It’s fair to say many fans weren’t sure of the direction Trisha Biggar would take Outlander in costume. However, since she has costumed a galaxy (Star Wars) in all shapes and sizes, it certainly helped in taking on a lead actress who was pregnant during filming, when she was supposed to be very ill and thin. Between Caitriona Balfe’s amazing work and Biggar’s adapted wardrobe, only a few times did we see angles we weren’t meant to. That aside, Claire Fraser is at another part of her journey in the colonies and Biggar wanted to show that a modern woman living in colonial times would have made some adjustments. Especially if she was a doctor/healer.
it’s a slightly modern twist on what women were wearing at the time, which I always feel is so important… that Claire would always find a way of retaining some of that comfort, some of that ease, some of the practicality from the future while also being able to kind of blend in. – Caitríona Balfe
However, the extravagant scenes at River Run, and meeting Flora MacDonald, meant some glam had to come back. Trisha Biggar and her team created a lovely blue frock that also cleverly hid things, as a woman in the era would have done up until confinement.
“For the party, I did a lot of experimenting with styles to make sure we had a dress that front-on she doesn’t look pregnant and from the back we can also shoot her quite easily. From the side it was covered or minimized by a shawl.” -Costume Designer Trisha Biggar
Brianna had her own journey for Season 6, she was a working-at-home mom, experimenting with plumbing, firing pottery pipes, and matches. With another child on the way, Sophie Skelton’s character had a lot of adapting and work to do. Not to mention a husband who decided to follow a path to the clergy.
Jamie was now becoming Laird of the Land again, being the landholder at Fraser’s Ridge. As the seasons 5 and 6 progressed, we see Sam Heughan wearing much richer, natural tones of color for the American Colonies, blending in his tartan hues of old with the new frontier.
“The Frasers are leaving the Ridge slightly more often than they did in Season 5 so we developed slightly different looks for them. They’re not always at the Ridge working and doing domestic things. They are meeting society and having to do business with people nearby.” -Trisha Biggar, Costume Designer
If you haven’t seen “Never My Love”, the finale episode of Season 5, please turn back now.
Trish Biggar took the helm for Season 5 on costumes and has done a marvelous job of blending the colors of the landscape of New England for the colonial inhabitants and their abodes of Fraser’s Ridge and beyond. The colors have been rich and reflective of fall in New England. We have even been treated to some fabric dying and quite a lot of colonial homespun.
But truth be told, much of the fabrics used at the time may have been produced as raw goods, shipped to England, then made into cloth, and sold back to the colonists at much higher prices. Some did weave on small looms if available, and some fabric creation with wool knitting might be local, the forced resale of finished material products contributed to the colonial strife along with many other taxed goods, such as tea.
For the finale, we have a dream escape sequence where Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is in a part of her mind trying to survive her horrendous ordeal, she isolates and creates a world where she and Jamie are young again, and many of the people in her life from the 18th-century are brought into the 20th. In this sequence, we are treated to a menagerie of objects as Easter Eggs from all 5 seasons, and the pallet of the 1960s/early 70s colors with a fall theme as Claire is welcoming people from her past to a Thanksgiving feast in a 1960s house. And the feast is echoed in the costumes for the sequence. Reds, golds, that blue that Jon Gary Steel has had in many sets for the past 4 seasons. Colors of fall and accents from past episodes.
Oh, and I died over that gold and crazy plaid trousers Duncan Lacroix rocked as Murtagh! And Maria in those colors. Check out the dragonfly she holds, one of the many Easter Eggs. And yes, we know Duncan wanted to take that suit home! So here it is in all its glory.
Read the interview with Town & Country on dressing Season 5 finale
Photography by Aimee Spinks.
For the Town and Country Interview with Trisha Biggar Look Here.
At long last, we were treated with an early release of episode 501, The Fiery Cross in the US and Canada if you had a subscription to the Starz® App. On the LA Premiere night Thursday, it was announced we would get the first episode dropped at midnight for Valentine’s treat.
