Outlander EP Matthew B. Roberts on Writing Epi6 – A. Malcolm

Check out SONY’s interview to learn more about how Matthew B. Roberts wrote the two lost loves coming back together in “A. Malcolm.”


SONY: The reunion episode fans have been anticipating for so long is finally here. How does it feel to have it out for them to react to? What did the stakes feel like writing this episode?

MATTHEW B. ROBERTS: We are all excited and a bit relieved that “A. Malcolm” is finally airing—it truly is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. We knew the Print Shop would represent a point in the series that fans would focus on—intensely—so we wanted to stay as close to the source material as possible.

The writing of this episode certainly presented its own unique challenges and, as is the case with the adaptation of any much beloved series of novels, I think it necessitates a certain amount of courage—for cast and crew as well—to depict a moment so highly anticipated and embedded in the imagination of a passionate and loyal fan base. It’s no small undertaking, but we’re thrilled that our audience will see the culmination of so much hard work.

SONY: In these first 24 hours, Jamie and Claire are learning to get to know each other all over again, with many surprises in store for both. How did you approach writing their openness to understand who they have become?

MATTHEW B. ROBERTS: We felt it was important to let the scenes play out in a natural way by not artificially pacing up the actors’ performance to fit into a set total running time. We deliberately let this [whole] episode breathe. Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe were faced with the challenge of portraying a real kaleidoscope of emotions on screen in a relatively short amount of time: surprise, fear, anxiety, unease, delight, passion—perhaps more so in this episode than any other—it’s all there. On top of that, I think there’s also the delicate balancing act that comes with juggling any regrets they might have (over what might have been) with the new promise and hope of a possible future together.

I think that this colorful palette of emotions really helps us paint a true portrait of a couple who, despite having changed so much over the years, are fundamentally the same—or rather, their feelings for one another haven’t changed. In terms of their “openness” to one another and willingness to accept the people they have become, then I think it’s important to bear in mind that Jamie has had absolutely no warning of Claire’s return, whereas Claire has had time to think carefully about the decision she has made. She’s been able to anticipate the moment, and to savor the excitement and trepidation that comes with meeting a lost love after 20 years apart. I do think, however, that for both characters, this episode is about savoring the present moment.

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