Why The Deleted Outlander Scenes Are A Gift

Written By: Janet Reynolds

Realizing that the Outlander fan base is getting a little nutty as Droughtlander Take Two continues — and continues, with no end in sight — the folks at Outlander Starz started releasing deleted scenes last week. And, true to the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished theory, some fans are actually complaining, while some Outlanders seem to be a glass-half-full group no matter what’s going on. Just scroll through the Twittersphere and Tumblr to get an inkling.  Either way - we've been blessed with some extra Outlander, and I for one, am happy.

Are some of the fans right when they ask, "Why did they leave out this scene?" Or, "how could Ron Moore omit this one? What’s wrong with the producers that they left this one on the cutting room floor?"


Well, some of the time. 

Sure, some of the scenes would have been lovely to see in the actual episode. But just as the TV series is not the same as the books, so, too, is each episode different than all the footage that was actually shot. Sometimes something has to be left out.

I say the deleted scenes are that rare proverbial win-win. Not only do we get to see the terrific one-hour episode, but we also, thanks to the wonders of the Web and social media, get to see a lot of what didn’t make it in. It’s like (insert your favorite holiday) every time one of those is released.

All of us who’ve read the books have scenes we wish could have been included in the TV show or done differently in the TV show. The hot springs comes to mind for me — until I realize just how hard (read expensive) it would be to recreate that cave for TV. Then I let it go and just reread that scene in the book. I also personally would have liked less sensational sodomy and torture in “To Ransom a Man’s Soul” and a little bit more about the wonderfully insightful conversations and epiphanies between Claire and Father Anselm. That was so critical to saving Jamie and Claire’s understanding of what her role was.

But it was not to be. 

I get it - TV is a different medium and has different requirements. So while I was a little disappointed when I watched, I didn’t feel the need to berate. I just went back to get my book fix on that section. Even Herself has recommended taking that approach.

So it is with the deletions. I welcome them and thank Al Gore for inventing the Internet so we can all enjoy these additional moments with our favorite stars. (And yes, that was tongue in cheek about Gore.)

Here are my two favorite deleted scenes so far. In the first Ned and Colum meet up again after Ned’s aborted attempt to save Claire and, sure, Geillis, in "The Devil's Mark." I have loved Ned’s relationship with Claire from the first moment they met and think he’s been a wonderful addition to the show. In this episode, we learn more about how he turned up at the trial and even learn that Colum is perhaps relieved that Claire did not die.

My other favorite is this one in which Murtaugh speaks to Jamie about his mother and gives advice on what Jamie should do next to mend fences with Claire who is still fuming after the spanking. Murtaugh is a character who has benefitted from the creation of a TV show. He is much more evolved here than in the books and this addition adds depth to Jamie. Theirs is a wonderful relationship.

What’s your favorite deleted scene?


  1. Great article Janet.

    I love the deleted scenes- really who doesn't love a little extra Jamie and Claire during Droughtlander.

    I just ask myself a) does it move the story forward b) does it tell me something I didn't already know- directly or indirectly.

    These are the basics for effective screenwriting.

    So it comes out in the wash, I mean edit.

  2. I love them too, every time I have a DVD for a movie or a TV show I look for the deleted scenes. For Outlander, they mean even more. I wait for them anxiously.

    Some of my favorites are from The Wedding.

    I've read that they first filmed the scene she will came back through the stone differently and they changed it at the end.... I would love to see that scene too

    1. Carmen I hadn't heard about the one you mention but it sounds intriguing.

  3. I love the scene where Murtagh pledges to care for Claire if the lad is really gone. Even Ron Moore said that he wished that he had kept this one in

  4. I love the scene where Murtagh pledges to care for Claire if the lad is really gone. Even Ron Moore said that he wished that he had kept this one in

    1. I agree Molly. That one is so sweet and tender

  5. I have made enough comments here, to understand only positive views will be agreed upon by the writers of this blog. Yes, Diana said put the book down,and I for one can take that differently than most. Her statement of not changing a single thing in the series is totally misused. Read further, and see she was talking about her books.......not the show.
    The standard reason for so much being left out (like fleshing out Jamie's character instead of Franks) and other IMPORTANT scenes, leaves me thinking viewers will accept whatever they get, in their joy of seeing OL. on screen. The same answers are accepted as the gospel truth from the king genius "Himself" ........
    (1) Not enough time......of course not if you add characters and give them more depth than Jamie (besides Murtagh I saw no need to invent new characters or expand old ones(Gellis) when it takes valuable time from the most important scene.....Claire's decision to stay .......or Leery at the trial and causing a butterfly effect later on ......and the original>>>Frank expansion.
    (2) it's a more complicated book. Then why add more?????
    (3) The most popular one .....need more Frank for non readers to understand his importance. ....no need for me to comment over and over on this reason. I can just go and watch E8 and the "calgon commercial" of Claire and Frank wailing and running to each other. And shake my head in astonishment of viewers loving it. Espcially since it took up as much time as Claire and Jamie

    1. I'm not sure what you mean by only positive views being agreed to here. I certainly would have added certain scenes if I was in charge. I thought, for instance, the way the show handled Jamie's torture with BJR was overly sensationalized for TV and that Claire's "saving" of Jamie in the abbey was underdone on TV and more credible in the book as Jamie literally claws his way back to her and healing. But I decided when the show came up to simply regard TV as one medium and books as another; let the strengths of each shine through.

  6. Lost my comment again.
    I agree with your statement in regards of the deleted scenes are a gift. I have recorded all the series, but will still buy any DVD or Blu-ray containing deleted or gag reels. And I will treasure the ones adding depth and the truth about Jamie's character. Meaning I will skip additional Leery scenes, or more negative views of Jamie, and definitely any of Frank.Dont hate the character, but definitely do not need him to understand the story.
    For now, I anxiously await for all to be available, and yes,,even the end of Droughtlander.

    1. Amen to an end to Droughtlander! I think that's a place all fans can agree to meet! Thanks for reading the blog!

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