Outlander bosses admit they didnt plan on bringing back major star Dismissed it!
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Graham McTavish almost reprised his role as Dougal Mackenzie in the most recent season of Outlander, instead playing the fierce Highland Chieftain’s illegitimate son, Buck. Ahead of the fantasy drama’s return to Starz at the start of next year, the producers have detailed the surprising story behind his unexpected guest appearance.
Outlander showrunner Matthew B Roberts and executive producer Maril Davies have revealed more about bringing back Graham McTavish for a surprise cameo in season five.
The series heads admitted they weren’t originally planning for the former series regular to return in the role of William ‘Buck’ Mackenzie.
However, they soon realised McTavish was the only choice to portray the illegitimate son of his original character, Dougal Mackenzie.
Although the casting makes complete sense in hindsight, Davies revealed McTavish’s cameo was initially considered as a joke amongst the writers.
She recalled: “It kind of came about in an odd way.
“We kind of were talking about it jokingly that it would be kind of funny to have Graham McTavish play this role.
“We love Graham so any chance to bring him back… but we just kind of dismissed it a little.”
As Buck is a somewhat important recurring character throughout Diana Gabaldon’s original novels, it was assumed a different actor would be brought in for the role.
Thankfully, the people at Starz quickly woke the Outlander team up to the potential of bringing Graham McTavish back for at least one more appearance.
Fans were certainly thankful they did, as Dougal’s death at the end of season two meant this was one of the only ways they could have him back on the show.
Davies continued: “One of our Starz execs Karen Bailey called me and said, ‘wouldn’t it be great if Graham McTavish played this role?’
“I was like, ‘that’s so funny, we were talking about that!’”
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Showrunner Matthew B Roberts then joined Davies in calling the Scottish TV legend in hopes of bringing him back for a one-off appearance.
Thankfully, McTavish was immediately open to the idea and was excited to return to the world of Outlander one last time.
Roberts also shared more about their decision to keep his new character hidden from audiences until the last second.
Dougal’s son Buck appears in two episodes in season five, and the showrunner felt it was important for viewers to hear McTavish’s distinct voice before seeing the new character.
He explained: “What Graham has is such a distinctive voice, so I said ‘let’s hear him first, and not see him.’
“You want to feel who that is first and then you see him, it’s like ‘is that him?’”
Maril Davies then admitted it was particularly challenging to keep McTavish’s appearance a secret in the run-up to season five.
As Buck makes sporadic appearances throughout later novels in the series, fans are keeping their fingers crossed for another cameo from Graham McTavish somewhere down the line.
Outlander season 6 will premiere in early 2022 on Starz.
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