Season 5 of Outlander is on its way (!) after a year off the air, and, like Jamie and Claire Fraser, our love for the drama stands the test of time. We took a deep-dive into the making of Outlander—ahead are the 60 craziest facts you never knew about the show.
"I’ll be honest; I went straight to the Wiki page, because I wanted to find out as much as I possibly could as quickly as possible,” he says on when he found out he got the part. “I read everything that I could on that, and that’s when I got the books. I got my mum to start reading the books, and I got my gran to start reading the books. We’d all get together in a little book club and discuss."
In season three, when Jamie and Claire set sail for the Caribbean fellow Starz show Black Sails let them borrow a pirate ship for the production.
Rankin, who plays Roger Wakefield, performed his own songs during the festival scene in season four. He said to Entertainment Tonight, "I basically spent every minute of every day learning to play that track, and it drove the crew nuts, so that was fun."
“I used to live in sort-of converted stables on the grounds of a castle, and I spent a lot of my childhood running around with a pretend sword pretending to be Robert the Bruce,” he told EW in 2014.
"I knew I was supposed to be a novelist, but I didn’t know how, and I decided the way to learn was to actually write a novel. So, Outlander was my practice book," she said at the TCA press day for the PBS series The Great American Read. “I was never going to show it to anyone, so it didn’t matter what I did with it."
Heughan got really into the character. As writer Matthew B. Roberts shared, Heughan sent himself to "printing press school" to learn the craft for Jamie's print shop.
As fans know, season four was about the couple settling down with their family in North Carolina. Instead of filming in the state, they created and found sets in Scotland that resembled the landscape of North America and North Carolina.
The actor signed up for an online course to learn the Mohawk language for season four. "I just had a great time. I love languages. I’m very passionate about it," he said to Parade. "The best way to understand someone’s culture is to be able to speak their language, so I think it was important to Ian."
The actress grew up in the small village of Tydavnet with her six other siblings before moving to Paris at 19 to become a model.
Outlander takes garments very seriously. To give the clothes an appearance of being well-worn, the costume department uses everything from cheese graters to blowtorches to texturize the costumes.
Doune Castle, which doubles as Castle Leoch in the show, has seen the largest amount of new travelers with a 226.5 percent increase in visitors.
The scene in which Wakefield witnesses a Cherokee woman throw herself into the flames where her lover and father of her child are tied to a burning stake gave us all the feels. It turns out; it was a real stunt. Executive producer, Matthew B. Roberts, says a stuntwoman wore protective fireproof clothing and had protective gel on her skin and hair when she did the scene.
Gabaldon was particularly drawn to the character Jamie McCrimmon.
Katherine Heigl was rumored to play Claire.
The department is comprised of multiple rooms, all loaded with gowns and shoes. It's so big and complex that costumer designer Terry Dresbach started a digital inventory system with barcodes called "Mother" to keep track of everything.
Yes, 12. Just in case something happens.
No detail goes overlooked. "It gets painted, it gets sprayed, it gets torched. We do everything," Dresbach told Marie Claire.
The couple met on the set of HBO's Carnivàle in 2003.
When casting for Jamie began, Liam Neeson and Sean Connery were the first contenders.
Heughan interviewed with executive producer Maril Davis and co-executive producer Ira Behr, and they immediately felt that they had found their Jamie.
Before she saw Heughan's audition tape, Gabaldon looked up his IMdB. Her reaction to his photos? "This man is grotesque," which has now become a running joke between the two.
Just three weeks before production was due to start, the casting director still hadn't found her Claire. They had a couple of actress on hold, but none were quite right. Finally, they saw a clip of Caitriona Balfe and booked her for the gig.
The set is loaded with fake dead bodies for battle scenes.
Every meal you see on the show is real.
Unsurprisingly, they find it very comfortable.
In "The Gathering," the author had two lines as Iona MacTavish.
Any shirtless or backless scenes need to be filmed first.
The scars take hours to apply—every, single time.
The letters helped the actors feel less awkward around a full camera crew.
"This is terrific stuff for an actor, amazingly heavy material," she told Vulture.
To recreate authentic lighting, L.E.D. and fluorescent lights are not used on the show.
Fans of the books were worried the original text would be majorly altered.
In particular, she argued with directors that Claire and Father Anselm's season 1 chapel scene was pivotal—which, after much debate, ended up making the cut.
"We're so used to seeing women being objectified, as objects of desire of men, but it's rare when you see a woman owning her sexuality, directing it, orchestrating the sequence of events," Balfe told Vulture.
Leaked emails from the Sony hack revealed that Cameron had the show pushed back, as he was worried it would interfere with the country's historic vote.
Doune Castle and Blackness Castle have to be left in pristine condition after shooting.
Your Outlander vacation is just a plane ticket away.
Àdhamh Ó Broin coaches the actors on the complex accent.
The Outlander Bakers are a group of Scottish super-fans who track down the cast on set to deliver them baked goods.
"I definitely think that her competency has shown me how strong I am," she told Elle.
And the two are tired of fans assuming they're dating. Balfe is married to music producer Tony McGill. Heughan is rumored to be dating actress Amy Shiels.
"We would sort of keep to ourselves between shots. But again, one of the good things is how we had been working together for a year so we had a fair amount of trust," he explained to Entertainment Weekly.
There's a special Outlander chapter of the charity and fans have helped her raise more than $130,000.
The delicate, intricate work made for a very believable scene.
The actor feels that men don't get nearly as much flack as women do for nude scenes.
Although very different in their plots, the two shows have a bit of a rivalry.
Outlander's interpretation of women is arguably more feminist-focused than Game of Thrones.
Heughan later recommended Hawkins for her role in Outlander.
Heughan suggested her for Outlander, too.
A corset and a fake belly? No thanks.
"They always made sure I was okay and comfortable, and that I never felt out of my comfort zone while doing it," Day told Bustle.
The scene wasn't as seamless as it appeared.