Just finished watching the first half of Season 1 of the Outlander series and am now waiting (impatiently) for the second half of the episodes to be released. Seriously, next to Black Jack Randall himself, the producers of this series are the biggest sadists ever. Who the heck does 16 episodes and then–after they’ve all aired, mind you—releases them to the public a dribble at time? Sassenach bastards!
Well, as I chew the scenery impatiently, I thought I might just give a little shout out to the supporting cast. Most of the media attention has been on the main characters, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jaimie (Sam Heughan). However, as it often the case, it’s been the secondary characters that have caught my eye.
Lotte Verbeek as Geillis
When we first met Geillis Duncan, I was completely mesmerized by her eyes. I couldn’t think of what they reminded me of at first, but then it hit me. She has the eyes of a cat–a big, predatory cat. Lotte gives Geillis a very feline aspect in her movements as well and once we see her red shoes (which she probably got by feeding Dorothy a poison apple), we know for sure that she’s a witch.
Simon Meacock as Hugh Munro
As a mute, all of Hugh’s dialogue essentially consists of “ungh” interspersed with gestures, so it’s a credit to character actor Simon Meacock range of facial expressions that we get a glimpse of the lively, intelligent man behind the beggar’s coat. More Hugh Munro, please.
Graham McTavish as Dougal McKenzie
If Jaimie is the Disney Prince of this series, then Dougal “MacDaddy” Mackenzie is the wicked uncle of the piece. Actually, that’s a much too simplistic description of Dougal’s complicated character, played with infinite finesse by Graham McTavish. Dougal is by turns both a hero and a villain and you can never tell which one will crop up next. And can we take a moment to appreciate just how many irons Dougal has in the fire? This guy has a wife at home, is carrying on a torrid affair with Geillis Duncan, hitting on Claire every chance he gets, and doing all of this while he’s raising money for the Jacobite rebellion at the same time.
Tobias Menzies as Jonathan Wolverton Randall/Frank Wolverton Randall
Honestly, where is this guy’s acting award? Tobias Menzies plays two related characters, neither of whom is entirely what they appear. On the surface, Claire’s husband, Frank, is just a mild-mannered historian, but during the war Frank worked for military intelligence and he still retains his special skills. On the surface, Black Jack Randall is a proper British officer, but the truth is that he’s a sadist who enjoys making examples out of anyone unlucky enough to fall into his clutches. Tobias is one of those actors who can tell you a lot by the look in his eyes and these dual roles are a lot of fun.