Meanwhile, in the present-day side of the premiere, we saw that Claire is struggling with the fact that she’s in a world where women are treated like second-class citizens. Why was it important for you to highlight that theme right off the bat?
Well, I think we’ve always talked about the fact that in an strange way, Claire going back to the 1700s had much more freedom in some ways then she ever would’ve had if she had never gone thought the stones. We’ve talked about her marriage with Frank and the fact that it probably wouldn’t have ended happily — even though it obviously doesn’t end happily in our show either. Claire, after the war, was used to being on the front lines and being able to help out, and when she goes back, we see a glimpse of what her life would’ve been. She has seen all of this action and she’s so used to being so hands-on, but now she’s been relegated to being housewife and having everyone’s restrictions of how they feel about women being placed on her.
It’s really hard for her, because she does want to be a healer and a doctor and she doesn’t want to feel like she’s not contributing, so it’s important for us to show a realistic portrayal of the struggles a woman would’ve gone through. Obviously, she’s struggling with the loss of Jamie, and Jamie is struggling as well in his time, but they’re both dealing with things in their own times. Not just the loss of each other, but also feeling like they’re no longer themselves and they can’t do the things that they want to do.
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