Starz and Ronald D. Moore's adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander premiered last summer to largely favorable reviews, and the network renewed the series for a season 2 shortly after. As part of Starz's push to compete with other premium cable networks, Outlander has been successful in receiving critical acclaim, earning a handful of Golden Globe nominations this year, as well as appealing to casual TV viewers and fans of Gabaldon's series.
In season 1, Outlander followed WWII combat nurse Claire Randall (Catriona Balfe) living in 1945 who is sent back in time to 18th century Scotland where she meets and falls in love with Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Season 2 will pick up where season 1 left off, with Jamie and Claire heading to France where they will become embroiled in the politics of the time. Now, a new image and details from season 2 highlight the show's French Court setting.
“We figured out recently that we’ve made over 10,000 items for season 2 and acquired another 5,000 shoes. Knowing that was in front of us … it was a monumental task. We started thinking about it halfway through season 1. It’s a completely different kind of clothing. In Scotland, there is not a ton of research out there about what they wore. It was a rough place. But France [in the 18th century] was one of the most well-documented periods of fashion in the world, so you better get it right. There is no wiggle room. Everything has to be sumptuous and lavish and every inch is beaded and embroidered. This is why I came back into the business to do this show. Getting to do 18th century French court is a designer’s dream. It’s fabulous.”
Certainly, the costumes of season 2 showcase the difference in the setting of Outlander, as both Claire and Jamie traded their tartans for silk clothing. But, according to Moore’s previous comments, the show won't just have a new location and new costumes in season 2, it will have a "whole different tone," which makes sense since the couple will be contending with French aristocracy rather than Scottish clansmen. Of course, the fact that Gabaldon's second novel in the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber, takes place in both the 1740s and 1960s could help to give season 2 an incredibly different tone, as well.
Still, season 2 won't stray too far from what fans have come to love about Outlander, as evidenced by the first teaser trailer for the show's second outing. The trailer showcased more action, more political scheming, and more romance between Jamie and Claire. Since Outlander has proven to have mass appeal, both to fans of the book and casual viewers alike, it's likely this change of setting will simply be another compelling dramatic arc in the larger series storyline. But, that remains to be seen when Outlander premieres in the spring.
Outlander returns for season 2 in the spring of 2016 on Starz.