Beginnings and Endings
While producers and cast have been stating that the theme this season is based on family and what Jamie and Claire will do to keep the family and extended family of Fraser Ridge safe, it’s the sad business of having to cast a family member aside that hit hard in this season opener. We knew it was coming when Governor Tryon charged Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) with hunting down and killing the leader of the Regulators, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix).
Episode 501, The Fiery Cross, opens with a young Murtagh walking towards Lollybroch and a very young Jamie Fraser suffering the loss of his mother Ellen. Murtagh speaks his oath to always be there by Jamie’s side to protect him. We know deep down this is going to hurt. Jamie lost Murtagh after Culloden and found him again when he sacrificed himself for his family’s safety ending up in Ardsmuir Prison. He found Murtagh broke and fragile, barely surviving in the dank walls. Only to lose him again as the prison shut down and Murtagh was indentured to a cruel man in the colonies. When the Frasers end up in North Carolina in Season 4, Jamie and Murtagh are reunited. However, in true Outlander fashion, it is but a brief moment.
A Da’s Privilege
Roger (Richard Rankin) ends up in Jamie’s very focused conversational embrace as he gets a very close shave from a cutthroat razor after nicking himself. A bit of sacrificial blood for the day’s events. The nervous declarations of Roger promising to find some way to provide for his family, being the scholar that he is. Jamie all too well knows he cannot hunt, farm, build a house, and quite clearly Brianna wears the breeks at times. He admits that the cabin was so he didn’t have his grandchild growing up in the woods. Jamie in his not so subtle way reminding Roger that he will be watching.
Roger spends most of the next few days wondering when Jamie will ever trust him. Can he find some way to get that chance to prove himself?
Something Old, Something New
As you know the series is straying further away from scenes in the books, thankfully the long drawn out beginning of The Fiery Cross with Gathering on Mount Halcion being downsized to a gathering for Roger and Bree’s wedding makes perfect sense. Focusing on the Ridge and the grand reveal of the big house, the unfinished parts of the doors and ongoing building reflect the building of the community.
Claire is a proud mother, gushing and preparing Brianna for the wedding, finishing dress bits and being that rare soft side of Claire we don’t see very often. Jamie is fussing over all the accouterments of the tradition to have a bride prepared with something old, something new (whisky, not aged of course), something borrowed, something blue. He can’t help but have doubts about the day, and the loss of his daughter after only just finding her. It’s a matter that plays out for all fathers, to give away the daughter and trust that another will provide for her. When Brianna comes to greet him, she reminds him that he will always be a part of her life.
In further conversations, Claire tries to take Roger’s corner as she trusts Roger to do right by Brianna and Jemmy. Jamie questioning his initial hesitation at taking on the responsibility of the child. Claire reminds him that he did come round. There was, of course, a little matter of Roger being sold off to the Mowhawk and how that transpired that no one will bring upon such a day, and the shock of finding out what happened to Brianna when he was rescued. Scots and their grudges.
Weddings, Interfearing Aunts, and The Uninvited Guest
There’s always got to be someone who ruins the day. And someone hiding away. It wouldn’t be a wedding if something didn’t go wrong. You get that many Scots together and…
Because there is a price on his head, Murtagh must hide in his shack in the woods, watching the ceremony from afar. Unfortunately, Governor Tryon turns up with a platoon of Dragoons to aid the errant Jamie, who has spent nearly a year dancing around his responsibilities of the Governor’s orders to hunt and kill Murtagh. He is reminded of his duty once in a roundabout, coy way, then more firmly with Tryon announcing he is leaving the Dragoons to aid Jamie in this task. A father really doesn’t need such stress while trying to be all smiles for his daughter on her day.
Lord John Grey (David Berry), is one of the honored guests and pulls Jamie aside behind a wagon to discuss the private matter of locating Stephen Bonnet. Unfortunately, Brianna walks up to the other side of the wagon and overhears the conversation. Lord John tells Jamie of his inquiries, what scant intelligence he has that he is following. Brianna is in shock, the worst possible thing that could have happened on her day, hearing that Bonnet is indeed still alive. She stumbles off into the wedding night, trying to keep it all in and away from her family.
