Outlander author independence fear over TV no-show

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall in a scene from Outlander. Picture: AP
Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall in a scene from Outlander. Picture: AP
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THE writer of the books forming the basis for TV series Outlander has admitted she fears UK television bosses may be reluctant to air the show - because of the ongoing debate on Scottish independence.

Outlander is based on books by American author Diana Gabaldon, telling the story of a World War II nurse who time-travels to Scotland in the 1700s, to the time of the Jacobite uprising.

And although the series is set in, and filmed in Scotland, the programme - which was watched by nearly 4 million people on American TV over the weekend - is yet to be shown on British television.

And Gabaldon told The Scottish Sun: “You hear all these rumours that it’s about Scottish independence and they don’t want to inflame people towards the Yes vote.

“It’s because of the Jacobite historical background, which is very important to the story.”

The 16-part show - dubbed Scotland’s answer to Game of Thrones - has been snapped up by a number of countries, including Germany, France, China, Australia and Japan - but Gabaldon is bemused at the apparent lack of interest from Britain.

She added: “Screenings were held in LA and I was invited, with the executive producer Ron Moore, to meet international buyers and do Q&A presentations.

“There were VIP dinners every night and I spent an entire evening with people from Channel 4 and Sky television.

“So I know they’ve spoken to British television people about Outlander but where the negotiations are with that I have no idea.”

A spokesperson for Yes Scotland said: “It would be an act of ridiculous censorship for any executive to make a decision to reject it in fear that it would drive even more voters from No to Yes.”

And a representative from Sky told The Scottish Sun: “We’re considering acquisitions for our customers constantly. All decisions are made purely on the merit of the story and the right fit for our channels.”