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SYFY WIRE Outlander

'Outlander' producer opens up about favorite Season 6 scenes, plus what didn't make the cut

Long-time Outlander creative executive producer Maril Davis talks adapting her favorite book into Season 6.

By Tara Bennett
Outlander S6 PRESS

As the sixth season of Outlander continues to reveal the myriad of problems befalling Jamie and Claire Fraser (Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe) and their growing family at Fraser's Ridge in pre-Revolutionary war North Carolina, avid readers of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books know the series writers always have the massive challenge of fitting in as much material from the novels as they can in each season. 

Season 6 is based mostly on Gabaldon's books A Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the fifth and sixth installments of her ongoing saga of the time-traveling members of the Fraser and MacKenzies clans. Executive producer Maril Davis, who along with producing partner Ron. D. Moore helped woo Gabaldon into allowing her books to be adapted to series, tells SYFY WIRE in an exclusive interview that she was particularly excited to be able to tackle the storylines in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

"I've always said it was my favorite book outside of Outlander, the original [book]," Davis reveals. "And I'm pretty pleased we included most of the things I wanted to [from the book]. Honestly, I am so thrilled the writers got in most of the stuff I was hoping. I just love the Christie storyline with Malva and everything else."

The Christies include patriarch Tom (Mark Lewis Jones) and his adult son, Allan (Alexander Vlahos) and his daughter, Malva (Jessica Reynolds). They are Scottish protestants who emigrate to the Colonies and Fraser's Ridge to start a new life with religious freedom, which conflicts with Jamie Fraser's Catholic background.

Davis continues, "That whole family coming in is kind of symbolic of the changes coming to The Ridge. When you open up your home to other people, you have to expect that people are going to come in who aren't always going to have the same political and social values as you are. And then what happens when you introduce something like that into your home? So yes, the Christie's are a huge force this season."

Of course, with the novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes clocking in at 1,157 pages of storytelling, there's no way to include all of the details and expanding cast that Gabaldon does in her books, even with eight episodes comprising Outlander's sixth season. 

"It's impossible to do all the small little intimate scenes, and I don't mean intimate in sexual ways, but just small scenes between two characters that sadly when you're only doing a certain number of episodes those always get cut at the end of the day," Davis laments. "You just can't do them because they don't move plot forward. That's the only problem about doing television, I find, with a book series. You do miss some of those moments that are the first to go sadly but are always really lovely."

However, for fans of the character Lizzie Wemyss (Caitlin O'Ryan), who was introduced in Season 4 as Brianna's bond servant, Davis says they made sure to give her character some time this season, especially considering her non-typical relationship with Beardsley twins (both played by actor Paul Gorman). 

"I was actually really, really pleased we got in some Lizzie stuff," Davis teases. "And I actually was pretty pleased this season that we hit all the high points."

New episodes of Outlander Season 6 debut on Sunday nights on Starz.

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