Notes from Phil Miller's visit to the set of Outlander at Doune Castle, which is a core location for the new US TV series.
•We arrived at Doune Castle, Perthshire on a beautiful day. The shooting, for the fourth or fifth of the 16 episode series, was going on behind the castle, down a slope. The action seemed to involve dogs, perhaps wild dogs, as there was a brief discussion on set about how to make them muddier or dustier.
•Even on the set of a (roughly) £50m budget TV series like Outlander, there is a fair bit of hanging around: there were about 20 extra, beautifully dressed in period clothes - with kilts, with swords and bunnets, with long skirts and hair - waiting to be called, waiting in front of the castle. There were animals too: goats in the courtyard of the castle, which had the look and feel of a timeslip back to the Medieval times - market stalls with food, lots of hay, mud and carts. There were also dogs and two large horses also arrived at one point.
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•Before we spoke, two key members of the cast - Caitriona Balfe, who plays the main part of Claire Randall, and Lotte Verbeek, who plays Geillis Duncan - were sitting under UV umbrellas waiting to be called. Sam Heughan, with a shock of auburn hair (not red, as such) was waiting to be interviewed: he is tall and built like a rugby player, and spoke to reporters for a good 15 minutes. Caitriona and Lotte also spoke for 10 minutes. All the cast members were in good form, and happy to chat. Heughan also spoke briefly in Gaelic to a reporter from BBC Alba. He joked he was nervous as his Gaelic tutor, Adhamh O Broin, was standing nearby.
•On fans, Heughan said he had attended an event to publicise an independent film called Emulsion in Inverness's Eden Court theatre and "three buses of Outlander fans turned up and we ending up drinking whisky together".
•On the sex scenes in Outlander, he said: "It's definitely in the books, so we are not going to shy away from that. The books are quite sexy in places, but it's about the nature of the relationship. They are two people that get to know each other and through that they discover their deep admiration for each other. It's wonderful. We have filmed a few scenes with Cait, and she is such a great actress and so calm. She has obviously worked on sets before in her modelling career."
•On whether he will return to future series: "I am committed to more than one season. As long as we get do the show, I would love to be part of it. I believe we have to find out quite soon."
•Balfe on filming: "It has been really great. We did two months before Christmas and it's a month and a half now, and the schedule is full on but it's been really fun, and fun getting out and about seeing Scotland. It's been quite cool - I would even say it's a little prettier than Ireland (she was half joking on this point)." She added:"I have effectively moved to Glasgow from LA."
•Balfe said she wore a tartan dress to her audition for the role. "In a tartan dress, like a big cheeseball," she said.
•On fans: "They have been so sweet and lovely. They have been great, they have been donating things to the charities me and Sam support. Sam has been sent a lot of peanut butter."
•On her costumes in the 17th century scenes and her work schedule: "You should try them! Even the millimetres of a thermal underneath means things don't fit. By the time we get home we have done a 14-hour day. And for the first six episodes I am in every scene every day."