Warning: contains spoilers for viewers who have not watched Outlander season one and two

DROUGHTLANDER is almost over. As Outlander returns to our screens next week, Glasgow-born actor Richard Rankin plays Roger Wakefield, an Oxford professor and the adopted son of an Inverness minister, who finds himself unwittingly embroiled in a time-travelling adventure.

Based on the bestselling books of Diana Gabaldon, the show has garnered millions of fans and made its cast into household names around the world.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, Outlander centres on former Second World War nurse Claire Randall who, during a second honeymoon to Scotland with her husband Frank in 1945, is transported back to 1743 through a mysterious set of standing stones.

It is there, on the brink of the last Jacobite rising, she meets dashing Highlander Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) and a love story begins. The third series of the show, shot largely on location Scotland, will air on Amazon Prime Video from Monday.

During the second series viewers saw a pregnant Claire (Caitriona Balfe) travel back through the stones to the 20th century where her cuckolded husband Frank (Tobias Menzies) agreed to raise baby daughter Brianna as his own.

Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is now all grown-up and Roger is her budding love interest. As series three opens, Brianna has newly found out the truth about her parentage and is grieving the death of the man she thought was her father.

Roger is grieving the death of his adopted father. Claire wants to go back through the stones. And I think that’s us all caught up?

What can we expect from your character Roger Wakefield as Outlander returns?

The thing you need to remember when you find Roger in season three is that he’s in a bit of a surreal place. It is a bit of a mad world for him because all of a sudden time travel is a thing.

He seemed to be fairly open and accepting about the idea of time travel?

I think he really wants it to be possible and true just because of who Roger is and where he is from, the mythology and history that he grew up surrounded by.

Just the notion that it could be true at the end of season two was enough to excite him.

When you pick him up in season three, the world has been flipped upside because not only is time travel possible, but the girl he has fallen in love with, it turns out that her father is actually an 18th century Highland warrior.

You don’t ever get to see Roger much by himself. He is always either with Claire or with Brianna and they have very different effects on Roger.

When he is with Claire, he thinks with his head. When he is with Brianna, he much more thinks with his heart. That changes him from one moment to the next.

There are a few really beautiful moments in season three where you do see Roger by himself. When I read the script it hit me that Roger is really lonely in season three. He is very alone.

There is one particular moment – and I won’t give away when or the circumstances surrounding it – but hopefully you will watch it and say: ‘Oh, yeah, of course.’

Roger has just lost his father. He hasn’t had time to come to terms with that or grieved properly yet. Brianna and Claire turned up and since that point he has been very much kept occupied. They were a happy distraction. The circumstances they came along with were surreal and consuming.

He is very much caught in the crossfire between these two fiery, strong-minded and independent women. He is caught in the middle of them trying to mediate it.

Right up until season three, I think you forget that he hasn’t actually dealt with the death of his own father. Of course, Brianna is in the same situation. She is dealing with the death of the man that she thought was her biological father, but turns out it is not.

Is this shared sense of loss what draws Brianna and Roger to each other?

I think so. There is that initial physical attraction, but because of their own circumstances and where they are at that point – the loss they are dealing with, the changes in Brianna’s relationship with her mum and finding out all this history about her parents – that accelerates their relationship quite dramatically. It creates a very unique and strong bond between them.

That is one of the great things about the writing on Outlander. There is so much subtext going on at any moment with any of the characters and I think that very much helps the dynamic of the relationships. It brings a lot more colour to each of the characters.

Will we see Roger go to some quite dark places?

Not at this time. His objective is to find this mythological creature that was Jamie Fraser. That is his driving force at the moment.

He is consumed by that and helping Claire and then you throw Brianna into the mix. So, no, I don’t think you see him go to dark places – not this season anyway.

You do have nice moments of seeing [Roger] as himself which I don’t think you have seen up until now. It hadn’t quite hit me just what was going on with Roger until I read the season three scripts.

If you weren’t playing Roger what other role would you have loved?

There is a character coming up – I can’t tell you who – but I keep saying to the execs, especially Maril [Davis], and obviously she is adamant that it is never going to happen.

This character is coming up in season four and I have said time and again, to the execs and Suzanne Smith in casting that I will absolutely read for that part and try and do Roger and this guy.

I’ve said: “I can change physically, I can change my accent, put a wig on me. I will be so different from Roger, you will be so impressed that you will cast me on the spot.”

Will they let you read for it?

[Laughs] Absolutely not. There is no chance they will let me read for it.

Any other characters you would have loved to play?

Black Jack Randall. Whether I could do it as much justice as Tobias [Menzies], I don’t know. But it would be great to indulge in that character.

Outlander series three is available on Amazon Prime Video from September 11