Game of Thrones alum Tobias Menzies will portray both 18th-century British baddie Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall and his 20th-century kin Frank in the cabler’s forthcoming time-travel series, TVLine has confirmed.
Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, 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 and she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior.
Frank is Claire’s husband, a professional historian with an interest in the 18th-century and his own family tree. “Black Jack” Randall, one of Frank’s ancestors, is a British Army captain with a dark, violent streak. Though the men look very much alike, Claire learns, they couldn’t be more different.
Author Diana Gabaldon, who penned the series of novels on which Outlander is based, excitedly announced the casting via Twitter (while acknowledging that the role fans are most curious about is still under wraps):
Thrones fans will recognize Menzies as Edmure Tully, brother of Lady Catelyn Stark. He also played Rome‘s Marcus Junius Brutus and has appeared on Doctor Who and in the film Casino Royale.
Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore will write and, with Jim Kohlberg, executive-produce Outlander. In July, Sam Heughan was cast as Jamie. Production on the 16-episode season begins filming in Scotland this fall; the premiere is expected in 2014.
Starz has given a series order to Outlander, a drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. I hear the project, from Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore and Sony Pictures TV, has received a 16-episode order, with production slated to begin in October in Scotland where the books are set. I hear Gabaldon let the news of the greenlight slip at Book Expo America 2013. The news comes a month after Outlander opened a writers room, with Moore hiring four scribes to work with him — Toni Graphia, Matt Roberts, Ira Behr and Anne Kenney. This marks Sony’s first series for Starz.
Outlander spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure. It follows Claire, a married WWII combat nurse, who mistakenly steps back in time to year 1743 where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world of adventure that sends her on the run and threatens her life. When Claire is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, it ignites a passionate affair that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. The seven-book series has sold over 20 million copies. An eighth novel is slated to come out this fall. The books have developed passionate fan following, with multiple companies running “Jamie and Claire” tours of Scotland, where they visit locations from the books.