Why did Outlander include those new Claire scenes in the 1960s?

A good part of the most recent episode of Outlander“Perpetual Adoration,” was set in the 1960s, the “future,” as Claire dealt with the unexpected death of a patient. This is a stark departure from the fifth book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, “The Fiery Cross,” on which season 5 is based. What gives?

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Outlander producer Matthew B. Roberts talked about this change, and why it was so important within the context of the season. Personally, I loved that we jumped forward in time. Given how much Claire wants to create penicillin in the past, it was important for us to see exactly why she’s so eager to do so.

The death of this particular patient occurred after Claire administered penicillin. He has an allergic reaction and passes away before surgery can be performed, leaving her devastated and lost. The character’s faith and love for his wife lead Claire to the church he used to frequent. This prompts Claire’s break from work and her eventual trip to Scotland during which Brianna meets Roger. It’s a ripple effect of events that takes Claire back to the past to reunite with Jamie.

Amidst the sadness, there was a silver lining, and that is why I loved this episode as much as I did.

We like to keep the time travel elements alive in the show. If a viewer was just coming to Outlander in season 5 … I know, where have they been, right? … they might not realize that Claire is a time-traveler or that she lived in the future.  So, we combined two stories — one from Voyager and the other from The Fiery Cross — that mirrored what she was going through in [her] present. Our fantastic locations department found the church in Paisley just west of Glasgow.

Claire’s flash-forward (Flashback? Not sure what we are supposed to call it) wasn’t the only new element added in Sunday’s episode. The character of Lt. Knox is a completely new character. What prompted this addition?

There was a character in the book, Lt. Hayes, that comes to the Ridge to put pressure on Jamie regarding the Regulator uprisings. So, in keeping with that, we had Tryon put the pressure on Jamie by leaving Lt. Knox and his platoon to hunt down Murtagh. But instead of having Knox be an adversary, we flipped it. Knox and Jamie actually begin to bond. Knox becomes enamored of the life Jamie has carved out of the wilderness, and under different circumstances, perhaps Jamie and Knox could have been close friends.

Yeah…about that.

R.I.P. Knox.

Next: Review: Westworld 301, “Parce Domine”

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