outlander-spotlight


Outlander exclusive: Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin on Brianna and Roger’s struggles in season six 

Season six will be back on our screens on March 6 on STARPLAYZ

Outlander season six is right around the corner, and unsurprisingly fans are still just as in love with the residents of Fraser’s Ridge as they were back in season one - but the family has grown quite a bit since then! Since finding each other through time, Claire and Jamie have raised an impressive family, with their daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Rodger, joining them in their 17th-century lives. 

MORE: Six questions we need answering in Outlander season six

Since the series is constantly putting the Frasers in danger, we can’t wait to find out just what season six has to offer our favourite time-traveling family. For a very special Spotlight exclusive, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin, who play Brianna and Roger, sat down with us to talk all things through the stone… 

Warning! Spoilers for season six ahead... 

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"I can see why peaceful time in Outlander is too good to be true," Sophie, who has been playing the red-haired daughter of Jamie and Claire since season three, said. "But with Bree and Roger and everything they’ve been through, this is the most peaceful season we will see them, which isn’t necessarily saying a lot but they are settled now that they have decided to stay in the past. The chaos is all around them but they’re the rocks in the middle of it. They’re the stability throughout the season which is nice and different!" 

WATCH: We chatted to Sophie and Richard about season six

In the new episodes, Bree and Roger are happy and content together but are struggling to conceive a second child despite expectations from their family - even though Bree has plenty more to think about as she starts introducing her keen engineering mind to the Ridge to make lives easier - and is left disappointed by the reaction. 

"Finally Brianna is introducing her engineering mindset and starts with the matches - and knowing what staple matches are going to be - and it’s so funny how unenthused they all are like, 'We’ve never had trouble lighting a fire.' It’s another punch in the gut for Bree because everyone assumes she’s pregnant. Her inventions definitely get bigger and bolder." 

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The season six cast 

For Richard and Sophie, each season is a surprise after they gave up trying to read the books beforehand.  "We’re very easily confused so by the time it’s gotten to a season where you’ve got flashbacks from different books or you’re going back to different seasons, the scripts have changed 20 times you can’t remember what’s in them and what’s not so now we tend to just stick to the script and go through it chronologically as an actor," Sophie explained.

Although set in the past with a mysterious time travel element, there are familiar situations that many women will relate to today, including Bree and Roger’s struggle to conceive. "I was glad the writers put that in there," Sophie admitted. "On Outlander we do deal with a lot of very real and timeless situations and this topic isn’t really talked about, even women today, you almost feel ashamed of your body, your body is made to do this and it’s failing you. 

MORE: Outlander's Caitriona Balfe reveals vow she and Sam Heughan made to each other on show

MORE: 9 brilliant time travel shows to watch if you love Outlander

"I think it’s just something we don’t often talk about, Brianna doesn’t even talk to her mother about it who’s a surgeon just shows there’s taboo on the subject. I hope it helps couples work through it together rather than sitting in shame." 

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Bree and Roger struggle with fertility issues in season six 

Meanwhile, what is Roger up to in the new episodes? Working as a pseudo priest of sorts, there is a particularly hilarious scene that he has to deal with in episode two, and even Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe were caught giggling at the situation behind the camera. 

Richard said: "It was funny to film, I don’t mind saying that it was ridiculous. That’s not to say the writing or direction is ridiculous but the situation is incredibly ridiculous to film. I don’t think anyone could keep a straight face… just the way it all happens and the conviction with which it was played out. 

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Richard opened up about filming

"I could see Sam and Caitriona behind the camera, and I could see them laughing! You can’t take the situation seriously where they're behind the camera giggling about it." Sophie laughed, adding: "Richard’s still scarred!" 

However, should Sophie and Richard go through the stones and into the past themselves, we’re confident that they won’t last five minutes. When asked what they would bring back with them from the modern-day, Sophie suggested speakers, while Richard joked: "Can I bring a tank? A proper, modern, 21st-century tank. Especially with a revolution coming. I’ll be like right guys, get in my tank." After pointing out that they’d probably be arrested for witchcraft if they brought back speakers and a tank, Sophie joked: "We should join the tank and the speakers together - Back in Black ACDC! 

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The pair play husband and wife in the hit show

While the pair clearly have a lot of fun on the set together, the darker elements of the show take on a more somber approach from Sophie, who revealed that a fan once came to her with something hugely personal as a result of watching the show. 

READ: 9 brilliant time travel shows to watch if you love Outlander

"A fan had been through something very similar to what Brianna went through in season four and she’d never told anyone before," the actress explained. "She told me, and that was her way of offloading. It was heavy for both of us but just being able to be there for her and to be someone she could talk to about that was a spectacular moment. It reminds me of what you do. It hits home how much the characters and show mean to people."

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Sophie opened up about a particularly important fan encounter

As for the major moments in season six, will there be a particular episode that will break the Outlander fandom? "There is so much of the show for everyone, and I also think because it’s rooted in true historical events so it’s rooted in reality. I think every season, even each episode, and the flashbacks to different times really keep you on your toes, it keeps it really fresh and new. You never know what to expect. This season is so fast-paced it also runs as one episode, it doesn’t seem like one segregates. 

Richard joked: "That is a good way of saying you can’t remember Sophie! A lot happens in season eight, I can’t remember it all but it feels like a lifetime ago!" 

Outlander season six airs on 6 March on STARZPLAY

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