Outlander explained: Did Dougal know Claire was a time traveller?
Outlander: Behind the scenes of Wentworth Prison
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In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Dougal MacKenzie star Graham McTavish reflected on whether the clan chieftain knew Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) and Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) were time travellers while they were residing at the seat of clan MacKenzie at Castle Leoch in Outlander.
Claire was forced to think on her feet after being hurled through the stones at Craig na Dun from 1945 back to 1743, quickly coming into contact with the evil Redcoat Captain ‘Blackjack Randall’ (Tobias Menzies) who bore a striking resemblance to her husband Frank Randall (also Menzies).
The 20th century nurse and later doctor was luckily saved by Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix) and also encountered Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and his kinsman.
However, she rapidly concocted a story about her husband being in away and trying to return to him as she tried to get back to the stones and the 20th century.
Claire also presented herself as a healer and used her knowledge of medicine to prove useful during this time, which most of the people she met seemed to accept.
She also came across Geillis, a fellow healer, but was left shocked after discovering her new friend bore a vaccination scar which meant she was from the future as well.
Dougal kept a close eye on the two women during their time at Castle Leoch. On whether he thought Claire and Geillis were time travellers, actor Graham, 61, explained: “Yes, I do.”
He continued: “Well, I don’t think he thought they were time travellers because that would be impossible for him to imagine.
“But I think he definitely saw them as not quite right. He was like, ‘Hmmm, yeah’.”
The star said it was like in the movies where one gang member suspects the undercover cop but the others are fully duped.
Graham added: “So it’s that kind of feeling. He has a gut feeling there’s something wrong, which is confirmed utterly.”
Dougal was one of the few at Castle Leoch who felt things weren’t adding up, so he “never fully trusts her”.
Claire and Geillis were later tried as witches after Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) accused them, leading the two women to go on trial.
Although Claire was saved by her husband after he returned from a brief period away, Geillis was left to the mercy of the court.
Later, it transpired Geillis had been in a secret relationship with Dougal and had fallen pregnant with his child, blackmailing him to rescue her from prison and then made her escape.
Graham also spoke about why Dougal wanted to marry Claire, something which the clansman proposed after Jamie was held prisoner at Wentworth by Captain Blackjack and subjected to a horrific torture ordeal.
He said his Outlander alter-ego always saw nephew Jamie as a “threat” and wanted to “put on over him” by marrying Claire.
Throughout Outlander Dougal would constantly assert his dominance over Jamie, whom he saw as the “young lion” and was a “rival” even though he loved his nephew at the same time.
The star of House of the Dragon and The Witcher said Dougal was also “deeply attracted to strong women” like Claire and Geillis while simultaneously being “deeply suspicious” of them.
Graham hailed Dougal as a “complex” character and said he loved playing him, saying he would be “absolutely delighted” to return to Outlander should the chance arise.
He even made a cameo appearance as Dougal’s equally pugnacious descendant Buck MacKenzie in season five with Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) bearing the brunt of his wrath.
Given Outlander flits back and forth through time with the latter books re-visiting some familiar faces, Dougal could always make a comeback at some point.
Outlander season 7 is in production and seasons 1 to 6 are streaming on STARZPLAY now
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