Sex has always been a huge part of Outlander. It's pretty much the reason we all watch the show. You know it, I know it.
So, when I realized Voyager — the book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon the upcoming season 3 is based on — featured a major time jump, I got worried. What would Jamie and Claire sex scenes look like after a 20-year separation?
Luckily, I got to travel to the Outlander set in Scotland to ask Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan that exact question.
But first, since it's been a while (too long!) since we last spent time with our favorite time-crossed duo, let's recap what we know. Last season of Outlander saw Claire (Caitriona Balfe) stepping back through the time stones and returning to her 20th century life and first husband Frank (Tobias Menzies) circa 1948, leaving Jamie (Sam Heughan) to die in battle on the Culloden moor.
Fast-forward 20 years to 1968, and Claire, along with her and Jamie's daughter Brianna, has learned that her dashing Scottish lover/husband survived the battle, which means he would be alive today, if today were 200 years ago.
The thing about Season 3 of Outlander is that dates are important, so if you happened to nap through mid-18th century Scottish history in high school, you might want to pay attention now.
When Claire first goes back in time, it's 1945 in the present, but 1743 in the past. She stays in 18th century Scotland for three years, leaving on the eve of the bloody Battle of Culloden — which pitted Scottish supporters of Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) against British troops loyal to King George II, and ended in carnage on the Scottish side — in 1746. But because that time also translates to three years in the p resent, it's 1948 when she gets back. Leaving 1968 to seek Jamie in the past puts us in 1766. (I know, I know — it's very confusing.)
In the book's timeline, Claire is 50 in 1968, while Jamie is 45 in 1766. We've already seen 50-year-old Claire, who looks pretty fantastic, nary a grey hair in sight. And while we've gotten a glimpse at what looks like caveman Jamie in the years following Claire's departure, we don't yet know how the years will affect him.
Historical purists (a.k.a. me) could point out that 45 in 1766 would be considered nearing old age, but this is a fictional universe, so I'm fairly certain he'll still be hunky, something Sam Heughan basically confirmed when we met. "Jamie ages more emotionally than physically," he said. " The aging process was more due to the trauma and experiences of his life that he's gone through. I won't be walking around with a wooden stick and long white hair."
But still, sex in your late 40s and early 50s isn't quite the same as sex in your 20s. At the time of the set visit, Balfe and Heughan hadn't yet filmed their highly anticipated reunion. But they were definitely aware of the fan expectations, and had some of their own.
"I'm so excited to play that stuff because even though this show is a fantasy what we all try to do every day is ground it in some kind of reality," Balfe explained. "It's nice to have the ability to delve into the fantasy of what this relationship would be like. Anyone who's spent any time away from their partner knows that when you first see each other again in your head, you've played all the scenarios of how perfectly it's all gonna go. Then, somebody says one thing and you're at each other's throats. It's important to allow this relationship to become real, and for them to discover who each other are all over again. They're both flawed people. They're not perfect. That's also what makes it interesting."
And as for the sex? Check out what they had to say in the video above!
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