Luckily Roger blissfully ignorant of the situation serenades his wife with a very 1960s song on their wedding night. The next day, the heads are swelling with grog and overindulgence. Roger is summoned to meet with Aunt Jocasta in her pavilion. She tells Roger that she is changing her will, Brianna will no longer be her heir, that she is leaving it all to Jemmy. Roger explodes and tells her where she can put her decisions, that no wife or son of his will take her money. He storms off. Jocasta, of course, being the MacKenzie she is and finding no evidence of Roger MacKenzie’s family, tests him to see if it’s all about the money. As Ulysses asks her if she had the outcome she had hoped for, she agrees. Perhaps Roger has passed her test.
Murtaghs Waters Deepen
Murtagh is a man of conviction. Too long has he an others suffered at the hands of the Crown. The injustices of over taxation and corrupt justice systems in the colony cause him to become one of the leaders of the Regulators, who are not united under one leader but split among North and South Carolina. It is because of this that Jamie is being forced to create a militia to hunt him down. It appears that after years of loss and reconnection, finally finding a home with Jamie again on the Ridge, he must make his decision. Be true to himself, or be true to his kin. Can Murtagh survive with the anchor of the family about to be ripped away?
To add to his losses, while having a love tryst in the love shack with Jocasta, she reveals that a Duncan Inness has asked her to marry him. Book readers will remember that this character was in Ardsmuir with Jamie and had originally been the companion who traveled with him and Claire through the Carribean). In season 4, Murcasta seemed to supplant that book storyline.
It’s not easy for Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy), is the widow with a wealthy plantation, there have been many trying to wed her to control such wealth. She and Murtagh cannot be open about their relationship. Her plantation could be taken from her, she could be jailed. Murtagh backs up and tells her he releases her from their relationship. The rollercoaster has left the platform. That sinking drop is hitting home for Murtagh. He is about to lose all he holds dear, and make a sacrifice so that others don’t lose what they hold dear.
The Fiery Cross
We’ve been waiting to see Jamie don a kilt again. The tartans were outlawed after Culloden, and while everyone is gathered in the night, he lights a wicker cross. The Fiery Cross is a symbol of call to arms in the highlands, where clans and those who give fealty to them are called to action against a foe. Jamie uses this time to finally give Roger a purpose and feel that he has earned a place by his side by naming him a captain. It’s a bold move to go in a full kilt in front of the Dragoons, the tartan is outlawed and still punishable by imprisonment or death. The risk is worth it as Jamie knows it’s the only way to rally so many men from different clans to form a new one in the new world.
Breaking of Bonds
In the final scene, we have Jamie walking up to a secret meeting with Murtagh in the woods. He must do what he has been dreading for a year. The stakes are too high. He releases Murtagh from his oath to protect him and his family. If anyone found out that Murtagh was his Godfather, he could lose everything, all the families relying on him for a home and protection would lose. Heavy is the responsibility of being the Laird.
Murtagh is of course in shock but at the same time knew it would come to this eventually. He has been hit from all sides with loss. Murtagh makes an attempt to have Jamie consider time travel, perhaps Claire, Brianna, or Roger could change time? Jamie is taken aback. Murtagh is hit with the relationship with Jocasta ending, because really he has been putting her in danger, and now his surrogate son says to him, “Please– be hard to find”. He walks away from everything that holds him.
We now have set in motion two people who have loved and cared for each other over the years, their kinship, gone. They will now be on opposing sides of a situation Jamie does not wish to be dragged into, and Murtagh stubbornly will not leave. It is a conflict with his political past that he too has sympathy for, but he is haunted by the pain and suffering of the disbanded clans of Scotland after Culloden. He knows that there is a promise of a bigger war to come, that there is a conflict with The Regulators as told by Claire, Roger, and Brianna is the beginnings of a parting with the Crown by the colonists. The colonies are on a slow burn.
Stay tuned for Between Two Fires Episode 502 next Saturday, 22nd of February at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, 23rd of February at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, Canada on W Network at 9:00. UK Monday on Amazon Prime.
