Outlander boss opens up on Claire Fraser storyline they struggled with

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Starz’s hit series Outlander returned to screens this month with the long-awaited sixth season after an almost two-year hiatus. As the show follows the life of Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe), the showrunner and executive producer Maril Davis revealed which one of her storylines was the most challenging.

Throughout the series, viewers have watched Claire overcome a number of hurdles and challenges.

Fans will remember back in season one when she first discovered she could time-travel and had to hide her real identity after the Red Coats wanted her dead.

Eventually, after falling in love and eventually deciding to live permanently in the past, she faced the challenge of adapting her skills as a nurse to care for people, at a time when a majority of medication she was familiar with, had yet to be discovered.

Despite these difficulties, Maril Davis revealed the main storyline she struggled with was a devastating and life-changing scene from season five.

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In the season finale, Claire was the victim of a brutal rape, which saw her get assaulted by Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) and his men.

They decided to launch an attack on her after she had encouraged other women to take ownership of their sexuality.

Thankfully, her husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) was able to save her and kill her rapists.

However, it wasn’t enough as Claire had been permanently scarred

When asked how the storyline would shape season six, Davis revealed: “That’s something we talked a lot about when we approached season 6 because in the books, [author] Diana [Gabaldon] doesn’t deal that much with the aftermath of Claire’s attack.

“Part of it might be — and everyone who’s gone through trauma like this, it’s just as important as everyone else’s.

“Pretty much every character in Outlander has gone through some sort of horrific trauma, oftentimes involving rape.

“So it felt like this was yet another character that she was dealing with that was going through this, and maybe there wasn’t a different way to do it.”

She admitted: “But we struggled to figure out how to tell that story without delving deeper into Claire’s post-traumatic stress, I’m not trying to say Diana didn’t deal with it, but it wasn’t maybe as significant in the beginning as we hoped.

“In talking amongst ourselves and talking to Caitriona, we wanted to do justice to her character in that way and show her trauma.”

Speaking on the character’s journey, Davis added: “In previous seasons, Claire, as a doctor, has always been able to compartmentalise very well, we’ll see her starting to break down a little bit more this season.

“People experience it in different ways, we tried to find a unique way to show that, and I hope we did her story justice because I’m so proud of that story and how Caitriona played it.”

The showrunner concluded: “It’s so powerful, It shows people that strong, weak, whoever you are, that’s a trauma that does not go away, that stays with you, and trying to get through it is really tough.”

This was seen in the first episode of season six, although Claire appeared to have put the attack in the past, the final scene showed she was haunted by it.

She was alone in her surgery, with an ether mask over her mouth and nose, breathed deeply and collapsed onto the bed.

With this being her current coping mechanism, viewers will have to keep tuning in to find out it will end for their beloved Claire.

Outlander is set available on Starz and on Stazplay in the UK.

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