Entertainment Weekly has released a first look image of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Frank (Tobias Menzies) with newly-born daughter Brianna from the opening episode of Outlander season three. But… erm… hang on. What?
Season two of Outlander surprised fans by having an unexpected time shift that threw everybody – even viewers who’d read the book! Season two ended in a similar way with the 20th century story leaping from ’40s to the ’60s. Claire had returned from the past and given birth to Jamie’s child, Brianna, letting Frank bring her up as if she were his own. But Frank was now dead, Brianna was all grown up and Claire was heading for a new life in the States.
So an image of Claire, Frank and baby Brianna is somewhat of a surprise, and what Balfe says to Entertainment Weekly about the new season suggests that pic isn’t just from a brief flashback
“This is right after Claire gives birth to Brianna,” says Balfe. “Those scenes are wonderful because it’s a new beginning, but it’s so fraught with so many other things. Obviously, this is Jamie’s child, but Claire’s in a new time and believes that Jamie is dead. So she’s really trying to look forward and give her daughter a new life, a stable family. I think it’s difficult for both of them. Frank is coming to terms with his wife. He didn’t quite know what had happened. She disappeared and she’s back. They’re tentatively trying to see if they can patch things up and allow themselves to embrace a future together. They really do try, but it’s not quite that easy.”
Meanwhile, back in 18th century Scotland, the season begins with a departure from the third novel with the Battle of Culloden. Jamie (Sam Heughan) gas to face his nemesis “Black Jack” Randall (Menzies again) in a dramatic duel. The book, Voyager, starts very differently with a war-weary Jamie having almost no recollection of the 1746 battle.