It’s 24 more sleeps. Droughtlander is over in two weeks. The stills and previews keep flooding in. We are getting glimpses of what’s to come in Season 5, including plenty of costume shots and BTS from many on the production and cast members. More is hitting us every day. So here is a short roundup of images in the last two weeks.
Also, as you can see in the narrated previews and images being released, that we see more of what Trisha Biggar has done as the new costume designer for the series. I’m still chewing on some of it. Having been a costumer for years, to me this period is always a rough one. When it’s done right it’s great, when it’s fantasy, not so good. We also have not had the personal interplay we had with designer Terry Dresbach, who is still sharing pictures of past season creations. The new costume designer Trisha Biggar has had books published of her work for the Star Wars® films, so we are not sure if she keeps things close after release or does much on Twitter. You can look at her hashtag and find some fun bits about current and past work from fans, #trishabiggar. Hopefully, after the season starts, Starz will continue with showcasing costume along with other BTS of each episode.
For a great podcast, check out Trisha Biggar on BAFTA Scotland interview about Star Wars, costuming, and how she got into the business.
If you have Starz® on cable or satellite, there’s promise of an Outlander Season 5 glimpse before Starz® debut of The Spanish Princess, May 5 at 8PM EST. Otherwise known as Katherine of Aragon, the series tells the story of who became first wife to Henry VIII after she was married to his elder brother. You can watch the new series debut now on the Starz® App, and tonight on the cable channel. Before the show you will get a first glimpse at filming for Outlander Season 5. I have read several postings and many have seen this. However, apparently if you have it through Amazon Prime, you don’t get a peek.
We asked Starz® on Twitter if they would have a glimpse for those of us who App it, they assured us we would have access. Sorry to say, this techie wasn’t able to get Amazon Starz® App to display it, you may have to watch it through your computer. If you have the App and have a cable provider, you may be able to view it. Never fear, it will turn up on the YouTube site soon, if some fans don’t manage to broadcast it earlier. Here’s what showed up Monday on YouTube.
Costume Changes for The Show
We have viewed a few new costume changes for the show. Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser, shared a glimpse of new attire on his birthday, was a scant day or two away from book Jamie character’s birthday. Jamie Fraser would be 298 years old today. There have been hints that Jamie would travel to the future in Season 5 rumors, but book readers know the only way that happens is the mysterious ghost of the Highlander in the series pilot episode that Frank encounters watching Claire from the window. It also looks like all the wigs have changed for the main 5 characters as well.
We’re getting our first taste of how seasons 5 and 6 flavors may go. For those of you watching from day one on the series, seasons 1 and 2 had many of the same production flavors, with 3 and 4 being dynamically different. Different writers, directors, crews changed. The writer’s room Toni Graphia and Matt Roberts started taking over podcasts and after show commentary, and the storylines, though expected to change, had very different looks and feels in the production designs. Coming to the Colonial America location would change things a bit. It looks like the new costume designer, Starz alumni Trisha Biggar, is revamping the looks of the show already. To look at her impressive CV, check this out. She has worked on two Star Wars films, and on television costumed for Emerald City and Da Vinci’s Demons II & III. She has credit for Season 5 Outlander already listed. We have been very fortunate with Terry Dresbach’s Twitter postings, and blog shares for the past 4 seasons. She has promised to try to keep up the account now for design concepts only. However, we don’t know if Biggar has a Twitter presence in mind for her tenure in season 5. With the few shots we have seen already, there are some stark costume changes. What can you do if you live in a colony that is heavily taxed on goods, including materials for dress, how realistic is it that characters can obtain new clothing.
Teaser Leaks and Rumors Abound
Duncan Lacroix and Caitriona Balfe are seen sporting darker brown wigs in the production teaser, no silver steaks for Claire. Rumors are flying that there are some flash back scenes being filmed. Or is it that they have to disguise Murtagh somehow as he is now even more wanted by Gov. Tryon? Lacroix’s Instagram had a great shot of Graham McTavish and him paling around near the Stevenson Memorial in Edinburgh today. Could there be some flashback scenes in season 5? Last season we had a Frank and Bree on that fateful night.