Sam Heughan: Second season of Outlander '˜has more politics'

Outlander star Sam Heughan believes followers of the hit show are in for a surprises when the second season hits the screens - and hopes it will draw in even more fans.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Picture: Contributed

Season two of the time-travel drama - dubbed Scotland’s answer to Game Of Thrones - sees the action move initially from 18th-century Scotland to 18th-century Paris, with stars promising the new season will have a very different feel to the last.

Heart-throb Scots actor Heughan, who plays young warrior Jamie, said everyone involved in the project wants to make the new setting feel as authentic as possible.

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Speaking during filming on set in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, Heughan said “Playing Jamie has been terrific. In season one I felt I really knew him and by the end of the season he really had changed.

Sam Heughan reckons portraying Jamie has been 'terrific'. Picture: Contributed

“In season two we move to France and it’s got a different feel. It’s a different world, really, from what we’re used to in season one. It’s a very luxurious place and all the characters there are very exuberant, and there’s a lot more politics involved at the start of season two.

“My character is constantly changing and his story is as well. It’s lovely to have elements of the character we know in season one but he’s evolving, he’s growing up.”

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Based on Diana Gabaldon’s popular Outlander books, the first season followed the story of Claire Randall, played by Caitriona Balfe, a married English combat nurse from 1945. While on a second honeymoon in Inverness, she was swept back in time to the 18th-century Scottish Highlands where she met Jamie, with whom she became romantically linked.

Sam Heughan reckons portraying Jamie has been 'terrific'. Picture: Contributed

Filming for the second series saw the crew given some respite from the Scottish weather, with shoots on location in England and Prague, before the action returns to Scotland at the time of the Jacobite rebellion.

And Heughan - who said he loved donning the kilt to get into character in season one - reckons the next series will offer even more time travel twists and plenty of high-intensity battle scenes, particularly towards the end.

“We try to stay as authentic as possible,” he said. “That’s what excites me about season two - that we’re doing an as-close-as-you-can reproduction of that period in Scotland or France.

“Culloden is a big part of history and hasn’t been shot for many years.”

The fresh run of shows sees Claire and Jamie facing new challenges in their relationship.

“Season one was about these two people falling in love and discovering each other. It was a new love and there was an innocence to it,” said Heughan.

“I think season two is kind of ‘the troubled years’, really. The honeymoon is maybe over and so they have to begin to pick apart their relationship.”

The books and the Sony TV series have already attracted a legion of devoted fans - something its stars take enormous pride in.

Heughan said: “We’ve got this great fanbase and we’re just so lucky that people warm to the show.

“I think we’re going to surprise people with season two. It is a different world and the story has moved on. Hopefully we’ll win a lot more fans with season two.”

Dumfries-born Heughan, who studied at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD; now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), believes Scotland “really shines” in the show, and says he’s delighted the country has benefited from having the series set in, and partly filmed, north of the border.

“I think every department has done fantastically - the costumes and the lighting and the sets are all incredible.

“I think we’re just very lucky that it struck a chord with people and it certainly seems to have done very well.

“This show has been terrific, not just for Glasgow or Cumbernauld, but the whole of Scotland. The film industry is certainly very happy we’re here. It’s been regarded as a great triumph for Scotland and the UK.”

Outlander season two will be available for unlimited streaming and download exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from Sunday April 10, with episodes airing weekly.