Tayside and Central Scotland

Big-budget drama Outlander films in Scotland

Outlander Image copyright Nick Briggs
Image caption Based on a series of bestselling books, Outlander has filmed across various Scottish locations

For the past six months a multi-million pound US TV series has been filming in Scotland, but there is still no word on when it will be shown in the UK.

Outlander has been filming across various locations, including a one-month stint at Doune Castle.

The drama's production is expected to last 38 weeks at a cost of more than £50m.

It has been described as Scotland's answer to Game of Thrones, the hit series from the US HBO network that has boosted the industry in Northern Ireland where it is mainly filmed.

Based on a series of novels from American author Diana Gabaldon, Outlander follows the story of Claire Randell, a nurse from 1946 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened.

'Worldwide hit'

The series' producers are hoping to capitalise on the book's enormous success in the US where the seven-book series has sold more than 20 million copies.

The eighth instalment of the series is scheduled to be released in autumn this year.

With scripts written by Ronald D Moore, famous for his work on Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek Next Generation, the show's producers feel that they have all the makings of a worldwide hit on their hands.

Chris Albrecht, chief executive officer of US production company Starz, said: "We were drawn to 'Outlander' because it centres on a complex heroine who becomes immersed in an epic time-travelling tale."

Award-winning scriptwriter Moore said the books created a rich and textured world, filled with intriguing characters.

He said: "I think we'll make something that the millions of fans of these books will enjoy and recognise as 'Outlander'."

Scottish actor Sam Heughan plays one of the lead characters, Jamie Fraser, a highlander who meets and falls in love with Claire Randall on her journey in the 18th Century.

Image copyright Ed Miller
Image caption Scots actor Sam Heughan plays a starring role in the big-budget series

The 32-year-old praised the scale of the ambitious production's story-arc, saying: "There's just so much in there, adventure, romance as well as the historical side, with the build-up to Culloden.

"We have great facilities here, I think they made something like 280 to 300 costumes in the first six weeks."

Filming up until now has taken place in an adapted sound stage in Cumbernauld and various other locations throughout Scotland.

Creative Scotland have made a contribution of £170,000 towards shooting on locations in Scotland.

'Vital importance'

Attention to detail has been paramount for the lavish adaptation. The production employs a crew of about 200 spread across props, filming and set-building, along with a cast of more than 2.000 supporting actors.

With Gaelic being the language of the highlander in 1743, it was of vital importance that members of the cast learned their Gaelic lines correctly.

The vast majority of dialogue is in English but for the small segments of Gaelic that feature in Outlander, a Gaelic coach was employed.

Adhamh Obroinn was permanent presence on set to help the cast with pronunciation and delivery.

He said helping the cast learn the subtleties of Gaelic was something he relished over the course of the production and he hoped the high-profile series would promote the language across the world, particularly in Scotland.

Mr Obroinn said: I'm hoping that the exposure of Gaelic will hit home to people in Scotland that we have something absolutely priceless here.

"We will see what happens but it's all very positive so far."

The series will show in America later in the year, with Australian and Canadian networks already having purchased syndication rights.

UK fans of the books may have to wait a while yet as there is no confirmation about when the series will be shown in the UK.

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