an easter egg for diehard fans. Frazer Hines played Highlander Jamie McCrimmon on Doctor Who and made a cameo as the religious warden of Wentworth on Outlander. Gabaldon suggested that he play the part, knowing that fans would get a kick out of it. 
Source: Vulture

The Sexual Assault Scene Was Very Tough On The Actors

In the Outlander Season 1 finale, Tobias Menzies, Black Jack Randall, has a very tough scene with Sam Heughan who plays Jamie Fraser. Randall sexually assaults Fraser in a very excruciating-to-watch way. The scene is pivotal in the overall storyline and required a lot of energy and concentration from both actors.  
Between takes, Menzies and Heughan completely ignored each other.  
Source: Zap2It

The Scottish Independence Vote Happened During Filming

The Scottish independence vote took place as Outlander filmed in Scotland. The vote was defeated by 55% but that number showed where popular opinion landed.  
Source: The Guardian

Each Actor Wears Their Kilt in a Specific Style

Each Outlander actor who plays a Highlander has their own way of wearing a kilt. Sam Heughan wears his with a bit of skirt hanging down behind. Graham McTavish who plays Dougall wears his like a Highlander boss, pulled up over the shoulder.  
Steven Walters who plays Angus has a pauper’s knot clasped with a special rock from Scotland, where Outlander is filmed. Walters was told to never let the rock leave Scotland, so when he lost the rock… he lost it. Later, when the rock was recovered, we imagine he got drunk with it and sang to it like Angus probably would.
All of the actors wear the kilt in the traditional way, though. Absolutely nothing underneath.
Source: E! Online

Menzies Said He Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead in a Kilt

Tobias Menzies has said that he wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a kilt and that it is “a singularly ridiculous piece of clothing.” Sam Heughan has said that Menzies is the “absolute definition of a Sassenach” and it might be sacrilegious to wear a kilt. Heughan has now made it his life’s ambition to get Menzies in a kilt. 
Source: Zap2It

The Outlander Cast Was Required to Learn Gaelic

The Outlander cast had to learn Gaelic and not a modernized version of it, the 1700s version of it. A Gaelic instructor works with the actors to perfect the language. One word the cast and crew can all say is “Sassenach.” The word means “outlander” and is a diss by the Highlanders regarding the British. But Claire is an exception and “Sassenach” is said with affection and all cute like by Jamie.  
Source: E! Online

Sam Heughan Mastered Wearing a Kilt

Outlander’s leading male actor, Sam Heughan, is Scottish and has become an expert at putting on his kilt and wearing it in its many forms. He shared a trailer with his co-star Caitriona Balfe and apparently his lying on the floor to get into the 12 yards of fabric caused a considerable amount of turbulance. Balfe quipped, “Don’t come a knocking if the trailer is rocking.” All we have to say is, “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.”  
Source: Professional Fangirls
Caitriona Balfe read books on ‘40s-era combat nurses and watched movies from the period to lay the groundwork for Claire.  
Source: UPI
They loved it so much, they binge-watched the entire series on set between shooting scenes. 

Heughan Has Shot Up from an Unknown to a Supernova

Before the show started, Heughan was a virtual unknown. Now organizers have to hire bouncers at Outlander conventions because his fanbase is so crazy about him. But on the streets of Scotland, Heughan can fly a little under the radar because he says people there take things such as fame with a “pinch of salt.”    
Source: Herald Scotland

Tobias Menzies Says that He Doesn’t Get Fan Mail Like the Other Stars

Hmm, wonder why. 
Source: The Wrap

Jamie Could Have Been Sean Connery or the Neesons

If Outlander had of been made in another time, you may have seen Sean Connery or Liam Neeson donning the kilt.
Gabaldon has said that she’s been approached about making Outlander into a film many times in the past but never thought it truly possible to take such dense material and make one feature. When Outlander was being considered as a feature film, Gabaldon said her choices for Jamie were Neeson or Connery.

We can’t help but think that the scene at Wentworth would have gone a lot differently if Jamie had a certain set of skills. 

Photo and source: eonline.com

Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies Wrote Love Letters to Each Other as Their Characters

Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies wrote to each other as their characters Claire and Frank to create intimacy and emphasize their long distance relationship during World War II. 
Menzies actually redacted a lot of his letters which truly delighted Balfe. “He’s quite funny.”
Source: Radio Times

The Medical Remedies Claire Uses Are Accurate

More cow dung! The medical remedies used in the series are authentic to the Scottish Highlands. Cow dung was the rubbing alcohol of its time. Abrasion. Cow dung! Scratch. Cow Dung! Open wound. Cow dung!  
Also, if you used your 1940s World War II skills in a really obvi way, they’d burn you at the stake.
Source: E! Online

Menzies Said “No” to the C*ck Sock

Menzies went full frontal for Outlander. Twice! Now that’s giving all to your art. When asked if that was some kind of CGI during the Jenny assault scene, Menzies said, “It’s all me. We’re all old and hairy enough now; we all know what it is! [Laughs.] I didn’t bother with a modesty pouch, because that’s what the scene is about — is he up or not?” Now everyone knows that the actor is uncircumcised.
Plus, Menzies believes Black Jack could take Ramsay Bolton. We see a spinoff.
Source: Vulture

Tobias Menzies Had to Warn His Mum About Some of the Scenes in the Show

Asked by E! Online if he would let his parents watch some of the more explicit scenes on Outlander, Menzies responded, “Weirdly I hadn’t really thought about that. I feel a bit odd. My tummy’s doing a funny thing thinking of my mum watching it, so I think I might have to warn her. Yeah, you’re right. I’m glad we had this conversation.” 
Source: E! Online