Caitriona Balfe (Super 8) has joined the cast of Starz’s upcoming 16 episode drama series Outlander. Balfe has been cast in the leading role of Claire Randall. She joins previously announced main cast members Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzes, Graham McTavish and Gary Lewis, Duncan Lacroix, Annette Badland and Stephen Walters.
Based on the series of novels by Diana Gabaldon and developed for television by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ron Moore, Outlander spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure in one grandiose tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. The drama series is being produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television. The executive producers are Ronald D. Moore and Jim Kohlberg. Sony Pictures Television is handling global distribution.
“Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did”, said Diana Gabaldon. “The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!’ She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks.”
While Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore added: “The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show. Outlander is told from Claire’s point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her. Caitriona wasn’t on anyone’s radar, she wasn’t on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special. Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we’d found our Claire. At its heart, Outlander is the story of two people — Claire and Jamie — their loves and losses, their adventures and tragedies, and now we finally have them both.”