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Starz drama Outlander has seen its characters face much turmoil through the years. However, season five proved to be a particularly traumatic one for Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) after she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a group of men. As the show goes into season six, Claire will continue to suffer the trauma of her harrowing attack and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) will have to respond to this.
Speaking at a Paley Fest panel for Outlander, Heughan opened up about how Jamie would try to help his wife in the aftermath of assault.
The actor explained: “Jamie has been through trauma himself and understands he has to be there for her.
“He needs to support her, but he also has to respond to what Claire needs.”
Following Claire’s rescue, the 20th century doctor was later seen lying in the arms of her husband Jamie and admitting she finally felt safe.
In the final scene of season five, Claire and Jamie finally held hands as it seemed she was starting to move on from her experience extremely slowly and tentatively.
Heughan went on to say about these scenes: “I think it was interesting, we talked a lot about physical touch and when he can actually feel like he can touch her.
“I think we focus in on that in the last scene, Jamie and Claire holding hands.
“It’s so interesting that all these characters have been through so much trauma, not only in this season but over the other seasons.”
He added: “Yeah, they have each other but ultimately they’re about to face even bigger challenges in subsequent seasons when Matt [B. Roberts] starts writing them.”
From the sounds of it, Claire is going to still be dealing with the attack – as was evidenced when she broke down while treating a patient at her Fraser’s Ridge surgery.
Luckily, her daughter Brianna MacKenzie (Sophie Skelton) will be there to protect her and help her as well given she too is a survivor.
Nonetheless, Claire will be left shaken by the rape and it could have huge impact on her going forward.
Outlander showrunner Roberts also weighed in on what was to come, saying: “We’re doing to dig into the sixth book in the series and I think one of the things that we always dig into is that the Frasers and the MacKenzies put themselves out there.
“The reasons I think they are so affected by traumas and all of the turmoil that goes on in that era is because they put themselves out there, they try to help people.
“Whether that’s people coming to the Ridge or them going out and trying to stop something – whether it’s been Culloden or Alamance – they put themselves out there, they put themselves at risk and inherently when you do that you suffer.
“In book six that happens again. There’s going to be joys but as Diana [Gabaldon] can speak to this, there’s going to drama, there’s going to be suffering, there’s going to be tears, all of the above. And we’re going to try and pull all those really dynamic [stories].”
Reflecting on the show running for so long, Roberts said: “It’s such an amazing thing to have six seasons of any TV series nowadays and knock on wood we get more.
“But getting to book six, for me was like, ‘This is such an amazing thing that we can tell this story.’”
Roberts’ words hint Claire will not be the only character struggling with the whole family facing new dangers.
As fans will remember, Young Ian (John Bell) was also troubled but the show didn’t really delve into what he’d been through and may do so in season six.
Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) was also marked by his near-death experience when he was mistakenly hanged.
All of these elements will continue to play out in season six and cause problems for the characters.
Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now
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