12:04pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Ron Moore's 'Outlander' Adds Pair to Cast
Ron Moore's Starz adaptation of Outlander has cast two key roles.
Scottish natives Graham McTavish and Gary Lewis have joined the cast of the premium cable network's adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's best-selling books.
McTavish (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 24) will play Dougal MacKenzie, while Lewis (Gangs of New York) will portray Colum MacKenzie, the network announced Wednesday. Dougal is the war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie. He is a skilled and experienced warrior -- a strong leader who commands respect in any setting, is feared by many and secretly supports the rebel cause against the British. His older brother, Colum, is the ruling laird, but he would be nothing without Dougal. Colum suffers from a condition now known as Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome, a degenerative disease that renders his legs immobile at times and fills his days with great physical pain. Colum, using wine to dull the anguish, is able to rise to the occasion when needed, parading around at clan dinners and gatherings and solidifying his position as clan leader.
The drama, from Battlestar Galactica's Moore, revolves around Fraser (Sam Heughan), who strikes up a passionate affair with Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 and thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
They join Game of Thrones alum Tobias Menzies in the drama. Menzies will play the dual role of Frank Randall and Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall.
McTavish is repped by Cheri Barner Management and Stone Manners Salners. Lewis (Billy Elliot) is with Creative Artists Management in the U.K.
Moore will write the series and executive produce alongside Jim Kohlberg. The drama hails from Sony Pictures Television and is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Co. and Left Bank Pictures. Starz picked up the drama in June with a 16-episode order for 2014. John Dahl (Dexter, Breaking Bad) will direct. Production will begin in Scotland, where the series is set, in the fall.