Outlander season 5: Sam Heughan explains the complicated emotions behind wearing that red coat

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Sam Heughan has talked about season five of Outlander on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, revealing what it was like to wear the conflicting red coat and co-produce episodes with Caitriona Balfe

The Droughtlander is finally over, and episode one of Outlander season five did not disappoint fans. 

After witnessing the wedding of Brianna Fraser and Roger Mackenzie, we were quickly catapulted into this season’s challenging reality: the impending war. 

The impact that this will have on Jamie Fraser’s character was made very clear: in order to protect his family and land, he needs to pretend to be an ally to the English Crown by hunting down his godfather – and leader of the Regulator Rebellion – Murtagh Fitzgibbons. 

This led to Jamie sending Murtagh away at the end of the first episode, before following Governor Tryon’s command to kill him. But just how far will Jamie’s “fake” loyalty to the Crown go? And will he end up in a position where he actually needs to kill his beloved friend?

Thanks to the trailer, we know that Jamie appears in scenes wearing the English Army’s infamous red coat. And Sam Heughan, who of course plays Jamie in the series, has now spoken more about the significance of this.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Heughan said: “Before we even finished the last season, I knew – from chatting to the writers – that Jamie was going to be on the side of the British.”

He continued: “It just got me thinking, I really wanted to see him in a red coat. I thought, it’s a total 180° or 360°… Everything that he’s had history with – like Jack Randall, Ardsmuir Prison, Culloden and fighting for his people – it signifies everything he’s fought against.

“And I thought it would be a really interesting place for Jamie to have to wear that and take that on board. And, as we know, Jamie is a man of honour and a man of his word, so it’s going to be a really tough thing to do.”

Heughan also talked about his involvement in making the new season, since becoming a co-producer with on-screen wife Caitriona Balfe: “We got the credit quite late on in the process and we weren’t really part of breaking the scripts down initially. 

“As the seasons went on we had more and more say and were involved a lot more with the writing. I think with the last two episodes – especially the finale – we were really heavily involved in. There’s some big stuff this season, the finale is probably our most dramatic finale.”

Sam Heughan
Sam Heughan has talked about wearing the red coat in Outlander season five.

Heughan then went on to reveal what it’s like when Outlander fans know more about the books than he does. 

“I’m on catch up,” he told the live audience “A lot of people met Dianna’s books a few years ago and I think they’re so vast, there are so many other books you could read – there’s a John Grey series as well – so there’s so much information for you to hold.

“And also I always forget where our scripts part from the books and what we have or haven’t shown. Because sometimes we write stuff or film stuff and it never makes it into the show, so it’s hard to keep track in your mind of everything we’ve done. So yeah, apologies… I’m useless..”

Of course, any Outlander fan knows that Heughan is far from useless. We can’t wait to see what else this season has to bring. 

Listen to Sam Heughan on Happy Sad Confused podcast

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Images: Starz

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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